2023 Best & Brightest MBA: Carly Wolberg, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Carly Wolberg

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

“A curious, empathetic, highly motivated, and passionate leader known for my infectious spirit and smile.”

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC

Fun fact about yourself: I was voted in my MBA Class as “Person most likely to brighten your day” in our superlatives competition last year.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler Business School; B.S. Business Administration and B.A. Hispanic Literatures and Cultures

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Amazon, Senior Product Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? WillowTree Apps in Durham, NC

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Technology Chair, Tuck Student Board
  • MBA Fellow, Center for Digital Strategies
  • Tuck Forté Fellow
  • Co-Chair, Marketing Club
  • Co-Chair, Cheesemongers Club
  • Teaching Assistant, Marketing Core Class
  • Teaching Assistant, Operations Core Class
  • Ambassador, Tuck Admissions
  • Volunteer, Alzheimer’s Association—Upper Valley

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of my role driving Tuck’s annual Super Bowl Ad Review in February 2023 in my capacity as Marketing Club co-chair. This is a beloved Tuck tradition for over 25 years, bringing together the entire Tuck community: current students, alumni, faculty and staff, Tuck partners, and even prospective students. This year we had record turnout and engagement, with more than 500 folks attending. I drove the communications/marketing of the event, registration, tech setup and logistics, budget, content, and catering. I had the pleasure to work closely with Professors Paul Argenti and Kevin Keller, two of Tuck’s most impactful professors who lead the discussion, and it was a lot of fun to work with them to choose the Super Bowl Ads to review with the group. This event production was a true labor of love—one of the biggest student-run Tuck events—and I put so many hours of hard work and oversight into it to ensure it was a success with flawless execution. I have received so much positive feedback across the Tuck community, and I am very proud to have this be part of my legacy.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of launching the Live Sports platform in Prime Video while at Amazon in August 2019 as an in-app merchandising/marketing manager. This has been one of my career highlights and one that required hours of hard work, teamwork, and grit for over nine months. I felt this project truly leveraged my superpowers that I bring to a team, and I fell in love with working with product and tech teams to launch high-impact projects for our customers.

This project allowed me to develop deep domain expertise in the live events space when it came to understanding all layers of the tech stack, as well as showcase my leadership in training and mentoring the rest of the organization on the in-app merchandising capabilities. I wrote a playbook for launching live sports, drove operational efficiencies to scale live sport launches, and collaborated with product and tech stakeholders to launch customer-facing features for live events. Because of my expertise and hard work, I was often consulted by senior Amazon leaders and had strong influence in decision-making. This achievement also opened the path to becoming a Senior Product Manager on a tech team, which represented three promotions in my six-year career at Amazon.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Tuck because of the close-knit, connected, highly-engaged community of people. My decision to leave Amazon to pursue my MBA was very hard, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what was most important to me to get from this huge financial and time investment. The bottom line is that I decided I was pursing an MBA to expand my worldview and knowledge base. I wanted to use my two years in business school to not only learn from the best and with the brightest, but also to build alliances, friendships, and experiences that will last a lifetime. Experiencing close engagements with peers, and professors, in an environment that values diversity of thought and experience, was a particular reason why I was interested in Tuck. People have to intentionally opt-in to this MBA program, and it’s not for everyone. But this also means that students who choose Tuck are “all-in” on this experience and truly want to make the most of co-creating our MBA experience together. And boy, has this proven to be true, and more!

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor has been Professor Kevin Lane Keller, who is the E.B. Osborn Professor of Marketing at Tuck. I had the pleasure of taking his Strategic Brand Management course in winter term of 2022. Professor Keller has exceptional skills in connecting with his students, bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom, and creating a collaborative, highly engaging class. While this was just a “mini” class (5 weeks), my relationship with Professor Keller quickly extended beyond his brand management class. I consulted him on my First-Year Project in the spring of 2022, collaborated with him in my capacity as Marketing Club co-chair, and worked with him to drive the Super Bowl Ad Review event at Tuck. My relationship with Professor Keller really shows how Tuck professors want to get to know their students and work with them beyond the typical classroom environment, and I’m very thankful for the opportunities to learn from and work with him.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? One of my favorite courses was Professor Scott Neslin‘s Customer Analytics course this past winter term. It focuses on real life customer analytics problems and applications—such as customer acquisition and retention management, cross-selling, upselling, churn management, loyalty program evaluation, and more. This class pushed me to conduct in-depth quantitative analysis and learn frameworks and methodologies for leveraging data and evaluating common business problems. I think this class brings such an important data-focused lens to marketing problems and is critical for a career in technology and marketing. We worked with real world applications and databases across a variety of industries and learned both the potential and limitations of customer analytics.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? It’s hard to choose just one! One of my favorite Tuck traditions is the Tuck Winter Carnival held each February that brings MBA students from over 15 schools together (650-plus people) to celebrate the winter season in Hanover. This tradition reflects what truly differentiates Tuck from other business schools. Unlike events like case competitions or recruiting fairs, this is a one-of-a-kind intercollegiate event for MBAs with the sole purpose of enjoying the outdoors and making connections with other students. Tuck Winter Carnival also reflects Tuck’s emphasis on our close-knit, connected community and sharing unique experiences in this beautiful (and sometimes cold) part of the country. In both my years, Tuck Winter Carnival has resulted in some of my favorite Tuck memories.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? I love Hanover. It feels like a scene out of my favorite show Gilmore Girls with a lot of similarities to the fictional town of Stars Hollow when it comes to the trust-based community, seeing people you know/recognize on every block you walk, and personalities who want to connect and support each other. The small-town location of Hanover was one of the main draws of “Why Tuck” for me and is certainly part of the fabric of Tuck. I love getting breakfast at Lou’s Restaurant in the center of town, grabbing a pint at Murphy’s after classes, or going on runs through some of the beautiful trails around town. I have personally loved leaning into this small-town feel for my two years at Tuck. Also, this NC-gal is very appreciative of living in a town that knows how to manage and operate in snow and quickly plows the roads (and sidewalks!).

What surprised you the most about business school? The amount of personal transformation I have experienced, in addition to the professional growth which I expected. I have been able to immerse myself in experiences that have allowed me to get outside of my comfort zone, to discover different strengths and interests, and to understand what my values are and how to be a more empathetic leader, teammate, and friend. I would never have guessed I would be challenging myself hiking at 17,000 ft elevation in Peru (the famous Rainbow Mountain) with my classmates, which I wouldn’t have done without their encouragement. While I am a very independent, self-driven person, I have discovered how much I can trust my classmates, lean on them for support, and achieve success both individually and as a team—all lessons I’ll carry forward.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? In the application process, I invested many hours in getting to know Tuck—the people (alumni and current students), its values, and every part that would make up my Tuck experience. These included academics, career recruiting, the centers, clubs and activities, and international travel experiences. Most notably, I consulted the many Tuck alumni at Amazon who I looked up to as accomplished, effective leaders. I attended many events for prospective students to get to know the school, such as coffee chats, virtual tours, and conversations with Tuck Admissions. Through availing myself of all these resources, I was truly able to understand the fabric of Tuck and bring my application to life when it came to how I would be involved and what I’d contribute. I was very articulate and honest about my hopes of attending Tuck, and I brought my authentic self to the application process that showcased my excitement and why Tuck specifically was a great fit for me.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? My 295 person MBA class is full of extremely talented, diverse, and driven people, so it’s hard to choose just one here. However, I most admire my classmate Kakeru Tsubota. I have had the pleasure to work with him closely these past two years on my tech and entrepreneurship career journey, as well as on Student Board and as MBA Fellows at the Center for Digital Strategies. Kakeru’s leadership and involvement is unparalleled, and his contributions to the Tuck community have been vast and impactful. Talk about making the most of your time in business school—Kakeru has done this and more. I admire his ability to not only remain very involved at Tuck, but also ruthlessly prioritize, give back, and make time for his wife and children (and dog). Kakeru best exemplifies Tuck’s values of being smart, accomplished, aware and encouraging, and so it is no surprise he was given the Tuck Centennial Award for his contribution to the Tuck community. He is one of the most empathetic people I know, truly caring about inclusion and his impact on others. I’m so proud to call him my classmate and friend. He will truly better the world through business.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Starting my own business (preferably a beloved neighborhood coffee shop) and being a board member of a nonprofit.

What made Carly such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“I have had the chance to interact with Carly a lot over these last two school years—in the classroom, as well as outside the classroom with her First-Year Project and in her capacity as one of the leaders of the Marketing Club. I have been uniformly impressed by her energetic, collaborative approach; her tireless work ethic and careful attention to detail; and her commitment to excellence and high-quality standards. It really is extraordinary, even by top tier MBA standards. I have taught MBA students for almost four decades and Carly ranks as one of the very best of having the complete package of talent, drive, and personality.

In my branding elective, she earned top marks, in part, due to a very insightful brand audit project on Uber she prepared. When I provided some advice to Carly and her team on her First-Year Project to develop a marketing strategy for Contoocook Cider Company, I was struck by her thoughtful approach. By all accounts, the project was a huge success. As Marketing Club co-chair, she helped to put together a stimulating and engaging Marketing Symposium this past fall, an annual event at Tuck.

Finally, in another popular annual event at Tuck, Carly took the lead on the very successful recent Super Bowl Ad Review. I am one of two faculty members who did the critique. Thanks to her oversight and direction, it was so well organized and effectively promoted, we had record attendance and strong student engagement. These events reflected extremely well on marketing and the Marketing Club at Tuck, and I am very grateful for Carly’s superb leadership with both.

Carly is clearly passionate about marketing and Tuck, and she has made such a difference to her class in that regard. Although marketing has had a strong track record at Tuck for decades now, producing transformational marketing leaders across a wide range of industries and organizations, the school may be better known for cultivating careers in other areas. Carly helped to make sure that marketing stayed at the forefront of student interest and activities during her two years, even serving as a TA in the core Marketing course.

Carly’s contributions extend beyond marketing, however, and impact the school in many more ways. For example, she is Tech Chair on the Student Board, a Fellow for the Center for Digital Strategies, and is a TA in the core Operations course. On top of it all, Carly is an absolute pleasure for everyone to work with, very personable and positive. It is no surprise that she was voted as “most likely to brighten someone’s day” by her classmates. When you add it all up, you can see why she has been so successful during her MBA at Tuck.

In closing, at Tuck, we pride ourselves in developing wise, decisive leaders who better the world through business. We also seek students who want to build strong ties with other students and the whole Tuck community. Carly exemplifies those qualities, and for all that she is and for all that she has done at Tuck, I feel she would be an extremely deserving recipient of this honor and recognition from P&Q.”

Kevin Lane Keller
E. B. Osborn Professor of Marketing


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