2024 Best & Brightest MBA: Ben Marshall, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Ben Marshall

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

“Passionate, optimistic, and inspired by celebrating the stories in other people.”

Hometown: Bournemouth, United Kingdom

Fun fact about yourself: I’ve recently taken up woodwork (Dartmouth has a free-to-use workshop with a bit of a cult following)! My first project is a cribbage board for my Nanna. I’m definitely not a natural, but I love working with my hands and it’s a great way of being present in the moment.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Oxford, B.A. Biological Sciences

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Alchemmy Consulting, Principal and Head of the Growth Strategy practice

Where did you intern during the summer of 2023? I had a few internships last summer:

  1. Particles for Humanity (New York/remote): Planning how to scale up food fortification in Sub-Saharan Africa
  2. Golub Capital, Social Impact Labs (remote): Evaluating and promoting nonprofit leadership programs in the U.S.
  3. Future of Capitalism LLC (Boston/remote): Interim Chief Strategy Officer advising on Seed Raise
  4. Tuck School of Business, Tuck Compass initiative (Hanover, NH): Building an MBA Planner tool to help students optimize their MBA experience

Where will you be working after graduation? After graduating from Tuck, I will be continuing my Master of Public Administration (MPA) at Harvard Kennedy School.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: (Include school awards and honors)

  • Director, Tuck Social Venture Fund
  • Founder and Co-Chair, Tuck Europe Club
  • Co-Chair, Tuck Mental Health & Wellness Initiative (and Peer Support Counselor)
  • Co-Chair, Business and Politics Club
  • Tuck Admissions Associate (Admissions Interviewer)
  • Host, ‘If You Knew Me’ podcast
  • Fellow, Center for Business, Government & Society
  • Associate, Center for Digital Strategies
  • Tuck Community Consultant, NH Juvenile Court Diversion Network
  • McGowan Fellow (top 5 percent of class, one of 10 fellows nationally)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? When I started at Tuck, Europe was the only continent without a cultural affinity club. My friend Karim and I saw student interest and the opportunity to add value to the community, so we founded the Tuck Europe Club. In the last year, we’ve organized social events ranging from small group dinners for European students, staff, and faculty, to school-wide events like Tuck Mull and an international culture crawl, which are becoming part of the social calendar. As well as strengthening community relationships, we’ve tried to foster awareness of European culture, business, and politics by supporting students to organize ‘lunch-and-learns’—where they can share their countries’ cultures—and hosting discussions with senior European leaders from organizations like the Bank of England, BNP Paribas, Merck, and Microsoft. We just selected an amazing set of incoming co-chairs, and I’m excited to see how they continue to grow the club not just for current students, but for applicants and alumni.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My proudest achievement is launching an international innovation unit for the National Health Service (NHS). Many UK hospitals and health care agencies operate overseas or partner with other governments, but historically this work was reactive and uncoordinated. I spent two years developing the strategy, defining the operating model for it, and then launching a new team to help NHS organizations collaborate, increase clinical impact, and decrease financial risk. Partially, I’m proud because of the scale of the challenge, which included engaging with over 100 senior stakeholders across 60-plus organizations and brokering consensus between three government departments during COVID. Mainly, though, I’m proud of the outcomes. We built national support for a new way of working, created an online resource library to help NHS organizations share best practices, and—in the last few months I was working on the program—helped a hospital win a $7M partnership to improve maternity care in Qatar. I hope this work continues to drive value for patients in the UK and around the world.

Why did you choose this business school? I knew that I wanted business school to be immersive, where I could learn from my classmates outside the classroom and to build the relationships that aren’t possible when people are commuting into campus and balancing their MBA experience alongside their existing lives. Tuck’s location, small class size, and collaborative culture all promised that. But the real thing that swayed me was the warmth I witnessed and experienced when I visited. I saw how everyone knew each other’s names. People were friends not just “connections” – and there was room to think deeply as well as have fun. Business school has been harder than I thought, in different ways than I thought, but I’m grateful to have been a part of Tuck.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? This is difficult because one of my favorite features of the MBA has been building relationships with faculty and members of the administration, as well as classmates. Possibly the most generative has been with Professor Curt Welling. I took his Capital for Social Impact course in my first year, where—through a combination of readings, guest speakers, and conversation—he gave me more space than I’ve ever had in a classroom to develop and defend a set of opinions. Because of him, I’m more confident not just in my academic understanding of social impact, but in my ability to engage meaningfully with investors, enterprise leaders, and philanthropists. Professor Welling has been patient and supportive in helping me turn my final paper into an article I’m in the process of publishing. He is also one of the faculty advisors to the Tuck Social Venture Fund. While we don’t always agree, it’s because of him I feel empowered to push back. He is principled, committed to intellectual rigor, and goes above and beyond for students. He’s also great fun in the classroom.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Tuck has some really fun events like Tuck Winter Carnival, but I think my favorite tradition is SafeRides. The Upper Valley has no Uber and limited public transport, so there are lots of events which would be inconvenient or off limits, especially for students living off campus. We get around that through SafeRides, a system where Tuckies pair up and volunteer to drive their classmates to/from events on Thursdays through Saturdays. They only get paid in gratitude, but it’s a great experience on both sides. It’s also a prime example of the generosity and “all in this together” spirit of Tuck students. I’ve never come across a community of people who so internalize their responsibility to support each other, and it’s beautiful.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I wish I’d had the confidence to show up as more of myself more often and earlier on my Tuck journey. I’m still not sure if it was because of imposter syndrome, or risk aversion prompted by the knowledge that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives in this small community. However, I feel like there was a long time when I muted the highest highs and lowest lows of myself. It’s only recently—going away for a term and coming back to Tuck—that I realized how much I risked shortchanging myself and the people around me. As classmates have become friends and I’ve become more settled, I’ve found myself getting more from and giving more to this experience, but I wish I had the confidence and wisdom to be able to do that earlier. You lose more being liked as someone you’re not than you do taking the risk of being authentic.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The person who jumped instantly into my mind was Claire Kadeethum T’24. I’ve been able to work with Claire in the Tuck Social Venture Fund, as co-chairs of the Mental Health and Wellness Initiative, and in her capacity as co-chair of the Low-Income & First-Generation at Tuck (LIFT) club. There are two things I admire about Claire. The first is that she seems to have discovered how to add more hours to her day than anyone else has. Despite having more obligations clamoring for her time than anyone I know, I don’t think she’s ever missed a deadline, produced something of a less than aspirational standard, or passed up an opportunity to ask how/who else she can help. The second is that she does all this with a quiet optimism and dry sense of humor that makes it fun. Claire sets the standard in such a way that it makes the people around her want to live up to it. I’m grateful to have gotten to know her, and I’d love to work with (or for) her at some point in our careers.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? In my time in consulting, tech, the government, and nonprofit work, I’ve worked for impressive mentors who I’m happy to say I can now call friends. One thing that showed me early in my career is how much it matters to me to be working with someone I admire and can learn from on something we share a passion about. My first bucket list item is to be a chief of staff working for a leader like that. My second is to become one of those leaders. Specifically, I would like to use that platform to help everyone get access to the same level of education, especially in a city like Boston, which has the best schools in the world and where zip code still determines who can attend them.

What made Ben such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Ben always applies his intellectual and emotional intelligence toward creating positive change in his community. Even more impressively, he manages to strike the very fine balance between intention and curiosity, and he lives every day at Tuck in this manner. He is seen as a talented leader among his professors and peers alike, as evidenced by his various leadership roles including Tuck Social Venture Fund, Mental Health and Wellness Initiative, and Center for Digital Strategies.

However, Ben’s work with the Deans’ Office is what I’ve found most impressive of all. As just one example, Ben created an MBA planning tool which provides students a single place to set goals, select courses, track co-curricular activities, and much more. In building this tool, Ben gained buy-in from many high-profile stakeholders including various deans, the registrar, the IT team, and his student peers. This work built upon his deep immersion in Tuck’s leadership development programs, including an independent study and a pilot program in which he built and managed his own board of advisors. Ben’s grace and determination, coupled with his unprecedented level of commitment to bettering the world around him, is what makes him such an invaluable addition to the class of 2024.”

Daniella Reichstetter
Adjunct Professor of Business Administration

“It is an honor to recommend Ben Marshall. Ben is a creative, strategic thinker and a kind, generous student colleague who strives to build a welcoming MBA community. Above all else, Ben is a changemaker! Ben stepped into leadership opportunities early in his MBA experience. For example, as a dual degree MBA/MPA, he took the lead to develop resources to support other dual degree or prospective dual degree students. Pulling together materials and creating brand new guides and infographics, Ben demystified the options open to students as they consider applying for a dual degree. Many students have expressed their gratitude for his work in helping them navigate one of the most important decisions of their academic journey.

In the first six months of his MBA, Ben co-founded the Europe Club and organized programming including its inaugural event with Jonathan Haskel from the Bank of England. The event was so well attended, a spillover room had to be arranged. As his MBA journey continued, Ben’s commitment to building community and making positive change accelerated. In summer 2023, Ben focused on impact driven internships, including a project with Golub Capital where he researched and co-wrote a paper that surveyed and shared best practices for MBA nonprofit board fellow programs. Ben’s thoughtful insights have already helped to refine and strengthen the Tuck Nonprofit Board Fellows program and it’s heartening to think of the impact his research will have on programs across the country. Ben is a wonderful example of the wise, decisive leader Tuck strives to develop. His generosity, creativity, and hard work on behalf of our community is outstanding.”

Hannah Payson
Executive Director, Tuck Center for Business, Government & Society


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