Q: What do Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Yokohama, food trucks, a climate change conference, and running a private equity fund have in common?
A: All formed critical parts of Tuck students’ MBA program in 2013 – 2014.
Last week, I sat in on a terrific panel about experiential education at Tuck. Panelists were Tuck staff from the First-Year Project (FYP), the Center for Business and Society (CBaS), the Center for Global Business and Government (CGBG), and the Tuck Global Consultancy (TGC). The panelists spoke at length about some of the amazing things our students are doing and how Tuck has facilitated students’ individual experiences in areas of unique interest to them.
The first thing I learned was that experiential learning is a key part of the Tuck MBA program. This is learning that takes place outside the classroom, applies curricular concepts in business contexts, and facilitates new insights for students.
The second thing I learned is how vast the array of options is in which our students can take part.
For example, this year, Alexis Kheir traveled to Yokohama, Japan to attend a business school conference on health care hosted by the Council on Business and Society and she co-chaired the Business & Society Conference at Tuck. She also traveled to Nicaragua to work with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters helping to improve the lives of coffee farmers. You can see her talk about her experiences in this video.
Difu Li served as a delegate to the COP 19 climate change conference in Warsaw, Poland, and blogged about his experiences. He created a corporate sustainability case study with a team as an Owens Corning Fellow and also participated in two Learning Expeditions while at Tuck, to Japan and Brazil. As Difu says, “Both in and out of the classroom, I learned more about the world being at Tuck than I ever knew before.” This is the essence of experiential education.
Maggie Maranda came to Tuck with a finance background and focused much of her time in the finance area, with great hands-on experience. As a Private Equity Club chair, she helped plan the annual Private Equity Conference and was an Ayres Fellow for the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship (CPEE). For her FYP, she worked with CPEE director Tom Naughton to develop plans for a student-run private equity fund. Bringing it all full-circle, as a second-year student and founder of Tuck Capital Partners, she became an FYP client.
Eric Winn started talking with faculty and staff at Tuck in September of his first year about his idea for a food truck in Hanover. He carried that passion on through Introduction to Entrepreneurship and his FYP, developing the plan further during the summer. By spring of 2014, The Box was up and running, offering great healthy fare and excellent catering options. The Box even provided snacks for the Experiential Education panel! (Delicious salted chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and some of the best granola ever made.) Like Tuck Capital Partners, The Box was also an FYP client this year.
The surprising thing I learned at this panel was how much of a legacy students leave Tuck with their individual and combined efforts. Eric and Maggie’s efforts exemplify this beautifully, but it happens in so many other forms at Tuck as well. I think of the Initiative for Women, Wall Street Edge, even the CBaS (formerly known as the Allwin Initiative) – all started as student ideas. Now they are formative parts of the Tuck experience.
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