Selemon Asfaw is a 2nd year student at Tuck. He’s an organizer of the 2013 Diversity Conference as well as Co-chair of the Tuck African Ancestry Business Association. Prior to Tuck, Selemon was and education entrepreneur doing work in the Midwest with public and private enterprises. Next year he will be joining Goldman, Sachs & Co. in their Healthcare Investment Banking Group. He’s a native of Detroit and also a recovering MBA blogger known as ‘The Senator’.
Right now I’m on flight 1499 from Detroit to Miami—the first leg of a Tuck Global Consultancy to Uruguay. When I first became interested in Tuck one of the programs that piqued my attention was the Tuck Global Consultancy (TGC). I found out that students were selected by clients (multi-nationals, governments and non-profits) to perform real consulting projects that would help their organization(s) grow or assist them in dealing with a significant business challenge.
In September I received an e-mail that our client, based in Uruguay, wanted to staff me on a team with three other Tuckies and four MBA students from the University where we would be working. Their vision was ambitious: they needed a plan to grow their MBA, Master’s and Executive Education programs in order to become a regional player in a country that’s relatively anonymous being sandwiched in between Brazil and Argentina.
Fast forward to where we are today—since the team was assembled in September we’ve already begun working in earnest. Lots of primary and secondary research has been conducted. Our team in Uruguay has done plenty of ‘boots on the ground’ work and our client is already deeply engaged in the preliminary plans we’ve shared with him. I’m confident that our final product is not only going to help answer the initial problem that was defined, but also prove to be a rich experience for the TGC team.
One of my favorite things about my TGC project is the diversity of the team I’m working with. On the US side we have a brand management guru, an actuary expert and future Deloitte consultant, a former (and future) Bainie and me, a recovering education entrepreneur switching to a career in financial services. As cliché as it sounds, all of us absolutely bring something unique to the team and it’s pretty amazing how well we recognize who to turn to when we’re individually struggling with wrapping our head around a problem. It’s one of those special parts about being at Tuck—teamwork is so ingrained in everything we do, it’s pretty humbling when you can go to a teammate seeking advice and counsel and they’re always there with open arms to help you and teach you.
This (and the project) is what I’m looking most forward to over the next three weeks in Uruguay. For me it represents another opportunity to do something I wouldn’t normally do prior to business school; another eye-opening and unique Tuck experience and another challenge to take on with a dream team of Tuckies.
*Tuck Global Consultancy projects are part of Tuck's elective curriculum offerings. You can learn more here.
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