Elliot Gillerman is an MBA candidate in the class of 2015 at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Prior to Tuck, Elliot worked at the Pentagon for Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and previously worked on national security policy within the Department of Defense and the U.S. House of Representatives. He began his career as a field organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Elliot is also pursuing his MPA at the Harvard Kennedy School and earned a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University.
One of my most memorable experiences at Tuck so far was a recruiting event I attended last fall. Sure, most on-campus recruiting events are pretty standard – company briefings, cocktail receptions, office hours and the like – but this event was a great departure from the mold. Hosted by one of the major consulting firms that recruits here at Tuck, around 20 classmates and I joined a senior partner from the firm for a ‘fireside chat’ at Dartmouth’s Class of ’66 Lodge.
The Class of ’66 Lodge is one of many cabins that Dartmouth College owns and maintains around the Upper Valley. It’s a ten-minute drive from Tuck and a fifteen-minute walk from the trailhead, but despite the short distance it felt like a completely different world. The first-year fall term at Tuck is an incredibly immersive experience, and I was very much looking forward to taking a study break and enjoying New Hampshire’s fall foliage during my time at the cabin.
Once we settled in and built a roaring fire, my classmates and I settled down for the official portion of the evening. After an introduction from a second-year student who interned at the firm last summer, the partner spoke about his career and experience at the firm. This led to a great question-and-answer session that could have lasted for hours, but eventually he and his colleagues had to hit the trail to return home.
Following their departure, my classmates and I remained at the cabin to spend the night. We kept the fire and conversation going until the early hours of the morning, and this time away from campus presented a unique opportunity to create new friendships and to strengthen existing ones. Waking up to a cool fall morning, many of us noted that our sleep the previous night was perhaps the best we’d had in weeks.
When I reflect back on this evening, I realize now that many of the factors that made it so memorable are the same factors that originally drew me to Tuck: a small and close-knit community; unparalleled access to professors and visiting executives, and the opportunity to enjoy a different pace of life as I pursue my MBA. As we walked back to our cars the next morning, my classmates and I wondered out loud whether this event could occur at any other school. We couldn’t say for certain, but I’m certainly glad that it happens at Tuck.
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