Alexandra (“Alex”) Clegg is member of the Class of 2015 and a Forte Scholar. Alex, originally from Ohio, graduated from Colby College. Prior to Tuck, she provided corporate strategy and transaction advisory to the Defense, Aerospace, and Government Services industries at Renaissance Strategic Advisors and Charles River Associates in Washington, D.C.
On November 7 and 8, a dozen first-year Tuckies and Lizzie Napier (T’91), Associate Director of the Career Development Office, met with six prospective companies in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. The two days were more than full – meeting alumni, exploring a new city, and getting to see the inside of leading corporations. More than anything, I was struck by the reach of the Tuck alumni network and how it quite literally opened the doors for us to visit and better understand the internship opportunities we are applying for this summer.
The trip launched with a skyway commute to Target’s Headquarters. Our visit was sponsored by a Tuck alum, who currently works in Business Intelligence at Target. In addition to talking about opportunities at Target, the evolution of retail via online shopping, we also toured Target’s history museum (see our photo with Spot!). Next we were off to 3M’s Innovation Center, described as a “technology candy shop” given the vast and varied new technologies and inventions that have been achieved by the company. This includes Grammy and Oscar awards! Several Tuck alumni met with us to talk about opportunities with 3M as well as the potential to continue our tripod hockey careers in the Twin Lakes.
We finished our first day with a visit to Land O’Lakes. Here we met both Tuck grads as well as other leaders in the company. In addition to discussing marketing internship and full time opportunities with the company, Land O’Lakes gave us a tour through their tasting kitchen. This included samples of their latest Sautee Express, a chocolate chip cookie taste test, and meeting with one of their senior scientists who tested our group for “super tasters,” those of us with great capacity to taste the nuances between food flavors. Land O’Lakes generously hosted us for happy hour as well, ensuring we all had ample time to meet team members. (See picture below featuring T’10 Adam DeRosier sporting his tripod jersey!)
Our second day in Minneapolis started with a visit to General Mills to learn about the role of Assistant Marketing Managers. Here we met with nearly a dozen Tuck alumni and other executives at General Mills, including a visit with COO Ian Friendly. Highlights included a panel of current post-MBA Assistant Marketing Managers, a live case study exploring the strategy for one of GMI’s brands, Fiber One, and touring the Betty Crocker test kitchen.
Following out visit to General Mills, we had lunch at Pearson’s Candy, whose Chief Executive Officer is a Tuckie and a real-life Willy Wonka. Here we toured the manufacturing facilities, and even go to taste a hot off the press Nut Roll. We all agreed, being CEO of a candy manufacturer is pretty sweet! Aside from satisfying our sweet tooth, we picked up great perspective on launching careers in Marketing/General Management. More than talking about candy, we were able to learn from his extensive Consumer Packaged Goods experience with companies from Nestle, to Dairy Queen (where he was the former Chief Marketing Officer), to Jamba Juice.
We concluded our trip with a visit to Cargill. Here we were able to connect with various alumni who had taken a wide variety of positions across the company, from trading, to transaction advisory, to more traditional general management roles in various divisions of the company. Our trek concluded with TuckTails at Marin Restaurant’s Library Room where we were joined by a strong showing of alumni from the Twin Cities.
These two days of company visits not only provided a new dimension of understanding of internship opportunities but it demonstrated the power and reach of the Tuck network. Every company we hoped to visit, we were able to identify alumni who more than responded to emails. Our alumni took the time to invite us inside their place of work, answer our questions, and make introductions to senior leaders that aligned with our individual interests.
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