Jun 03, 2020

Advice from a Tuck Partner: What to Know Before You Arrive to the Upper Valley

By Lita Madlang TP’21


Congratulations! You are likely thinking about or planning to move to the Upper Valley to start a new adventure as a Tuck student or partner. This is an exciting chapter, and there are a few things to keep in mind before you arrive to the Upper Valley:

1. It’s not as isolated as you think

When my husband and student, Daniel Deisley T’21, first expressed interest in applying to business school, my initial reaction was, ‘Yes OK, you can apply anywhere except Tuck’. I was apprehensive about living “in the middle of nowhere”, but I soon realized this attitude was not very supportive. So, I became open to the idea, and after feeling very included throughout the admissions process, I knew Tuck was the place to be.

After moving here, we quickly discovered that while Hanover is a small town, it is quite charming  and has everything you need, from coffee shops (yes, there is a Starbucks, but you should check out Juel café in White River Junction), boutiques, local grocery stores to nearby department stores. It helps to have a car here, but if you don’t, plenty of students and partners will be happy to offer you rides. Speaking of transportation, the Dartmouth Coach bus normally runs on a regular basis between campus and Boston as well as New York City. You’ll be surprised by the amount of work you can get done, especially on the bus to NYC with the complimentary Wi-Fi and coffee.

2. A new home means new hobbies

Over the last ten months, I’ve been surprised by how many new things I’ve tried, from hockey to knitting to baking. The Tuck experience is the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone and try something different. I was quite skeptical about joining Tripod hockey, especially when I learned the games take place as late as 10 or 11pm, but it is SO WORTH IT! If you have any competitive streak, desire to be physically active, meet new people, or enjoy laughing at yourself and sometimes at others, Tripod hockey is for you. This is one Tuck tradition you won’t want to miss. I also love Tripod hockey because my student also played hockey and we had a lot of fun practicing together, working on our stick handling skills with our makeshift ice rink in the backyard, and staying up late to watch hockey videos on YouTube. You will also meet other students and partners through Tripod hockey and break out of typical social circles you’ve created elsewhere through Tuck. Keep your eyes out for the gear sale that happens in the Fall or reach out to T’21s and TP’21s who will be selling their gear.  

3. Your career can go on 

Moving to the Upper Valley is a serious consideration and decision, especially because it likely has implications for your career, whether that means putting a pause on work as a student or pivoting and flexing your work as a partner. There are a few options you can take – try working remotely with your current job if it allows it, start looking for open positions with Dartmouth College or consider what opportunities may be available within the Upper Valley like Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. There are also partners who decide not to work or who are restricted by visa requirements. If you end up working remotely, join the “Work From Home” club to connect with other partners. Also keep in mind some partners work out of offices in Boston and split their time. If you are thinking of changing jobs and working in the Upper Valley, the Tuck community is happy to connect you with their network whether it’s in education, tech, healthcare, or more. Reach out to the Tuck MBA Program Office to kick-start your job search and connect with faculty, staff, and Tuck Partners.

4. Get outside

There is no shortage of outdoor activities at Tuck, which is one of the main reasons why we Utah natives decided to come here. We’ve enjoyed cross country skiing behind Sachem, on golf courses, and the “Greens”. You can also get some downhill skiing in at the Dartmouth Skiway or the neighboring ski towns in New Hampshire and Vermont. In spring and summer, get ready to spend time walking along Mink Brook and the Connecticut River, hiking to the summit of Mount Cardigan, and swimming at Boston Lot Lake. Before trekking outside, make sure you have the right gear. Go ahead and buy the winter jacket or rain boots you may have been eyeing, and don’t forget your long socks when hiking – the ticks are real here, but they’re manageable. And if being outside just isn’t your thing, you’ll still enjoy the scenic drives and the rolling hills of vibrant trees dotted with farmhouses along the way.

5. You’re not alone

Moving here is not all puppies and rainbows—though this area is actually heaven for dogs, especially Sachem, where many Dartmouth graduates live. There will be times you may feel isolated or homesick, but you are not alone! What’s comforting is the many students and partners who are going through this new experience with you. Being kind and being part of the “Tuck Fabric” are real things. People here are genuinely caring and they are eager to grow both as individuals and as a community. Make sure to join all the GroupMe and WhatsApp chats and clubs you’re interested in. Keep an open mind and put yourself out there—it’s time to start connecting and meeting your fellow Tuckies!

Lita Madlang is a Tuck Partner from Utah who lives with her husband, Daniel T’21, and golden doodle, Rory, in Sachem. She works remotely as a communications advisor in the mining and metals industry.