Jun 18, 2014

Beyond Tuck: Dartmouth Athletics and Felix Zhang

About the Series: Tuck offers students a diverse and unique experience, both in and outside of the classroom. While people may consider Hanover, New Hampshire a small town with limited opportunities to pursue one's interest, Tuck’s close relationship with the rest of the Dartmouth community and Upper Valley actually enables opportunities that may not be available elsewhere. One such example is through intercollegiate athletics where a number of Tuckies are currently participating as players and coaches in sports such as rowing, baseball, water polo, and softball. Fanis, Felix, and Carolyn share their perspective including lessons in time management, leadership, and community.

Felix Zhang, T’15 grew up in New York City. After graduating from NYU with a finance degree, he worked as an analyst for Kraft Foods and Steve Madden. This summer, he will be a brand management intern in Chicago for Kraft Foods where he will market the magic of coffee beans. He is a volunteer assistant with the Dartmouth softball team which garnered its first Ivy League Championship and participated in the NCAA Regionals this past season.

How and why did you get involved with athletics while at Tuck?

Prior to Tuck, I helped build a youth sports program for girls and coached softball for a number of years. I knew I wanted to continue those interests post-graduation and therefore planned to use part of my time at business school to learn to become a better coach and leader of an organization. Luckily, I was connected to the Dartmouth staff via some of the families I worked with and found a role that fit both the needs of the team and myself. I’ve had a fabulous experience, particularly learning about various ways to motivate a team and develop a winning culture, material that interestingly parallels some of the leadership curriculum at Tuck.

How has this affected your Tuck experience?

I’ve been able to travel a lot more than I would otherwise including a spring trip to beautiful Southern California. Working with the team has also shed new light into the sports realm and given me several entrepreneurship ideas to work on during my 2nd year. The downside is that I have to be extra diligent about my schedule with classes, meetings, and getting things done to fit all the practices and trips. Lastly, it is challenging at times to deal with FOMO (fear of missing out) and having to choose which events I have to miss.

What is it about Tuck that’s enabled the experience?

Being in Hanover offers less distractions and makes it easier to focus on these activities. Elsewhere, it would have been much easier to stay within my comfort zone versus challenging myself to pursue my interest at a higher level. Additionally Tuck gives us freedom to tailor our business school experience, inside and outside the classroom. The Tuck culture is extremely understanding of everyone’s diverse interests and priorities, including mine.

What was your favorite part of the of 1st year experience?

It was awesome getting to know all the individuals at Tuck in both the 1st and 2nd year class. I also enjoyed all the outdoor activities that we can do such as hiking, canoeing/kayaking, and overnight cabin trips. Winning an Ivy League championship and going to the NCAA regionals was quite amazing as well!