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May 08, 2020

From Media & Entertainment to Management Consulting Through the Power of the Tuck Community

Keri Yildirim

This blog originally appeared on MBAschooled.com

After building a career in Media and Entertainment, Keri Yildirim (Tuck, ‘21) decided to pursue her MBA to transition into a career in management consulting. Through her own research and analysis, Yildirim selected Tuck for the “Tuck fabric” and its ability to help her pivot into the consulting. In this interview, Yildrim shared her reasons for selecting Tuck for her MBA, her thoughts on the characteristics of the Tuck culture, and her advice for selecting the right MBA program.

MBASchooled: What did you do before business school, and why did you choose to come to business school?

I was working at Fox Networks Group (recently acquired by The Walt Disney Company) in Istanbul, Turkey, managing Fox’s local strategy in the country. I had worked in LA for one year, before moving to Istanbul, where I lived for eight years. I chose to come to business school because I wanted professional training outside of my media-centric experiences and sought change outside of my comfort zone, once again.

MBASchooled: What were your big questions coming into making your decision on which school to attend?

I had many questions when deciding which school to attend. However, they revolved around: opportunity, location, and people.

Ever since I learned about consulting, I wanted to explore that career path. When I was looking at the employment reports for different schools, I noticed that Tuck ranked very high for consulting and was probably due to its general management program versus a more specialized curriculum.

I’ve lived in cities my entire life: Istanbul and LA. When could I have the opportunity to live in the middle of the woods and entirely focus on my studies, alongside new friends in a new “city”. Then, when I went to Admitted Students Weekend in April 2019 and met my potential classmates, I could not have imagined a better place and group of people to spend the next two years with.

MBASchooled: Why did you choose to attend Tuck? 

Tuck stood out to me because of the people. I wanted to be acquainted with most people in my class and create lasting friendships, in a competitive, yet incredibly supportive, environment. I wanted to know the professors and ask my long list of questions in a safe environment. I wanted to interact with visiting executives, such as Stuart Weitzman, and have meaningful conversations with them. When I reflected on what I wanted in a business school, Tuck was the only place that aligned with my personal and professional objectives.

MBASchooled: What about the culture and classmates stood out to you about Tuck?

Tuck has a distinct culture, one that I am proud to be a part of. As a prospective student, I had many calls with different students. I remember speaking with a couple of T’19s and one T’17, and those conversations felt as if I was talking to a close friend. As a first-year student, I’m having those same conversations with prospective and admitted students. The Tuck fabric is real. Although we are physically separated due to COVID, I am still continually amazed at the level of support of my classmates.

MBASchooled: What resources, programs or information were helpful to you in making your decision?

Blogs, such as this one, and talking to current students and alumni were beneficial in making my decision. Every program has a different culture, and I wasn’t able to understand that by reading the school’s websites.

MBASchooled: How has Tuck helped you work toward your own career goals and aspirations?

Tuck has allowed me to pursue a consulting internship with my dream company. I’m now able to focus on some of my growth areas with the various centers at Tuck, career services, and clubs. Most recently, Tuck supported four other classmates and me in the Paramount Case Competition, which we won.

MBASchooled: How has Tuck helped you work toward your own career goals and aspirations?

Tuck has allowed me to pursue a consulting internship with my dream company. I’m now able to focus on some of my growth areas with the various centers at Tuck, career services, and clubs. Most recently, Tuck supported four other classmates and me in the Paramount Case Competition, which we won.

MBASchooled: What has been a surprise, or an unexpected element of your experience at Tuck?

Not so much a surprise, but I am thankful for my classmates and the unexpectedly amazing conversations we have, which is probably due to the Tuck fabric. I see parts of myself in most of my classmates, which has never really happened to me, especially in such a diverse environment.

MBASchooled: What’s something you wish you knew more about before starting your MBA at Tuck?

The countless opportunities at Tuck, and that I would consistently choose them over sleeping or reading “fun” books. I did not think that I would ever diverge from my 8-hour per night schedule to socialize with classmates, study for classes, prep for recruiting, and pursue extracurriculars. The Tuck website highlights the depth and breadth of opportunities; however, I urge everyone to reach out to current students to understand their perspective and distinct experience.

MBASchooled: What advice do you have for those who are evaluating where they want to attend business school?

Deciding where and which school is an incredibly personal decision. Dean Slaughter always reminds us to reflect, and I would echo his sentiments. Choose a school that aligns with your goals. Choose to be among people that push you to be better and towards your dreams. Choose a location that you enjoy spending time in, such as in the middle of the woods during this pandemic. Reflect on your aspirations, and hopefully, one business school will align.