May 06, 2012

Guest Blog: Jeff Zhou T’14 and the Tuck Alumni Network

By Blog Guest

Jeff Zhou was born and raised in China, and is now living in Austin, Texas. Prior to Tuck, he worked in Corporate Development for a large media company.
Honestly, when I first began the b-school application process, I wasn’t too sure about Tuck. I came from a mega city in China and, after taking a break in Texas, I was looking forward to moving back to a big city for b-school. Hanover just didn't seem like the right place for me. However, I started to see things a bit differently after meeting a few Tuckies.
The first Tuck alumnus I met was the Senior Vice President of strategy at my company. I sent an email asking to chat on the phone. A few moments later, I got a response saying “Let’s grab lunch”. After that first lunch, I was put in contact with numerous alumni and current students. It seemed every Tuckie I met with was eager to put me in touch with others who could provide me with meaningful advice and guidance. With no exception, everyone I reached out to responded within 24 hours. More importantly, everyone was committed to help me out: a T’11 patiently rescheduled our call several times and made sure we had the conversation after I couldn’t make the first two appointments; a T’10 spent almost an hour over the phone to offer me her candid suggestions to help me think through my school choice; an alumnus text-messaged me “Good Luck” on my way to Hanover for interview… There were so many of these touching moments, I can’t even begin to enumerate them all. 
I had long heard about Tuck’s renowned alumni network but my first-hand experience along the way still way surpassed my expectation. This had also become a significant factor that drew me to Tuck. Certainly Tuck offers tons of tremendous things to look forward to but, at the end of the day, knowing that this engaging community will always be there for me well beyond my two years in b-school is something I definitely look forward to.
Lastly, from my experience during ASW, I was definitely amazed by the diverse background and ambition of my T’14 classmates. I’ve met someone who had worked on Wall Street and moved to non-profit, someone running music festivals, someone making exotic alternative investments, etc. ASW was an awesome chance for me to get to meet some of my classmates and it is so much more exciting to spend the next two years to really get to know these individuals.