Cindy Yan
May 03, 2022

From Student to Alumna: Finding Belonging in Tuck’s Global Community

By Cindy Yan

Within a few months, I’ll transition from student to alumna. The T’20s warned me, “Your MBA will be done before you know it, so make the most of your experience!”

To be candid, adjusting to Tuck took me a while. As an introvert, I valued Tuck's tight-knit community for building relationships. But this desire to be in a small community starkly opposes my introverted tendency that loves anonymity. Before Tuck, Los Angeles was my home and social refuge: every Saturday morning, I would go to a coffee shop to hide behind my book and drink coffee. At Tuck, hiding is impossible. The entire town of Hanover is my campus, and the closest city, Boston, is 2 hours away. However, I realized my struggle to balance my inner introvert and desire for social connection was experienced by other Tuckies. This shared internal dilemma enabled me to find belonging. As I continued to invest in Tuck, my relationships expanded beyond current students to alumni, which made my connection to Tuck even more enriching.

As I reached out to alumni at various stages of their careers, I began to see a global community.

  • After my Global Expedition (GIX) was canceled, I worked with Professor Ramon Lecuona Torras, Professor of Strategy, to set up a Tuck alumnus meeting in Mexico City during spring break. Federico Jose Amorim T'21 came from Monterrey to Mexico City to host the meeting. Additionally, Muyambi Muyambi T’18 and Edgar Aguilar Meza T’15 welcomed the 15 current Tuck students, a T’24 and TP’24. Even abroad, the Tuck community came together to welcome us in Mexico.
  • As I was evaluating a job offer, I messaged Meg Gomsak T’14, who I was connected to by Lynn Niu T’21. Our relationship grew from our candid conversation about spring recruiting. Meg's wise words of encouragement and stories uplifted me during an emotionally brutal recruiting period. Since our initial conversation, she's acted as my mentor—constantly supporting and counseling me throughout my recruiting journey. A relationship I hope to continue to foster even past spring recruiting.
  • When I messaged Steve Tseng T’01 to chat, instead of jumping on a zoom call, he welcomed me and other Tuck students to his house for lunch. Little did I know, this was the same Tseng whose namesake is Byrne study room 206. Prior to meeting Steve, I dreamt that one day my family name will be written on the walls at Tuck like the Tseng name is for Byrne 206. As one of the few rooms at Tuck with an Asian family name, meeting the Tseng family reduced the barrier between where I am today and where I hope to be. The family’s easy-going personality contrasted with the family’s status at Tuck reimagined my views of achievability.

By fostering my relationships and connecting with the greater Tuck community, I realized my MBA isn’t over. In fact, my bond with Tuck will continue to grow and strengthen even after I graduate. As I rise in the ranks, I trust the Tuck community will continue to support and celebrate my journey as it does so today. I’m honored to take on my upcoming role as a Tuck alumna. I look forward to upholding the tight-knit culture of Tuck as alumni have paved the way for me.

Cindy Yan T22 grew up in California and received her BA in International Studies from University of California, Irvine. Prior to starting business school, Cindy worked in digital marketing at Leaf Group. At Tuck, Cindy served as co-chair of the Tuck Diversity Conference, is involved with Tuck Mentors, and is a Small Group Dinner co-chair.