Jul 04, 2013

Why I Chose a Dual Degree

By Adam Ranson

Hello again, everyone.  I hope that I didnt miss the mark too badly with my last post by jumping right into the mechanics of my dual degree program without really explaining why I chose to do it in the first place.  With that in mind, Id like to provide any prospective Tuckies interested in a dual degree program a bit about my background and the interests that led me to pursue admission to both Tuck and HKS. 
As I embarked upon my college career I decided to follow in the footsteps of so many of my family members by serving in the military.  I was awarded an NROTC scholarship during my freshman year at Vanderbilt and became a pilot in the Marines after graduation.  My military experience was rich in physical, moral, and intellectual challenges.  During my second deployment to the Middle East I became intensely interested in the foreign and domestic policy considerations that drove American involvement in the region.  In particular, the geopolitics and economics of the energy industry captured my imagination and became the focus of my professional pursuits after completing my military service.  At the same time I realized that I would benefit tremendously from an educational foundation in both business and policy.
I investigated a number of dual degree programs but settled on Tuck and HKS because it was the best fit for my professional goals and personality.  I knew that Tuck's rigorous core curriculum and incredibly accessible faculty would help me make the most of a top-tier MBA education and prepare me for the challenges of the global business environment.  HKS also boasts a solid core curriculum and some of the most notable energy policy experts in the country.  I have found that the two curricula have been wonderfully complementary. 
Just as important as the academic resources at each school was how well I thought I would fit into their respective cultures.  In particular, Tuck's atmosphere of collaboration, strong friendships, and service-oriented leadership really spoke to me.  After leaving the military I hoped to find a place in which I could really count on my classmates in a way that approached the way I could rely on my fellow Marines. I have been blown away to learn by how Tuck has more than exceeded my expectations.  Tuckies are a self-selecting group who desire an intensely personal MBA experience and who want to leave grad school with lifelong friendships.  I am proud to be a part of this group and am continually challenged to find new ways to enrich our community.