Aug 20, 2018

Why Tuck is a Great Choice for Transitioning Veterans

By Travis Cyphers T’19

Tuck Military Visit Day will be held on Tuck's campus on Sunday, October 7 and Monday, October 8. Space is limited, so register soon! We hope to see you there. 

I’m passionate about Tuck. As a co-chair for the Tuck Veterans Club, I speak with many prospective veterans, and I love doing so. I am often asked why I chose Tuck to receive my Master of Business Administration. When asked, I have a difficult time providing a clear and concise answer. Not only are the factors too numerous to easily articulate, but the compounding effect each has upon the other also gets lost. Just as it is challenging to describe why a great unit in the military performs the way it does, the experience at Tuck is tough to put into words that resonate. Regardless, I will attempt anyway. 

  1. The People. As I was considering attending business school, I was concerned about my transition from the military to a civilian life.  Having recently read Sebastian Junger’s Tribe, I was afraid of leaving my tight-knit community behind for the unknown.  At Tuck, these fears proved to be unfounded.  The peers I interact with daily are the nicest, humblest, most professional, and most intelligent people I have ever worked with in my career. The community that exists here has exceeded every expectation I could have hoped for. 
  2. The Curriculum. The core curriculum at Tuck is longer than any other major business school program. As an education major and a field artillery officer, I had zero business knowledge or acumen before coming to school.  Tuck’s general management program intentionally exposed me to every major facet of the business world, whether I wanted it or not.  In doing so, I gained a breadth of knowledge I would not have at other schools. I now know enough to be dangerous in any business conversation I will ever have.
  3. The Shared Hardship. As military veterans, we understand how shared hardship is the building block that forms tight knit units. Nothing brings a group of people together like going through a difficult experience and coming out the other side together. The core curriculum at Tuck defines shared hardship. The course work is intellectually rigorous and academically challenging, but you walk lock-step through it with 290 peers drinking from the same fire-hose that you are.  It’s a shared experience with your peers, leading to easy conversations and comradery. 
  4. The Location. If you haven’t figured this out by now, Tuck is in a remote location. But this means there are no distractions. Most students are starting anew at Tuck, making it ripe for new connections and communal adventures. Like a unit of 290 members that PCSd to Okinawa or Alaska at the same time, all you have is each other. As such, you are able to build deeper bonds with your classmates over the two years. 
  5. The Outdoors. As I mentioned previously, Tuck is not located in a metropolis. Because of this, there is simultaneously nothing and everything to do at the same time.  In the last week, I have canoed the Connecticut River, hiked a mountain, ran and biked remote running trails, and played a round of golf. In the fall, I will bow hunt a hundred yards out my back door and take my kids berry picking at a local farm. In the winter, my family will ski the best slopes on the east coast that are less than 25 minutes from my house.  If you are inclined to the outdoors at all, or simply want to experience it, no business school can match Tuck’s location.   

In the end, the Tuck experience is unique among MBA programs. Each of these factors build upon each other to create a program whose whole truly is greater than the sum of the parts.