Thanks to the success of its first three iterations, the Tuck Next Step program will run twice this year, with a new fall program for military veterans and elite athletes in transition running from September 3 – 13.
Tuck Next Step is a general management certificate program that is designed specifically to meet the needs of athletes and veterans as they transition into the civilian world. The program helps participants hone their business acumen and apply the valuable skills they’ve gained in their fields to the world of business as they begin the next step of their careers, and it has only grown since its inception in 2017.
“When we started planning Next Step, the appetite for this kind of program was unknown to us, and we planned for a class of maybe 35 participants, which is typical of other Tuck Executive Education programs,” says Margaux Lohry, assistant director of Tuck’s Transition to Business programs. “But we got such an overwhelming response for the first cohort that we increased the class to 65. Then last year, we aimed for that class size and got even more applications. The demand is there and we want to meet that need.” Interest in Next Step has only continued to grow. Applications for the most recent program were up 22 percent over last year.
The program builds on Dartmouth College and the Tuck School of Business’s well-known commitment to supporting the education of both veterans and athletes. Dartmouth College president emeritus James Wright worked closely with Senators Jim Webb, John Warner, and Chuck Hagel on the language for the 2008 GI Bill that allows private institutions to partner with Veterans Affairs to support veterans in their schools. The college also has a rich legacy of elite athletics, most recently with 15 student and alumni athletes competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Next Step continues this legacy, welcoming new and tremendously talented cohorts each year. In the April 2019 program, the participating veterans collectively had 670 years of service and 245 commendations. The athletes collectively participated in 2,900 international competitions and won 48 Olympic or Paralympic medals. Response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive, with the 2018 cohort rating the overall effectiveness of the program a 4.9 out of 5, and 100 percent saying they would recommend Next Step to a friend.
The Next Step program builds on Dartmouth College and the Tuck School of Business’s well-known commitment to supporting the education of both veterans and athletes.
The program is made possible through generous contributions from individual and corporate donors. The fee is highly subsidized for participants, which reflects its importance to Tuck’s mission. “Athletes and veterans have a really unique set of experiences, and that diversity is a key component of wise leadership,” says Next Step faculty director and Tuck Deputy Dean Punam Anand Keller. “Tuck aspires to provide the business foundation and connections that enable participants to take the next step and pursue civilian careers.”
In expanding the program, Next Step is also propelling itself into the future, with new online offerings added to the in-person curriculum. Starting with the September 2019 program, all participants will be asked to take both live and asynchronous online classes in the months leading up to the in-person offering—arriving to campus even better prepared to dive into the intensive sessions.
Athletes and veterans have a really unique set of experiences, and that diversity is a key component of wise leadership. Tuck aspires to provide the business foundation and connections that enable participants to take the next step and pursue civilian careers.
The timing will also make the program more accessible to a wider audience. Many athletes are restricted because of the timing of competition schedules and where they are located during a given time of year. “Offering it twice a year means we’re not only accessible to summer sport or winter athletes—we’re really open to as many athletes as possible,” says Lohry. “Likewise, veterans transition into civilian life at all different times of year, and now veterans transitioning in the late spring and early summer won’t have to wait almost a year to attend the program.”
Most importantly, offering the program more frequently will allow more veterans and athletes to share in this singular experience. “I see how transformative the program has been and how powerful this experience is and I want to make sure that experience is accessible to more people,” says Lohry. “I have a personal attachment to both of these communities myself, so it’s fulfilling to me to see someone leave Tuck and start something amazing, something they couldn’t have done without Next Step. I’m just really thrilled that more people will get to have that.”
Applications for the Tuck Next Step fall 2019 program are currently open. To learn more about the program or how to become a sponsor, please visit the Tuck Next Step website.