As part of Tuck’s Alumni Lifelong Learning initiative, the summer virtual programs brought the entire community together for rich, faculty-led sessions on topics ranging from race and equity to managing your brand through a crisis.
by Kirk Kardashian Aug 25, 2020
Tuck’s signature professional development program for alumni, Tuck Alumni Lifelong Learning (TALL), launched this winter with virtual events featuring faculty, alumni, and visiting luminaries.
This summer, Tuck Alumni Engagement collaborated with Tuck Executive Education to organize a special series of eight online sessions addressing timely and timeless business challenges and the ripple effects of the pandemic. Open to the entire Tuck community, topics ranged from race and equity in the workplace to operations, communications, risk, and brand management.
“The program couldn’t have gone better,” says Renee Hirschberg, the director of alumni engagement and advancement operations. “We had more than 1200 people—from T’60s to rising T’22s, located around the world—attend the sessions in five weeks, and the sessions really highlighted some of the most notable faculty names, and those professors really showed what makes them legendary.”
The Summer Sessions aren’t the only way alumni can engage with Tuck this summer and fall. There is also Global Tuck Tails (GTT) and Reunion Reimagined, two efforts that leverage the incredible Tuck spirit to bring together friends and classmates digitally. For GTT, volunteers hosted more than 25 events, including updates on Tuck, Tuck Trivia, and a photo contest. This year’s Reunion Reimagined will be a one-day event that will feature Dean Matthew Slaughter’s annual Tuck Year Ahead town hall, a closing panel in honor of 50 Years of Women at Tuck, a career session on maximizing your LinkedIn profile, and virtual class get togethers.
These virtual programs illustrate the innovation Tuck is bringing to the current context, taking great care to connect the entire Tuck community. “We look forward to improving on these innovations even after we can all be together in person,” Hirschberg says.
Coxe Distinguished Professor of Management
With his three-box framework for management, best-selling author Vijay “VG” Govindarajan has inspired innovation around the world. But what does this framework have to teach us about doing business in the era of COVID-19? During this Summer Session, VG discussed his three-box framework and how it can foster a thriving organization that invests in the future, even as the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout necessitate a sharp focus on business continuity.
Ella L.J. Bell-Smith
Professor of Business Administration
During the summer of 2020, race and racism in America have been at the forefront of national discourse. In this Tuck Summer Session with Ella L.J. Bell Smith, a nationally renowned expert on race relations in the workplace, Ella discussed race, equity, and the essential role business leaders can take in building a future that promises opportunity and success.
Race is about a cultural difference. It’s about values, norms, and assumptions within groups.
You don’t need to prove that equality is important in your organization. It’s simply a part of good leadership and good management.
Stop thinking the people in your company have the answers. You need to pay people to come in and do a deep collaborative diagnosis: What is happening and what kind of micro racial issues are people experiencing? Why are people leaving?
People of color don’t need allies; they need co-conspirators.
William and Josephine Buchanan Professor of Management
Industry 4.0, a term first coined in Germany, posits that we are actually at the dawn of a new, fourth industrial revolution brought about by technologies that enable an almost real-time connection between the physical and digital worlds. In this Summer Session, Brian Tomlin gives an overview of some of the disparate technologies driving this digital–physical marriage and discusses the implications, including both opportunities and challenges, that Industry 4.0 holds for operations, supply chains, and business more broadly.
Professor of Engineering at Dartmouth College
In this Summer Session, Thayer professor Geoff Parker draws on a report he coauthored for the World Economic Forum to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred radical innovation in business and operating models, and what this means for the future. Will firms one day “snap back” to normal or find some new way to exist in a permanently transformed world of business?
Business disruption from the pandemic will take the form of demand side, supply side, or both.
The response patterns to the disruptions can be: “weather the storm,” “rapid pivot,” or “ride the wave.”
In the “new normal” after the pandemic, operations will become a set of assets that provide strategic options; capital may be scarce; asset reshoring will need to provide better products, faster times to market, and more efficient and flexible operations; and both operations and business models will need to be innovated.
Parker, Geoffrey G., Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary. Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy and How to Make Them Work For You. WW Norton & Company, 2016.
Punam Anand Keller
Charles Henry Jones Third Century Professor of Management
Even people who seem to be similar in other ways have different views on the possible risks of COVID-19. Is this because of gender? Because they have different levels of anxiety or hope? Or because they are more or less aware of data, or can afford to accept different levels of risk? This Summer Session with Punam Keller, deputy dean and an expert in marketing health and wealth, offers perspectives from psychology, economics, sociology, and marketing that examine how people think about risk in multiple domains—social, financial, and health.
This Summer Session has insights and guidance from Professor Paul Argenti, corporate communications expert and trusted voice of reason in the fray. Centering on the tension between the financial ramifications of a crisis like COVID-19 and the need to satisfy all constituents over the long term, Professor Argenti explores best and next practices in corporate responsibility during crisis, the importance of focusing on employees, and how to determine the way you want your company to be remembered after the crisis is over.
Kevin Lane Keller
E.B. Osborn Professor of Marketing
Times of crisis make it clear that brands are not immune to events in the wider world, as we’ve seen again and again in 2020. So what do you do when you just can’t rely on business as usual? Watch this Summer Session with Professor Kevin Lane Keller—senior associate dean for innovation and growth and an international leader in the study of brands, branding, and strategic brand management—for guidelines about which branding practices need to change and which do not. Drawing examples from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it unleashed, Keller will help you adapt your brand strategies to thrive even in uncertain times.
There are four key marketing considerations during the pandemic: empathy (get closer to your consumers an customers), value (put forth the most compelling value proposition), strategy (be authentic and true to your brand, and innovation (stop, start, and continue – but improve).
Steven Roth Professor of Management
The Tuck School is focused on developing wise, decisive leaders, a focus that parallels Professor Sydney Finkelstein’s own interests as a teacher and a thought leader. So, for our final Summer Session, Professor Finkelstein, a best-selling author and 27-year veteran at Tuck, will share five reflections on wisdom, both practical and philosophical. Each is about people and the things we try to do to create meaning, impact, and success in our lives and the lives of the people who surround us.
Heather Law, associate director of Alumni Career Services at Tuck, on her vision for career services, new employment trends in the COVID-19 era, and her advice on how to be successful in today’s job search.
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