Claire Winiarski T'18

“I’m not only leaving Tuck with more than I anticipated, but inspired to drive positive change in the world.”

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Building a Solid Foundation in Business

Before coming to Tuck, I spent six years in the health care industry in a variety of product manager roles.  I was able to take ownership, run my own product line, and work across different functions. I was really learning a lot and was passionate about what I was doing, but I felt that if I wanted to advance in my career, I had to solidify my foundation in business.

I looked at a few different programs that had a healthcare focus and chose to pursue an MBA from Tuck and an MPH from The Dartmouth Institute. Tuck stood out to me because I figured if I’m going to go back and invest two years of my life in my education, I want a fully immersive experience. Tuck is unique in that way: you’re in a rural area, but I viewed that as an advantage. Few people have an existing network in place in Hanover, so everyone is open to making new connections.

I had high expectations coming to Tuck’s MBA program, and it’s surpassed everything I anticipated. When I came here for my interview, my partner and I spent the whole day here, and we were particularly impressed by a Q&A session with two students. They came across as smart yet humble, but most importantly authentic. Since my partner would be relocating to Hanover along with me, we wanted a place where he’d be just as involved in student life as I would. I think Tuck does the best job of that.

I took an economics class as an engineering undergrad, but that was about all the experience I had in business. There were definitely some classes that I felt more confident in, but Accounting, Corporate Finance, and Capital Markets were completely new to me. The study group setting was invaluable because Tuck does a fantastic job of balancing the mix of students’ backgrounds within each group. In one of my groups, someone had more accounting and finance experience than the rest of us, and he would coach our group and answer questions. (Thanks, Chad!)

It’s been an enriching experience to be a part of such a diverse group of people. I have learned as much from my classmates as I have from any course I was in. When we all graduate, we’ll know everyone’s faces and names—you can’t say that for other, much larger MBA programs.

The curriculum is the best of both worlds. You’re locked into the core curriculum your first year, which I think is essential. After that you are able to craft your own path and choose your classes based on gaps in your skillset or interests you knew or discovered during your first year. Professors are constantly updating the curriculum. This past winter I took a new class called Entrepreneurship and Health Care which was taught in part by a Dartmouth alum. In my second year, in addition to my MBA courses, I took MPH classes at The Dartmouth Institute. It was busier than your average MBA, but the fact that I will earn two relevant masters degrees in two years is a huge benefit. It’s not unmanageable at all.

After graduation, I’ll be working for Anthem in its newly established MBA leadership development program, rotating through key parts of the business. I don’t have any experience in the health care insurance space and although I never imagined that’s where I would land, I think it is a fantastic opportunity. There’s lots of consolidation going on in health care, and I think it is much easier to make an impact in the industry when you’re in a position to influence how services are both delivered and reimbursed. Anthem is strongly positioned to lead innovation and change the way we consume health care services in the future. I’m not only leaving Tuck with more than I anticipated, but inspired to drive positive change in the world.

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