“My two years at Tuck gave me all the time and space I needed to transform into an effective leader and a more empathetic human.”
I spent my entire career in finance getting good at managing financial statements and solving analytical problems. However after working on a few projects that involved cross-functional management, I came to realize that I really enjoyed the idea of being a general manager, and that in order to successfully pursue this path I need to reinforce some of my non-analytical skills. An MBA afforded me the ability to become a more well-rounded leader while also expanding my network beyond my bubble of tech and finance.
I visited Tuck during ASW and immediately fell in love with the people. Never have I been around so many encouraging, down-to-earth people as during my two years at Tuck, and it really gave me the intimate college experience I never had. Additionally, Tuck is known as a general management school, and the year-long core forced me to engage with topics that are crucial to a company’s operations, but that I might not have studied otherwise. I leave Tuck knowing that I have what it takes to be an effective general manager, as well as a network of Tuckies that will be a pillar of support and friendship throughout my life.
Tuck gave me the space and support to push myself beyond my comfort zone and grow in the way I lead and communicate. In Communicating with Presence I learned how to harness emotion and empathy to make powerful presentations, while my club leadership roles taught me how to manage people and navigate bureaucracy. As a creative director for Follies, I poked fun at Tuck and had the ability to perform a live comedy sketch on stage in front of 200 people. I wanted to participate in international work projects and I got my wish when I was selected to spend three weeks in Seoul with five Tuckies advising a multinational pharmaceutical company in December 2019. Tuck’s small size affords you the ability to craft an experience that’s unique to you, and I’m incredibly grateful to have been able to take advantage of all that Tuck has to offer.
Tuck’s academic experience is intense and supportive. The first year, and especially the fall term, is a lot of work. Looking back, I learned a lot and retained much of it thanks to Tuck’s supportive network of students and professors. Some of my favorite elective courses were The CEO Experience with former NH Governor John Lynch, Countries and Companies in the International Economy with Professor Andy Bernard, and Managing Stakeholder Issues in Private Equity with Professor David Marchick.
Tuck alumni will always pick up the phone, no matter what. In my first year I leaned on the network to explore new companies and functions, and without fail every Tuckie I reached out to was happy to jump on a phone call with me. I remember cold emailing VPs at various tech companies half-expecting them not to respond, but lo and behold I was chatting with them a few days later. Recruiting for full-time roles during my second year was difficult due to Covid, and I was surprised at the number of Tuck alumni in venture capital who were willing to take 30 minutes away from their hectic schedules to hop on a call, give me career advice, and provide connections to their network. The Tuck network is a special group of people who I know will always have my back.
Tuck is a magical place. Spending two years in rural New Hampshire is not for everyone, but I found it to be the perfect backdrop for my journey of growth and learning. Being far away from a major city means that you are far from distractions and are always immersed in the Tuck community. This allows you to build powerful bonds with your classmates, have shared experiences, and create the space you need for your own growth and development. I never thought I would spend two years of my life living in the woods (literally), but my two years at Tuck gave me all the time and space I needed to embark upon my transformation into an effective leader and a more empathetic human.
Isa Town, Bahrain
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, BS, Finance
Helped launch YouTube Originals, Google’s first subscription video service, and led investments and deal selection post-launch
Tech Club, co-chair; Tuck Follies, creative director; Center for Digital Strategies, fellow; Tuck Film Society, co-founder
Center for Digital Strategies Gaming Project: Worked with two other fellows on a project for Google to create a “Mobile Gaming Playbook” for small mobile developers. Interviewed large AAA gaming companies such as Xbox, PlayStation, EA, Rockstar Games, and more, to learn best practices for marketing and monetizing mobile games. Created 20-page white paper with our findings, which Google will distribute to mobile game studios. First-Year Project: Conducted customer research for a Peruvian accelerator to understand the needs of underbanked South American youth. Created user personas, identified pain points, conducted competitor analysis, and developed an MVP for a fintech app to solve these pain points.
OnSite Global Consulting (Seoul, South Korea): Advised a multinational pharmaceutical company on enhancing its digital customer engagement efforts. Spent three weeks in Seoul with a team of Tuck students working for the client by day and exploring the city by night. It was a top three experience at Tuck: I learned a lot about the pharma space, grew as a leader and a teammate, and made lifelong friends. Global Insight Expedition (Peru): Spent two weeks with a fantastic group of Tuckies visiting businesses and Tuck alumni in Lima, and subsequently exploring Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. Other Trips: Croatia Pre-term Trip (2018), Colombia Trek (2018), Philippines Winter Break Trip (2019)
Senior Product Manager at Amazon, Seattle
Communicating with Presence with Professor James Rice; a course taught by a Dartmouth theater professor in which you study the tools that actors use in their craft in order to improve your stage presence and charisma. Each class concludes with a powerful emotional presentation in front of an intimate audience, which is both nerve-wracking but also powerful and cathartic. No other class has had as profound an impact on my ability to communicate and connect with audiences, which is a skill that will be incredibly useful to me as I progress throughout my career.
Winning a tripod championship in my first term; learning how to ski; performing a live comedy routine at Follies in front of a 200-person audience; having lunch with Barry McCarthy, former CFO of Spotify and Netflix and the grandfather of the Direct Listing
A digital media startup in San Francisco, Senior Product Manager
Tuck is such a small community, and as a result, you interact daily with students from all walks of life. This helps you engage and work with people from all types of backgrounds since there is nowhere to hide. Tuck is also an incredibly student-driven community. Many Tuck events are organized by students which creates a lot of space for leadership opportunities. I took full advantage, immersingmyself in a variety of clubs, taking on multiple leadership roles including co-leading the Tech Club, co-founding the Film Society, co-directing Tuck Follies, and serving as a fellow in the Center for Digital Strategies. These leadership opportunities are priceless in terms of practical leadership and management experience, and Tuck’s small size means that there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved, lead student activities, and give back to the community that will be your home for two wonderful years.