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Kevin Yuan T'20

“Thanks to my Tuck experience, I was able to transform from an engineer and photographer to a leader in the sustainable fashion space.”

Read My Story

As an engineer, I’ve always liked solving problems. But three years into my engineering career I realized I did not want to pursue it as a profession. I looked around and saw that my managers and the people who were managing projects—the people side of the business—was something that I thoroughly enjoyed. I tried pivoting away from my career without an MBA first, but I was still seen as an engineer. I saw some of my mentors who were equipped with MBAs, and they had gone from an engineer who was good at managing people, to an MBA with an engineering background. The ability to transform my identity was extremely enticing.

I came to Tuck for the community. I attended an undergraduate institution with 50,000 other people. I then joined a company with 60,000 people. I felt like I was coming from places that lacked community. I was therefore very intentional about pursuing an MBA program at a business school where you know everyone and you’re no longer just a number or a face. I applied to three schools including Tuck and was admitted to all three. I then looked at the faculty and administrators I would be working with directly and their backgrounds—I was immediately struck by the directors of the Revers Center for Energy and the Center for Business, Government & Society. I was also struck by the fact that Tuck was not only the only business school to be invited to COP24, it was also the first business school among MBA programs to offer a course on climate change.

Tuck has allowed me to transform my professional career in a way that is truly unimaginable. Thanks to the tremendous assets in place at Tuck, I was able to transform from an engineer and photographer to a leader in the sustainable fashion space. From alumna Andrea Perez T’08, who graciously welcomed me to Portland and arranged for a full day of MBA visits stretching across the Nike organization, to Tuck being the only business school in the world to be invited to the UN Climate Conferences, to the tremendous mentorship I received from April Salas of the Revers Center and John McKinley of CBGS, I am eternally grateful for the opportunities I have been granted to allow for such a transformation.

My public speaking and public engagement confidence and presence has improved significantly since joining Tuck, and I have benefited greatly from such personal and professional development. Through courses like Leadership in the Global Economy, where I was able to testify in front of more than 100 of my Tuck classmates, and Communicating with Presence/ManComm, where my deepest social inhibitions were broken down and re-examined, I received tremendous academic support in gaining confidence and presence. I applied these learnings directly when presenting to Patagonia senior leadership during our FYP, sharing sustainable innovations at United Nations Climate Conferences, and ultimately advocating for climate solutions in conversation with Democratic Presidential Candidates at the NH Climate Townhall.

I think Tuck is a place that truly empowers you to chase your dreams. There’s no need for pragmatism when you come to Tuck. You have two years to transform your life, if you want to transform it. And however you want to transform it, however you want to pivot, Tuck and all its resources—its centers, its faculty, its staff and students—will empower you to do so. There is no such thing as too crazy. There is only “Is this crazy enough?” With my background as a wildlife photographer and an energy engineer, to transition to a career in sustainable fashion was a challenge as I had no expertise in the area. But since day one, my experience at Tuck has been, “That might be crazy, but let’s help you get there.”

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