Kristen Hughes T'21

“I came to business school to career pivot from the non-profit sector—and Tuck opened so many doors for me.”

Read My Story

I decided to get an MBA because I wanted to career switch. I had spent years working in the education non-profit sector, and although I liked the mission-driven work, my career trajectory had plateaued. An MBA was the best way for me to develop my business acumen and open myself up to other industries/functions while setting the stage for greater responsibility and impact throughout my life.

I chose Tuck because it’s a place where it’s impossible to be invisible. With my non-traditional business background, I was intimidated to go to business school. I wanted to learn a lot and fully invest in the experience, and I felt like I would get lost in the shuffle at a larger less intimate program. Tuck gave me the opportunity to practice what I was learning in the classroom. Being surrounded by so many passionate and involved classmates inspired me to raise my hand for leadership opportunities and take risks that have made me a wiser leader.

I’ve been so surprised by how impactful my extracurricular experiences were. I attended Tuck’s Diversity Conference in 2018, and it was so special to have a full circle moment as a co-chair of the 2020 Diversity Conference. I also loved interviewing so many great prospective students as an Admissions Associate.    

Tuck’s core curriculum creates a strong foundation for students to build upon in the elective courses. Professors are so invested in your success, and I’ve been so impressed by how accessible they are. Tuck also prioritizes learning and development outside of the classroom. In the spring of my first year, I began working with a leadership coach, Nariah Broadus, who helped me redefine my goals. She’s been pivotal in coaching me through my Tuck experience. Because of her support, I’ve been able to bounce back from failure and make the most of my time at Tuck.

Tuck is unique because of the people. Current students and alumni really care about this school and are committed to being involved and helping shape the experience. If there’s something about the Tuck experience you want to improve, you’re encouraged by other students and administration to change it. It’s a great environment to challenge the status quo as you navigate the type of legacy you want to leave.

Attending school in the Upper Valley really allowed me to focus over the last two years. I was able to immerse myself in the MBA experience, and living in Hanover made me a more passionate and engaged member of the Tuck community. Because I was less distracted, I feel like I committed more of myself to classes, recruitment, and relationships than I would have in a larger city.

As a prospective student, my conversations with alumni and current students were so helpful in building my understanding of Tuck’s culture. If you’re able to visit, I recommend taking a trip to Hanover to see if the setting resonates with you. When you’re deciding between MBA programs, it’s important to think about what environment is going to challenge you and give you the best chance to grow and develop. Tuck will push you out of your comfort zone, and I encourage everyone to embrace the highs and lows along the journey.

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