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Mark-Emmanuel Onyenyili T'18

“My Tuck journey has been beyond transformational—it has altered the prism through which I view the world of business.”

Read My Story

Why MBA

Growing up as a son of missionaries, my professional goals have always orbited around the mission of making a positive difference in the world by living a purpose-driven life. Prior to Tuck, I managed an insurance unit of 240 associates and it was during this time that I recognized the enormous capacity of business to solve complex problems within society. I also realized that that while my undergraduate degree in Finance & Investments gave me a strong quantitative background, I needed a much broader skillset that would prepare me to one day successfully lead a company in an increasingly global and connected economy.

Why Tuck

I was considering other programs with a general management focus but ultimately chose Tuck because I found the mandatory first year curriculum, opportunities for experiential learning and global business learning opportunities compelling propositions that I knew would challenge me intellectually and help me grow as a leader. Over the past 18 months, what has made my Tuck experience transformative is the level of curation that’s only made possible by the ease of access to faculty and the support of administration. It’s an environment that has inspired my classmates to organize conferences like the inaugural Emerging Markets Conference, launch startups, and initiate independent studies in a plethora of fields. In my case, I chose to examine the possibility of rebranding Haiti as a historical and cultural tourist destination through an independent study.

Alumni Network

Coming from an insurance background, I knew very little about the world of brand management where I wanted to pursue a career post Tuck. After reaching out to Tuck alumni in the industry, I soon found myself with multiple mentors who guided me through the interview process. One mentor went as far as spending 4 hours on the phone with me on a Saturday to ensure that I was fully prepared for a super day of interviews. This is a common shared experience that speaks to our community’s ethos and pay it forward mentality. In fact, at Tuck, we have a term called the ‘Tuck Fabric,’ and to many this term means different things but to me it refers to the fusion of woven trust-based heritage and small town values, rich in generosity, authenticity, and substance.  

Lessons Outside the Classroom: Local & Global

From being part of a study group that served as a primer for working collaboratively to serving on the board of a Child Care Center to helping a local school district create a new brand identity, many of my most valuable lessons have come outside the classroom. A key experiential learning engagement was working with an apparel company as part of the First-Year Project (FYP) requirement to derive metrics to evaluate their product life cycle and end-of-product management. A highlight of my Tuck experience was a learning expedition to South Africa where we explored the major industries that contributed to the country’s stalled economy while examining the leadership environment with the theme of “Rescuing the Renaissance.” I was also fortunate enough to be part of an OnSite Global Consulting project that helped Impact Hub, a global network of that serves as part innovation lab, part business incubator, and part community center develop and optimize their global media strategy. Having the opportunity to spend three weeks visiting the local centers in Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Zurich, and Vienna while learning about the difference in business culture was such a unique experience.

A Reeducation in Leadership

After taking multiple leadership classes offered at Tuck, I’ve found myself questioning what it means to be an effective leader. Being in an environment full of leaders induced meaningful introspection that helped me reexamine the traits and skills needed to lead. While hosting fifteen executives as a Visiting Executives (VE) fellow, I’ve been fortunate to gain direct insight from some of the most successful leaders in the world. From these conversations, it became clear to me that leadership in today’s business environment entails caring about more than the bottom line, it means placing as much emphasis on people, the environment and sustainability. While strengthening my leadership skills, I’ve also actively worked on my weaknesses especially with the help of classes like “Communicating with Presence,” a leadership and communication class that inspired me to give a ‘Tuck Talk’ about a relationship that fundamentally changed the way I see the world in front of 300 classmates. The vulnerability, introspection and humility required to give that talk was purely a function of the leadership lessons learned while at Tuck.

Post-Tuck

Post-graduation, I’ll be heading to Nestlé USA in a brand management role. This is a role I’m excited about because it’s the ultimate general management role where I’ll be utilizing a lot of the skills I acquired at Tuck to help the world’s largest food and beverage company continues it quest to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future. I’m excited about the prospect of helping create and build brands that make people’s lives better especially in developing countries where food security remains an important issue. 

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