Sophia Cornew T'19

“A general management education for me is about learning how to better see around corners and having a richer understanding of the different forces that…”

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What you learn at business school is going to be similar at most of the top MBA programs. The question is, where are you going to learn best? What kind of environment is going to allow you to get the most out of your experience? When I considered my options during the application process, I knew I was ready to immerse myself in a tight-knit, close, remote environment in the woods. Tuck has been a safe space to learn, to challenge myself, and to prepare for my adventure.

I am passionate about tackling the fundamental issues of health care. For me, this process centers on taking the complex and making it simple. Here at Tuck, I am building my core competencies in a wide variety of functions crucial for effecting change in the health care space, from finance to marketing to strategy. The more I know, the more questions I can ask to get to the root of a nuanced problem and, in turn, develop practical solutions.

The Tuck MBA leverages my existing business experience to further my entrepreneurial ambitions. From my perspective, an MBA is valuable even for those who do not want traditional careers in business. The process of learning more perspectives makes you a more critical problem-solver—and that’s an ability that any company anywhere in the world needs. I think the value of Tuck is that I can now look ahead and see around corners better; my courses and activities have given me more entry points to a problem. I leave Tuck with a stronger intuition about what questions to ask and, perhaps even more importantly, when to ask why.

The health care industry is so massive. Tuck helped me to home in on a space within the industry that I really care about. I’ve been most influenced by my conversations with alumni and with in-class speakers who came through the Center for Health Care or the Visiting Executive Program. They challenged my positions and helped me to articulate the parts of health care I am drawn to most. I learned to look at industry sectors where no one is winning: in these contexts, people are more inclined to look critically at themselves and do something different. For me, those sectors presented a more attractive starting point, than, say, taking on more entrenched areas of the health care system.

For my next adventure I will be joining Ciitizen, a series-A startup in the Bay Area that is empowering patients through access to their health information. Tuck has been a safe place for me to examine my own patient experiences that motivate my desire to fix our health care system. It has been transformative to be able to take a personal mission, build my professional voice around it, and ultimately have the opportunity to build that mission with the team I will be joining this summer. Tuck has given me all the tools and confidence I need to pursue a career in line with what is most important to me. 

My most important takeaway from Tuck are the people. Tuck brings people together who normally would never cross paths. I’ve worked side-by-side with people from countries I’ve never been to, hiked with people who spent their careers in industries I have zero experience with, and shared other countless meaningful experiences with my classmates over the past two years. We’re doing things, we’re out together, we’re sharing Tuck traditions. It’s not just about sitting in class: it’s about being here together.


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