Stephanie Puzak T'22

“My time at Tuck has helped me solidify how I wish to lead and how best to create impact.”

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Prior to Tuck I spent time as a skydiving instructor, military officer, and management consultant specializing in technology strategy in the commercial sector and innovation strategy in the public sector. Working on innovation in the public sector was my first direct exposure to the startup and venture capital world. From that experience, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it. I went back to school to get an MBA with the goals of broadening my mindset and experience in the startup world, learning about venture capital, and deepening my understanding of business concepts to better build or support startups in my future career.

My short-to-midterm goal is to join a startup as a builder or founder. I am especially drawn to mission-driven startups, VC firms and companies. In the long-term, I hope to be an investor using capital to empower others to create (especially female and BIPOC founders). Tuck’s mission to “develop wise, decisive leaders who better the world through business” resonates now with me more than ever. I am excited to see how my classmates and I can live this mission in the years to come.

I think what makes Tuck distinct comes down to the network and community. I’ve always been blown away by Tuck alumni. Before I left the firm I was at prior to Tuck, I had a senior leader (who I barely knew) reach out and share his favorite things about the Upper Valley and then introduce me to one of his classmates who he thought might help me in my journey. Similar situations have played out repeatedly in the past two years, I have learned so much from alumni and been connected to jobs, mentors, and experiences. Likewise, while at Tuck, peers are eager to support one another, and the mindset is focused on achieving more together—whether that is learning how to play tripod hockey or ski or tackle a hard accounting case before class the next day. Some of this may be due to the size or location of the school but I also think the culture is very distinct in that way, later manifesting itself after graduation into a tight-knit network you can rely on.

I feel lucky to be part of this community. We’ve had a unique MBA experience, but we are here, together, and continue to make the most of our time. I’ve had such an incredible time learning from those around me and look forward to staying in touch and championing their success for years to come.  

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