Tolulope Kehinde T'19

“Tuck has been a lesson in possibility. I’m leaving Tuck emboldened to keep dreaming, confident that this introverted woman can do anything she sets her…”

Read My Story

I moved to the United States in 2009 from Nigeria. After attending Mount Holyoke College, I knew I wanted to go to medical school. But as I learned more about what I wanted to do, I realized I didn't want to just be a doctor. I know how that sounds! But what I mean is, clinical work alone wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to go. So I figured out that I might want to do an MD/MBA program.

My focus is health care systems on the African continent. I had done some work in Uganda, and it hit me that things I wanted to change didn’t necessarily have to do with only physiology. There’s an entire socioeconomic side to the problem, as well as the business of dealing with insurance companies and people other than the patients. I wanted to understand the larger health care ecosystem. So that’s why the MBA, and Tuck specifically, was appealing to me.

In my eyes, African development has to do with giving Africans opportunities to create the lives they deserve. I’m very interested in social entrepreneurship. But I had never done anything business related in my life! Tuck's general coursework taught me so much—from the basic economic principles of supply and demand to more complex topics like capital markets. Consulting Project Management gave me a framework for tackling consulting problems. The Operations course in the core taught me about all the little things one has to think about when running a company—components that customers might not even notice until things don’t work. And my classmates’ varied levels of expertise were also quite an instructional part of my induction.

The most obvious asset I’ve gained from my time at Tuck is confidence. I did a short internship in South Africa last summer at African Leadership Academy. It’s a place I’d had an organizational crush on for a long time. I was consulting and building out a health care network for their alums. When I got there, I didn’t have any of the information I thought I would have. But because of my time at Tuck, I was able to jump in very quickly. I knew how to get the right answers and the right language to use. When I put my deck together, I was impressed by what I had learned in just one year! I also feel like I can talk to a wide array of people about just about anything. 

Tuck has also given me the opportunity to think about what it means to lead, especially as an introvert. People often paint introversion as antithetical to leadership, but as I have seen myself navigate my internship or co-chair the Tuck Africa club, I’m even more emboldened to disagree. It also helps that I’ve discovered numerous examples of effective leaders, who also happen to be introverts. 

Being an international student can be hard. This is a special place that grows on you. The community is very collegial. It feels more homey than, say, Boston. For that reason, if you are moving from far away, it’s easy to find a type of home here at Tuck.

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