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Martina Ravelli T'18

“Everything you think you know about Tuck takes on a whole new meaning when you’re here.”

Read My Story

WHY MBA

I was born and raised in Italy and lived there for 21 years before moving to Germany, which is where most of my work experience has been. I worked for Deloitte for six years which was an amazing experience. But after a while I felt that my area of expertise was too narrow and was focused in an area which I wasn’t very passionate about. I started considering an MBA so I could be better equipped to switch careers to a different type of job. I wanted to see what that would look like. I wanted to transform my leadership skills. I knew I had a solid foundation in some of the hard skills of business—finance, accounting—but working at Deloitte, I met some really amazing leaders. I saw how they were motivating their teams and empowering people. I didn’t want to leave that to serendipity. I wanted to learn, and grow, and experiment.

WHY TUCK

I chose Tuck for a few reasons. First, for the general management approach. Second, I wanted to be prepared to lead a team, a division, or a department. I wanted to see how the different pieces of a company work together to make decisions around strategy, for example. Lastly, I had a very close-knit, international community when I was in Germany, and when I moved to Boston, I really missed that and saw it in Tuck right away.

SERVING ON A BOARD

The Revers Board program involves one or two Tuck students who are non-voting members of the board of a local NGO. What we really gain from the experience is to be able to sit in board meetings and see how board members operate, which is normally an experience that you have much later in your career. It is an honor to be on the board but what is most important for me is seeing how an NGO operates—see if it gives me more meaning, see if I could get involved in that world without necessarily working for an NGO. What those organizations get from us, hopefully, is some good insight and some good questions.

GROWING AS A LEADER

Tuck offers three leadership classes in the first year, which I took, as well as second-year electives, so there’s a formalized offering around leadership. But outside of the classroom, when I had questions or faced challenges, I reached out to professors who taught my leadership classes and had one-on-one sessions with them where they gave me some really helpful insights and practical tips on tactics I could try to employ to refine my leadership style.

It was also extremely helpful to have two formalized leadership assessments, one in the first term and one in the spring term. I had an idea as to what my strengths and weaknesses were, but the assessments helped put it all into a more formalized framework that helped me categorize.

A FIRST, FIRST-YEAR PROJECT IN THE AUTOMOTIVE SPACE

I think one of the interesting things about my FYP is how it started—it was one of those typical Tuck stories. Another classmate and I decided we would like to do something in the automotive space, but there wasn’t an FYP offering around that yet. Since we’re always free to source our own projects, we researched Tuck alumni in the automotive industry and discovered a prominent alumnus at a top automotive company. Because of his title, we were worried he would be difficult to get a hold of. But, from the moment of finding him and reaching out, it was just one hour until he responded. The very next day we met him in person because he was actually on campus.

I had heard about the Tuck alumni network and I thought, “Oh yeah, that’s cool, that’s interesting,” but I don’t think I really understood the power of it until I had that experience. It was a great start to the project, and it just got better from there. We received great feedback, he put us to work with his team, they actually gave us a highly strategic project, and we visited the company and spent an entire day up there with them. We really felt like we were part of the team. From the level of conversations we had to the feedback they gave us, we knew that this was something that mattered to them. That made it a really big and meaningful experience.

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