Yuki Aoyama T'17

“Tuck has given me the courage to embrace vulnerability in my communication, my outlook, and my leadership.”

Read My Story


Coming to Tuck was an opportunity to focus on my purpose and harness my passion, which has resulted in the founding of a company, Splink. Before coming to Tuck, I started thinking about a way to address neurological diseases. The idea was the result of witnessing my father discover a neurological disease that had gone undiagnosed for entirely too long. This discovery sparked a deep commitment to exploring this gap in the health care service, but it wasn’t until working at the summer internship and engaging with a peer group of aspiring entrepreneurs that I was able to construct and test hypotheses around potential solutions. After nearly a year and a half of experimentation, I am now committed and confident in my ability to address this social issue. I am now determined to ensure people lead better lives through neuroscience technology.


My internship experience at Draper Nexus has elevated my professional and personal capabilities exponentially. While at Draper, I met amazing mentors and top-notch venture capitalists in Silicon Valley who gave me great feedback on my entrepreneurial journey and personal life. I also managed to build a relationship with my co-founder, an award winning and internationally renowned neuroscientist. Without my internship experience, I wouldn’t be where I am today having celebrated the launch of Splink!


Going on the Global Insight Expedition to the Netherlands allowed me to engage with an influential global network of health-care industry practitioners. During the course, I networked with local doctors, venture capitalists, and hospital managers. I began to understand the workings of a leading international health-care market, which is the second biggest after the U.S. Now I’m able to reach out to those contacts further down the road while working on my company and I recognize some of the unique challenges and opportunities that international entrepreneurs face. I can also leverage the strengths of Japan’s market and develop innovative healthcare technology for the rest of the world.


I always envisioned success as being a CEO, but I’m leaving Tuck with a greater appreciation for the importance of connections with others and a balanced life.

Being honest, approachable and having a deeper sense of gratitude allows me to open myself up to greater connections. I no longer feel the need to hide my weaknesses. Whether in my previous career as a global business manager at Keyence, or as a boxer, I have always been a fierce competitor. At Tuck, I learned the importance of being well rounded and for me that has involved thinking about my emotional intelligence as it relates to my ability to lead others. After taking leadership courses with Professor Ella Bell for example, I’ve learned that it’s okay to be vulnerable. I now appreciate that rather than an aggressive fighter, I depend on and need to rely on others.

I have also been able to apply what I’ve learned about leadership and the importance of emotional intelligence to my personal life. Leadership starts with me being a better husband, father, son, and human—which is a shift in the way that I previously defined success. Beyond all of the tools, networks and opportunities that my Tuck experience has provided me with, I am most grateful for this shift to a more the holistic outlook on leadership and success.

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