I was fortunate enough to visit the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth earlier this year as part of the 2016 AIGAC Conference. I was so struck by how special the place was that I asked our host, Kristin Roth, Associate Director of Admissions at the Tuck School of Business, for an interview to share some of these unique differentiators with you.
Dartmouth Tuck Interview with Kristin Roth Associate Director of Admissions at the Tuck School of Business
Michael Cohan: What are the traits that all Tuck graduates have in common?
Kristin Roth: Our mission at Tuck is to educate wise leaders to better the world of business. It’s pretty clear that business leaders as a whole don’t enjoy a strong reputation these days. Tuck is consciously working to create leaders who choose to create better opportunities and outcomes for people and businesses. We do this by focusing on a personal, connected, transformative experience that will help students develop the characteristics of wise leadership: empathy, judgment, and confident humility. Being able to understand where a person is coming from, exercising good decision making skills in a variety of settings, and knowing what you know and don’t know are critical traits for the development of wise leadership. The program and environment at Tuck enable students to make those connections.
Michael Cohan: Tuck is known for the strength and quality of its MBA program. What are some of Tuck’s other strengths?
Michael Cohan: Tuck’s location in Hanover, NH is an obvious differentiator from other top-tier programs. How does the location contribute to learning at Tuck?
Kristin Roth: Our location is clearly unique and one of our greatest strengths. Our learning environment is immersive, because our students don’t scatter after classes end. They stay in constant interaction with each other through study groups, team projects, clubs, and other activities. At Tuck, you can’t self-select who you’ll interact with; you have to work across differences. And because of our location, your ability to engage with students, faculty, and alumni is greater than you’ll find elsewhere. You’ll connect with other members of our diverse, global community because our location drives these constant interactions.
In turn, this dynamic helps create a trust-based community that contributes directly to our world-renowned alumni network. As students, Tuckies experience the support of their classmates, alumni, and faculty while also adding their own talents and support to the community. You always hear students and alums talk about how another Tuckie helped them, even when they didn’t have to and when there was no explicit benefit to them. It happens in study groups, in midnight conversations about accounting or capital markets, when reaching out to alums with a simple question and finding yourself in hours-long conversations that build your knowledge and confidence. Paying it forward is deeply ingrained at Tuck, both during the two years of the MBA and for life.
Michael Cohan: Tuck recently added a global requirement. Can you tell us more about it?
Kristin Roth: We look at Hanover as a base camp that allows students the chance to dive in and challenge themselves, to engage with classmates and faculty, to take intellectual risks and grow their aspirations. They also go out into the world to gain experience and skills to work across cultures, develop global knowledge and understanding, and stretch themselves outside of their comfort zones.
We believe that students need to immerse themselves in the culture of another country as part of their journey to developing the wise leadership that is needed to succeed in and contribute to the world of business. We added the TuckGO requirement starting with the Class of 2017 in order to facilitate development of a global mindset.
To fulfill TuckGO, each student must participate in at least one course in a country that is new to them during their two years at Tuck. The courses include Global Insight Expeditions, qualifying First-Year Projects, OnSite Global Consulting assignments, and and international exchange. Many students take part in more than one course.
Michael Cohan: Tuck faculty are known for both excellence in teaching and research. In what ways do faculty enable students to connect to the research endeavor at Tuck?
Kristin Roth: Like our students, our faculty are coming and going from Hanover constantly, as highly sought researchers, speakers, and presenters. This dynamism adds to their excellence as academics and teachers, and their connectivity to the world furthers the wisdom and expertise they share with students.
As I said, location is one of our greatest strengths. When Tuck’s faculty are here in Hanover, they’re accessible. Students benefit from a 10:1 faculty-student ratio, small elective courses, and remarkable access to professors. Not every student will have the same experience with faculty, however each will have the chance to engage and connect with them in different ways.
In addition, Tuck’s research centers and initiatives build a community of scholars, executives, and students around a particular topic. The Center for Global Business and Government, the Center for Business and Society, the Healthcare Initiative and others support faculty research, enrich the curriculum and learning environment for students, and further connect the school with practitioners and thought leaders in each field. MBA students can apply to serve as fellows, research associates, and roundtable members, or participate in independent study projects. They can also dip their toes into various centers and initiatives by joining and learning from sponsored on-campus programming.
Michael Cohan: Tuck’s mission is to educate wise leaders to better the world of business. What are the unique ways Tuck furthers this mission of leadership?
Kristin Roth: The TuckGO program, as I mentioned above, fulfills this mission by encouraging our students to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zones. In immersing themselves in different cultures and business environments, students build knowledge and empathy. They also are reminded that they don’t know everything, and they can grow with confident humility: “I know I don’t understand this, but I do have the skills and experience to ask the questions needed to see this from another perspective.”
Because of our intensive community, our location that encourages immersion, and our personal scale, students can’t self-select their colleagues. They build connections, in different ways, crossing lines of nationality, industry, age, and ethnicity, among others. Diversity and inclusion are important at Tuck, and our dean is fiercely committed to equipping and empowering our students with the skills to lead diverse teams. This means having the empathy and judgment for challenging and difficult conversations. At Tuck, we aim to create a place safe for those conversations. These are the skills you’ll need if you aspire to be a wise leader.
Michael Cohan: Thank you very much Kristin for informing our readers about some of the unique differentiators at the Tuck School of Business
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