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Tuck Bridge Stories: Darlene Campos

Tuck Bridge Stories: Darlene Campos

Tuck Bridge exceeded my expectations, and has been perhaps the most rewarding career decision I’ve made thus far. 

Darlene Campos is a 2012 graduate of Wheaton College where she double majored in Anthropology and Psychology. Darlene attended the inaugural December Bridge Program in 2014. This is her story:

I had a bit of an unconventional road to Tuck Bridge, but it was a path that ultimately helped dramatically accelerate my career.

When I applied to Bridge I was working as a media director at a rapidly growing startup. I was almost two years out of school and working at a job that I loved, but there was something missing. Like many of my peers with social science backgrounds, I had the wit and skill set to perform well at my job, but I was missing the practical business skills that would help take my career to the next level.

On the job training is in invaluable and a great way to slowly begin building a strong business acumen. That being said, in a startup environment you often need to be the expert in a variety of different areas. This was especially apparent to me when interacting with owners and investors. Even though I had the eye and instinct to make appropriate recommendations regarding our company’s digital strategy, I also needed to learn how to put numbers around our decisions and our successes. I knew I needed to sharpen my analytical skills in order to continue to succeed in this environment and in preparation for my next role.

I had first heard about Tuck Bridge from a Tuck Alum while discussing my interest in pursuing and MBA down the road. I was initially attracted to the coursework and strong community at Tuck. It sounded like it would help give my career the strong business edge that I needed down the road.

Tuck Bridge exceeded my expectations, and has been perhaps the most rewarding career decision I’ve made thus far. The structure of the program had a great blend of classroom and experiential learning, led by passionate and energetic professors who were genuinely invested in our success. The community at Bridge really can’t be beat. It was inspiring to be surrounded by such sharp, self-motivated, and talented peers, many of whom I am lucky to call friends today.  

Shortly after Bridge I transitioned into a new role in management consulting–a transition that would traditionally have a steep learning curve for someone coming from a more creative field. The skills developed during Bridge allowed me to succeed in this new industry. I came into my new role with the hard analytical skills essential to my role, and soft skills that have allowed me to form strong professional relationships with both peers and clients.

Whether in marketing, digital media, or management consulting, Bridge gave me the skills and confidence to succeed in any business environment. 

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Tuck Bridge Stories: Goodwill Batalingaya

Tuck Bridge Stories: Goodwill Batalingaya

Goodwill Batalingaya is a Dartmouth Class of 2016 and studied Applied Mathematics. On campus, Goodwill has served as the Student Director for the Dartmouth Center for Service as well as the President of the Dartmouth Minorities in Business Association (DMBA). He has professional experience at Eli Lilly & Co.; Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.; J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Undergraduate Launching Leaders, and OTR Global LLC. Goodwill plans to pursue a career in private equity. This is his story:

The Tuck Business Bridge Program was among the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve been a part of during my time as an undergraduate. At the start of the program, we were promised that at the end of three weeks, we would walk out of the program transformed further by “Bridge experience;” that we would each develop skills in business analysis, and that we would connect with our Bridge classmates and team members in very deep and meaningful ways.

If you are anything like me, this was a lofty promise to deliver in just three weeks. After week one, through our various group activities and conversations, I realized that my group members and fellow “Bridgers” were among the most fun-loving, humble, and intellectually gifted individuals I may have ever met. By week two, with each of us having chosen our final projects, our competitive spirits showed as we strove to be the best Bridge groups of past, present, and future. By week three, thanks to the tangible skillsets we had each gained, I could see the fire in each of us; a renewed confidence in our abilities to reinvent the world and to ultimately to tackle the issues we cared most about. Every single day was a laugh shared, every class was knowledge gained, every discussion was a new perspective learned. The Tuck Business Bridge Program reawakened a passion in me for business, social issues, and the world at large. And I would not trade that experience for anything else.

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Introducing our new Marketing Intern: Megan Morris

Introducing our new Marketing Intern: Megan Morris

Hi everyone! I am Megan Morris, and I am a ’19 at Dartmouth College with a major in Economics and a Bridge ‘16. I have just joined the Tuck Bridge Team as the Marketing Intern. I will be managing things like social media, data collection, and blog posts. My goal is to make our social media timely, consistent, and engaging. I was interested in this position because I wanted to have a real hands-on experience using my skills in business I developed at the Bridge program. I was drawn to the incredible community of Tuck, and I wanted to be a part of it!

Attending Bridge as a sophomore was a bit intimidating. I had not taken many upper level Economics classes, nor had any real business experience. I went into Bridge eager to learn something about business, and potentially have a clearer vision as to what career I wanted to pursue. The business world intrigued me, but I really knew nothing about it.

Introducing our new Marketing Intern: Megan Morris

By far the biggest challenge for me during Tuck Bridge was the final corporate valuation project. This project pushed us to apply the concepts we had learned in our courses to valuate a publicly traded company. My team selected a supply-side business, a very unique choice compared to the norm. Our ambitious choice continued to push us harder every step of the way. We struggled to meld as a group and spent long hours revisiting ideas, but when it came time to present, we absolutely nailed it. I remember sitting in my seat absolutely beaming at my partners while they perfectly presented the slides we put hours into.

My favorite part of Bridge was the people. The energy that the professors, TAs, and my fellow students brought to the program made it great. The professors - Robert Hansen, Julie Lang, Leslie Robinson, and Vijay Govindarajan just to name a few - made me excited to go to class and tackle things like Corp Fin and Accounting. Everyone was extremely motivated to master all of the courses and projects (even without reported grades). Meal-times were spent having intelligent discussion with people who were motivated and passionate. In this vibrant community, I made friends and connections that I will keep for the rest of my life.

I look forward to spending more time in Tuck and working with the great people here!

Fun fact about me: I really love music. I have been to over 100 concerts in my life!

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Tuck Bridge Stories: Andrew Bourne

Tuck Bridge Stories: Andrew Bourne

Andrew Bourne is a 2015 graduate of St. Lawrence University where he majored in Economics. Andrew attended the Bridge Program shortly after graduation. This is his story:

After finishing Bridge this past summer, I began working as a Treasury Portfolio Analyst at People's United Bank in Bridgeport, CT. People's United Bank is a subsidiary of People's United Financial, Inc., a diversified financial services company with over $39 billion in assets. People’s is a large regional bank in the Northeast operating in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. At People's, I help manage the Bank's investment portfolio which is about $6 billion in size and consists of various Fixed Income securities.

 

I believe one of the most unique and challenging aspects of Bridge is in the way Bridge creates both a warm, friendly and supportive environment while at the same time challenging you out of your comfort zones and into areas you may not normally venture to go. Case in point, the "Cold-Calling" experience. The Tuck Professors and moderators would randomly call on students and encourage them to develop opinions on many unfamiliar subjects. It was one part of Bridge that surprised me the most and is a great representation of what the real world is really like. The only way to combat this ostensibly "awkward" experience at Bridge, was to always “over prepare” for every class. This is something that I have found quite useful in my career thus far. Doing thorough due diligence and being extra prepared for possible situations is a great way to get ahead in your career and is certainly stressed throughout the Bridge experience.

 

My favorite thing about Bridge were my fellow classmates, specifically my study group. Bridge helped shape strong personal and professional relationships through the use of a collaborative work environment. During those 4 weeks, we worked side-by-side each day in order to accomplish our daily, weekly and final goals. Without the encouragement and support of the wonderful individuals in my group, Bridge would have been a much different experience and it is what makes Bridge so special. It is not all about the things that you learn in the classroom and the technical skills you gain while attending Bridge, a lot of the Bridge experience has to do with the personal relationships you develop with other students from different educational backgrounds and “walks of life”. The friends I made and the experience I gained at Bridge are things that I will cherish and carry with me the rest of my life.

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Tuck Bridge Stories: David Braccia

Tuck Bridge Stories: David Braccia

David Braccia is a 2015 graduate of NYU, he attended the Bridge Program in 2014. This is his story:

I am currently an analyst in the global investment banking division at RBC Capital Markets. Bridge did a great job preparing me as the material covered during our Corporate Finance and Accounting sessions were directly applicable to what applicants are expected to know in an interview. Bridge’s capstone valuation project also put many of the skills that a perspective analyst should have into practice and gave me something unique to discuss during interviews.

I attended Bridge knowing that I wanted to pursue a job in finance. Coming from a more liberal arts based background, as opposed to having studied a finance or accounting curriculum at an undergraduate business school, I knew that I would need to demonstrate a solid understanding of business and financial concepts in order to be a competitive job applicant. The Bridge program particularly stood out as a structured and respected alternative to other self-directed ways I could have gone about brushing up on these topics.

Some of the most memorable things about Bridge came from beyond the core classroom experiences. From the marketing simulation or Career Bridge sessions to team building on Storrs Pond, it was amazing how much we managed to fit into just four weeks.

While an MBA had been something I was thinking about before attending Bridge, the question of getting an MBA may now only be one of “when”. I can definitely say that my interest in business school has been positively influenced by the focused academic experience and tight knit community we got a taste of during Bridge.

Tuck will no doubt be at the top of my list when the time comes to apply to business school. Spending a month living and learning on the Tuck campus was the best way to see what the faculty, staff, and facilities were really like  - all of which left me impressed. 

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So you didn’t get a job offer…

So you didn’t get a job offer…

Didn’t get one of those elusive “on-campus” interviews or job offers? You are not alone. There are many more students seeking employment then offers made on any campus, so a targeted search is often the way many students identify opportunities. And, maybe you have chosen to pursue a less traditional path…

What are next steps?

  1. Create structure around your job search. Put together a short list of firms and functions and begin by identifying roles with them. Be targeted - build your initial list based upon an industry, a particular role, or a preferred location, and keep the number small. You can replace names as you work through them.
  2. Keep a spreadsheet of interactions (date, contact information, subject you discussed) so you can follow up periodically.
  3. Don’t wait for one firm to respond before approaching the next one. You should be trying to juggle multiple opportunities at the same time. The worst thing that can happen is that you end up with multiple offers and you have the luxury of deciding which one to accept.
  4. Read the “2-Hour Job Search” by Steve Dalton and learn how technology can make your job search easier.

Who can help me find a job?

  1. You need to identify people who are willing to become part of your network and who will advocate for you when looking for a job.
  2. Use LinkedIn to search for people who will be willing to help you.                                        
  • Search by college.
  • Search by fraternity or other organizations in which you are active.
  • Search by company or job title.
  • If you have attended programs like the Business Bridge Program at the Tuck School of Business connect with their 4,600+ alumni.
  • Use the internet. Find professionals who have spoken at conferences or been quoted in a publication and use that as a reason to reach out to them.
  • Don’t be embarrassed to use family and friends.

I have a target list of companies and people. How do I approach them?

  1. Check the career portion of their website to see what programs they offer students. Also check their job postings to see if there are entry level positions for which you may qualify. Once you have applied to one of these jobs you should reach out to someone you know, or have found through a LinkedIn search (always start with email), and begin a dialogue – they could be an internal referral.
  2. Be prepared to drive the conversation with intelligent questions. They are taking time out of their day and being prepared is courteous. If the conversation goes well they will likely be willing to speak with you again and will be receptive to accepting your LinkedIn request.
  3. Your goal is to come away from each conversation smarter about the firm / industry. You will potentially gain a supporter and maybe even an offer of an internal referral.
  4. Don’t be a “taker”. Offer to be of service to the person you have spoken with (for example:  offer to speak to anyone they might know who is thinking about applying to your school). Always put yourself in their shoes.

This will take time and dedication but you will increase the number of opportunities that cross your path. Happy hunting!

 - Deirdre O'Donnell, Director of Career Services for the Bridge Program and Associate Director of the Tuck Career Development Office. 

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Tuck Bridge Stories: A Conversation with Thabo Matse

Tuck Bridge Stories: A Conversation with Thabo Matse

Thabo Matse graduated from Dartmouth in 2014 having completed a double major in Engineering Sciences (with a skew towards mechanical engineering and product design) and Economics (focusing on international and developmental economics). Thabo attended the first session of Bridge in the summer of 2012. We caught up with him recently to talk about his Bridge experience. This is his story:

 

What do you do?

I am an Associate Consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisers, a strategy consulting firm that focuses on global development. At Dalberg, I conduct research and analyses at the heart of key international development challenges, supporting governments, foundations, INGOs, multilaterals, corporations, and multi-stakeholder alliances working to improve living standards globally, especially in developing economies. My most memorable engagements have included creating a market monitoring report for a global tech company, landscaping key developments in ICT policy, investments, infrastructure, and technology in priority African markets; developing a strategy to coordinate government efforts in addressing infectious disease threats at the height of the Ebola crisis; developing a strategy for addressing post-harvest losses in fresh fruit and vegetable value chains in Nigeria; and developing a framework for assessing the effectiveness of early-stage incubation and acceleration in East Africa, Southern Africa, and South East Asia.

Why did you join Bridge?

Taking classes at the Thayer School of Engineering, I was always fascinated by the mysterious neighbor next door. Tuck offered a model of teaching and learning different from that of the rest of Dartmouth and I wanted to try it out.

More importantly though, I learned about Bridge during my sophomore year, at a time when I was beginning to think more deliberately about the kind of impact I wanted to create as an individual. I always knew that I wanted to work towards empowering underserved people and communities, but was dissatisfied with the modas operandi of traditional aid. At the same time, I had won a grant to implement a grassroots project in my home country of Swaziland and was beginning to think about what systemic change looks like, beyond the grassroots—what levers have the greatest impact. It was undeniable that business had something to do with it. Bridge was an intense month during which I would not only gain the managerial and technical skill set required to be an effective director of a grassroots development project, but also begin to investigate, for myself, the potential role of business in development. After graduation, I returned to Tuck as a Paganucci Fellow to further learn about social entrepreneurship – business creating solutions to pressing social problems, especially for people often excluded from markets. In many ways, Bridge was the first step in clarifying my career story.

What surprised you about Bridge?

There were no (reported) grades, but there were still many long nights; we all worked hard because we wanted to learn and get the best out of Tuck. We were here because we wanted to be here. We wanted to win MarkStrat, put together a killer valuation presentation, ace Corp Fin and Accounting, network hard, and make some great friends. Some things were achieved and others were not, but it was still a great month, and I was surprised by how much everyone put in to make it so.

What was your favorite part about Bridge?

I loved the team orientation of Bridge and how complementary out backgrounds were, especially our academic backgrounds. I was in an incredible team representing different majors and colleges. Everyone had an opportunity to lead on something; crunching the numbers to decide which product line to kill in MarkStrat, being the designated DCF guru, storylining the final valuation PowerPoint presentation – all these work streams required different skill sets, and we were all empowered to bring our diversity to bear to see the work through.

 

 

Photo credit: Kaitlin Lang

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Tuck Bridge Stories: Adam Nofal

Tuck Bridge Stories: Adam Nofal

Adam Nofal is a 2013 graduate of St. Lawrence University where he majored in Economics. Currently an analyst at EnTrustPermal, Adam completed the Bridge Program the summer after his senior year. This is his story: 

If I had to describe Bridge in one word, that word would be collaborative.

In addition to other valuable experiences, Bridge offers a solid business primer, an experienced set of professors and staff as mentors, and a cooperative community of students. My leap from college into “the real world” would not have been as smooth had I not been a part of that culture. I would even argue that these factors provide a grossly underrated sense of harmony and comfort.

Prior to working at EnTrustPermal – a hedge fund investor across multiple strategies – I was an undergraduate student looking forward to my first full-time professional step. Bridge, with its novel structure and collegial environment, helped me and others in solidifying our strategy. What is interesting about this is that Bridge manages to align everyone’s incentives to propel the whole group forward, both on a personal and a professional level. I believe that type of community is elusive in many competitive programs, and wherever that balance found, it is typically immensely valuable.

Just as rewarding was the academic aspect of Bridge, not only because all courses were challenging, but also because they were varied. Spending close to all nighters with my team and TAs is a testimony to the challenging projects, but seeing friends decide to change their early career path because of a course they took at Bridge also speaks volumes to the benefits of taking a risk and looking outside the box. Lectures and projects assigned by Bob Hansen, Leslie Robinson, Gail Taylor, and Vijay Govindarajan – to name a few – only bolstered the symbiotic relationship amongst students, TAs, and professors by unifying everyone behind the common goal of driving our community to the next level.

My favorite part about Bridge, and this is where some might disagree with me, is the camaraderie outside the classroom. Within the hectic schedule of the program, my group and I were constantly discussing how to go about projects or refine our stock pitch. At some points, we were so stressed after a long day of work that we desperately had to go to the gym or out on a run to blow off some steam. Just as important was finding time to organize hiking and other trips. In some evenings, we even invited TAs and other groups to discuss brutal Managerial Economics problems over pizza (or if I ordered, it was Mexican food). This isn’t to mention times when we had to take the conversation outside the boundaries of Dartmouth College, where we assessed our group’s progress in downtown Hanover over brunch or a beverage of our choice.

To sum it up, Bridge has been one the most significant experiences I have ever been through. But if it weren’t for the collaborative environment and the people involved in many ways in the program, my experience would’ve probably been significantly different. 

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Tuck Bridge Stories: Delanyo “Dela” Kpo

Tuck Bridge Stories: Delanyo “Dela” Kpo

Delanyo "Dela" Kpo is a 2014 graduate of Dartmouth College where she studied geography and international development. Dela has been at MBI, Inc, a $350 million consumer products company, since 2014 and is currently an Assistant Program Manager in the publishing division. Dela completed the Bridge Program the summer after her senior year. This is her story:                                     

At least five of my friends from Dartmouth College had gone through Bridge, and every single one of them had something positive to say about the program. I didn’t come from a “traditional” business background. I spent most of my summers volunteering or conducting research, so when I got my job at MBI, I felt quite unprepared. As I spoke to various Bridge alums I realized the program would be the best way to bridge the gap (pun intended).

I couldn’t get over how much information we learned in such a short amount of time. People told me Bridge was rigorous, but I didn’t truly understand what they meant till I was there. As someone who came to Bridge with very little business experience, or acumen, it was empowering to grasp the information as quickly and as successfully as I did, and to be able to speak somewhat intelligently with experts about financial accounting, discounted cash flows, valuations, marketing strategies, and managerial economics.

While I had a job before I came to Bridge, I was pretty anxious about how effective I would be as a manager right out of undergrad. I left Bridge with a strong sense of confidence and complete faith that I could handle whatever came my way. Aside from the hard skills and knowledge I took from Bridge, I now have a powerful network of friends, and amazing mentors, who continue to shape my career—Bridge has been transformative for me. I became a Kemp Fellow because of Bridge, got to attend the annual PhD Project conference, and I have been recruited by multiple firms that cite Bridge as one of the attractive parts of my candidacy. 

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Tuck Bridge Stories: Ryan Breen

Tuck Bridge Stories: Ryan Breen

Ryan Breen is a 2015 graduate of the University of Michigan and attended the Bridge program the summer after his senior year. Currently, he is a Management Consulting Analyst at Accenture. This is his story:

As a senior at the University of Michigan, having already accepted a return offer from Accenture, I decided to apply to Business Bridge because of the reviews I had heard from former attendees as well as my general proximity to Dartmouth and Tuck in general (I went to Phillips Exeter Academy right down the road, and always admired Dartmouth as a school).  For me, my choice to attend Business Bridge was not about adding a venerable name to my resume or substantiating my application to companies or business schools.  Though it may sound cliché,  it was much more than that.  

Over the course of my years at Michigan, I really came into my own intellectually.  I developed a deep understanding of economic theory and accounting principles, not just as academic fields of study, but as concepts that have direct applicability to management practices and business in general.  This led to my decision to enter the management consulting industry, as problem solving and "corporate innovation" were both very interesting.  MECE segmentation models, data driven analysis, technology integration - these are all important components of organizational efficiency and operational effectiveness in this day and age, and I believe that my experience at Business Bridge reinforced and firmly ingrained these concepts in my mind, which have helped me excel in my first year as a management consultant.

Business Bridge is very management-focused, just as Tuck is as a school.  The best part of the program is the team-oriented structure. As a group, we would leverage the knowledge and insight gained from the seminars and work collaboratively each day and night, just as I do now as a management consultant.  The whiteboarding sessions, analytical discussions, and cross-team work were all beneficial and provided us each with opportunities to develop our leadership skills, interpersonal interactions, and analytical approach to solving business problems.

However, perhaps the most important aspect of the program, one that I cannot emphasize enough, is the truly comprehensive/all-encompassing approach that is used to learning and professional development.  We all ate meals together, attended seminars together, worked on assignments together, and, when the work was done, socialized together. This both directly taught us the importance of prioritization, time management, and work-life balance as well as indirectly showed us the value of both team-based analysis and the importance of building bonds and personal relationships in a professional setting, something that is absolutely invaluable in management consulting and investment banking, the two industries that attract the bulk of Business Bridge and Tuck graduates.

My decision to attend Business Bridge provided me with fantastic career preparation and a network of smart, savvy, personable people.  It honestly felt like home for me.  Granted, each student enters the program at a different age and with varying levels of business acumen.  But after four short weeks, all leave with an arsenal of both hard and soft professional skills and the memory of an unforgettable experience.

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Stress-Free Networking

Stress-Free Networking

This is the first in a series of career-oriented posts from Deirdre O'Donnell, Director of Career Services for the Bridge Program and Associate Director of the Tuck Career Development Office. Deirdre began her career in 1982 as a corporate finance intern at American Express. She joined Lehman Brothers in 1984 and spent the majority of her career within the Fixed Income division. Over the years she was very involved in Lehman’s campus recruiting effort at colleges and universities and ultimately became Global Head of Diversity Recruiting for the firm in 2004. After leaving Lehman in 2008 she joined the Tuck School of Business as an Associate Director of the Career Development Office, focusing on the financial services industry. 

We have all been told that “networking” effectively can get us a job. But the process can feel so painful- even insincere and phony. See if you can find something you have in common with the person before an informational call (shared acquaintance, interests, schools, as examples) and it will feel more authentic. LinkedIn is one way to identify some commonalities.

Ask yourself what you are trying to gain from a networking conversation. The honest answer is probably a job lead, but approach it with the thought that every call or meeting benefits you in some way. Use informational calls/meetings as an opportunity to find information that you won’t find on-line. Ask thoughtful questions and you will be smarter and even more prepared for the next call that you make. Focus on learning, not asking for a job, and you will be more comfortable.

Most people are flattered to be asked about themselves and most people are willing to give advice - you are just giving them a platform to do that. As long as you are prepared with questions it will not be a waste of their time. You will find that you come away from a conversation knowing more about what their job entails, having a better understanding of their company and industry, and potentially gaining an advocate. In addition, you get to practice having professional conversations. All of these will make you stronger in interviews going forward.

What is in it for them? They feel good that they have helped you – it’s a way of “paying it forward”. Think of it this way…if someone from your college called one of your parents to ask for some career guidance, would they speak with them? Likely they would. You are that person.

And don’t forget to offer something in return at the end of the meeting. Maybe offer to be a contact for anyone they might know who is thinking about applying to your college….

As Nike says – Just Do It.

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Tuck Bridge Stories: Laura Vang

Tuck Bridge Stories: Laura Vang

Laura Vang is a 2015 graduate of Dartmouth College, where she majored in engineering. Laura was a member of the inaugural December Bridge class in 2014. This is her story:

I work at IBM; I'm a part of Watson Health BlueSpark Leadership Development Program. We spend our first year at IBM rotating through different business teams within the Watson Health business unit, gaining skills and exposure to company leaders. Currently I'm a member of the Implementations Solutions team, delivering Watson technologies to our clients in life sciences.

I studied engineering at Dartmouth and regretted that my exposure to strategy and business was limited to the engineering/startup scope of things. I knew I wanted to cultivate an understanding of marketing, finance, and economics before entering the working world and Bridge gave me the tools to do that. 

I surprised myself at Bridge. I had accepted my offer from IBM just a week before my December Bridge session began; all the energy I had devoted to the job search was now free to take advantage of the weeks I had in Hanover with the amazing, awesome, dedicated professors, TAs, and Bridge staff. As part of the guinea-pig December 2014 class, most of my fellow classmates were (mostly) other Dartmouth students taking advantage of winterim to devote free brainpower to ...more learning. Despite all being from the same school, I knew very few of them coming in. We were a smaller group and on a more accelerated time scale. We were also enjoying Hanover in the dark depths of December (which made for an interesting first team building activity!) 

Academically, I was in the midst of my culminating engineering project and was looking forward to eating at Byrne by choice and not because I was too busy to leave Thayer. I didn't expect to have so much fun working so hard at Bridge.

Friends who had gone through the program had only positive things to say, and it's true - something magical happens when 50-odd future business leaders subject themselves to nerd camp. Whether it was debating MarkStrat team names (or strategies) or trying to figure out that night's accounting homework, consistently, everyone was awesome. 

My Bridge class was more insular than summer sessions usually are - there were fewer of us total and we were from a less diverse set of schools than is the norm. However, we have the Bridge community - in fact, in my starting class at IBM are two other Bridge alums from different sessions from different schools. We all chose to come to this program which is almost an extension of Bridge - we're honing a wide range of business skills on real clients (trying to take in all these new ideas and skills is not dissimilar to drinking from a firehose or attending Tuck Bridge.) I feel that Bridge very well prepared me for these experiences - I learned business basics that helped me quickly understand the world around me, I learned fearlessness in expressing my desire for mentorship from the incredibly capable minds around me, and I came to believe in my ability to take on any challenge set in front of me, having proven that even an engineer/business novice can take Bridge by storm.

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Tuck Bridge Stories: An Interview with Peyton Hawkins

Tuck Bridge Stories: An Interview with Peyton Hawkins

Peyton Hawkins is a 2012 graduate of Colgate Univeristy where she majored in art history. Peyton attended the Bridge Program in the summer of 2011. Currently, she is Manager of Strategic Partnerships at SinglePlatform. We recently discussed her Tuck Bridge experience. This is Peyton's story:

Why did you attend Bridge?

I studied Art History at a small liberal arts school, so I felt that it was important to take a couple business courses to prepare me for a career after college. I came out of Bridge with a stronger skill set, confidence to enter the workforce and the edge that I needed to stand out in a competitive job market.

After the program, I used the Bridge career site to tap into Tuck’s expansive network.  I found the SinglePlatform job posting through the site and connected with Bridge alum, Abby Fuller, to prepare for the interview. Since accepting the job four years ago, I’ve experienced two exciting acquisitions and now manage sales and marketing for our Partner Program. Thanks Abby (and Bridge)!

What surprised you about Bridge?

I knew that Bridge was going to be a rigorous and challenging program, but I was surprised by how much fun I had! My professors and classmates were eclectic and enthusiastic, which made the work/life balance manageable and invigorating. I came out of Bridge not only with an incredible education, but also with a new network of friends. To this day, I still keep in touch with some professors and friends that I met at Bridge.

What was your favorite moment?

Although there are countless great memories from my time at Bridge, I will never forget when my study group presented our final project on Krispy Kreme. After weeks of preparation, it was an incredible feeling to see what we were able to accomplish. After the presentation, we all jumped into the Connecticut River to celebrate!

Are you considering an MBA? How do you think Bridge contributed to this decision?

Bridge gave me a sneak peek into the life of a business school student and the overall experience made me want to consider an MBA more than ever. I originally thought that an MBA was only beneficial to those looking to pursue a career in finance, but at Bridge I discovered that business school offers an extensive curriculum, with subjects tailored to any students’ specific interests. 

If you are considering Tuck, why?

Tuck is an exceptional school and it would absolutely be my number one choice. Tuck offers students the opportunity to learn from the best professors and to join a network of some of the smartest people in the world. There seems to be a unique camaraderie at Tuck, where professors and students come together to excel and succeed, and I would be honored to be a part of that community (and an intramural sport!). 

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Tuck Bridge Stories: Christina Croak

Tuck Bridge Stories: Christina Croak

Christina Croak is a 2013 graduate of Amherst College, where she majored in psychology. Christina attended session 1 of the 2015 Tuck Business Bridge Program. Prior to Bridge, Christina taught with Teach for America in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This is her story:

I am currently an Analytics Manager for Unilever Shopper Marketing at Kantar Retail. Fun fact - I was recruited for this job at Bridge!

I attended Bridge because I wanted to complement my undergraduate liberal arts education and quite literally "bridge" the gap in my career between teaching and entering the business world.

Interestingly, I was surprised by how hard I wanted to work at Bridge. Some could think of it as a four week summer program for which no official grades or evaluation is given - more or less, a 'break' from a typical college semester despite the jam-packed schedule and course load. For me, though, I saw how much there was for me to learn and how invested the professors and staff members were in students' success during the program and beyond - I put in 110% because I wanted to get everything I possibly could out of Bridge. And it was worth it. Second fun fact - I actually got two jobs out of Bridge! I was recruited for my current position there, and also interned for Dr. Alva Taylor for six weeks after the program, which was a great experience.

One of my favorite parts of Bridge was the relationships I built - I still keep in touch with faculty and staff members as well as other students, and I really value having them as a part of my lifelong network.

I am definitely considering an MBA, and Bridge significantly swayed my decision to pursue one. I was able to experience what it was like to be taught by MBA professors - cold calling and all - and also hear firsthand from my TAs about their experiences and what they planned to do with their degrees. I love Tuck's close-knit community that's committed to extending learning beyond the classroom, and cares about encouraging students to make a meaningful impact on society.

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Tuck Bridge Stories: An Interview with Kevin Schoelzel

Tuck Bridge Stories: An Interview with Kevin Schoelzel

Kevin Schoelzel is a 2014 graduate of Vanderbilt Univeristy where he majored in political science, economics, and history. Kevin attended the Bridge Program in the summer of 2013. Currently, he is a research analyst at Gatemore Capital Management, an investment advisory firm that serves high net worth families and institutional clients in the US and Europe. We recently discussed his Tuck Bridge experience. This is Kevin's story:

 

What do you do at Gatemore?

I research funds and managers across various asset classes and strategies to find differentiated investments that are uncorrelated to their broader markets. Finding these opportunities entails meeting with managers, attending conferences, researching industries, and learning about many different kinds of business models.

I am part of Gatemore’s research team which works out of New York, Philadelphia, London and Paris. We meet regularly to discuss new ideas and work through our due-diligence process in order to gain a better understanding of each investment. In sum, the process is very intellectually engaging, as we assess the return drivers and risks of various opportunities.  Ultimately we strive to design a portfolio that fulfills the long-term objectives of our clients.

Why did you choose to attend Bridge?

During my junior year, I began to focus on what I wanted to do professionally after college. I had really enjoyed school and wanted to find a job that would continue to fuel my intellectual curiosity. Reflecting on what I liked, I decided to pursue a career in either financial services or consulting.

I graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2014 with degrees in Political Science, Economics and History together with a minor in Engineering Management. This broad liberal arts undergraduate experience taught me to think critically and solve problems. Vanderbilt does not offer an undergraduate business degree and I wanted to augment my majors with a better understanding of business concepts to fill in some of the gaps to become a more competitive candidate in the jobs market. The Bridge program helped me take the tools I had been developing in college and apply them in a business setting.

What surprised you about Bridge?

How fast time flies at Bridge. Looking back at the end of the program, I was amazed at how much I had learned in a relatively short period of time.

What was your favorite moment/thing? 

My favorite moment at Bridge was the final presentation. My team analyzed and prepared a valuation analysis on Crown Castle International (a telecommunications company that builds and operates cell towers). I remember working during the last week with my team as we pulled together everything we had learned to do our analysis of the company. After reading through the SEC filings, learning about the industry from a former CEO of another tower company, and layering in our own analysis, my team had a comprehensive presentation which took an in-depth look at a company, and entire industry, we had known very little about ten days earlier.  We put the finishing touches on the presentation on July 4th and practiced most of the day, finishing in time to catch some of the fireworks.  The final presentation was the next day in front of a panel of Tuck professors, distinguished Tuck Business School alumni, and other leading executives.  It was very rewarding to present our thesis on Crown Castle to the panel and get their feedback on the company.

My favorite thing about Bridge was definitely the people. I made a lot of friends during the program who I have continued to stay in touch with since. Recently, I moved from Denver (my hometown) to New York and it has been great having another group of friends from Bridge already in the city.

Do you think Bridge prepared you for your career?

Most definitely. Along with providing a solid introduction to business disciplines like marketing, accounting, finance, and strategy, the program also helped me refine my focus on what I wanted to do after graduating from college.  

In addition to the formal course work, the Career Bridge lunch sessions on resume writing, interviewing, and cover letters, were all very helpful for conveying what I had learned at Bridge and at school to companies that I wanted to join once I entered the working world.

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Tuck Bridge Stories: An Interview with Maggie Hansen

Tuck Bridge Stories: An Interview with Maggie Hansen

Margaret (Maggie) Hansen is a current senior at Georgetown University, where she studies math and chemistry. In May of 2015, Maggie started her Bridge journey as a part of the first ever Smith-Tuck Business Bridge Program class. We spoke with Maggie about why she chose the Smith-Tuck Business Bridge Program:

Why did you choose to attend the Smith-Tuck program?

I chose to attend Smith-Tuck primarily because I wanted to attend the Tuck Bridge program to learn valuable business skills and what it would be like to work in various business fields, but I also wanted to be able to hold an internship over the summer, and Smith-Tuck's timing fit perfectly with that. I also liked how the Smith-Tuck program was smaller, which I knew would allow me to get to know professors and other students much more easily and to a greater extent.


Did you feel like you were welcomed into the Smith community?

Most definitely. Everyone at Smith - from the students to the staff - went out of their way to make sure I felt included and a part of the Smith-Tuck community. I was the only person in my study group not from Smith, but by the end of the first week I'd already forgotten about that because the others were so welcoming. The Smith career center's staff were incredibly helpful and inclusive as well, 


What was it like spending the summer at another university?

I really enjoyed it because it gave me a chance to experience learning in a college environment that wasn't Georgetown and was different in many ways. While it definitely took me a bit of time to adjust, it was definitely worth it in the end because studying at a different university gave me a different perspective than simply attending Georgetown would have.


Describe the experience of learning in an all-women environment (what surprised you, what were some take-aways, what did it offer in the intense learning structure).

I honestly thought I'd notice it much more than I actually did. Looking back on it, I think I felt more comfortable in such an environment - I have two sisters and no brothers so I think it was almost normal for me - and this comfort definitely helped with the intense work load.


What’s your next move? What will you take with you from Smith-Tuck, how has it prepared you?

Smith-Tuck gave me the ability to see myself taking a job in a variety of fields that I had never considered before because I thought they wouldn't want a math major or that I didn't have relevant experience for those jobs. However, the program allowed me to re-orient my career path to this new world of possibilities and enabled me to actually see myself in some of these positions. Immediately after I graduate, I will be working for Berkeley Research Group here in DC, which is not something I would have considered applying to before Smith-Tuck.

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Tuck Bridge Stories: An Interview with Seema Samawi

Tuck Bridge Stories: An Interview with Seema Samawi

Seema Samawi is a 2015 gradaute of Smith College, where she majored in computer science and minored in music. In May of 2015, Seema started her Bridge journey as a part of the first ever Smith-Tuck Business Bridge Program class. Seema now works at MassMutual Financial Group. We sat down with her to discuss her Smith-Tuck experience:

Why did you apply to the Smith-Tuck Bridge Program?

I received an email blast from the Lazarus center informing me of the program.

My mother had completed an MBA herself, and I was considering looking into getting one. I have always been familiar with the Tuck School of business from my father who has had nothing but great experiences working with Tuckies. Having a technical degree and wanting to bridge into the finance world I figured trying the Smith-Tuck Bridge would be a great introduction into the business side of my career and would help me gain new skills and identify if an MBA is truly something I would want to pursue after gaining some work experience. The all female aspect also appealed to me, as a Smithie I was able to see how effective the environment would be. I was excited to also join a program where I would be working with the future female leaders of society!

What is your fondest memory from the program?

While the entire program was wonderful my fondest memory was working with the MarkStrat simulation software with my team. It was the perfect practical application of all our skills we had learnt up to that moment and truly forced us to be a collaborative team, work to produce under a deadline and use our analytical skills to put our best foot forward,

Do you think the all-women environment added value to your experience?

Having had the pleasure of attending Career Day at one of the later Dartmouth sessions I can say it thoroughly did. There is something unique about being surrounded by mainly women with a similar pedigree to yourself. I really enjoyed the environment as in a world where women are outnumbered by men in executive offices it  was nice to connect with one another. the Smith-Tuck Bridge program helps build business relationships and friendships that will blossom and connect future executives from a younger age. Picking our team name was a wonderful activity which really showcased this, we were "Team Beyonce" because we felt Beyonce is a strong, powerful successful woman who exhibits traits that many of us aspire to, a family, a successful career and a good head on her shoulders.

The all-women environment also helps as women and men learn differently and in different environments which has been proven scientifically, a large percentage of females are timid in front of members of the opposite sex in an academic situation and are less likely to participate. Having no males meant that those doubts were irrelevant and it truly felt like a safe-space.

What are you doing now?

Thanks to the Bridge Career day I am now happily working as a Quantitative Consultant at MassMutual Financial Group. I work on the Inforce Life Insurance Products team helping to create and test the Dividends Schedule for our Traditional Life Insurance Products.

How did Bridge help?

Spreadsheet modelling definitely comes in handy as well as all the finance and accounting classes. While I perform a lot of quantitative analysis, understanding how to manipulate numbers and finances helps me with my job. Tuck also helped prepare me for my job because of the collaborative aspect being transcended to another level. Academic projects are only collaborative to a certain point but in the workforce you need to know how to lead and follow at the same time. I consistently work with my teammates supporting them and they support me, communication is a key aspect of bridge and an even more crucial aspect at my job.

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Tuck Bridge Stories: Stephen Jahelka

Tuck Bridge Stories: Stephen Jahelka

Stephen Jahelka is a senior at Harvard College where he studies economics and plays defenseman on the lacrosse team. In 2014, as a sophomore, Stephen attended the Tuck Business Bridge Program looking for a job. What he left with was much more. This is his story:

I was overwhelmed with excitement when I was accepted into the Business Bridge program January of my sophomore year. On paper, the choice to go to Bridge for the summer was a no brainer - a top MBA school environment with their staff and a curriculum focused on improving my technical finance skills. My goal was to even the playing field when going into internship interviews my junior fall with students who had an undergraduate business school education that is not available to students at Harvard.

Two years removed, it still amazes me how far outside the classroom my Bridge experience spanned. While I honed all of the technical skills I wanted to prior to going, it was the experiences outside of the classroom that helped me grow not only as a student and job applicant, but also as a person. When I think of Bridge, I think of how I was challenged both personally and professionally to work closely with a group of the same five people for a month straight. I think of all of the times I bonded with my classmates over meals, down by the Connecticut River and at night socially. Most importantly, I think of all of the connections I made, not only in the professional world, but the lifelong friends that I still talk and see, some on a weekly basis.

It was hard to realize while I was learning an entire MBA curriculum in four weeks time, but I now know how much of an impact Bridge has had on my life. It helped me tremendously getting my internship and full time offer as a consultant at KPMG, where I plan to return following graduation. Despite getting a job being my initial purpose for going to Bridge, I am now more grateful for the experiences that I had and people that I met during my time in Hanover, New Hampshire. The Bridge experience is truly unparalleled and world class. If I could, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, so I envy those of you who have the opportunity to do it this summer and hope you take advantage of applying!

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Tuck Bridge Stories: Erin Breen

Tuck Bridge Stories: Erin Breen

Erin Breen is a junior at Colby College, majoring in Psychology and Economics. This past May, Erin was one of a cohort of 38 undergraduate women who participated in the first ever Smith-Tuck Business Bridge Program held at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. This is her story:

I applied to the Smith-Tuck Bridge Program as opposed to the Tuck Bridge Program because of the program's focus on women’s leadership in business. Coming from a liberal arts background, I wanted a program that would allow me to gain exposure to the field of business while also having the ability to participate in an internship that summer. I knew that the program was going to be highly intensive and a lot of work, but I did not realize how rewarding the project would be at the end of the three weeks. Although in the moment it felt like there was no possible way I could be retaining all the information we were exposed to, the final project was just one indication that we really knew what we were talking about. I think the all-women environment added value to my experience because I was able to build strong bonds with women that I will hopefully be working alongside after graduation. Through team building exercises and leadership talks, I was able to understand how to be an effective woman team member and leader. Next, I plan on interning at Forge Worldwide a marketing agency in Boston over my January term, and hopefully this summer gain as valuable of an experience as Smith-Tuck Bridge was by interning for another marketing company. For me the Smith-Tuck Bridge Program was the most valuable experience I’ve had thus far and has helped me more clearly identify my career aspirations.

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Welcome to the Tuck Bridge Blog

Welcome to the Tuck Bridge Blog

This blog is dedicated to highlighting our incredible alumni, sharing valuable career advice, and introducing some of the content you will be seeing at Tuck Bridge. We hope you enjoy! 

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