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Tuck Bridge Stories: Jodi Ann Wang

Tuck Bridge Stories: Jodi Ann Wang

Jodi Ann Wang is an International Relations major at Kenyon College. She attended Bridge in summer of 2018.


For a month of my summer this year, I participated in a four-week intensive mini-MBA program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Here are some reflections on one of the most academically rigorous and intellectually challenging months of my academic career:

As an international studies major, I’ve always underestimated the intersectionality between the world of business and international development. My original goal with coming to Bridge was to be financially literate so I can help those in low-income countries become self-sufficient through entrepreneurship. Yet, Bridge offered me so much more. It opened me up to new possibilities and opportunities to network with like-minded professionals who can provide me with a platform to turn my goals into a reality.

Like most of the home institutions of Bridge participants, Kenyon, as a liberal arts college, is absent from a business program. Just like its name, the Tuck Bridge program helped “bridge” the gap and pave the road between a liberal arts degree and the skills needed to thrive in the business world. Whether it is taking what we learned in classes such as Accounting, Corporate Finance, Marketing Strategy and applying it to our corporate valuation project, or editing and re-editing our resumes so we can better market ourselves to recruiters, Bridge provided us an opportunity to challenge ourselves and discover our inner potential that we may have never realized before.

Each day begins at 8:30 AM and is generally composed of four 80-minute lectures and intersected with 20-minute breaks in between each. Core classes such as Accounting, Spreadsheet Modeling, and Corporate Finance can have up to nine lectures while additional sessions such as Negotiations, Organizational Behavior, and Entrepreneurship occupy one to two classes. In the evening, our schedule is booked for study group sessions. My study group met every night for at least one hour to work through homework assignments, catch up on our day, and plan for the next. While some days are long, the weeks flew by quickly.

I distinctly remember sitting with my fellow group members in our study room during our first study group session, having the same mixed emotions of confusion, excitement, and nervousness as I did during freshman orientation in college. Accounting vocabulary seemed like a foreign language to me, and spreadsheet modeling felt like the struggle to untangle a pair of wired headphones. But as we moved forward with the program, the challenging curriculum became a norm, and most amazingly, I was standing in front of panels of industry professionals before I could even process how I mysteriously understood MarkStrat, the process to do a DCF analysis, or marketing analysis.

The study group format allowed me to actively engage in my learning in the environment of five like-minded individuals, and that maximized the efficiency and results. Each night I returned back to my room feeling accomplished, ready for the next day. This style of absorbing class material is something I can bring back to Kenyon and further incorporate into my studies in the near future.

Bridge was not only a process to absorb knowledge but a multi-channel "bridge" that actively encouraged me to apply such knowledge into the greater space of different areas of business whether through homework of real-life case studies or the final corporate valuation project. Bridge was a challenge and a reward. It is something that has opened my eyes to further possibilities that will assist me in making my academic goals at Kenyon a reality.

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Tuck Bridge Stories: Pierce King

Tuck Bridge Stories: Pierce King

Pierce King is a 2013 graduate of Bowdoin College where he majored in Government and Legal Studies and minored in English. He attended Tuck Bridge in 2013. He currently works as a Senior Investment Associate at Cambridge Associates. This is his Bridge story:


What are your primary responsibilities in your current position?
My primary responsibilities include constructing and managing diversified portfolios for our institutional clients through asset allocation and manager selection. As part of this process, I serve as a thought partner for my Investment Directors when constructing our quarterly client discussion materials and assessing managers in our respective client portfolios. In addition to these core responsibilities, over the past year I have become increasingly involved with our firm’s impact investing efforts, particularly as they relate to researching investment opportunities in the private investment space.

Why did you choose to attend Bridge?
Towards the end of my undergrad experience at Bowdoin, I became interested in pursuing a career in business and began looking for a program that would offer a financial curriculum to complement my liberal arts background. My decision to apply and ultimately attend Bridge was driven by the opportunity to learn these fundamental skills from the Tuck faculty in a unique, career focused setting.

How did Bridge help you in your job search?
First and foremost, Bridge helped me understand the business landscape and the career options I had within it. I knew I was interested in business, but I was not quite sure where to concentrate my effort. Bridge not only provided this guidance, but also a framework for critical aspects of the job search, such as networking and interviewing. When the time came for me to interview at Cambridge Associates, Bridge helped connect me with alumni who were working at the firm, which gave me the confidence and edge I needed to succeed.

What most surprised you about Bridge?
What most surprised me about my Bridge experience was how much I learned in the relatively short time I was on campus. From the classes to the lunch panels and study groups, Bridge’s immersive and multifaceted approach is designed for you to learn from its wealth of resources at all hours of the day.

Do you have a favorite memory from Bridge?
It might sound odd, but my favorite memory from Bridge was the night before the stock valuation pitch. My study group had just spent the final week of the program working tirelessly on our project, but we were still struggling with one critical element of the presentation. Rather than becoming frustrated in a stressful situation, my team came together and worked through the difficulty late into the night. We solved our problem and ended up delivering a great final presentation. I think this anecdote epitomizes the quality and character of the students that Bridge attracts: determined, collaborative, and engaged.

Describe your Bridge experience in one word or phrase.
Transformative.

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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: 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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