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!