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in February 2016

Tuck Bridge Stories: An Interview with Maggie Hansen

Tuck Bridge Stories: An Interview with Maggie Hansen

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.

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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