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.