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By Susan Clark


New Hampshire’s state motto, “Live Free or Die” is proudly emblazoned on each and every license plate.  Driving into Hanover, the home of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, I noticed an additional comment on a bumper sticker: “New Hampshire - Live, Freeze and Die.” Yes, New Englanders like to complain about the weather, but as I soon discovered, there is no warmer business school than Tuck.

I visited Tuck this summer to see Matthew, one of my all-time favorite candidates, the week before his graduation. Tuck has everything you’d expect in an Ivy League school. Century-old neoclassical buildings mix with tasteful modern brick and glass construction that fits in just right. I fell in love with Stell Hall, a long, wood-paneled room with a fireplace where students gather to study and get coffee.  It feels more like a great living room than the Mall-like cafes I’ve seen at other schools. 

While all this real estate is nice to take in, the more important point is the sense of community the place engenders. At the end of the first semester, all the second years gather at Stell Hall to congratulate the first years for making it through their first step, and McLaughlin holds events for their very active Alumni community. It is no wonder Tuck boasts the largest percentage of alumni giving of any business school. It's not merely a rest stop on the way to one’s career; it’s a true home. 

This feeling of community pervades every aspect of Tuck. The administration is responsive, and professors open their nearby homes to students.  Because there are so many team projects, there is less need for the contrived “bonding events” other schools have. Matthew recounted the carefully chosen groups for First Year Projects, where students can apply what they learn through the core curriculum to solve the problems of local businesses. There are opportunities to create and get funding for group projects in the Entrepreneurship track, and Dartmouth engineering students frequently get involved. It’s easy to connect to professors or alumni on a personal basis, and if you do, they’ll do all they can to support you moving forward in your career. 

The downside of Tuck’s small size and isolated location is less access to resources and a smaller network. Finance students have an especially hard go; 4% go into PE/VC after graduation, as opposed to 11% from HBS. Although Tuck students are recruited by important Midwest manufactures like Deere and Company, if you want to move to California upon graduation, you may have to do more work getting recruited. 50% of Tuck alumni stay in the Northeast, 16% go West. Tuck Alumni are happy to meet you, but unless you are a really good fit, they may not be able to help. I think that is why Tuck gets the rap of being “isolated.” Even so, 95% of Tuck graduates are employed soon after graduation.

My conclusion is that if you are considering Tuck, you should do extensive research into the faculty and alumni.  If you find they have the resources you need, the place is fantastic, and a place you will want to call home for many years to come.  Just don’t forget to bring snow boots.

Tuck School of Business Facts:

Full time students:  500+; 281 in class of 2014

Faculty Members: 50; 70% tenured

Global Alumni Community: 9,000 living alumni, 11% international. 70% donate

Required Core Classes: 16, including first-year project. Opting/Testing out is permitted.  

Specialization Required? No, but you can “focus” on Finance, Health care, Entrepreneurship, Strategy and General Management, Business and Society, or Global Business

Average GMAT: 718

GMAT range: 670-760

Program Cost: $117,930

Top Three teaching methods: Case Study, Lectures, Team Projects

Female Students: 34%

Minority Students: 17%

International Students:  32%

Job Offers: 95%; 88% are facilitated by Tuck

Top Industry: Consulting, 36%

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