By Dartmouth - Tuck December 12, 2011 Leave a Comment

Here’s a response to another emailed question… “Can you tell me more about the famous Tuck community?”

There are too few superlatives in the English language, and too many of them cliched, to tackle this one in general terms. Let me throw out a few examples from the top of my head that illustrate what it means to be a part of the Tuck community.

SafeRides
Each Thursday-Saturday night, two Tuck students volunteer to drive classmates around the Upper Valley to avoid the temptation to drink and drive. (Hailing cabs doesn’t work too well in Hanover.) Finding volunteers for SafeRides is never an issue.

Need a Job?
I would not have my post-graduation job if it was not for the generosity of my classmates in donating their time and resources (expertise, cover letter templates, advice, books, constructive criticism) to make sure I was well-prepared for something I started thinking about far later than I should have. In the interview suite for my second round interviews, there were students from many top schools. The only group who were chatting freely were the Tuckies. Others seemed nervous and didn’t know the people, even from their own school, who were applying. People root for each other on the jobs front even when chasing the same role. It feels insanely collaborative, to the extent that one’s disappointment for unsuccessful classmates is at least as great as the pleasure in one’s own success. The great thing is that pretty much everyone lands in great spots in the end.

While in first year, a classmate had networked hard looking for private equity jobs. Having already secured an internship, but not one that was likely to lead to a full-time role, he got a call from a firm looking to hire an intern that could turn into a full-time role. Rather than hoard it, he made a strong recommendation for the recruiter to talk to the classmate he thought best qualified for the position. That classmate got the internship, nailed it, and is going back there full-time. My classmate who made the recommendation secured two full-time private equity offers in second year, and took the same approach with the firm he turned down, passing it on to other Tuckies.

Knee Trouble
When I bust my knee back in February, I needed rides to and from school, home and the hospital multiple times per day. The captain of the soccer team sent out an email with a link to a Google doc and before you could say, “MCL, PCL, ACL, meniscus”, the spreadsheet was full of volunteers – all with incredibly busy schedules, but all eager to help. I got a barrage of emails from classmates saying, “The spreadsheet is full already but if you ever need rides anywhere, at any time, just let me know.” My wife had to work a nightshift the day I had my first surgery – a good friend from Tuck hosted and nursed me, and a group of other classmates came to listen to my drug-induced drivel to take my mind off things.

Reunion Weekend
I was speaking to an alumna who was recently back at Tuck for her 20 year reunion. One of her classmates – an Australian – had sadly passed away only a few years after graduation. His widow and children had come to Tuck for the reunion weekend, all the way from Sydney, because the Tuck community was so important to them as a family.

Alumni Responsiveness
I have made extensive use of the alumni network – both Tuck and Dartmouth. My record: all but two Tuck alums have responded to me within 48 hours, most within 24 hours, and many within minutes. I have only had two non-responses from across the entire Tuck/Dartmouth network, from countless outbound emails. A classmate recently accepted a job in Philadelphia. He emailed a Tuck alum at another firm there who is a prominent donor to the arts in the area, to ask whether the alum could put his wife (who worked in the arts in New York prior to school) in touch with some people. Within a few hours – literally – she had warm introductions to some of the most influential people in Philadelphia arts.

Cars and Ducks
Last year, and American classmate helped his study group mate from China through the process of buying a second-hand car in the US. A couple of months later, the car broke down. The American classmate got a call and immediately went to help out. A few days later, my Chinese classmate turned up at his door with a whole roast duck as thanks. This example, though extreme, is typical of the respect and care people have for each other in the Tuck community.

Embracing Cultures
My classmate, Torlisa, took the initiative to start a Tuck dance group and had the drive and leadership skills to make it a great success. She pulled together a diverse group of male and female classmates and they put on a Bhangra show for Diwali in November. To my delight, they were every bit as enthusiastic about embracing my culture and took the time to learn Scottish country dances, then teach them to the whole Tuck community (faculty, staff, students, partners and families) when we had a Scottish “Burns Night” party on campus.

Helping Hands
One of my classmates got fairly seriously ill in spring. A neighbor from Sachem (the graduate student family housing estate near campus) sent an email to the Tuck Partners network and the next day more casserole dishes full of lovely food arrived at their house than you could imagine. His wife suddenly had one less thing to worry about at a very stressful time. A similar thing happens when Tiny Tuckies are born – there have been a few recently and at least three Tuck Partners are due in January alone! (We have a long winter here.)

I could go on and on but, in the interests of semi-brevity, I’ll stop here. Suffice it to say, Tuck is a special place. You can’t make this stuff up and you certainly don’t find it everywhere. Dean Danos was recently talking about a group of Latin American students who, a couple of days after graduation, sat in a circle on the living room floor in their empty Hanover home after packing the last box, and laughed and cried as they reminisced about all the times they had spent together at Tuck. Those memories don’t fade quickly and that, I believe, is why Tuck has by far and away the most loyal and generous alumni network of any business school in the world.

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