There is no denying the fact that Tuck alumni are the best. When I was going through the application process, alumni helped me learn more about the program and the opportunities Tuck has to offer. When I wasn’t talking to a Tuckie, my go-to source was the admissions blog. The bloggers before me did a great job and I hope to follow in their footsteps. The great news is that former bloggers have decided to pay us a visit and post about life after Tuck. I am excited to read about what they have been up to. – Luis G. T’13
When Tuck Admissions reached out asking me to write a blog on my post-Tuck experiences, I was instantly transported to the time when I was blogging away about my life during those halcyon days as a Tuck student. I was one of the first student bloggers at Tuck – and boy, did I have fun blogging! All you have to do is click on Suds T. T’10 and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Not that I’m not a student now. I’m still learning, still experimenting, still figuring things out. Yet, this time, it’s not within a classroom, and it’s not for a project. This is my life, this is the career I’ve chosen, there are opportunities I’ve moved away from and then there are opportunities I’ve decided to take up. It’s been less than two years since I graduated from Tuck, but life certainly has come a long way.
My entire career until then had been in the US. I had never worked overseas. Even though I was playing the role of the guy who helps companies cross the chasm (very similar to what I do now), everything I had done was very much US-centric. I came to Tuck with one and only one goal – metamorphosis. I internationalized my Tuck experience to the extent possible and even though I had an offer from a US-focused PE fund, I decided not to get distracted from my focus on the emerging markets, and managed to secure two more offers from PE funds focused on India prior to graduation.
So, here I am, in Mumbai, India, a city so foreign to me, that I had my fair share of trepidations before moving lock, stock, and barrel almost 20 months back. The experience thus far has been nothing short of phenomenal; the learning, tremendous; and as for figuring things out around me, well, that’s work in progress.
The day I walked in to work, my partner simply threw me into the middle of a maelstrom. In other words, asked me to lead the negotiations with a US-based fund for a Series B round of funding in our portfolio firm (in which we were the Series A investor). Just to clarify, Series A doesn’t mean I’m referring to a startup. It simply means that we invested in the company when the management had decided to raise private equity for the first time.
Talk about pressure! I remember telling myself, if I could get through fall A & B at Tuck, this should be doable. Sure enough, three months later, when I had just overcome the swirling waters to come up and breathe, we had closed the Series B round in this company with the fund earning a notional return of ~6X on our two-year old investment. Since then, I’ve been deeply involved in our fundraising activities, and in developing the strategy to pitch to limited partners. I’ve led and closed another deal a month back, while also managing the portfolio and evaluating interesting deals in diversified sectors.
It hasn’t been all-work-no-play either. I’ve tried to explore as much of the country as possible during weekends and holidays. I’m still uncovering the mysteries in that sense, but India has so much to offer, that I’m realizing one lifetime is not going to be enough on that front.
There hasn’t been a single day when Tuck hasn’t come to my rescue or hasn’t been a part of my daily activities – and this is not a statement intended to be obsequious or to simply market Tuck to the potential applicants. It’s a fact. Whether it is drawing inspiration from Prof. Audia’s course on Leadership, whether it’s implementing strategy espoused by VG, whether it’s keeping up with Amos Tuck on facebook, whether it’s connecting with Tuck alumni in Mumbai for a get-together, whether it’s talking to prospective students giving them a glimpse of life at Tuck, whether it’s coordinating the alumni panel for CIB’s learning expedition in India, whether it’s talking to current students to give them my perspective of private equity as a career, not a day goes by without my silently appreciating the difference Tuck has made to my life and for the opportunity to continue to be involved in Tuck’s activities to whatever extent possible.
Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” ends thus:
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.’
I cannot yet comment on whether the road that I’ve taken has made all the difference, since (and I’m paraphrasing Robert Frost yet again), I have miles to go before I sleep. Still, I can say in no uncertain terms, that I’m feeling that difference incrementally, every day. Stay tuned for future updates to see whether it has made all the difference!