Finding the Right Fit
This post was written by our friends at tuck.dartmouth.edu
By Fedor Volkov T’17 and Evgeniya Moldasheva T’17
Fedor was born in Moscow, Russia but lived in Toluca, Mexico for eight years. He graduated from one of the most prestigious technical universities in Russia—Bauman MSTU—with a degree in enterprise economics and management. Before Tuck, he worked for KPMG Moscow in the audit department as an engagement manager.
Evgeniya is from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, but moved to Moscow in 1999 where she received a bachelor’s in mathematical methods and a master’s in economic analysis. Before Tuck, she worked for KPMG as a senior specialist of audit and financial reporting.
Making the decision to apply to business school is not the easiest decision you'll make in your life—especially if you choose to apply to a school that is located thousands of miles away from your hometown. The decision gets even more complicated when you have to make it together with your significant other and find the right fit for both of you.
Now that we’re in Hanover, we’re eager to share our perspective on the application process, and how we decided that Tuck was the best fit for both of us.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
At a first glance, the application process seems to be a nightmare—GMAT, TOEFL, essays, interviews, and recommendations. When are we supposed to find time for all these things when we’re working, on average, 60 hours per week? Spending a proper amount of time planning is a crucial part of your success. As international students, we found the application process to be quite tricky as we’re not used to “multiple choice” exams such as the GMAT, or writing essays, even in our native language. We highly recommend that international applicants take this "study culture" barrier into account. Give yourself enough time to prepare and craft your application.
While there are many books and forums available on the web on “how to crack the GMAT and the TOEFL,” and many guides which will give you an overall description of different business schools, you should not forget that your best guide to know more about the school is the admissions team, the students, and the alumni. We found the following resources the most useful during our admission to Tuck.
- Tuck’s Admissions Team. We never found an admissions team which was as open and transparent as Tuck's. Every e-mail we sent was responded to within 24 hours. The support we received during the application process and even after was invaluable for us. If you have any questions about the admission process, just reach out to the admissions office and you will be sure to receive any help you need!
- Tuck Connections. Another valuable resource we advise you to use is Tuck Connections which provides you with an opportunity to connect with Tuck alumni and ask them questions about their Tuck experience. We were paired with an alumnus who works in our desired post-MBA industry and he provided invaluable insights.
- Tuckies! You should of course devote some time to reach out to current students. Tuckies are very proud to be Tuckies and they are so open to share their experiences with you. We connected with them through LinkedIn, Facebook, and GMAT forums. Another option is to ask the admissions team to connect you with a current student. It all worked.
- Campus Visit. We should have put this as #1. The campus visit is the MOST important thing that you should to do to learn more about your school and specifically learn more about Tuck. You can read an infinite number of MBA guides, skim through hundreds of forum pages, and navigate in Google's street view mode across Hanover, but you’ll never get as much information as you do during a campus visit. Most importantly, you will be able to feel the unique culture and amazing atmosphere of Tuck.
When we visited Hanover, autumn was in full swing. The campus visit gave us a unique opportunity to chat with current students, admissions, and other applicants (some of them are now our classmates!) and to see how Hanover looks in real life. We know that it is hard to find time and resources to make such trip from abroad, but believe us, it is worth taking.
MAKING THE DECISION
If you have the opportunity to visit your choice schools, do your research, and have an idea of what you want to do after your MBA, the decision process shouldn’t be too complicated. And it is much more pleasant than the application process. Our choice was not a difficult one, despite the fact that we were admitted to three other three top business schools.
- Culture. It encompasses teamwork and collaboration.
- Location. Is there any other top business school that is located in the forest?
- Close-knit community. We want to get to know our classmates as more than just future business leaders. Tuck, with its small class size and location, is a perfect connecting platform.
- Career perspectives. With a general management program and 35 percent of the class going into consulting (our post-MBA desired industry), Tuck was a perfect fit for our career goals.
There is so much more to share about our application experience. If you have any questions about the process, shoot us an email at Fedor.A.Volkov.TU17@Tuck.Dartmouth.EDU and Evgeniya.Moldasheva.TU17@Tuck.Dartmouth.EDU.
September 13, 2015