So what was Fall B like? If Fall A is a sprint, Fall B is a marathon. Recruiting picks up intensity, classes pick up intensity (for the three quantitative classes, the learning curves are steep but manageable), and you feel yourself being stretched in ways you never would have anticipated when you received your admissions decision phone call. It's been an absolute blast! I'll spare you any nostalgic waxing for my section and study group; suffice to say, Tuck's MBA program is well thought out and integrated in surprising ways.
I am a planner by nature and, after savoring my admissions decision for a week, began to wonder what I could do to prepare for these two transformative years. Having now had a term to reflect on what life at Tuck is like, as well as the adequacy of my preparation efforts, I thought I'd share some thoughts:
- First, savor the moment! Being admitted to business school is a big achievement, so definitely take some time to enjoy the feeling! And then take some time to send thank you notes/gifts to the folks who wrote your recommendations or otherwise helped you along the way.
- Take time--a lot of it. Business school is a big investment, not only in what you will spend but in two years of no earnings, and I found it very useful to arrive on campus with a good understanding of what I am good at and what I like doing. I took off four months prior to Tuck in order to decompress, relax, and reflect. Distance provides perspective, and, by the time I arrived in Hanover, I had thought carefully about my career path, my job, my interests, and my strengths and weaknesses. Recruiting begins sooner than you think, so time spent giving thought to what you want to do is definitely helpful.
- Trust the system. There are many things at Tuck that might, at first glance, appear overwhelming: classes, recruiting, and hockey were on that list for me. I have saved a great amount of mental anguish by deciding that whatever systems Tuck has in place likely work very well. This is particularly the case with on-campus recruiting, about which I was initially very anxious. If you follow the steps, and provided you have given some thought to what you want to do, you will be fine.
- Choose your learning curve. Tuck provides access to the MBAMath website for advance preparation and recommends that you become familiar with the business press by reading the Economist or Wall Street Journal on a regular basis. It's definitely good preparation and I found it very helpful. But, I also found steep learning curves for accounting and capital markets, and classmates found steep learning curves for decision science (an Excel modeling class) and statistics. Courses at Tuck move very quickly, and keeping up can be somewhat challenging. Consider how well you absorb quantitative topics and become familiar with some of these topics before coming to Tuck. A basic knowledge of Excel functions is also very helpful.
- Do pre-orientation programs. What can I say? They're a great way to bond with classmates, explore the area, and, if you're on Outward Bound, learn new and memorable uses for buckets.
Good luck to all applicants--my classmates are already hard at work organizing Admitted Students Weekend 2013, so we're all looking forward to welcoming you to Tuck!