One of the most common questions we are asked is – “How to choose an MBA program? how can we found out the program’s added value?”

As always, we are here for you, with a series of interviews with students from the top MBA programs, who will share with us their MBA experiences and provide tips for candidates.

This week we focus on Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Here is our interview with Roy, a first year student:

What is special about your school? In your eyes, what differentiates your school from others?
In my eyes, the main factors that make Tuck different are (1) its community, (2) its location, and (3) its alumni network. With a class size of 280 and the highest ratio of faculty per student, Tuck is able to create a unique MBA experience. The environment at Tuck feels a lot more personal- in just 5 months I have made much stronger relationships with both students and professors, than those I had made during my prior 3 years at undergrad university. Tuck’s location in Hanover, NH, places the school as the only top tier school that is located far from any big city. This fact helps to create the unique atmosphere that Tuck offers, bring people and their spouses a lot closer, and foster grounds for a very prolific academic and professional work. Although Tuck is a small school in terms of top tier American business schools, its alumni network is one of the strongest, if not the strongest in the world. Besides hearing and reading about it on the school’s website, I have used this network many times already. The average alum will, not only respond to a “cold email” from a current student, but also insist on coaching one through the recruiting process at their companies. In summary- Tuck is all about quality over quantity.

Any recent changes in your school? or in the admission process?
The school is looking to diverse its student body in terms of nationalities, ethnical background, and gender as much as possible. I currently serve as the admissions student captain to the Middle East, and am exposed to the efforts the school makes in the diversification process.

Can you share some details about the atmosphere in the school? between students, between students and faculty? How do you spend your free time?
As mentioned earlier, the fact that Hanover is a small cozy town makes it that students spend many hours together on campus as well as off campus. When it comes to school work, each student is part of a 6-person study group, with which he or she spends many hours on school assignments and preparation for class. When it comes to the social life, there usually are many options to choose from: School/club organized events take place almost every afternoon/evening at school or off-campus. Among them you can find the legendary “Tuck Talks” that brings some 6-8 great speakers from the school (usually mostly students) to talk about some personal aspect of their lives, and other events such as small group dinners that mixes first and second years. Apart from these events, there is always a house to go to, to spend time with friends. My wife and I are currently renting a house in Sachem Village (a Dartmouth owned property) where all of our neighbors are either Tuck students or Dartmouth grad students. With such company around us, the social aspect of school gets a different meaning, and maybe most importantly for foreign students, the partner (spouse) community is very strong and supportive.

Can you share some details about the area/city?
Hanover is small town (population of around 11k) that revolves around Dartmouth. Almost everyone who lives here is either a student or faculty of the college. There are 4 bars that are usually packed with Tuck students every night, and some good ethnic and American food. For people who love the outdoors, the area offers an array of options, from hiking and biking to all sorts of winter sports. A long-lasting tradition at Tuck is that everybody plays ice hockey. Whether you have never skated before or you’re a champ, there’s a place for you in one of the ice hockey leagues.

Can you share some details regarding job opportunities and summer internships for students in your school? How strong is the career office? Did the school name/brand give you any advantage when looking for a job? Are there any specific recruiters who mostly recruit from this school?
There are about 90 companies that recruit on campus at Tuck. The process is very structured and involves a bidding opportunity for people who do not get selected to interview with their dream employer. The Career Development Office is comprised of 6 advisors who specialize in different industries. Currently, Tuck places over 55% of its students in managements consulting and financial services. The fastest growing sector is currently tech, where about 20% of the students are placed.

How did you deal with the Visa issue?
Obtaining my F-1 visa was a straight-forward process. I received very detailed directions from the office of visa and immigration (OVIS). Additionally, Tuck held a few live webinars, where admitted students got to ask all sorts of questions regarding the process (among other topics).

What did you like about the school/program? Any classes / clubs you would recommend for future students?
The things I appreciate the most are the connection with students and faculty and how collaborative the work is. I would recommend participating in the professional clubs that capture your interests, they all are very well run and very supportive in helping one develop skills for the recruiting process. On the sports side, ice hockey, basketball and soccer get the most members and are very active year-long. On the cultural side, the Jewish club and the international club provide a lot of activities for anyone who is interested.

What kind of candidates is the school looking for? Who will especially enjoy this school? who will be a good fit to the school?
Tuck is looking for people who value team work and who enjoy working collaboratively. It turns out that people with such natural tendency manage to make most out of school and succeed more at Tuck.

Any tips for someone who is considering applying to your school?
Ask yourself what kind of experience you’re looking for. If the answer involves becoming a part of a small and very strong community, Tuck might be the place for you. I would recommend to craft your application around team experiences and a tendency for collaboration. Spend some time on the website as it has a lot of details to offer and get in touch with current students, they will love sharing their experiences. Lastly, if you can manage to visit campus and even interview prior to applying, you are assured to be strongly considered. Good luck!