A Day in the Life of a Tuckie
By Jean Luo, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, March 5, 2010
As a freshman nearly four years ago, I used to walk past Tuck business school every day while leaving my dorm in the River cluster, and I can state with 99.9 percent confidence — plus all of the benefit of hindsight — that I never saw a single Tuck student in my entire year of walking past their campus. As a senior, I walk to Tuck every day for work, and I’m now pretty sure they exist (this year, at least). I’m also more curious than ever before about their existence: Who are they? What did they do before Tuck? In particular, what do Tuck students do for fun in Hanover, especially without the dull buzz of Greek life to keep themselves occupied?
Through interviewing a number of Tuck students, I found that as a student body, they are diverse and adventurous, in both work and play, particularly because they’ve had the benefit of having lived real lives before coming back to school. Before coming to Tuck, Kevin Ruane Tu’10 quit his job and moved to Chile with his wife, volunteering at Accion International and traveling the country. Caleb Moore ’01, Tu’10, two-time captain and All-Ivy League performer on the Dartmouth football team, went on to the NFL after graduation with the Arizona Cardinals and then worked in health care consulting before returning for his MBA. He has now spent a total of six years and 20 percent of his life in Hanover, N.H. James Brooman Tu’10, 2010 class president, worked in mergers and acquisitions for two years out of undergraduate college in London and then biked from Alaska to Argentina over the course of two years.
Ruane, Moore and Brooman, as well as Bruce Ou Tu’11 and Carolyn Chen Tu’10 took the time to enlighten me about what they do while they’re not in or studying for the four classes they take per term. First of all: like undergraduates, they like to hang out.
“From a social perspective, there are a lot of similarities [to undergraduates],” Moore said. “People like to hang out. [Tuck] attracts people who want to work equally as hard as just having fun.”
Various clubs at school sponsor Tuck Tails on campus every week which run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. or 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Don’t worry, they don’t rage that hard, the early time slot is so people who have families can also participate.)
Unlike Dartmouth students, many Tuck students are married and some even have young children, so balancing what can be an intensive course load with family life is a challenge that can be “tough to balance,” according to Ou. In order to spend time with his wife and get his work done, one solution they’ve come up with is to fall back on the work-and-play model.
“We host dinners in Sachem for study groups and other friends, have them come over and have dinner at our place, open a bottle of wine and discuss our cases … [we figure] if we have to study, why not do it at Bruce’s house over dinner?” he said.
On another level, Tuck students’ social scene seems to encompass not just Hanover, but also everywhere else in the world.
“I remember as an undergrad you’re sort of confined to the Dartmouth space,” Moore said. “I think folks at Tuck are a little more adventuresome.”
“You have people who’ve worked for a while so everybody’s made a bit of money … I have a classmate who has a home in Kennebunkport, so I went there for a weekend,” Brooman said. “There are lots of new opportunities. Over Christmas and spring break, a bunch of people rented a yacht and cruised around for six weeks, and a couple of guys are going to climb Mount McKinley this summer.”
But when I inquire about the perception that business school is a “vacation,” they all assert that Tuck is undoubtedly difficult.
“It’s lots of work, we work really hard,” Brooman said. “It is fun but nowhere near a vacation. In B-school you have to prepare the cases, so it’s working until two in the morning six days a week.”
Even harder than Dartmouth? Moore offers the final word.
“Dartmouth was hard, but I feel like I’ve never studied harder [than at Tuck],” he said.