When Amy Mitson, senior associate director of Tuck admissions, started her Tuck career 13 years ago, she was inspired by the very students she worked with to pursue an MBA herself! Now, she has enjoyed the opportunities at Tuck to work in various roles and partner with every aspect of Tuck’s (quite small) community.
Mitson shares why a small community (the Class of 2014 had 281 students!) is so beneficial to Tuck MBAs.
What is your background?
I have an MBA, my undergraduate degree was in sociology. I have been at Tuck for the last 13 years in what I call my own Tuck rotational programme. I never imagined that I would be here this long, but I truly found one great opportunity after the next. Living in New Hampshire and working with Tuck and Dartmouth has been a wonderful fit for me. I think why I love it is because I have the ability to partner with people all across campus, from the Dean to students. That has been such a great piece of this experience for me. It truly has been a community where we really are living and working here; we all call on the expertise of each other to make things happen.
What are common mistakes that you see MBA applicants make?
Something that I always stress is that I see students who miss the opportunity to speak for themselves strongly; they forget to practice for their interviews. I talk to so many students who have a stellar application and are amazing on paper, but then in their interview, they don’t come across as strongly. Maybe it’s their first MBA interview and I always say, ‘Don’t let your first interview be your first interview.’ Practice for it just like a job interview and think about what we are asking for in the application. Those are the things we want to hear in your own voice in an interview. We have a blind interview process, so the person interviewing you for admissions has only seen your resume, not your application. We also have an open interview policy, which is unique among the top schools. Because we are smaller, anyone who comes to campus is guaranteed an interview. It’s a great opportunity, but don’t waste it: practice before you sit down.
What do prospective MBAs need to know about Tuck?
Know that we are a small community, which means you will be known by all of your faculty and all of your classmates. Understand that notion of partnership with classmates and faculty; that’s how you’re going to get the most out of this experience. You don’t just sit back and let it all come to you. You actively participate and that’s what makes a difference here. So many of our best events become tradition here because of student energy. The Women in Business conference started about ten years ago because the students at Tuck started it. You have a real opportunity for leadership and to leave your legacy. One of our deans always asks, “What will be your legacy at Tuck?”
Also, there is the message of access. Any alum or current student you ask will say their access to job opportunities, to C-level executives, to faculty is not limited in any way and I would argue that it couldn’t be greater. When a recruiter comes to campus, they can’t visit five other business schools in the same day. They come to campus for a day and they spend that whole day with our students because we are the center of this location. The caliber of our students and the quality of the faculty attract these top people to campus, so students get an incredible amount of access. The world is your oyster here in so many ways.
Tuck has a great network in the New England area. How far does Tuck’s alumni network span?
Our largest group of international alumni is in Japan. Our alums aren’t just on the East Coast, they are all over the U.S. They all over the East and West Coasts primarily, but they also are international.
What is the career services department like at Tuck?
Students will be matched by a career development officer at Tuck. Every person is an individual in the process. No one slips through the cracks: we know exactly who has a job and who is still looking. The career development team strives for 100 per cent placement. The job search process can be time-consuming and challenging, but there is support when you go through that process at Tuck.