How the Tuck Business Bridge Program changed the life of Jessica Ach ’15

This summer I was fortunate enough to participate in a mini-MBA program for liberal arts undergraduate students at Tuck Business School at Dartmouth. Over the course of 30 days, I took courses in accounting, economics, marketing, strategy and corporate finance. Throughout the program I worked closely with five other group members to complete course assignments and our final company valuation project. The program was not only about classroom learning however; I was able to learn invaluable networking skills, talk to hiring managers of various companies, go through mock interviews and work one-on-one with recent Tuck graduates. My peers and I thrived in this high-paced academic environment yet we also walked away with a many close friendships. Having completed the program, I am able to confidently discuss business operations, financial statements, and potential career paths in finance, marketing and consulting. There is not a better program out there for Colgate students interested in the business world!

Entering the Bridge program, I was unsure of the area of business I wanted to pursue. Two weeks into the program I met with a professor who helped me think through my interests, passions, and professional strengths. She was able to create a cohesive “career story” from previous activities and internships I participated in. After talking through several opportunities with her, I walked away with a newfound clarity around potential career paths to pursue. It felt great!

One of my biggest take-aways from the Bridge program has been the varying ways in which groups work together. Group work is a large component of Bridge since the program seeks to resemble business school as best it can. Working in teams presents both great opportunities for learning and collaboration, yet just as many challenges. Whenever personalities, opinions, strength/weaknesses, and work ethics are forced to collaborate, the path traveled is never without a few bumps.

I have learned more about myself in this one-month period at Bridge than I can begin to explain. Between career paths I want to pursue, the types of people I work well (and not so well) with, and areas of business I enjoy most, the Bridge program has played a critical role. Both outside and inside the classroom, I have discovered new passions, friends, and interests.

We all have moments in our lives where we know from that point forward, things have changed. Over the past couple years I have begun thinking about what career I would like to pursue after graduation. As someone who likes to have a plan for many things, I was frustrated and unhappy that I did not have a clearer idea of a career path in my head. Halfway into the program I met with a professor at Tuck to discuss career possibilities; little did I know, the conversation she and I had would be one I will remember for the rest of my life. She looked at my resume, listened to a couple stories, and then told me she I had painted a fairly clear picture without even knowing it. She encouraged me to dream big, strive for top positions and not let things stand in my way of making those ambitions become a reality. This professor has started building a “business card wall” in her office of all the students (and their respective job titles) she has taught and kept in touch with. In her closing speech to the program, she anonymously told everyone she knew one day she would receive a business card from me with a “dream big” job title on it.

To apply for the Tuck Business Bridge Program for next summer (or just to learn more about the program), click here

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