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Dartmouth Tuck Launches New MBA Course to Mimic Real-World Corporate Decision Making

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This fall, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business will launch a new second-year, mini MBA course that’s over 40 years in the making: TuckINTEL. INTEL stands for Integrative Experiential Learning, and the course is based off a similar course launched back in 1974 by Professor of Management Emeritus James Brian Quinn.

Quinn’s course, titled “Tycoon: The Tuck Management Game,” challenged students for 26 years with a simple concept: Placed into teams, they were required to simulate the process of acquiring and running a clock-making business. The week-long exercise evaluated teams on productivity, return on investment, and market penetration. It was eventually phased out in the early 2000s, but many alumni credit it as their first chance to think like a senior-level business person. TuckINTEL is the newly renamed, reimagined, and reincarnated course that will offer students a similar opportunity.

“TuckINTEL is Tycoon for the 21st century. In other words, it is a souped-up version of Tycoon,” said Praveen Kopalle, associate dean of the MBA program, in a university press release. “Tycoon was strategy-focused, while INTEL is much more directed, and a broader effort to integrate as much of our core curriculum as we can.”

TuckINTEL was developed by Kopalle and Richard Sansing, the associate dean for faculty and a professor of accounting, after speaking with all of the faculty who teach the MBA core. It was from that research that they were able to distill down the most important lessons for MBA students: finance, accounting, marketing, communications, statistics, economics, decision science, strategy and management, and operations.

From there, Kopalle and Sansing worked with the Regis Company to build a four-day computer-aided exercise incorporating all of the critical elements of the MBA curriculum as well as three possible business scenarios. Eventually, they chose urban wind power generation as the business industry and created a realistic case study that requires students to run a company that’s competing to bring the fictional Twists & Undulates Currents Kinetically (TUCK) NextGen Turbine (TNT) to market.

Over the course of TuckINTEL, students will break into teams of four or five students to run a company for an accelerated multi-year period. During each “year,” the teams will have to make decisions about areas such as marketing, communications, strategic priorities, production, cash requirements, and more. The students then input their decisions into the Regis online platform, and the algorithm computes the impact of each and delivers performance metrics.

According to Ankitha Rajendra Kartha, T’18, who participated in the May pilot, it called on her to draw upon her first-year coursework while giving her the first chance to tackle a complex business problem without guidance. “We’ve looked at a lot of cases and been given perfect data in the core,” she said. “In this, we had to evaluate for ourselves and say, OK, maybe we should do a net-present-value, or maybe we should suggest a capital expenditure for the next year. I needed to figure out what concept to use, and how to use it.”

Kelly Vo
Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and topics related to personal development. She has been working in the MBA space for the past four years in research, interview, and writing roles.