Fridays from the Frontline: From Boots to Suits – How Tuck Supports Veterans in Transition
Transitioning from military to civilian life presents a unique set of challenges. Add student life on top of that when pursuing an MBA. Fortunately, programs such as Dartmouth Tuck offer services to support veterans through and beyond the related challenges. In this edition of Fridays from the Frontline, we hear from Andrew Ho (Tuck MBA ’21) about veterans’ support and opportunities at Tuck.
From Boots to Suits – How Tuck Supports Veterans in Transition
By Andrew Ho T’21
For most service members, the decision to separate from the military is both difficult and personal. Deciding what to do after separating can be an even more daunting task. In many cases, an MBA is an ideal way to smooth the transition from boots to suits.
I have had a wonderful experience over the past six months as a first-year (T’21) student at Tuck. As I reflect on my time thus far, I am confident that choosing Tuck was the right decision for my transition. Tuck’s unique advantages for veterans can be separated into three categories: Academics, Social Experience, and Career Support.
As part of the inaugural class to experience the revamped core curriculum at Tuck, I have enjoyed my academic experience. The core does an excellent job at providing Tuckies with the broad knowledge to succeed during recruiting, internships, and post-Tuck. I credit the written and oral presentation skills that we honed in Management Communication for being the critical factor in my teams winning the Wayfair Case Competition in October and Paramount Media and Entertainment Case Competition in February. Having the flexibility to tailor my winter and spring course loads with electives allowed me to take the minimum number of electives in the winter to focus my time on interview preparation. In the spring, I will take electives to build the industry knowledge required to be successful in my summer internship. Looking ahead toward the rest of the year, I am excited take electives that will further develop my data analysis skills and teach me the basics of web programming.
Tuck’s location creates a unique social life and fosters an especially close sense of community on campus. As I frequently heard when I was applying, “Tuckies weren’t living in Hanover before they started Tuck.” Tuckies come to Tuck with the intention of being part of the school atmosphere and without the distractions of their previous social networks. I have enjoyed bonding with my classmates of both years through Small Group Dinners and countless social and cultural events that leave me with FOMO on the few weekends that I am not in Hanover. I also cannot overstate how much fun I have had playing Tripod Hockey, which thankfully occurs year-round here. I have found playing goalie (a far leap from being a runner back in high school) to be almost as adrenaline-inducing as parachuting. Lastly, the Upper Valley is the perfect environment for anybody who loves the outdoors. From the amazing hiking in the fall and spring to the skiing and snowboarding in the winter, Tuck’s location provides access to outdoor opportunities that are unmatched by most peer schools. With internship interviews now complete, I am ready to strap on my skis.
When I transitioned from the military, I could not fully comprehend nor appreciate the vast career opportunities that exist outside of the military. An MBA from Tuck not only opens doors, but also provides me with the perspectives and resources to understand what is available and what will be the best fit for my personal and professional goals. While Tuck’s Hanover location may seem like a barrier to recruiting, I have had the opposite experience. Companies repeatedly travel to Tuck throughout the fall for employer presentations and frequently stay for the day to host one-on-one coffee chat sessions with interested students. One distinguishing factor has been the alumni network and how willing Tuck alumni are to connect with and support fellow Tuckies. I found every person to whom I reached out was always eager to make time and share their story and advice regardless of how busy their schedules were. And as demonstrated by the latest employment report, the career opportunities available through Tuck span across a broad range of industries and functions.
Andrew is a dual-degree candidate, concurrently earning an MA at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He will graduate in 2021 with an MA from SAIS and an MBA from Tuck. Before graduate school, Andrew was a logistics officer in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. He will be interning with Google in Mountain View, CA this summer.