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Real Humans of Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA Class of 2022

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Blair Bloomquist, Tuck’s MBA Class of 2022

Age: 28
Hometown: Menlo Park, CA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Barnard College, Columbia University—Psychology & Biology; Johns Hopkins University—Nursing
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): US Navy Nurse Corps, 4.5 years

Why business school? Why now? 
After working at the bedside as a nurse for 4.5 years, I recognized that despite often spending the most time with patients, nurses are often not at the forefront of the decision-making process in our country’s health care system. I am excited to pivot into a health care administrative role where I can help to improve the quality of health care that our nation’s troops and veterans receive.

Why Dartmouth/Tuck School of Business? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Coming from a close-knit undergrad experience at Barnard and then a very small BSN cohort at Hopkins, I wanted to be somewhere I wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle. When I came to visit Tuck last fall, I was blown away by how well students knew one another & interacted with each other. This undoubtedly contributes to the amazing alumni network Tuck is known for!

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
While I certainly don’t have the Excel or PowerPoint skills of most of my classmates, I have led many sailors and marines in life-or-death situations, and believe that these leadership skills will translate to the classroom, providing a new perspective to other Tuckies. I’m looking forward to sharing my clinical experiences during health care electives in the winter and spring terms.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? 
Despite having never camped in my life, during my last year in the military I spent over a month camping “in the field” with the Marines. Although not always the most fun of experiences, I learned a lot about resilience and grit during these times.

Post-MBA career interests? 
Health care nonprofit/startup. I would love to run my own free & reduced health care clinic serving our country’s neediest and most vulnerable patients.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Visit the campus and talk to current students. A lot of MBA programs sound the same when looking at their websites. Ask current students what their least favorite aspect of the program is—you’d be amazed at what you glean from that question!

–One thing you would change or do differently?   
Ensuring all my personal information was correct on my application. Tuck had the wrong phone number, so I didn’t get a call the day decisions were released. Once I started seeing the decisions post on the Clear Admit website, I was certain I hadn’t been accepted. Most nerve-wracking day of my life!

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The waiting period between applying/interviews and decisions. I was able to get through it with the support of my partner and by trusting the process. I am a true believer that things work out for a reason and knew that I would end up at the right place!

What is your initial impression of Tuck’s students/culture/community?
“Nice” was a criterion in our application, that has since evolved to “encouraging, collaborative, and empathetic.” All of the classmates I have met thus far have more than embodied nice. A simple text or GroupMe request for help (personal or academic) has not gone unanswered.

One thing you have learned about Tuck that has surprised you? 
At Tuck, the administration walks the walk rather than just talking the talk. Fall A has been particularly grueling for me and upon reaching out to Dean Sally Jaeger, Associate Dean of the MBA Program, I got a response within 10 minutes to speak to her that day. I don’t know of any other top business program where you will get that kind of response and support.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? 
Getting through Fall A and B.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Getting off Zoom and into the classroom & (hopefully) tripod hockey!

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.