Real Humans of the Dartmouth Tuck MBA Class of 2023
Christian Borgen, Dartmouth Tuck MBA Class of 2023
Hometown: Oslo, Norway
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of British Columbia, Bachelor of Commerce, Finance specialization
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 4 years, financial services (sales & trading)
Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
For years my focus was solely on finance. After taking on more responsibilities at work—some quite different from my day job, like campus-recruitment strategy—I realized that my long-term goals were more aligned with becoming a company CEO than a hedge fund portfolio manager. The longer I worked in sales and trading the more of a product expert I would become, while going to business school would fill in the knowledge gaps.
Why did you choose Tuck? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Tuck students, Tuck alums, MBA students at other schools, people who knew of someone who went to Tuck decades ago, no matter who I asked everyone seemed to recommend Tuck. The more students, alums, faculty, and staff I talked to the more I saw why. There is something special about the Tuck fabric. And it extends far beyond your two years in Hanover. A few standout aspects included the smaller class size and more rural setting. This facilitates a higher number of close friendships as most students are new to Hanover.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
Having grown up in Europe, studied in North America, and worked in Asia (with plenty of travel all over), I come with a uniquely global mindset. I love learning from and about others, especially about their cultures.
Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
One of my biggest passions since age three has been skiing. There are very few opportunities to do that when you live in Singapore. Coming to Tuck I have plenty of mountains in close proximity. Ski the Dartmouth Skiway in the morning and take classes in the afternoon? Sign me up!
Post-MBA career interests:
General management programs and internal strategy roles
Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
My Tuck interview. It was a really good conversation with a second-year student who let me interview him about his Tuck experience as much as he interviewed me on how I would fit in. This really solidified my school choice.
–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I was unable to visit campuses due to COVID-19, but I think you can learn a lot about your fit at a school by visiting in-person.
–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The GMAT studies can be challenging, so I would not have minded skipping that. The fact that COVID was at its worst helped me avoid any FOMO during weekends studying.
What is your initial impression of Dartmouth Tuck’s students/culture/community?
It is even more collegiate and encouraging than I expected. Everyone goes out of their way to get to know students and help them succeed. Alums have a practically 100 percent reply rate to any reach out and I have had one-on-one lunches with two professors and a third invited me to his home just a few weeks in!
What is one thing you have learned about Tuck that has surprised you?
How entrepreneurial the school is. Though not necessarily known for entrepreneurship, there is a large entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus and among alums. I have already taken an entrepreneur class, founded a company, and applied to be in the Tuck Startup Incubator. The support you get is truly inspiring.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
The pandemic motivated me for a new adventure. After the whole world had about 18 months of little to no social interactions, I was eager to be in an in-person setting. Thankfully Tuck has been very good at following recommended guidelines and our events have been both in-person and a lot of fun so far.
What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Spreading myself too thin on number of commitments, rather than diving deeper into the ones I really care about.
What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Making close friends through new activities. Just a few examples of firsts include playing golf, joining a Tuck-run amateur hockey league, and tubing down a river—all with incredible classmates. And many more to come!