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Real Humans of the Dartmouth Tuck MBA Class of 2023

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dartmouth mba class of 2023Anfal Mahmood, Dartmouth Tuck MBA Class of 2023

Hometown: The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Zayed University (UAE). Bachelor’s degree in Business Sciences (B.S.)
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 9 years, aviation industry

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
To further invest in my education. To live abroad—even though I do travel a lot, I have never lived abroad. This step I believe will expand and enrich my perspective on so many levels. I also want to get exposure to other industries, which will enable me to make an informed decision on whether I want to focus on aviation in the long run or if I want to pivot to another industry. I have decided to pursue an MBA at this point of my career because it is simply the right time for me to do so. We all have different journeys and timelines in life. It is important to remember and honor that.

Why did you choose Tuck? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
The leadership vision and values that Tuck stands for are aligned with what I believe in and what I aspire to be. I also wanted to live in a small town, very close to nature, rather than a big city. I also wanted to be part of a strong community. After receiving my admission offer, I was contacted by a c-suite Tuck alum in the UAE. That made me feel part of a strong community before I even stepped foot into the school—such connections that you build will remain with you for your lifetime. This is something I truly wanted to be part of and I highly value.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
My background—as a UAE national and my experience in the aviation industry. I truly believe that each member of the class of 2023 is unique and brings so much value and contributes to the bigger picture that makes Tuck the school it is.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I have been inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, including the King’s Chamber!

Post-MBA career interests: Aviation or pivot to another industry

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Be very clear on my purpose behind pursuing an MBA. I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of this point. It is really a big commitment on so many levels. Once you have clarity on this point, then you will be better positioned to find the right school for you. This clarity will push you forward, especially when it gets tough, and it will get tough (during the application process and when you start school)!

Connect with current students and alumni. This will truly add so much value and insight to the process of finding the right school for you.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Prepare for the GRE test earlier!

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? The GRE test. Focusing on the bigger picture (i.e. my objective behind pursing an MBA) got me through it.

What is your initial impression of Dartmouth Tuck’s students/culture/community?
I remember feeling very happy to start this chapter of my journey with a community by myside. No one does it on their own; we need each other to move forward.

What is one thing you have learned about Tuck that has surprised you?
I will share two! Firstly, how strong the sense of community is. I feel it when I interact with my classmates. I feel it when I interact with Tuck alumni. I feel it during my interaction with the wider Dartmouth community—definitely felt it during Dartmouth 2021 homecoming. Secondly, I was very surprised by how much I enjoy being part of Tuck Tripod Hockey team. Shoutout to my captain Madeleine Henderson T’22 and my team, who are the best at demonstrating what tripod hockey is truly about: safety, fun, and inclusion. Even though I am a beginner, my great team always makes me feel included and very much appreciated.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Yes, I initially wanted to apply in 2020, but decided to apply in 2021 instead. I am happy about my decision.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
The winter!

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
It is very hard to limit to one thing—I am looking forward to my classes and all the knowledge I will learn while being at Tuck. I am also looking forward to getting to know my classmates and form friendships and connections that I know will last for a lifetime. I am looking forward to trying new activities that I have not done before. I have signed up for tripod hockey and it is super fun!

Through this MBA journey, I wanted to be out of my comfort zone, to move to the other side of the world, to further invest in my education and enjoy the journey along the way!

Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.