The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » Real Humans of MBA Students » Real Humans of the Dartmouth Tuck MBA Class of 2023 » Page 6

Real Humans of the Dartmouth Tuck MBA Class of 2023

Image for Real Humans of the Dartmouth Tuck MBA Class of 2023

dartmouth mba class of 2023Adrian Rodriguez, Dartmouth Tuck MBA Class of 2023

Hometown: Lynn, MA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Bowdoin College, Government & Legal Studies
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 7 years in tech, mainly adtech partnerships and business development

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Coming from a liberal arts academic background, I’ve always wanted to develop and expand my quantitative and managerial skills—I knew that business school could help me with those goals. After seven years working across big and small tech companies in a business development and sales capacity, it felt right to take the leap now and go back to school to explore different functions within the tech sector. I simply wanted to challenge myself.

Why did you choose Tuck? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Living in New York City, I knew that I wanted to be in a small and remote community—free of distractions. I wanted my two years of business school to be fully immersive and transformative and Tuck offered me that and more. Besides being one of the best MBA programs in the country, its unique, close-knit community blew me away with how responsive and helpful it was throughout my application journey. Once I got in, those factors made my decision to accept the offer easy.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I am the first in my family to graduate from college and I believe that unique experience has allowed me to appreciate the resources that this school has to offer. Being a first-gen student means being scrappier and more driven in navigating and maximizing this new and challenging environment as I pursue my goals and ambitions. Those are attributes I believe I add to the class of 2023.

I also come from a strong business development and tech partnerships background that is less common in a school with many former consultants and bankers.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I have traveled to all continents except Australia and Antarctica, and I hope to cross those off my list in the next two years! I also always make sure to find a salsa spot in any new country I visit!

Post-MBA career interests:
Strategy & operations in technology

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Have a network of people that can offer feedback on my essays—in particular my story and why I wanted to pursue an MBA. The network that I had (mainly through Management Leadership for Tomorrow) helped me make sure that I was submitting the best possible application, one that was ready and authentic. They challenged my stories and forced me to be as introspective as this process is supposed to be.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would not have applied to eight programs. Looking back, it was not necessary nor productive to apply to so many programs. My heart was never sold on some of the programs I applied to, but I did it out of fear of not getting into my top programs and needing to have safeties.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Comparing myself and my chances of getting in based strictly on my test scores rather than thinking holistically about my candidacy. It is very easy to get caught up in the scores and torture yourself by believing that you are not “good” enough to get in. What helped me get through those thoughts was reminding myself of why I wanted to pursue this degree and being confident in the many attributes and skills that I would add to the fabric of a top MBA program.

What is your initial impression of Dartmouth Tuck’s students/culture/community?
The community here is very tight and supportive. Everyone that decides to be here truly wants to be here and that makes it so easy to build genuine relationships. 

What is one thing you have learned about Tuck that has surprised you?
How easy it is to get involved not only on campus but also off-campus and build relationships with your classmates. One of my favorite opportunities so far at Tuck has been the Tuck Community Consulting project where you get to help a local organization in solving a business problem with your classmates. It has been a surprisingly fun experience to not only make a difference at the local level but to do it while learning from your peers.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
The only impact for me was that I was not able to visit any programs in person which was, obviously, not the ideal situation.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
FOMO—there are so many activities and events to get involved with and there is literally not enough time to do them all! Business school has taught me how to best prioritize my time and what matters most for me, while saying no to everything else (which is more difficult than it sounds).

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Learning how to ski and becoming really good at it!

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.