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From Tuck to Wall Street: Meet 3 Recent Tuck MBAs in New York’s Finance Scene

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Chibuzor “Buzz” Ogwugwuam, Tuck MBA Class of 2023

Age: 30
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Nigeria (Finance)
Pre-MBA Work Experience (role, company, years): KPMG Nigeria, Senior Associate, 5 years
Post-MBA Role: Goldman Sachs, Investment Banking Associate

Why did you pursue an MBA?
I wanted an opportunity to learn from some of the best professors in the world and build bonds with future classmates and business leaders. Professionally, I wanted to pivot into banking and learn from the best in the business.

Why did you choose Dartmouth Tuck for your MBA? What factors figured most prominently into your decision?
You know what you are getting when you choose to come to Tuck. It’s a world-class MBA program with renowned and involved professors and a group of people who have self-selected to immerse themselves in a ~21-month program with you. But what really stood out to me was the authenticity of the conversations I had with people before choosing Tuck. Tuckies genuinely dedicate themselves to supporting each other, even when it’s tough, and I wanted to be part of that community.

Why have you pursued a career in finance?
My interest in finance began in secondary school (the rough equivalent of high school). Nigeria had undergone a bank recapitalization in 2005 that condensed the banking industry from over 80 banks to about 25. Listening in on conversations around this and reading the dailies in my school library sparked my interest in finance and ultimately led me to study it in college. 

I got some real-world insights during a nine-month internship at a bank and my first job at KPMG. Those experiences really solidified my understanding of finance. By the time I was thinking about pursuing my MBA, I was pretty sure about the direction I wanted to take in the finance world.

Let’s talk about living in New York after Tuck. What was that experience like?
I think you will scarcely find a more jarring contrast than moving from Hanover, NH, to Manhattan, NY. It is difficult not to miss the serenity and familiarity of Tuck. I would run into my classmates so often when I was in Hanover, and it gave me a feeling of belonging. New York was a whole different ball game. It’s this super exciting, fast-paced city where it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Two things made the move smoother: first, I’d lived and worked in Lagos, Nigeria—a bustling metropolis—before my MBA, so city life wasn’t new to me. Plus, the Tuck community remained rock-solid even in New York.

Even with a busy schedule, I manage to catch up regularly with classmates who’ve settled here or are just visiting. And I make a point to hit the soccer field every other weekend with a buddy and former soccer co-captain from Tuck. While it has been a significant life change, the relationships that took root in the relative tranquility of Hanover endure in the big city.

Did you have the time and space to immerse yourself in the MBA experience and focus on your education before heading to the big city? Is there value in doing that?
I definitely had sufficient time and space to immerse myself in the MBA experience before heading to NY, and I believe there is significant value in immersing yourself in the MBA experience. 

The interesting thing about an MBA (less for Tuck than most other programs) is that the MBA experience can be extremely different for two people in the same class. People come in with different ambitions and goals and what they want to take from the experience, and I think that is totally fine, but it is important for you to decide what you want to get out and fully immerse yourself towards achieving that. 

During my time at Tuck, Dean Slaughter often emphasized that the school thrived as the best MBA program globally for those willing to invest fully and engage deeply. It wasn’t until my final quarter that I grasped the depth of that statement. The truly transformative experience promised by a top-tier MBA unfolds only for those who wholeheartedly immerse themselves in every facet of the program. It’s within the seemingly small actions—solving problems in study groups, debating cases, leading clubs, presenting in class, organizing events, exploring new countries alongside classmates, or even unwinding after a tough week—that the heralded transformative experience becomes a reality.

What advice do you have for other prospective MBAs considering MBA programs and entering the finance space?
For me, the pivotal MBA consideration to find the best fit is thorough introspection. Knowing oneself, identifying your learning style, networking preferences, and MBA expectations are vital for making the right choice.

Regarding breaking into finance, I would suggest exploring programs that have effective career services personnel and centers for finance and an extremely supportive community of classmates and alumni. The recruiting process is demanding and rigorous and often relies on the guidance of those currently in the space or with insights into navigating the process successfully. 

The program that would be most impactful while assisting with achieving the goal of breaking into finance is one that lies at the intersection of these considerations. 

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.