This summer I was fortunate enough to participate in a mini-MBA program for liberal arts undergraduate students at Tuck Business School at Dartmouth. Over the course of 30 days, I took courses in accounting, economics, marketing, strategy and corporate finance. Throughout the program I worked closely with five other group members to complete course assignments and our final company valuation project. The program was not only about classroom learning however; I was able to learn invaluable networking skills, talk to hiring managers of various companies, go through mock interviews and work one-on-one with recent Tuck graduates. My peers and I thrived in this high-paced academic environment yet we also walked away with a many close friendships. Having completed the program, I am able to confidently discuss business operations, financial statements, and potential career paths in finance, marketing and consulting.
One of my biggest take-aways from the Bridge program has been the varying ways in which groups work together. Group work is a large component of Bridge since the program seeks to resemble business school as best it can. Working in teams presents both great opportunities for learning and collaboration, yet just as many challenges. Whenever personalities, opinions, strength/weaknesses, and work ethics are forced to collaborate, the path traveled is never without a few bumps. The skills learned in challenges like this have played a critical role in discovering the career paths I want to pursue, the types of people I work well (and not so well) with, and discovering my new passions and interests.
We all have moments in our lives where we know from that point forward, things have changed. Over the past couple years I have begun thinking about what career I would like to pursue after graduation. As someone who likes to have a plan for many things, I was frustrated and unhappy that I did not have a clearer idea of a career path in my head. Halfway into the program I met with a professor at Tuck to discuss career possibilities; little did I know, the conversation she and I had would be one I will remember for the rest of my life. She looked at my resume, listened to a couple stories, and then told me I had painted a fairly clear picture of my career without even knowing it. She encouraged me to dream big, strive for top positions and not let things stand in my way of making those ambitions become a reality. This professor has started building a “business card wall” in her office of all the students (and their respective job titles) she has taught and kept in touch with. In her closing speech to the program, she anonymously told everyone she knew one day she would receive a business card from me with a “dream big” job title on it. I have learned more about myself in this one-month period at Bridge than I can begin to explain. There is not a better program out there for Colgate students interested in the business world!