Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Welcome to Business School – Do you like theme parties?

As I sit down to write my first post about my business school experience, I realize that despite having only been at Tuck for a month, it has felt much longer. We have already taken (and survived) mid-terms for Fall A; been overwhelmed by a deluge of recruiters from every top investment bank, management consultancy and Fortune 500 company in existence; and been asked to join each social and professional club the school has to offer. Yet, what I keep coming back to as an appropriate and helpful topic for this post is exactly the case we are set to discuss in my Leading Individuals and Teams class tomorrow: Building a Network.

Tuck has an extremely sophisticated method in building its infamously tight network of Tuckies: theme parties. Since classes began, I have worn a costume at least once a weekend, be it for Bar Golf, the 80’s party, the Mexican Independence Day Celebration, or just yesterday at the Tuck Scavenger Hunt. How does dressing like an idiot on a regular basis build your network, you might ask? Well, it is certainly easier to approach that intimidating ex-McKinsey consultant who always contributes insightful comments in class when he is dressed like a pirate and uttering “Arghhh” after ever third sentence. Or, after a tense study group meeting, it’s hard to stay mad at your group members when they are dancing in sumo suits or imitating Double Dare contestants. Theme parties have the ability to break down all of the pretenses of business school and let us put any differences aside and truly bond as a class. Plus, I’m pretty sure that if I call up a classmate in ten years to discuss a business opportunity, he might not remember me by name, but will at least recognize me as “the girl in the Nascar jumpsuit”. I’ve been told that your network is the most valuable thing you take away from business school, and I can’t think of a better or more fun way of building it!

Julie Reimer, Forté Fellow
Class of 2012, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

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