Strategic Thinkers

Clockwise from upper left: Caroline Lindseth ’12, Neera Chatterjee ’12, Michael Schwartz ’12, and Amanda Conrad ’12 in Stell Hall. They are among hundreds of students who have taken undergraduate courses by Tuck faculty. (photo by Eli Burak ’00)

To attend the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth—ranked #1 in the world by The Economist last year—successful applicants boast outstanding GMAT scores and an average of five years of work experience. Dartmouth undergraduates, however, are able to immerse themselves directly in learning with Tuck professors, thanks to business courses offered just for them since 2009.

“With such an incredible business school here, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to learn from some of the best business professors in the world,” says Amanda Conrad ’12 from Lafayette, Calif. By the time she graduates in June, Conrad will have taken all three undergraduate business courses—“Principles of Marketing,” “Financial Accounting,” and “Business Management and Strategy.”

“We are lucky to be able to complement our liberal arts education by taking business-related classes taught by Tuck professors. This is an even better option in comparison with other schools that offer a major in business,” continues Conrad, a government major with a minor in Chinese.

The goal of the courses, which are designed specifically for undergraduates and taught by Tuck School faculty, is to expose students to core theories and principles of business behavior. The courses have no prerequisites, can be taken independently of each other, and are open to all undergraduates after their first year. Because Dartmouth does not offer an undergraduate major, minor, or concentration in business, the courses are taken outside a student’s regular major or distribution requirements.

Since the faculty also teach in Tuck’s MBA program, “the teaching methodologies used there, including case discussions and group projects, are applied to the undergraduate courses,” explains Penny Paquette, who oversees the courses for Tuck as assistant dean for strategic initiatives. “In this environment, in addition to the subject matter, students learn useful skills like teamwork and how to effectively express one’s point of view.”

Caroline Lindseth ’12, an art history major from Princeton, N.J., took “Principles of Marketing” in fall 2011 taught by Jackie Luan, assistant professor of business administration. Lindseth was initially drawn to the class for its relevance to the professional work environment and notes, “For me, the most interesting aspect was learning about the growing role of analytics in marketing. I was surprised by how accurately numbers can predict consumer interests and behaviors.”

Balance Sheet

Dartmouth’s innovation to offer undergraduate courses through the Tuck School of Business has drawn strong student response. Enrollments since the courses were first offered in 2009:

Financial Accounting

375 (offered 4 times)

Principles of Marketing

283 (offered 3 times)

Business Management and Strategy

94 (offered once)

Assistant Professor of Business Administration Robert Resutek, who taught “Financial Accounting” this winter, underscores the benefits of teaching students in a liberal arts program.

“It’s great teaching here at Dartmouth because my students aren’t necessarily going to be taking the CPA test,” he says. “Because of this, I’m able to cover the important, useful topics and delve into the more qualitative aspects instead of focusing on technical jargon. I can teach things like we teach at Tuck.”

He also aims to impart practical knowledge on top of the formulas and accounting basics. “In class, I use real-world financials throughout,” he explains. “If you’re going to work a problem, why not work with CVS financials or Walgreens financials so that when you walk away it feels like a tangible skill?”

Neera Chatterjee ’12, an economics modified with geography major from Philadelphia, Penn., took Resutek’s course and attests to the value of his approach.

“I’m going into business consulting next year [at Bain & Company], and I believe that much of what we are learning in the classroom will not only be directly applicable to what I will be doing but will also ease the transition into the working world by helping me get familiar with the language of business.”