Beyond the MBA Classroom: Winter Carnival at Dartmouth Tuck

When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also making a commitment to a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Each February, approximately 650 MBA students from more than a dozen business schools across the country gather in Hanover, New Hampshire, to take a break from classes and recruiting and join Tuckies (students at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College) for the school’s Winter Carnival weekend. With the theme “Carnival of Thrones,” the 2014 event welcomed aspiring MBAs from 15 business schools, sending teams of 12–40 students each, to participate in the weekend events, which—in addition to the annual downhill ski races at nearby Whaleback Mountain—included an ice sculpture competition, a polar bear swim, a downhill snowshoe race, men’s and women’s squash tournaments, and a chili cook-off. Attendees also enjoyed the 38th Annual Winter Carnival Concert, which featured a jazz ensemble. In 2013), the carnival featured such activities as pond hockey, a human dogsled race, a hot-dog-eating contest, and a fashion show of ’80s skiwear. All events at the Winter Carnival are geared toward socializing while also raising money for a selected nonprofit organization.

The costumes teams choose for the skiing competitions tend to be a highlight of the event. Past costumes, noted a first year with whom we spoke, have included “Hawaiian-themed clothing, business suits, and even Speedos!” One second-year student described the Winter Carnival to mbaMission as one of the more anticipated events at Tuck: “It is a big social event, to embrace the winter. On Friday, there is a big party at Occom Pond, with hot chocolate; it’s very family friendly. On Friday night, they hold a dance party. The ski races are on Saturday, followed by another party …. It’s a cool way for other schools to come and experience the winter wonderland that is Tuck.”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Dartmouth Tuck and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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