CDS Fellows Spotlight: Beth Bollinger T’24

June 10th, 2024

Name

Beth Bollinger

What is your hometown or home base?

Lexington, KY

What did you do prior to Tuck?

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) at Epic, a healthcare software company; then, full-stack web developer at the UW Credit Union, a large credit union in Wisconsin.

What made you want to be part of the CDS fellows program? What is the best part about being involved with the center?

Prior to joining the CDS, I had a lot of experience and interest in technology, but only on the engineering / technical side. I came to both business school and the CDS to pivot into a strategic role and learn more about digital business models, the effects of technology on different industries and society, and best practices for leaders. I definitely did all that, but the best part of the fellows program was the people. It’s been so great to get to know the other fellows and be part of such a supportive and intellectual community.

What other activities were you involved in at Tuck?

Nonprofit Board Fellows, ASW Co-Chair, Cheesemongers Club Co-Chair, and TA’ing Analytics I and II, Global Economics for Managers, and Operations

What has been the biggest growth moment at Tuck, where you stepped out of your comfort zone? What did you learn from that experience?

As an introvert with a limited pre-MBA network, learning how to cold-email and network effectively was one of the biggest growth areas for me over the past two years. When I came to Tuck, I was so unsure of myself I had to get at least 5 people to read an outreach email before sending it, and even still I was terrified. Through experiences like consulting recruiting and my CDS research project, I’ve become much more comfortable reaching out to someone new. I’ve seen that people (especially Tuck alumni) are often friendly and willing to help and overcome my fears in this area.

What CDS learning opportunities or experiences have you learned the most from your time at Tuck?

Some of my favorite learning opportunities were the CDS Associates discussions, where we would read articles about current topics in tech and discuss them together. The CDS Associates and Fellows programs bring together Tuck students from many different backgrounds, and it was so cool to get so many diverse perspectives all in one room. We’ve discussed topics like cryptocurrency, AI, and authentication. Another great learning opportunity for me was the AI Conference in the fall, which involved speakers from many different backgrounds and industries.

What class at Tuck pushed your thinking the most?

Strategy in Innovation Ecosystems, a research-to-practice seminar led by Prof. Ron Adner, was definitely the class that pushed my thinking the most. Each class, we’d read and discuss academic journal articles and dive deep into the relevant concepts and insights. I feel like I came away from the class with new perspectives on how firms develop and acquire capabilities, how industries can change at the structural level, and how ideas proliferate within or between organizations, and much more. It was definitely a transformative class!

What books are you reading, podcasts are you listening to, or shows are you watching?

My go-to podcast to stay up-to-date is the WSJ Tech News Briefing. For fun, I like to read science fiction, fantasy, or mysteries. I’m currently reading All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

 

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