Meet Our Fellows: Dan Foran T’22June 23rd, 2022
What did you do prior to Tuck?
Before Tuck, I was a Product Design Engineering at Google-Nest and iRobot.
What are your post-Tuck plans ?
Next, I will be joining Zitara as a Product Manager, making electrification safer and more profitable with better battery software.
What made you want to be part of the CDS fellows program? What is the best part about being involved with the center?
I wanted to be a fellow to dive deeper into tech topics, especially the gnarly intersections of ethics and business models, with a small group of passionate classmates. The best part of CDS is the people: my colleagues, Patrick Wheeler (Exec. Director), Alva Taylor (Faculty Director), and Carolyn Catomeris (Assistant Director), and the alumni fellows I’ve had the opportunity to chat with as part of my research project or the drop-ins. Bringing together so many diverse perspectives to challenge each other on how tech impacts the world has been really rewarding.
What has been the biggest growth moment or moment where you stepped out of your comfort zone at Tuck? What did you learn from that experience?
Communicating with Presence (CWP) really pushed me to be vulnerable while speaking, it was the most work of any class at Tuck and also the most transformative. You get out what you put in.
What class at Tuck pushed your thinking the most?
Prof. Ken French’s RTP in Empirical Finance. In addition to really being a masterclass in statistics, I had to really wrestle with what models can and cannot accomplish in the social sciences and am still working to internalize his very holistic definition of risk: “uncertainty about lifetime consumption, broadly defined.”
What CDS learning opportunities or experiences have you learned the most from across your time at Tuck?
I probably learned the most from alumni fellow drop-in sessions where we got an inside look at the workings of select tech companies to compare against my priors from external information. The single most dense learning at Tuck for me was when alumni fellow, Cassie Young (Partner at Primary Ventures), gave a guest lecture in Customer Analytics (Prof. Neslin) and showed what high end performance marketing and personalization can do for a business.
What advice do you have for Tuck students interested in tech- and digitally-focused career pathways?
Lean in to CDS! Really. The programming and community are great, it will help motivate you to learn about many different areas that fall under tech and figure out which parts of it are really interesting to you and well aligned with your capabilities. Tech is not a passive career choice, you must be putting in work to understand the industry and talk to people. Outside of a few big-tech firms you also need to make peace with being among the last of your classmates to get a job because most of the interesting tech work is just-in-time or even make your own role at a startup.
What other activities are you involved at Tuck?
My wife and I had our second child halfway through Tuck, so I’ve been very involved on the parenting side of things. We both played as much Tripod as we could and can regularly be found at the playgrounds of Sachem. I also leaned deeply into academics, having never taken any business courses prior to Tuck including RTP seminars with a couple professors which is a great way to learn where fields are evolving and realize that you can learn practical lessons for management from academic research.
What books are you reading, podcasts are you listening to, or shows are you watching?
I finally started reading the Discwold series, by Terry Pratchett. They are delightful and short and easy to read in the limited windows available to parents of young children. I listen to the Ezra Klein Show regularly because I think he is a terrific interviewer with a worldview that resonates with me.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Get outside in the upper valley! I’ve taken up mountain biking at Tuck and my family gets out walking and hiking as often as we can.