Meet Our Fellows: Élise Sauvé T’21January 25th, 2021
What did you do prior to attending Tuck?
I was a lawyer with Stikeman Elliott LLP in Canada. I started out working on mergers and acquisitions for clients as well as securities law. As I developed as a lawyer, I realized I wanted to have a larger impact on people more than just through law. While still at Stikeman Elliott, I started an optimization project designed to help lawyers be more efficient with the technologies we were using. This experience led me to leading the business development team for the firm in Toronto and ultimately set me on my path to Tuck and a new career in consulting.
Why did you choose Tuck?
There were a few reasons Tuck stood out to me.
First, I love that Tuck doesn’t allow laptops in the classroom. I knew I wanted a place where I could be fully immersed in what I was learning, and I also knew a laptop in the classroom would be distracting to me.
Second, I wanted a close knit community that wasn’t in a big city. Hanover’s proximity to Montréal (home) is nice, but I am also happy that Hanover’s location encourages students to be fully present in their MBA experience.
Business school is a chance to take two years away from the “corporate world,” and I wanted to make the most of that opportunity. Tuck checked all of the boxes.
Do you have any post-Tuck plans yet? What are they?
I will be joining McKinsey & Co as a generalist in the New York City office.
What made you want to be part of the CDS MBA Fellows program?
I first came across the CDS while I was still in the application process for Tuck. At this point, I was really interested in the intersection of productivity tools and their (perceived) impact on employee productivity and well-being. As a lawyer and manager, I knew I wasn’t always working at peak productivity and wanted to know what I could do differently to make the most of my time. The CDS is the type of place where I can think about these (and other) questions in an organized way.
Another reason I wanted to join the CDS was to learn from my peers. So many of them come from different fields where they were very successful, so sharing knowledge and experiences with them, and having thoughtful conversations has been incredibly enriching.
What is the best part about being involved with the CDS?
I like that the CDS provides a really strong framework for students to think about issues that are important to them, but that they may not necessarily stop to intentionally think of these issues and their impact on our world. The center provides a structure and outlet to consider these issues in a deliberate, thoughtful way.
The CDS has also helped me in the ways I approach learning about and understanding the most prominent digital strategies and tech issues that are happening in real time via speakers, my classmates, faculty, and staff.
What other activities are you involved in at Tuck?
I am the Commissioner of the Women’s hockey league at Tuck, as well as a mentor for the Consulting Club. I am a Tuck Admissions Associate, so I’ve been busy interviewing the Tuck applicants for the class of 2023. Finally, I have served as a TA for a few classes, too.
What has been the biggest growth moment or moment where you stepped out of your comfort zone? What did you learn from that experience?
When I applied to Tuck, I knew that business school would transform me, but I never thought the biggest change would come from within. When I was just starting out at Tuck, I was nervous to speak up in class, since English is my second language, I had been out of school for awhile, and my path to Tuck wasn’t “traditional.” There was a bit of imposter syndrome early on.
Fortunately, by the end of Fall A, that fear subsided, and I was a lot more confident in my own abilities and in my ability to express myself. The way Tuck is set up really fosters this type of growth. The Core, my study group, and my section all contributed in a big way to finding my voice at Tuck. This invaluable experience will definitely have an impact on the rest of my career, where I am more comfortable contributing in large group settings, and I know I can trust my instincts and expertise.
What speaker(s) have you learned the most from in your time at Tuck?
World famous shoe designer Stuart Weitzman came to campus last year, and I was chosen to join him and a few other students for dinner. It was fascinating hearing him share how he negotiated with suppliers and grew his business. He was so incredibly candid, which was amazing.
What books have you read recently that you’d recommend?
I’ve already read 6 books in 2021!
If someone is looking for a fiction page-turner, I’d recommend Dear Child. It’s a pure thriller fiction and is very intense. I also just finished reading Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk, which I found incredibly compelling.
What advice would you give to other international students considering business school? What advice would you give them about Tuck, specifically?
Talk to as many current students as you can (especially right now, since visiting campus is harder than ever). I love Tuck because it is so immersive, but that environment may not be for everyone.
I also recommend you be yourself in your application. It is easy to fall into a trap of “How should I present myself?” Don’t do that! Be yourself. Be candid with your objectives and what you want to do and what you want to get out of your time in business school.
Finally, consider joining one of Tuck’s centers. The centers have been a great way for me to get to know other people outside of my study group and my section.