Alvarez ’22 Honing Career Skills in Dartmouth Bridge Program – News
For many Hamilton students, a trip to the Howard Diner offers little more than a late-night meal. But for Yenesis Alvarez ’22, it provided an unexpected academic opportunity. “I remember [during] my freshman year, ”she recalls,“ this random guy at the Diner came up to me and said, ‘Hey, do you want to know more about our business program?
The random guy was a Hamilton alumnus turned recruiter for Dartmouth’s Tuck Business Bridge program. And a few years later, that chance encounter proved invaluable to Alvarez after she researched becoming a film producer. “He said to take an accounting class,” she said. Unable to fit an economics course into her schedule, Alvarez remembered the Bridge program, applied, and was accepted.
The Bridge program, according to the Dartmouth website, provides top liberal arts students with essential business skills in an intensive classroom environment. This year’s program takes place virtually but nevertheless maintains a high level of rigor. “I finish at 9 pm everyday plus the extra reading and homework I have,” Alvarez said.
The bridging courses cover topics ranging from corporate finance to marketing, offering a broad curriculum in which Alvarez, as someone with no formal business training, was still able to apply his knowledge. “I think Hamilton made me particularly comfortable putting myself in completely new situations,” she explained. “Even in the midst of it is not my strong suit, I am able to find ways to understand material where I can contribute and intervene.”
The highlight of the program is a synthesis project that combines all the skills acquired throughout the summer. As a team, students will use a DCF (Discounted Cash Flow) model to determine the value of a chosen business. Alvarez’s group will focus on Teladoc Health, a telemedicine and virtual healthcare company.
Already, Alvarez plans to use the skills learned at Bridge in contexts outside the program. In Hamilton, she will work as a research assistant in the art history department, a position that requires proficiency in Microsoft Excel. “One of the classes I took this week was to learn how to use Excel better,” she said. “I can use the skills I learn to do my job better in a field related to film and television. “
Film / TV is what Alvarez hopes to pursue in terms of his profession. Part of the program includes career sessions featuring Bridge alumni, one of whom was a director and producer. “When he was in his MBA program, he realized how much his understanding of cash flow and how money was managed would help him seize filming opportunities,” she said. “The fact that I’ve seen someone in entertainment use business skills to do what I want to do really inspired me, because it’s like – oh, I could do it.”