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#136 Military to MBA to Management Consulting with Alex Tuininga, Harvard MBA ’18

Alex Tuininga, HBS MBA '18

“I think one major misconception that military officers have is that their military resume will be sufficient to set them apart. The truth is these top MBA programs are bringing in basically the same number of military applicants every year. At Harvard Business School 5% of the class every year is composed of military candidates. For a school of 950 people, we’re talking about 50 slots for vets each year. As a military applicant you’re not competing against the general pool. They’re not deciding between a Westpoint infantry guy and a Bain consultant. They’re deciding between a Westpoint infantry guy and another Westpoint infantry guy. You need to make yourself distinct from your military peers, not from the general applicant pool.”

Alex Tuininga, HBS MBA ’18, discusses his transition from a navy intelligence officer to Harvard MBA to BCG management consultant. Alex also shares his thoughts on MBA recruiting and social life as a married, older student.


  • Alex’s background (3:48)
  • Alex’s advice to military applicants (12:40)
  • Where Alex applied and why he chose HBS (21:00)
  • The HBS experience (24:28)
  • Social life as an older, married student (35:02)
  • The recruiting process (42:20)
  • Summer internships and full-time offers at BCG (48:20)
  • Alex’s business lessons from business school (1:04:20)

About Our Guest

Alex Tuininga worked as an Intelligence Officer in the US Navy for 10 years before attending Harvard Business School. Alex majored in History at UC Berkeley and got a M.A. in International Relations and National Security Studies – Middle East from the Naval Postgraduate School. He’ll be consulting for the Boston Consulting Group in Chicago this Fall.

Darren interviewing Alex sideways

Show Notes


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