Tucker Green understands that success is not necessarily working for the biggest bank or the newest tech startup, but more about your life balance as a young professional. This FTI consultant graduated from UGA and has some invaluable advice to share:
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
I was born and raised in Duluth, Georgia. I graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2014, where I studied finance and international affairs. It really was the best possible college experience I could have imagined. I developed friendships that will last a lifetime, learned from world-class professors, and benefitted from opportunities to work in Washington, D.C. and study in Oxford, U.K.. The only thing that hurt was the several years of my life I lost from the mounting stress of being a Georgia football fan.
After graduation, I moved to Atlanta and began my career as a consultant at FTI Consulting, Inc. More importantly, I got married last March to a genuinely amazing human being whose only flaw is that she graduated from Georgia Tech. We love Atlanta, a city that feels like it’s growing more and more alive every day.
2. What motivates you?
I’m motivated first to serve God and love God, and by extension, serve and love my neighbor. I’m motivated to be a great husband, an excellent professional, a loyal friend, a giving member of my community, and one day, a father.
That sounds like a completely vanilla answer, but I’m sure I’ll live the rest of my life fighting and clawing to even have a chance at succeeding in any one of those areas.
3. Who is a hero of yours?
If you haven’t yet, watch Bryan Stevenson’s TED talk and read his new book, “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.” Stevenson is a lawyer and head of the Equal Justice Initiative, focused on reforming the criminal justice system and providing legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners denied fair and just treatment in the legal system. Honestly, Stevenson will make you uncomfortable and force you to think about things from a perspective you probably haven’t before—which is great. He single-handedly caused me to start thinking about the criminal justice system in a different light and completely changed my opinion on the death penalty. It doesn’t sound like sexy stuff, but give his TED talk a chance and you will be hooked and converted to his cause.
4. What's your future plan? Your goals?
Professionally, I am in a great job that pushes me and affords me plenty of opportunity to grow. I want to follow that road for as long as it remains an outlet for personal and professional fulfillment. Personally, at the risk of being repetitive, my goals are very much in line with my answer to the question about motivation.
But hey, there’s fun stuff, too. When we went to Kauai on our honeymoon, my wife and I got washed out on the Kalalau Trail and couldn’t finish it because we preferred not to drown on our first vacation together. I’d love to finish that trail one day. I want to travel to every continent. I plan on paying unrealistic prices for a ticket to a championship game for one of my favorite sports teams one day, but since those teams are the Bulldogs, Falcons, Braves, and Hawks, that championship game will almost certainly result in a heartbreaking, last-second defeat.
5. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
I’m really cognizant of the fact that I’m only twenty-four years old and essentially know nothing. Every time I think I have some really great, pithy piece of advice, I consider how much just an additional year of life experience adds color to, and sometimes completely changes, my ideas. So, given that, I’m going to completely cheat and link to an Onion article (of all places, right?) that I came across a few months ago that I cannot get out my head: http://www.theonion.com/article/unambitious-loser-with-happy-fulfilling-life-still-33233.
I feel like the entire narrative in college is to pursue your passion and do anything and everything that makes you feel alive and follow your dreams and throw caution to the wind and, well, you get it. That’s fine and great advice, and I’m not saying it’s not right. But then you enter the working world and you realize, if you’re lucky, you’ve got a 40+ year career ahead of you, and there’s still a ton to figure out. My advice would be to really think about what makes you happy and fulfilled and set yourself up to enter situations that check those boxes. For most people, it’s not going to be a tech startup that saves third world families from hunger; or a 100-hour workweek at the best bulge bracket bank; or a partner track at the biggest, baddest law firm. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely glad that we have people that fill those roles. Society wouldn’t work without them. But don’t get wrapped up in the idea that “following your dreams” is a magical be-all, end-all. At some point, you probably need to think about family, community, and friendship. To me, balance is more impressive than anything else.
6. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?
I feel very strongly about my church, St. Paul’s Presbyterian in midtown Atlanta. Our building is literally at the nexus of affluent neighborhoods, homeless shelters, and two major universities. There are a lot of real issues with homelessness, gentrification, and general socioeconomic change in Atlanta right now, and a lot of that comes right up to our church’s front door. But St. Paul’s does a fantastic job of ministering to all those who need help in the area, which really does range from the poorest to the luxuriously rich. I see people coming together and getting invested in each other’s lives that would never even meet in other circumstances. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a social or political institution up close that more effectively creates a sense of community. A lot of people these days have given up on the church, but St. Paul’s reminds me that when done right, it’s an indispensable force for good, no matter your own religious leanings.
7. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
Honestly, this sounds ho-hum because both the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech have outstanding study abroad programs there and so many people I know have done it, but studying at Oxford University is something I’ll always cherish. It’s one of the things I probably took for granted when there, and almost once a month or so I’ll wish I was back to soak it all in. There’s a quote in one of the olds pubs there from C.S. Lewis that’s always appropriate: “My happiest hours are spent with three or four old friends in old clothes tramping together and putting up in small pubs…”
8. Anything we haven't asked that you'd like to talk about.
Speaking of amazing friends, our friend and Georgia Tech grad Jasmine Burton recently started Wish for WASH, LLC, a social start-up bringing innovation to sanitation. The SafiChoo toilet, the first line of her company’s sanitation relief products, is a novel toilet system that takes into account the common preference of a squatting position for defecation in addition to genital washing as a religious and cultural ritual. The organization is going through a crowdfunding campaign right now for a beta pilot next year in Lusaka, Zambia. If you’re interested, please see their page on Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wish-for-wash-toilet-testing-in-zambia#/. Good luck, Jasmine!
If you'd like to reach out to Tucker for advice, you can reach him HERE.