Dartmouth Tuck 2016 MBA Essay Tips And Deadlines

Want to learn more about Tuck? Check out our Dartmouth Tuck MBA Zone!The Dartmouth Tuck adcom is interested in learning about what you as an individual, a businessperson, and a leader can contribute to Tuck’s small, close-knit program. Use your essays as a platform for expressing your earnest desire to enter the world of management and to make a difference.  

I strongly recommend Tuck applicants read The MBA Gatekeeper To Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business,” Poets and Quants interview with Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions at Tuck. The article is a couple of years old, but still worth reading if you are applying to Tuck. I also recommend you review Dartmouth’s six evaluation criteria for admission.

Tuck tweaked its Essay #1 and #2, but the optional is unchanged.

Tuck provides length guidelines, not limits.  That “encouragement” and gentle suggestion gives you a little leeway. Please don’t make the mistake of abusing that typical Tuck friendliness. It is an opportunity for you to show judgment and consideration of your reader by still being succinct.

Accepted has been helping applicants to Tuck gain acceptance for roughly 20 years. Explore our services to learn more about how we can help you prepare your Tuck MBA application. 

Essays:

Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. There are no right or wrong answers. We encourage applicants to limit the length of their responses to 500 words for each essay. Please double-space your responses.

1. What are your short- and long-term goals? Why do you need an MBA to achieve those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The MBA is a means to an end, not an end in itself. That’s why Tuck (and many other schools) ask question like this one. Tuck wants to know that it can help you achieve your goal.  So clearly you have to have both short- and long-term goals to respond to the question.  And then you need to explain how an MBA will help you realize those goals and finally, why Tuck is the best place to do so.

You have to know  Tuck as well as your goals to respond effectively to this question. Why do you want a small, tight-knit program in rural New Hampshire? Why do you want a program that stresses the integration of business functions?  Which of Tuck’s strengths appeal to you? How will they help you achieve your goals? 

2. Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. How will that experience contribute to the learning environment at Tuck?

This question reflects the importance Tuck, like many MBA programs, places on leadership, and Tuck really wants to see you as a leader. 

Have you chaired  a fundraiser that raised a record amount of money? Have you been a board member for a not-for-profit organization? Have you captained a sports team that led your company league? Have you been a team lead on a project that came in early and under budget? Are you the head of a sales team who empowered other members of your team in a way that greatly contributed to the success of that initiative? These could all be examples of leadership. How did you motivate your teammates? Tell the story of that event.

Then, how will your leadership style and the lessons learned through this experience enable you to contribute? Tuck treasures its close-knit, collaborative culture and values teamwork.  How does this experience reveal about you and how you will interact with the MBA community at Dartmouth. In answering the last question, don’t fall into the trap of answering “What do they want to hear?” What do you most want them to know?

3. (Optional) Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.

It is almost impossible for two (or even three) 500-word essays plus a bunch of boxes, a transcript, and a GMAT score to represent fully the uniqueness and talents of a truly impressive candidate. That comment has nothing to do with writing style and everything to do with the complexity of accomplished human beings. In my opinion this “optional essay”  is optional in name only.

At the same time, don’t waste the reader’s time by writing a meaningless, superficial “grand finale” or summary. Don’t repeat what can be found elsewhere.

4. (To be completed by all reapplicants) How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.

Straightforward MBA reapplication question. It is critical that every reapplicant be able to answer it for every school they are reapplying to: What has changed that would compel Tuck to admit you this year?

If you would like professional guidance with your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Dartmouth Tuck application. 

Dartmouth Tuck 2016 Application Deadlines:

Round Due Date Decisions Released
Early Action October 7, 2015 December 17, 2015
November Round November 4, 2015 February 12, 2016
January Round January 6, 2016 March 11, 2016
April Round April 4, 2016 May 13, 2016

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid on your MBA Essay Questions

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

• The Tuck School of Business and the Global Insight Requirement 
Darmouth Tuck Zone Page
• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

Georgetown McDonough 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out the rest of our 2015 MBA application essay tips!Georgetown McDonough, the top MBA program at the intersection of business and government, takes advantage of its Washington D.C. location, its connections to the greater Georgetown University community, and its Jesuit roots while at the same time focusing on the global nature of twenty-first century business.  Your application should show that you need the education provided by McDonough to achieve your goals and that you wholeheartedly embrace its values.

Essay:

Create your essays in separate documents and upload them into the appropriate application fields. Please adhere to word limits, and label each page with your name. Re-applicants will be prompted to submit a specific essay question. Dual degree applicants and Georgetown MBA re-applicants will be prompted to submit specific essay questions.

(Essays should be double-spaced using a 12-point font.)

1. Why You? (Hint: we are looking for an answer that cannot be found from research on our website) (750 words or fewer)

This question is all about fit. It is an attempt by Georgetown to learn about you and why you think you belong at Georgetown and why Georgetown should admit you.  Georgetown wants to see how you think and come to a major decision. It also wants you to make a coherent case for your own acceptance to McDonough.

There are lots of different ways to approach this essay. Clearly you shouldn’t spit back the McDonough web site. If you can, talk to current students about the culture and distinctive elements of the program to gain a deeper understanding of it. You also need to reflect on the reasons Georgetown should choose you? While your reasons for wanting to attend are a factor, the big question will be what do you intend to contribute. What will you add?

You could start with a highly influential experience that molded your decision to pursue an MBA, go into more depth about what you hope to achieve and why you believe Georgetown is the best place for you to achieve it.

Alternatively, you could start with a day in the future where you attain your goal and then circle back to discuss the development of that goal and McDonough’s role in helping you achieve it. You can also discuss how you intend to contribute to McDonought’s community.

In short, why should McDonough accept you? How will you make the school proud that they did?

Optional Essays:

1. If you are not currently employed full-time, use this essay to provide information about your current activities. (250 words or fewer)

Show them that you are using this period of unemployment to acquire new skills, contribute to your community, or grow in some way.

2. Please provide any information that you would like to add to your application that you have not otherwise included. (500 words or fewer)

Please see The Optional Essay: To Be or Not to Be.

Re-Applicant Essay:

How have you strengthened your candidacy since your last application? We are particularly interested in hearing about how you have grown professionally and personally. (500 words or fewer)

This is a key question (whether asked explicitly or not) for all reapplicants to any MBA program. What has changed? How are you “new and improved” since last year — when you were rejected? Georgetown does you the favor of providing this explicit prompt so you can address this question while retaining the ability to address the main essay.

If you would like professional guidance with your Georgetown McDonough School MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Georgetown McDonough MBA application.

Georgetown McDonough 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decision Notification
 Round 1  October 1, 2015  December 15, 2015
 Round 2  January 5, 2016  March 20, 2016
 Round 3  April 1, 2016  May 15, 2016

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Download our free special report: Best MBA ProgramsRelated Resources:

2016 MBA Application Essay Tips
Optional Essays: When and How to Write Them [Short Video]
The Georgetown McDonough MBA: Everything You Need to Know

Yale SOM 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out the rest of our 2015 MBA application essay tips!Yale has retained its one essay from last year with no change. As Bruce DelMonico explained in a blog post, “this question really gets to the core of what Yale SOM is about and embodies our founding mission of educating leaders for business and society. So we decided that we would keep this essay question in place for another year.”

As you did last year, you need to make the most of that single essay, but you also need to take the time to make every box in the application a home run.  They are not after-thoughts. Your job descriptions and activity history are very important. Write and edit them carefully. Focus on achievements. Quantify when possible and keep in mind Yale’s commitment to “educating leaders for business and society.”

My tips are in blue. 

Essay Question:

The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent.

This essay would do really well with an anecdotal response telling the story of how you positively affected your department, team, club, company, client or any entity that benefited from your contribution.  You can start with a moment of challenge or triumph. Then go back, provide context, and tell your story of contribution, hurdles overcome, and complexity handled. If your impact has lasted, say so.

Video Questions:

As part of your application, you will be asked to answer three video questions. These questions are intended to give you another opportunity to tell us about yourself. These questions are not meant to be difficult and should not require extensive preparation or special knowledge to answer. After hearing each video question, you will have 20 seconds to formulate a response, followed by up to 60 seconds to respond.

After August 15th, you will see a link in your applicant status page checklist that will allow you to complete the video questions once you have submitted your application and fee. To answer the questions, you simply need an internet connection and a webcam. These questions will take roughly 15 minutes to complete, and you will have the opportunity to test your connection and respond to a sample question before answering the questions. Once you have completed the questions, your responses will be added to your application and we will begin the review process.

To prepare for your webcam session, you need to practice for the experience of talking to a video camera with no responses from another human being. It is a weird experience. For tips on how to prepare and behave during the webcam session, please see: Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions and listen to this interview with Yale’s Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Yale SOM.

Optional Information:

If any aspect of your candidacy needs further explanation (unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, promotions or recognitions, etc.), please provide a brief description here. (200 words maximum)

You can use the optional essay to explain or provide context as Yale SOM suggests, or you can use your optional essay to highlight something in your experiences, background, personal or professional life that didn’t fit into the required essay and that you want the admissions committee to know about. Consider relating a diversity element, a unique area of interest, or an accomplishment that you don’t feel is adequately described elsewhere.

Don’t use this optional essay as a grand summary of your application or reasons for wanting to attend Yale. Make sure the optional adds value.

Required for Reapplicants Only: 

Since your last application, please discuss any updates to your candidacy, including changes in your personal or professional life, additional coursework, or extracurricular/volunteer activities. (200 words maximum)

This is the key question that every re-applicant has to answer. Why should Yale SOM admit you this time around? What’s changed? What’s improved?

If you would like professional guidance with your Yale SOM MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Yale MBA application.  

Click here for more school-specific MBA application essay tips!

Yale SOM 2015 Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decision Release
Round 1  September 16, 2015  December 7, 2015
Round 2  January 7, 2016  March 25, 2016
Round 3  April 21, 2016  May 20, 2016

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

Yale SOM Zone Page
• Bruce DelMonico on The Yale School of Management
• Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions

Harvard Business School 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Click here for more info about Harvard Business School.

Make Every Word Count.

Change has once again come to the Harvard Business School MBA application. For the upcoming 2015-16 application cycle, there is now one required essay.  For the last two years, it has been optional. Also the prompt has changed.

As it did last year, Harvard does not suggest a word limit. It leaves it to your judgment. The operative word is judgement. Harvard has in the past requested a significant amount of information in the boxes on its application and last year (this year’s app isn’t live yet.) there were significant word and character limits.

Also, HBS has virtually the same deadlines this year as last. Its round 1 deadline is so far the earliest at September 9, 2015.

There is one question for the Harvard MBA Class of 2018. Here it is:

It’s the first day of class at HBS. You are in Aldrich Hall meeting your “section.” This is the group of 90 classmates who will become your close companions in the first-year MBA classroom. Our signature case method participant-based learning model ensures that you will get to know each other very well. The bonds you collectively create throughout this shared experience will be lasting.

Introduce yourself.

Note: Should you enroll at HBS, there will be an opportunity for you to share this with them.

We suggest you view this video before beginning to write.

There is no word limit for this question. We think you know what guidance we’re going to give here. Don’t overthink, overcraft and overwrite. Just answer the question in clear language that those of us who don’t know your world can understand.

While the advice offered on the site is good, I also want to quote from additional information Dee Leopold gave on her blog as to why they chose this question:

• It’s just about as straightforward and practical as we can make it. It gives you a chance to tell your story however you choose. Imagine simply saying it out loud.  This is what we mean when we’ve been encouraging you to use your own “voice” when approaching this part of the application.  We have no pre-conceived ideas of what “good” looks like. We look forward to lots of variance.

• It’s useful. You will actually be introducing yourself to classmates at HBS.

Tell us again what the essay is for?

• For you: an opportunity to pause and reflect. Business school is a big experience –  it’s exciting, it’s an unknown, it’s a beginning, it’s an investment in your future. Stopping to reflect and gather your thoughts in writing is a useful exercise. That’s not just our opinion –  it’s what we hear from students all the time.

• For us: a chance to get to know you beyond the elements of the application that feel fixed and stationary. Can also be a starting point for interview conversations.

I think the last element that I quoted is critical. “The essay is a chance to get to know you beyond the elements of the application that feel fixed and stationary. Can also be a starting point for interview conversations”

That quote reminds me of last year’s optional HBS question:

“We can see your resume, school transcripts, extra-curricular activities, awards, post-MBA career goals, test scores and what your recommenders have to say about you. What else would you like us to know as we consider your candidacy?”

Finally, before you approach the question, watch the video about the HBS case method as recommended by Harvard. We embedded it above.

Note the focus on conversation in both the video and Dee Leopold’s advice. How will you start the conversation with your section mates? What would you want them to know about you? Keep in mind that the admissions committee is listening this time, and its members may want to use what you write as a starting point for the “interview conversation.”

Other important themes in the video: preparation, engagement, imaging yourself as the protagonist — the decision maker.   The use of the case method as practice in decision making. If you think other elements of this video are important, please add in the comments box below.

And realize that they want this conversation starter to go beyond what’s in the rest of the application.

So what else – really and truly — do you want both the HBS admissions committee and your future section mates to know about you? What do you want to share  that will show you can participate in the conversation that is the HBS classroom? The answer to that question is not something I can give or even suggest to you in a blog post aimed at the many. (For individual advice, please see Accepted’s MBA Admissions Consulting.) It should be different for each of you. Again, refer to the HBS criteria, as you contemplate possible topics, but the options are infinite. A few possibilities:

•  Context for events described in the required elements that may be of interest to your section mates.

•  Motivations for the decisions or commitments you have made.

•  Challenges you have faced.

•  Something you would like to do at HBS.

•  More depth on an activity or commitment that is particularly important to you.

•  A skill they may be useful to your section

Please don’t limit yourself to these suggestions. I am offering them to stimulate your creativity, not to shut it down. 

Since I’ve been in MBA admissions consulting (over 20 years now), HBS has valued concision. And, in today’s tweet- and sound-bite-driven world, it is requiring even shorter responses, at least in the required portion of the application. Don’t take the absence of a word limit on the essay as a license for verbosity. Make every word count. If you must pull a number out of me, don’t go over 800 words. And if you can say what you need to say in less than 800 words, do so. A few caveats and warnings on the essay. It is not:

•   Stanford’s “what matters most to you and why?” or Columbia’s #3.

•   The kitchen sink in which you throw everything.

•   An autobiography.

Post- Interview Reflections

2016 Application Deadlines:

Application Due    Decisions Released
Round 1     09 Sept 2015  Dec 2015
Round 2 06 Jan 2016  Mar 2016
Round 3 04 Apr 2016  May 2016

Watch the webinar of 'How to Get Accepted To Harvard Business School' today!
Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

• What Does Harvard Business School Want?
• Harvard Business School: The Habit of Leadership
Some HBS Stereotypes: An Interview with Ben Faw

MIT Sloan 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out the rest of our school-specific MBA essay tips!

Stata Center at MIT

This year’s MIT MBA application is significantly different from last year’s — and those that preceded it. No cover letter, which was part of MIT’s application for years, and no letter of recommendation from you about you. That was last year’s twist. 

This year’s application has one required essay and another short-answer question that applicants invited to interview will need to address. Both these questions are new. Plus the request for additional written information from those invited to interview is not only new, but unique. To my knowledge, MIT is the only school with this requirement. HBS has its post-interview reflections, but that again is post interview and is not a response to a specific question.

Finally, MIT Sloan for years had only two rounds. The second round deadline last year was January 8. This year MIT is adding a third round which extends its application season to April 11.  There may be many reasons for this change, but one result: it increases total application volume and reduces the acceptance rate while giving MIT Sloan a chance to admit excellent applicants who may just decide to apply late in the application cycle.

My tips are in blue below. 

Resume:

Please prepare a business resume that includes your employment history in reverse chronological order, with titles, dates, and whether you worked part-time or full-time. Your educational record should also be in reverse chronological order and should indicate dates of attendance and degree(s) earned. Other information appropriate to a business resume is welcomed and encouraged. The resume should not be more than one page in length (up to 50 lines). We encourage you to use the résumé template provided in the online application.

Go beyond mere job descriptions to highlight achievement. If your title is “consultant.” Saying that you “consulted on projects” is redundant and uninformative at best. Writing that you “Led a 6-member team working on a biotech outsourcing project to Singapore with a budget of $X; it came in on time and under budget.” conveys infinitely more. Quantify impact as much as possible. You want the reader to come away with a picture of you as an above average performer on a steep trajectory

We have one required essay at the time of submission:

Tell us about a recent success you had: How did you accomplish this? Who else was involved? What hurdles did you encounter? What type of impact did this have? (500 words or fewer)

The really effective response will tell a story about a success. Yes that means one success.

The story can start with the moment of success or a moment of challenge, maybe even of failure or tension. Then describe your role in turning that situation or challenge into an accomplishment.  To provide context and indicate the magnitude of your accomplishment, as well as fully answer the question, talk about impact. What were the results or benefits of your success? Quantify as much as possible.

If you are lucky enough to have several accomplishments to choose from, review “What We Look For,” and choose an experience that presents what MIT seeks.

A second, short-answer question will be asked only of those invited to interview:

The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice. Please share with us something about your past that aligns with this mission. (250 words or fewer)

Congrats! If you’re reading this after you applied you’ve been invited to interview at MIT Sloan! Of course now you need to respond to this question. Get ready. Get set. Think!

When have you had an innovative idea that in some small way improved the world?  When have taken your idea and led the implementation of it or persuaded others to go in with you on this project or initiative? You only have 250 words so you can’t write a long story here.  Focus on the elements of your achievement that show you as an innovative leader who has improved the world and has the ability to advance management practice.

Some of you may thing “I already wrote about my best example in the required essay. What am I supposed to do know now?” Choose your second best example. Or choose an impressive example from a different arena of your life, perhaps sports, religion, politics, the arts, community service, or a hobby.

I’m sure you’re not a one-trick pony. Don’t leave them thinking that you have only one achievement that you feel is worthy to share with MIT Sloan’s admissions committee. 

Optional Question

The Admissions Committee invites you to share anything else you would like us to know about you, in any format. If you choose to use a multimedia format, please host the information on a website and provide us the URL.

I discussed this question a few years ago with someone in MIT Sloan’s admissions office. First of all realize that you can choose an essay or multi-media presentation. The media option is there so you can express yourself in the way you find easiest and most revealing. MIT does not want a recycled essay from another school. The person I spoke to was explicit about that. If you choose the multi-media format, realize it should be something viewable in about a minute — no 20-minute videos or 100-slide expositions or lengthy orations. Keep it short. It’s also fine to link to something you have created for a club, event, or cause that’s important to you.

What’s behind the option? A deep and sincere desire to meet you as a human being. A genuine, animated, real live human being. So don’t regurgitate your resume or spew stuff found in the required elements of your application. Have the confidence to share a special interest or deep commitment. I’m not suggesting Mommy Dearest or True Confessions; use judgment. I am suggesting that you allow the reader to see a good side of you not revealed elsewhere in the application.  Let them see what makes you smile, motivates you to jump out of bed with joy, and gives you a feeling of satisfaction when you turn out the light at the end of the day.

MIT Sloan has an excellent video with advice on its optional essay. Here it is:


I think the key phrase in the video is “We really want to get to know you guys as people.” What else would you like MIT Sloan to know about you? Share it here.

MIT Sloan 2016 Application Deadlines:

Application Deadline Decision Notification
Round 1 September 17, 2015 December 16, 2015
Round 2 January 14, 2016 April 4, 2016
Round 3 April 11, 2016 May 18, 2016

If you would like professional guidance with your MIT Sloan MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the MIT Sloan application.

Learn How to Choose the Best MBA Program for You!

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips
• MIT Sloan B-School Zone 
Is My Personal Statement Too Personal?