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.
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.
By Linda Abraham, 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.