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 and to be a part of the Tuck community.
Before drafting your Tuck essays, please review Tuck’s Evaluation Criteria.
Regarding changes in this year’s in comparison to last year’s essays, Tuck changed its Essay #1 slightly and its Essay #2 significantly.
Accepted has been helping applicants gain acceptance to Tuck 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 a word count of 500. Please double-space your responses.
Essay 1. (Required)
What are your short and long-term goals? Why is an MBA a critical next step toward achieving those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck?
This is a classic, straight-forward goals question.
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.
You also have to be able to show the qualities of a wise leader with the potential for global impact. When have you shown the maturity to lead and influence in a way that improved either your company or some other entity that you were a part of? How did that experience influence your short- and long-term goals or show that you have the ability to achieve those goals? What is the benefit to society if you achieve what you want to achieve?
One possible approach to the essay: Start this essay with a brief anecdote about an accomplishment that reflects at least some of the qualities Tuck seeks and also influenced the development of your goals. Then discuss your goals and the path you intend to take and the hoped for impact of your realizing those dreams. The path should include the aspects of Tuck’s program that attract you to Hanover and will help you accomplish your goals.
Essay 2. (Required)
Tuck’s mission is to educate wise leaders to better the world of business. Wisdom encompasses the essential aptitudes of confident humility, about what one does and does not know; empathy, towards the diverse ideas and experiences of others; and judgement, about when and how to take risks for the better.
With Tuck’s mission in mind, and with a focus on confident humility, tell us about a time you:
• received tough feedback,
• experienced failure, or
• disappointed yourself or others.
How did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result?
Unlike Essay 1, which focuses on the future and the hypothetical, this question is about one experience in the past. It is not hypothetical at all. It also requires you to choose one incident and discuss how you responded to a difficulty, a challenge, or a disappointment where you were the central figure. When did you really blow it?
A CAR approach will work well here:
Keep it specific and concrete or you will blend in with others writing in generalities. Your response to this trying experience and lessons learned from it are the key. How did you respond? grow? improve? If you can conclude with another later and similar situation when you used the lessons learned in the first experience and handled it with aplomb while demonstrating the wisdom Tuck is looking for, you’ll be acing this question.
Essay 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/GRE 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. Let this essay add value to the reader’s understanding of you and your candidacy.
Essay 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, check out 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.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.
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