Tuck’s four essay questions seek to analyze your seriousness as a candidate and your potential as a future professional. When preparing your application, keep in mind that Dartmouth’s MBA admissions team is seeking applicants who are “smart, nice, accomplished, and aware.”
Essay 1: Tuck students can articulate how the distinctive Tuck MBA will advance their aspirations. Why are you pursuing an MBA and why Tuck? (300 words)
Tuck wants to see how realistic and attractive your short-term goals are, as well as how impactful your long-term goals will be. When describing your goals, try to understand if they create a sensible narrative relative to your professional history. Tuck doesn’t just want dreamers; it wants individuals who are have a sense of how they will achieve their dreams.
When discussing Tuck, try to also see how it specifically provides a competitive advantage for your plans over other MBA programs. Keep in mind that you should explain what parts of the MBA (courses, professors, events, clubs, network, tools, etc.) will help you to achieve your goals. If the admissions readers get a sense that you did not fully research the program or your objectives, they may dismiss your application for a lack of resolve.
Essay 2: Tuck students are aware of how their individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Tell us who you are and what you will contribute. (500 words)
To begin to approach this question, you need to take the time to understand Tuck. As with any top MBA, you should investigate Dartmouth beyond what you can read on the web, by connecting with those involved in the school. Visiting the school, joining live events or webinars, and speaking with current students and alumni are excellent ways to understand what the “fabric of Tuck” is really made out of.
Once you have a clearer picture of Tuck, you’ll be able to better identify those of your attributes, whether personal or professional, that can most contribute to the program. If possible, try to mention how you could be of benefit to Tuck’s student body, with your unique experiences and skills, through extracurricular participation.
Essay Question 3: Tuck students are encouraging, collaborative and empathetic, even when it is not convenient or easy. Describe a meaningful experience in which you exemplified one or more of these attributes. (300 words)
Many of our applicants are a bit taken aback by this essay, as they may connect “encouraging, collaborative and empathetic” behaviour to that of being weak. However, as Tuck explains on their criteria page, they aren’t looking for candidates who are pushovers but rather for those who have high emotional intelligence and a strong sense of integrity. Essentially, you can’t be a good team player if you’re not willing to help your teammates.
When choosing an example, try to select one that was both trying and impactful. Once you’ve made your decision, build an engaging narrative that explains the specifics of the situation and how your reaction exemplified the type of character Tuck is looking for, without exaggeration or self-aggrandizement.
Essay Question 4 – Optional: Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere (e.g., atypical choice of evaluators, factors affecting academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application. (300 words)
Even if you believe that you’ve written a brilliant essay for another school and it would be a shame if Tuck didn’t read it, do not include such an essay in this section. This optional question should only be used to address red flags within your application. If there is something negative about your profile, don’t miss the opportunity to address it in this essay because, if you leave an issue unexplained, Dartmouth may assume the worst reason.
When bringing up a particular problem in your application, try, if possible, to show how it will no longer be an issue. For instance, if you performed poorly at one point during your university studies because of an illness, explaining that situation and pointing out your success in university-level courses you took later on could prove your educational acumen.
Essay Question 5 – 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. (300 words)
As a reapplicant, you need to differentiate yourself not only from fellow applicants but also from your past self. How have you changed positively since you first applied? What circumstances have changed? For instance, you might have received a promotion, changed jobs, started an entrepreneurial project, clarified your goals or increased your engagement in community initiatives. In whatever way you’ve developed, try to explain clearly and effectively why Tuck should be able to distinguish your new profile from the one it considered before.
If you are looking for guidance on how to submit the most effective app given these criteria, feel free to contact us. To find out more information on the technical application requirements, you can visit Tuck’s official site.