Tips for Responding to the Tuck MBA Essays
How To Get Into Dartmouth’s
Tuck School of Business
With one of the smallest class sizes of top MBA programs and a culture of camaraderie, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth is known a “tight-knit community” and students really are as close to each other as they say.
Because of this, the Tuck admissions committee is not just looking for the best and brightest, they want to see a cultural fit. And with this year’s essay questions, they’re giving you every opportunity to demonstrate how you will fit in at Tuck. Here’s some advice:
It’s not what you did, it’s what you learned
Every anecdote that you tell in your essays needs to demonstrate self-awareness. Take essay 2. Tuck is asking you to describe a failure, but what they are really asking you is to describe a time that you learned something. If your idea of failure is a team project in which another team member didn’t carry their weight, then you’re missing the point. Instead, describe a time when you realized you were wrong about something and had to change, or when you mismanaged a situation because of a false assumption and then had to adapt. Tuck is looking for candidates that have enough humility and self-awareness to know when they were a cause of a problem. Prove that you are open to new and different ideas.
Imagine you’re a Tuckie
How do you think you’ll be spending your time as a Tuck student? If you can’t answer that question, you need to do more research, talk to more Tuckies, and attend more Tuck events. Imagine yourself as part of the Tuck community and describe to the admissions committee what you want to get involved with and why. Bonus for describing your plans to be a leader on campus as a way to give back to your classmates and future Tuckies.
Connect the dots
Before you start writing your essay, take some time to reflect on the career choices you have made. What has driven those choices? What are your strengths? And then think about where you want to end up. You have many career options, so focus on one that plays to your strengths and your passions. Once you’ve done that, analyze how Tuck, specifically, will help you get there. Connect the dots for the admissions reader. The clearer the path that you present, the more memorable your essay will be.
Need more pointers? The Tuck admissions committee is famously transparent and provided you an essay guide here.
Do you like what you hear? If so, start researching Tuck today because you better know how you will fit into their 285-person community before you start writing your essays.
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