Essay 1 – Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is the Tuck School of Business the best MBA program for you? (If you are applying for a joint or dual degree, please explain how the additional degree will contribute to those goals.)
This is similar to Columbia‘s Why MBA in that it is a forward looking question. They have not explicitly asked for your career history. You may briefly touch on them to explain your future goals, but you should not dedicate an entire section of this essay to your past. This question is made up of two questions (budget your 500 words between the two).
Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals?
You need to present your goals through the lens of how an MBA will help you reach them. Be specific about what aspects of the MBA will help you reach them – courses, organizations, network, etc. As always with presenting career goals, reveal your values by explaining why your goals are meaningful to you (and maybe how your goals were inspired). Your career vision need not be one and the same with what matters most to you, but that there should be some correlation. You could touch on your previous career (or volunteer or personal) experiences to articulate how you developed your goals, but do not dwell on past experiences. Be sure to articulate a realistic but ambitious plan that includes both short-term and long-term goals.
Why is the Tuck School of Business the best MBA program for you?
As with every school, you must be specific about why Tuck Business School is the right fit for you. Research their classes and clubs and articulate how you will add to them. They want to see that you are ready to make a difference in their community. Further take note of what’s unique about Tuck Business School such as its size, culture, location. Think about how the Tuck School of Business can help you to develop as a person and a professional and not just how it can help propel you towards that “dream job”.
Essay 2 – Tuck Business School defines leadership as “inspiring others to strive and enabling them to accomplish great things.” We believe great things and great leadership can be accomplished in pursuit of business and societal goals. Describe a time when you exercised such leadership. Discuss the challenges you faced and the results you achieved. What characteristics helped you to be effective, and what areas do you feel you need to develop in order to be a better leader?
This is similar to the HBS leadership question in they are asking for your relfection on your strengths and weaknesses (areas of development). Do not omit weaknesses – doing so shows a lack of self awareness. Further, they are looking for examples where you inspired others and accompished either a business or societal goal. Think exapansively when considering what example to use – you can draw from work, volunteering, your personal life.
Essay 3 – Discuss the most difficult constructive criticism or feedback you have received. How did you address it? What have you learned from it?
As with the previous question, don’t shy away from revealing a weakness. Self-awareness is a hallmark of maturity. However, focus on what you did with this difficult feedback. Set up the situation quickly and focus on steps you’ve taken to address the feedback and the lessons you’ve learned. Explain how your feelings, reflection, and actions.
Essay 4 – Tuck Business School seeks candidates of various backgrounds who can bring new perspectives to our community. How will your unique personal history, values, and/or life experiences contribute to the culture at the Tuck School of Business?
This is a great opportunity to round out your essays and show your personality. You can present sides of yourself that have not come out through examples of leadership or feedback. Think broadly about who you are, where you’ve come from, and what you enjoy doing. Further, explain how you will bring these aspects of yourself to the Tuck Business School – how will you engage your classmates? They want to see that you will engage and inspire your peers.
Essay 5 – 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.
As with all questions of this nature, be concise and simply present the facts.