Category Archives: Dartmouth Tuck Advice

Tuesday Tips: Tuck at Dartmouth MBA Essay Tips

The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth has a small student body and a rural location, combined with world-class faculty and academic focus. As you approach your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application it will be important …

The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth has a small student body and a rural location, combined with world-class faculty and academic focus. As you approach your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application it will be important to consistently show how you will fit into the school values of leadership, teamwork and collaboration and bring your own unique qualities and experiences to the community.

Before you begin the essays think about the areas you want to communicate to the Tuck Business School admissions committee. As you consider each topic be sure to provide specific examples to illustrate your unique qualities. Real life experiences are your best evidence of leadership qualities, teamwork skills and management potential.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has worked with successful Tuck applicants for over a decade, contact us to learn more about the customized assistance we can provide for your application.

Essay 1
Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck?

This standard career goals question requires you to clearly outline your short- and long-term career goals. Your short-term goals are the aspirations you have for your job immediately after graduation, while your long-term goals may be 10 or 20 years after you complete your MBA. In this relatively short essay you will need to explain what you have been pursuing in your career thus far, and why you need an MBA at this point in your life, along with your career goals.

“Why Tuck Business School” is an important aspect to this essay, and your opportunity to demonstrate fit. Make sure you have researched the school’s programs and determined your education will suit your plans. By reaching out to current students and alumni you will gain crucial insights that will provide a personal perspective on the culture of the school.

Essay 2
Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?

As you consider topics for this essay consider the situations that may have revealed your own strengths and weaknesses with clarity. Think back to Tuck Business School’s criteria, and consider using this essay to either demonstrate your interpersonal leadership skills or to show something from your background or experience that is unique. Think about the leadership opportunities that led to a deeper understanding of yourself and others, and may have resulted in definition of your strengths or an improvement in your weaknesses. The example you choose can be from work or community involvement, as “great leadership can be accomplished in the pursuit or business and societal goals.”

One aspect to consider as you draft this essay is that the Tuck School of Business definition of leadership is inherently collaborative. Team based experiences may be preferable, and as you describe your leadership experience, make sure you explain how you were able to inspire and enable others to accomplish as well.

Essay 3
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.

This is your opportunity to discuss any perceived weaknesses in your application such as low GPA or gaps in your work experience. When approaching a question of this nature, focus on explanations rather than excuses and explain what you have done since the event you are explaining to demonstrate your academic ability or management potential.

You could potentially use this space to add something new that was not covered in the previous essays or in the application, resume or recommendations, however use your judgment about the topics as Tuck asks that you only complete this question if you “feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.”

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Dartmouth Tuck School of Business Essay Tips

The Dartmouth Tuck School of Business has a small student body and a rural location, combined with world-class faculty and academic focus. As you approach your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application it will be important to …

The Dartmouth Tuck School of Business has a small student body and a rural location, combined with world-class faculty and academic focus. As you approach your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application it will be important to consistently show how you will fit into the school values of leadership, teamwork and collaboration and bring your own unique qualities and experiences to the community.

Before you begin the essays think about the areas you want to communicate to the Tuck Business School admissions committee. As you consider each topic be sure to provide specific examples to illustrate your unique qualities. Real life experiences are your best evidence of leadership qualities, teamwork skills and management potential.

Stacy Blackman Consulting has worked with successful Tuck applicants for over a decade, contact us to learn more about the customized assistance we can provide for your application.

Essay 1
Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck the best MBA fit for you and your goals and why are you the best fit for Tuck?

This standard career goals question requires you to clearly outline your short- and long-term career goals. Your short-term goals are the aspirations you have for your job immediately after graduation, while your long-term goals may be 10 or 20 years after you complete your MBA. In this relatively short essay you will need to explain what you have been pursuing in your career thus far, and why you need an MBA at this point in your life, along with your career goals.

“Why Tuck Business School” is an important aspect to this essay, and your opportunity to demonstrate fit. Make sure you have researched the school’s programs and determined your education will suit your plans. By reaching out to current students and alumni you will gain crucial insights that will provide a personal perspective on the culture of the school.

Essay 2
Tell us about your most meaningful collaborative leadership experience and what role you played. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?

This question gets at your strengths and weaknesses as a leader. An addition to this question this year is the use of the word “collaborative” when associated with leadership. Tuck is a close knit community with a strong alumni network, and considering your leadership skills in a group context will be important to demonstrate fit with the program.

This essay requires that you describe one specific example that illustrates your leadership challenges and strengths. Think about the leadership opportunities that led to a deeper understanding of yourself and others, and may have resulted in definition of your strengths or an improvement in your weaknesses. The example you choose can be from work or community involvement, as “great leadership can be accomplished in the pursuit or business and societal goals.”

You will need to adhere to the Tuck School of Business definition of leadership and include a team-based aspect to your example. As you describe your leadership experience, make sure you explain how you were able to inspire and enable others to accomplish.

Essay 3
Describe a circumstance in your life in which you faced adversity, failure, or setback. What actions did you take as a result and what did you learn from this experience?

This question is your opportunity to show how you handle challenging situations. Everyone faces adversity, failure or setbacks at work or in personal life, and it is how you decide to react that demonstrates your character. Revealing your emotions and thought process along with your actions in this essay will provide a window into how you process difficult experiences and emerge from them with a new direction.

Think back to Tuck Business School’s criteria, and consider using this essay to either demonstrate your interpersonal skills (if your challenge was of the interpersonal variety) or to show something from your background or experience that is unique.

When brainstorming for this essay think first about what you learned from the situation, and then work backwards to describe the circumstances and the initial challenge or hurdle, that will help you see the whole situation from a more optimistic viewpoint. Did you learn from the experience and did it impact your life or demonstrate a specific aspect of your character, goals or accomplishments? Even the most difficult situations often lead to personal growth and change and have contributed to who you are today.

Essay 4
(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.

This is your opportunity to discuss any perceived weaknesses in your application such as low GPA or gaps in your work experience. When approaching a question of this nature, focus on explanations rather than excuses and explain what you have done since the event you are explaining to demonstrate your academic ability or management potential.

You could potentially use this space to add something new that was not covered in the previous essays or in the application, resume or recommendations, however use your judgment about the topics as Tuck asks that you only complete this question if you “feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.”

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Round 3 at Tuck, Difficult but Not Impossible

Like our previous posts from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Chicago Booth School of Business, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business wants to reassure skittish applicants that while applying in the final round is indeed …

Tuck School of BusinessLike our previous posts from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Chicago Booth School of Business, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business wants to reassure skittish applicants that while applying in the final round is indeed competitive, it isn’t impossible.

Stephanie B. in Tuck MBA admissions acknowledges that the majority of seats have been filled by the final round, and in many cases, much of the scholarship money has been allocated. But that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause. In the latest post on the Tuck blog, two current students who applied successfully in the final round share their thoughts on what it takes to be accepted in round three. The themes that resonate for Tuck ’14 students Laura and Sara are timing, standing out, and having a plan B.

In Sara’s case, her dissatisfaction with her professional life prompted her to accelerate her MBA plans. In order to present the best possible application, she decided to take her time and apply in the third round. As most schools will tell you, the best time to hit submit is when you can put forth the strongest, most comprehensive application. However, Stephanie points out the value of also providing a brief explanation in your application, perhaps in the optional essay, as to why you’re applying late in the season, which she says helps the admissions committee understand your motivations better.

Standing out from the pack is imperative, and never more so than when applying later in the game. As I mentioned in a recent US News blog post, if you want to do well in the admissions process, you have to communicate who you are, not just what you do. In Laura’s case, she differentiated herself by highlighting a unique background with Teach for America and microfinance. But don’t get hung up on whether you have a similar “wow” factor in your background.

Business schools really do want to know who you are””the whole you””not just you as a professional. You want to present a balanced, well-rounded human being who has many dimensions to contribute to an MBA class. When you talk about your love of basketball or your concern for global warming, explain why those subjects are meaningful to you.

Tuck student Sara spoke in her application of being an avid marathon runner and being proud of where she comes from. These seemingly small details are a great way to highlight some uniquely defining characteristics and experiences that make you the person you are today.

Given that the final round is so competitive, late applicants should be realistic in their expectations. If your first attempt in unsuccessful, Laura and Sara urge applicants to take the time to reassess their goals and application, and take advantage of any feedback the admissions office may be willing to provide for those planning to reapply. No matter the outcome, the journey is a lesson unto itself.

Tuck’s final application round is Tuesday, April 2, 2013. See our section devoted to Dartmouth Tuck advice for additional insight and guidance as you wrap up your application.

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Tuck Admissions Director Offers Tips on Standing Out

While Derrick Bolton, MBA admissions director of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, may advise applicants not to try to stand out, most b-school hopefuls would like to distinguish themselves from the thousands of fellow …

While Derrick Bolton, MBA admissions director of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, may advise applicants not to try to stand out, most b-school hopefuls would like to distinguish themselves from the thousands of fellow candidates vying for a seat at one of the top programs.

In the video below, Dawna Clarke, admissions director at the Tuck School of Business, answers questions from prospective students wondering how they can stand out in the applicant pool. As you’ll learn, there’s no easy formula for success…but she does provide several examples of areas to look for greatness within your own professional and educational background.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-i8M9G1ws0[/youtube]

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Tuesday Tips: UVA Darden MBA Essay Tips

Further cutting the essay portion of the application down, UVA Darden asks only one question this year. While you only have to write 500 words, you have to make those words count. Leadership is crucial …

Further cutting the essay portion of the application down, UVA Darden asks only one question this year. While you only have to write 500 words, you have to make those words count. Leadership is crucial to future Darden MBAs. Personal qualities are also key with a small, tight-knit community. Learn more about the school by visiting the Darden website, attending events and speaking with current students and alumni.

Don’t forget to check your deadlines before starting your MBA application plan.

MBA Application Essay Question:
Share your perspective on leadership in the workplace and describe how it has been shaped by the increasing influence of globalization. (500 words maximum)
Continuing a trend towards brief, open-ended questions, Darden is asking for your broad perspective on leadership and globalization. While this could be answered in an academic and detached way, the best essays will use personal examples to illustrate how you arrived at your perspective.

Before you start answering the question asked it may help to brainstorm all of the leadership experiences you have had at work, either being managed or managing others. Ideally you can think of topics that you were directly involved in, rather than observing.

Once you have a list of all of the experiences that could have shaped your perspective choose the examples that will also demonstrate some of your personal qualities to the admissions committee. You have your career history submitted in your resume and your GPA, transcript and GMAT to demonstrate academic ability. This essay is one of your few opportunities to show how you think, what your leadership approach is, and how you handle teamwork and conflict. Think about the situations that showcased your best performance at work, or that were a turning point in your approach to teamwork and leadership.

The incorporation of globalization into a question about leadership challenges you to have an international perspective. If you haven’t worked abroad, think about co-workers or customers that may be from a different culture and how that has influenced leadership at your workplace. This angle certainly adds more challenge to the question, but is also your opportunity to think broadly about the world beyond your home country.

Because you have only one essay question to present yourself, make sure you have a trusted reader to tell you if you are effectively communicating why you are going to be a strong global leader who deserves a spot in the UVA Darden MBA class.

Additional short questions:
With limited space in the one essay question, you may be able to add additional information to aid your case for admission in the short answer questions.

At Darden, a core part of your academic experience is your participation in and contributions to your learning team. What will you contribute to your team? (150 words maximum)

This is an opportunity to highlight key skills and work experience from your resume. If you don’t want to showcase hard skills you can also talk about your leadership experience and ability to bring a team to consensus. Think about your successful teamwork experiences at work and demonstrate what you will bring to your Darden team.

If you were on an elevator with your dream company CEO or angel investor, what would you tell him/her about your professional ambitions and goals? (150 words maximum)

This question requires a very brief answer. We often advise clients to formulate a career vision statement, and this question would be a place to use that statement. A career vision statement boils down your career goals into one succinct statement that tells the reader what your unique goals are. For example, a career vision statement could be: I want to lead the company that develops a clean-energy solution that will drive global industry without destroying our planet.

At its essence, the career vision statement is specific, clear and very brief. With such limited space you do not have room for extended explanations.

As you consider what your career vision is, keep in mind that this economy has led MBA programs to be more pragmatic about recruiting. A career vision that is clearly relevant to past experience, yet aspires to take your career to the next level, may be the most effective.

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Tuesday Tips – Dartmouth Tuck MBA Essay Tips

The Dartmouth Tuck School of Business has a small student body and a rural location, combined with a world class faculty and academic focus. As expressed on the website, “Tuck is well known for fostering …

The Dartmouth Tuck School of Business has a small student body and a rural location, combined with a world class faculty and academic focus. As expressed on the website, “Tuck is well known for fostering a close-knit community. This is not merely a feel-good exercise but a conscious strategy to build and refine the values of collaboration, support, respect, and stewardship.” As you approach your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application it will be important to consistently show how you will fit into these values of teamwork and collaboration and bring your own unique perspective to the unique community.

If you are targeting the Round One deadline on October 12th, you may be thinking about how to approach this set of Tuck School of Business essay questions.

Setting strategy is your best first step. Clearly assess which of Tuck’s desired traits are ones that you can demonstrate through your own experience. What are the areas you want to communicate to the Tuck Business School admissions committee? Which essays work best for a work example or a community service example? Be sure to provide specific examples for each essay. Real life experiences are your best evidence of leadership qualities, teamwork skills and management potential.

While Tuck Business School does not specify a word limit, the 500-word guidance should be adhered to. Generally 10% plus or minus the word limit suggestion is reasonable when there is no formal limit.

1. Why is an MBA a critical next step toward your short- and long-term career goals? Why is Tuck 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 standard career goals question requires you to clearly outline your short- and long-term career goals. Your short term goals are the aspirations you have for your job immediately after graduation, while your long-term goals may be 10 or 20 years after you complete your MBA. In this relatively short essay you will need to explain what you have been pursuing in your career thus far, and why you need an MBA at this point in your life, along with your career goals.

“Why Tuck Business School” is an important aspect to this essay, and your opportunity to demonstrate fit. Make sure you have researched the school’s programs and determined your education will suit your plans. By reaching out to current students and alumni you will gain crucial insights that will provide a personal perspective on the culture of the school.

2. Discuss your most meaningful leadership experience. What did you learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses through this experience?
This essay is similar to Kellogg’s leadership essay. As in the Kellogg essay, you will want to define your strengths and weaknesses as a leader. What are you good at, and what do you hope to develop at Tuck Business School? Unlike the Kellogg essay, this version requires that you describe one specific example that illustrates your leadership challenges and strengths. When you contemplate your most meaningful leadership experience, it may not be the most impressive example. Think about the leadership opportunities that led to a deeper understanding of yourself and others, and may have resulted in definition of your strengths or an improvement in your weaknesses.

The example you choose can be from work or community involvement, as “great leadership can be accomplished in the pursuit or business and societal goals.” You will need to adhere to the Tuck School of Business definition of leadership and include a team-based aspect to your example. As you describe your leadership experience, make sure you explain how you were able to inspire and enable others to accomplish.

3. Describe a circumstance in your life in which you faced adversity, failure, or setback. What actions did you take as a result and what did you learn from this experience?
This question is your opportunity to show how you handle challenging situations. Everyone faces adversity, failure or setbacks at work or in personal life, and it is how you decide to react that demonstrates your character. Revealing your emotions and thought process along with your actions in this essay will provide a window into how you process difficult experiences and emerge from them with a new direction. Think back to Tuck Business School’s criteria, and consider using this essay to either demonstrate your interpersonal skills (if your challenge was of the interpersonal variety) or to show something from your background or experience that is unique.

When brainstorming for this essay think first about what you learned from the situation, and then work backwards to describe the circumstances and the initial challenge or hurdle, that will help you see the whole situation from a more optimistic viewpoint. Is there a learning from the experience that impacted your life or carried a thread through your character, goals or accomplishments?

4. Tuck 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 Tuck?
This question provides you with an opportunity to describe why you are different from other applicants. Do you have a unique background? Unusual work experience? Or have you demonstrated a consistent history of community involvement? The part of your application strategy that is most unique and surprising should be described here.

Once you have determined what is special about your candidacy, you need to tie your personal history, values and/or life experiences to how you will interact with your fellow students at Tuck Business School. The most obvious approach is to outline the clubs and organizations you will contribute to. Beyond formal groups, you may contribute your unique perspective to the classroom, provide networking opportunities in your industry to your classmates, or mentor your fellow students.

5. (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.
This is your opportunity to discuss any perceived weaknesses in your application such as low GPA or gaps in your work experience. When approaching a question of this nature, focus on explanations rather than excuses and explain what you have done since the event you are explaining to demonstrate your academic ability, or management potential. If you do not have a weakness to explain, this may be an opportunity to address any additional facet of your application strategy you have not been able to illuminate in previous questions. There is no requirement to complete this question, and it would be wise to use the space for something truly new and important to your application that has not been addressed elsewhere.

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