Tuesday Tips – Dartmouth Tuck School of Business Essay Tips

Tuck Business School is a close knit community that prides itself on diversity and international perspective. Despite the rural backdrop, Tuck is progressive and innovative with a focus on leadership and team work.

When approaching this set of application questions it will be important to clearly assess your own fit with the Tuck Business School program, and to set your application strategy clearly. What are the areas you want to communicate to the Tuck admissions committee? Which essays work best for a work example or a community service example? Be sure to provide specific examples for each essay. Specific examples provide the best evidence of your leadership qualities, team work skills and management potential.

While the Tuck School of Business does not require a certain 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 Business School 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 a similar “career goals” question as the one posed by Kellogg and Wharton. Similar to the advice for Columbia, the Tuck Business School career goals essay should clearly define why Tuck is the right place for you to take the next step in your career progress. Given the short space, explaining your short- and long-term career goals succinctly will be important. It is crucial to explain why an MBA is necessary, and of course incorporate your research into Tuck Business School’s unique program.

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 question is ideally answered with an example that can show you are a strong leader who also has an interest in societal goals. You can use either a work or community service example, though a community service example might be particularly apt given the focus of the question. Be sure to answer each component of the question as you briefly explain the situation, explore the challenges and describe the results. As you reflect upon the situation, you can demonstrate self awareness by evaluating your own strengths and weaknesses in this leadership opportunity.

3. Discuss the most difficult constructive criticism or feedback you have received. How did you address it? What have you learned from it?

This is similar to a mistake essay, yet focuses specifically on a time that you received feedback. Annual reviews and other feedback opportunities from your supervisor are generally a good source of material for this question, though you can certainly use an applicable example from outside of work if you are able to demonstrate reflection and learning. The crux if this question is to explain your reaction to the feedback. This will allow you to demonstrate your maturity, interest in feedback as a learning tool and your ability to change and learn.

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 question is similar to Kellogg’s question about your background, values and life experiences. Similar to Kellogg, this is the perfect opportunity to differentiate yourself from those applicants who may have a similar educational or work profile. Think about the threads of your personal life that have made you the person you are. How will you take your personal interests and values and contribute to Tuck Business School? This is another opportunity to reveal your depth of knowledge of the culture. How will you contribute to organizations that already exist, or fill a need?

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 why you are a different person now. In the instance of work gaps, you may have been the innocent bystander to economic realities, in which case you may simply explain the facts. 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.

For an insider perspective on the Tuck Business School, check out the many MBA themed blogs on the internet.


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