Known for its extremely close-knit, down-to-earth community, Dartmouth Tuck wants to learn about you and how you will embody and add to its culture. Use your application essays to show a side of you that is not conveyed in the other parts of your application.
Tuck students can articulate how the distinctive Tuck MBA will advance their aspirations. Why are you pursuing an MBA and why Tuck? (300 words)
For this typical goals essay, think about roughly splitting your allotted word count between outlining your goals and explaining why Tuck is the right school to help you achieve those goals.
The “why MBA” element of your essay should include what you want to do after Tuck (your short-term goal) and where that will aspirationally lead you (your long-term goal). For your short-term goal, be specific—include an ideal role, company, and a reason you want to do this work. For example, “I want to transition within the energy sector from a corporate finance role into investment banking at a firm like Goldman Sachs so I can influence future energy investments into renewables.”
Consider starting the “why Tuck” portion of your essay by identifying what you need from the school to be successful in attaining your goals. Then showcase your knowledge of Tuck by highlighting specific resources and offerings that will help you fill that need. Think about which classes, clubs, events, and conferences you can both learn from and give back to during your time at the school that will help you be successful throughout your career. A significant part of your learning experience at Tuck will be experiential, outside of the classroom, so give some thought to how you will be active there apart from your course work.
Tuck Students recognize how their individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Tell us who you are. (300 words)
With this essay, Tuck wants to understand what unique perspective you will bring to classroom discussions and other key aspects of the Tuck community and experience. This is an opportunity to reveal your authentic self. Reflect on what is unique about you that can add to the class at Tuck. Reflect across your application as a whole, including your other essays, and identify what additional insight might help create a more complete picture of who you are. This could be an explanation of a hobby, an important achievement, a memory, a relationship, or something else that is very personal and meaningful to who you are and what you have to offer.
Consider starting this essay with a story that shows you actively engaging in something that reflects your individuality, and then explain to the admissions committee how and why this story illustrates who you are.
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)
The words “encouraging, collaborative and empathetic” are always a part of Tuck’s admissions criteria and are specifically highlighted in this essay prompt. Note that Tuck is expecting you to share a story that highlights when being “encouraging, collaborative or empathetic” was challenging in some way.
For this essay, consider using the SCAR method (situation, challenge, action, and result) to present your story. Relate the actions you took to showcase how you addressed the challenge involved. Highlight the steps you took and explain how you united with others to navigate the challenge. Tuck values collaboration and working together to solve problems, so this is a great opportunity to highlight your abilities in this context. It is okay to talk about a failure here if the story demonstrates the necessary qualities—maybe you didn’t reach the exact outcome you had hoped for because you chose to put your team, rather than results, first. Remember, Tuck admissions is evaluating whether you embody the key characteristics it wants to build in the class: encouraging, collaborative, and empathetic. You can “show” your encouragement, collaboration, or empathy through your experience and include what you learned from the situation.
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)
The optional essay is one that should be used judiciously. If you feel your application conveys a complete, accurate picture of who you are as a deserving Tuck candidate, then you are best off not submitting an optional essay. There is little to be gained from adding to the admissions committee’s workload by asking them to read another essay that doesn’t answer something new. But if you have something that warrants explanation, this is your chance to clarify or explain to the admissions committee.
To be completed by all re-applicants: How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (300 words)
Ideally, in the time between your previous application and now, you have self-assessed areas of your life and career that could be improved in this application—and have taken steps to fill those gaps. Tuck wants to know not only that you bring new experiences to the table this year, but also that you are not easily deterred by setbacks and continue to strive towards your goals. Outline for the admissions committee what you have done, gained, and learned since you last applied. Highlight what new skills or experiences you bring to Tuck and how you will use them to contribute to your classmates’ experiences.
In Stratus Admissions’ Guide to Getting into Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, you will find information on a variety of the MBA program’s offerings such as the OnSite Global Consulting, First Year Project, Tuck Winter Carnival, and small group dinners. This free guide also includes class profile statistics and our expert advice on answering the business school’s application essay questions. Download our brand-new guide to learn more about Dartmouth Tuck!