From The Staff of MBA Admit.com
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The Tuck 2013-2014 Application
Unlike many other top business schools this year where we have seen drastic changes in the admissions application, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University has stuck with their time-tested structure.
2013-2014 Application Dates
The key application dates for this year’s application cycle at Tuck will be as follows:
Early Action Round: Applications due October 9, 2013
Round 1: Applications due November 6, 2013
Round 2: Applications due January 3, 2014
Round 3: Applications due April 2, 2014
***Round 1 Consortium: Applications due October 15, 2013
***Round 2 Consortium: Applications due January 15, 2014
The main trend we have seen with top business schools this year is that admissions committees have significantly cut the allowable word count and the number of essays on applications. But not Tuck! Tuck has remained tied to their dependable, time-tested structure: three 500-word essays (1500 words total). While there are a few notable changes in wording from previous years, the general look and feel of the essay portion of the Tuck application remains the same. The essay questions will appear on the application as they do below:
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?
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?
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?
Besides academic excellence, which is generally discernible from transcripts and test scores, Tuck has stated that they look for several key qualities in future members of the Tuck community. These qualities include demonstrated accomplishments, demonstrated leadership, strong interpersonal skills, diversity of background and experience, and a global mindset. When addressing the essay portion of the application, keep in mind that your responses and your application in whole should reflect these qualities as well.
While many business schools have crafted their essay prompts to build self-reflection and create anecdotes to drive insight into applicants at a deeper level, Essay 1 at Tuck sounds very similar to a tried-and-true career statement. Last year, this question asked applicants to state a “unique contribution”, whereas this year they ask applicants to explain “the best fit” component. Simplifying the language and making the question more straightforward suggests that the committee asks direct answers to get direct responses --- ultimately to be able to compare applicants side-by-side.
Essay 2 focuses on leadership and teamwork – two qualities that will be of recurring importance throughout any business school program. As such, emphasizing how you have demonstrated leadership and teamwork will be of utmost importance to the admissions committee in determining your potential as a future business leader. This essay may also be an excellent place to incorporate narration or anecdotes that speak to overcoming leadership challenges and how those experiences created a stronger person and leader.
Finally, Essay 3 prompts applicants to think in reverse: instead of emphasizing your successes, emphasize your challenges and setbacks, then move forward into how those experiences affected you both personally and professionally. A narrative in this sense should provoke emotion from the reader, taking you step-by-step through your failure and disappointment and back to the hope and success that you achieved ultimately.
Tuck also provides a fourth optional, open-ended essay for applicants to respond to in order to explain any extenuating circumstances that have not already been clarified elsewhere in the application.
Additional Required Materials
In addition to the essay portion of the application, Tuck requires that all applicants submit copies of all official transcripts, the two most recent GRE or GMAT scores (note that this is not only the highest score, but the two highest scores if you have taken either test more than once), a resume, two confidential statements of qualifications (CSQ) from two different recommenders (professional recommenders, one of which should ideally be a current supervisor), a valid TOEFL score for applicants whose first language is not English, and an application fee.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com