Dartmouth Tuck 2016-17 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines

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Want to learn more about Tuck? Check out our Dartmouth Tuck MBA Zone!The Dartmouth Tuck adcom is interested in learning about what you as an individual, a businessperson, and a leader can contribute to Tuck’s small, close-knit program. Use your essays as a platform for expressing your earnest desire to enter the world of management and to make a difference.  

I strongly recommend Tuck applicants listen to "Tuck Talk: IV With The Director Of Admission," my podcast interview with Dawna Clarke, Director of Admissions at Tuck. I also recommend you review Dartmouth's six evaluation criteria for admission.

Tuck changed its Essay #1 and #2. Both now have global element. Tuck's guidelines also give a longer guidelines for Essay 1 than last year. Several schools have loosened word limits this year. Use the latitude well.

Tuck provides length guidelines, not limits.  That "encouragement" and gentle suggestion give you a little leeway. Please don't make the mistake of abusing that typical Tuck friendliness. It is an opportunity for you to show judgment and consideration of your reader by still being succinct.

Accepted has been helping applicants to Tuck gain acceptance for roughly 20 years. Explore our services to learn more about how we can help you prepare your Tuck MBA application. 


Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. There are no right or wrong answers. We encourage applicants to limit the length of their responses to 500 to 700 words for Essay #1 and 500 words for Essay #2. Please double-space your responses.

Essay 1.

(Required) Tuck educates wise leaders who better the world of business. What are your short- and long-term goals? How will a Tuck MBA enable you to become a wise leader with global impact?

Tuck did ask about goals last year and Why Tuck, but the "wise leader" and "global aspects" of this year's question are new. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The MBA is a means to an end, not an end in itself. That's why Tuck (and many other schools) ask question like this one. Tuck wants to know that it can help you achieve your goal. So clearly you have to have both short- and long-term goals to respond to the question.  

You also have to be able to show the qualities of a wise leader with the potential for global impact. When have you shown the maturity to lead and influence in a way that improved either your company or some other entity that you were a part of?  How did that experience influence your short- and long-term goals or show that you have the ability to achieve those goals?  What is the benefit to society if you achieve what you want to achieve?

One possible approach to the essay: Start this essay with a brief anecdote showing that you have the maturity, restraint, listening  vision, and interpersonal skills (AKA wisdom) to influence, motivate and lead. The anecdote should also relate to your goals. Then discuss your goals and the path you intend to take and the hoped for impact of your realizing those dreams. The path should include the aspects of Tuck's program that attract you to Hanover and will help you accomplish your goals and "better the world of business."

Essay 2.

As a diverse and global community, our students arrive at the same place from many different paths.  Tell us about an experience in which you have had to live, learn and/or work with other people very different from yourself.  What challenges and/or opportunities did you experience, how did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result?

Unlike Essay 1, which focuses on the future and the hypothetical, this question is about one experience in the past.  It is not hypothetical at all.

Tell them a story about the challenges you have faced when dealing with people different from you. Choose one story to relate.

A CAR approach will work well here:


Keep it specific and concrete or you will blend in with others writing in generalities. What did you learn is going to be critical in responding to this question. 

Keep in mind that Tuck treasures its close-knit, collaborative culture and values teamwork, as well as the leadership sought in Essay 1. Since the student body is diverse, Tuck wants to make sure that all members can handle that diversity. Plus the ability to deal with people different from you is critical to success in business. And life.

Essay 3. (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.

It is almost impossible for two (or even three) 500-word essays plus a bunch of boxes, a transcript, and a GMAT/GRE score to represent fully the uniqueness and talents of a truly impressive candidate. That comment has nothing to do with writing style and everything to do with the complexity of accomplished human beings. In my opinion this “optional essay”  is optional in name only.

At the same time, don’t waste the reader’s time by writing a meaningless, superficial “grand finale” or summary. Don’t repeat what can be found elsewhere. Let this essay add value to the reader's understanding of you and to your candidacy.

Essay 4. (Required from Reapplicants)

How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally.

Straightforward MBA reapplication question. It is critical that every reapplicant be able to answer it for every school they are reapplying to: What has changed that would compel Tuck to admit you this year?

If you would like professional guidance with your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our  MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Dartmouth Tuck application. 

Dartmouth Tuck 2016-17 Application Deadlines:

Check out more school-specific MBA essay tips!


ByLinda Abraham , president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.


Related Resources:

• The Tuck School of Business and the Global Insight Requirement 
Dartmouth Tuck Zone Page
• School-Specific MBA Application Essay Tips

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

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