Dartmouth Tuck MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

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Dartmouth Tuck 2018-19 MBA Essay tips and deadlines

In a nutshell, Tuck’s Admissions Director Luke Pena, who assumed the position about a year ago, is building on the legacy of transparency and friendliness left by former admission director Dawna Clarke. After a year of “listening and more listening,” he is clearly putting his own stamp on Tuck’s MBA application process.

Under Pena’s leadership, Tuck has developed a very purposeful process focused on admitting people who meet its four criteria, summed up as smart, nice, accomplished, and aware. The criteria match my understanding of the Tuck community, but also are relatively easy to grasp. Once Tuck established and defined these criteria, it designed its application process to unearth the qualities it is seeking in candidates.

To have a clear understanding of the criteria and the application process, please review:

Tuck’s Evaluation Criteria

Tuck Introduces Essay and Reference Questions Mapped to New Admissions Criteria

An Interview with Dartmouth Tuck’s Admissions Director, Luke Pena

Dartmouth Tuck MBA Application

The essay questions provide you with an opportunity to articulate your candidacy for Tuck to the Admissions Committee. Please be clear, succinct, forthright, and thoughtful in your responses. Additionally, we ask that you share what you truly feel, as opposed to writing what you think the Admissions Committee would like to read. There are no right or wrong answers. Reapplicants should also complete the reapplicant essay. Tuck expects that the work contained in the essays is completely accurate and exclusively your own. Use of professional essay writing services violates Tuck’s admissions policies.

Tuck MBA Application Short-Answer Questions

1. Share your short term goals. (50 words)

2. Share your long term goals. (50 words)

3. How did you arrive at these goals? (75 words)

4. How will Tuck help you achieve these goals? (75 words)

The short answer questions are a great place for you to show the awareness and possibly a bit of the “accomplished” quality that Tuck is looking for. Are you motivated by a clear purpose? And by the way you can set “audacious” goals as long as they are “grounded in reality.”

Obviously given the word limits, you will need to be succinct. In responding to #1 define your short-term goals in terms of desired role and industry, and perhaps location. Long-term goals (#2) can have an aspirational quality to them, but they should be supported by the short-term ones.

Question #3 is about your motivation. You can succinctly discuss an experience that influenced the development of your goals as well as why this incident proved so influential.

Finally #4, is why Tuck? Do you have a solid understanding of what Tuck offers and how it will help you realize your short-term goals and set you on a path to achieving the long-term ones?

Tuck MBA Application Essay #1

Tuck students are aware of how their individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Tell us who you are and what you will contribute. (500 words)

This is a hard question. No doubt about it. You could start by attempting to define yourself. That may work for some of you. For others it may be easier to start with how you intend to contribute to Tuck and then discuss the qualities, perspective, and/or experience that will enable you to contribute effectively.

With either approach, review the website thoroughly so that you have a good understanding of the program. If you can, talk to current students or recent alumni with interests similar to yours. Then think about how you will participate and contribute to the Tuck community.

Whether initially or at the end of this process, reflect on the attributes, perspective, and experiences that will allow you to contribute distinctively, if not uniquely.

I suggest you choose 1-3 means of contribution and discuss the qualities you have that qualify you to give in this particular way. Perhaps start with a story about an experience that reveals these qualities and then move forward to reveal how that experience defines you or reflects your identity. Close with what you intend to contribute.

Alternatively, start with the “who you are’ part of the question and then move to how you intend to contribute.

Tuck MBA Application Essay #2

Tuck students are nice, and invest generously in one another’s success. Share an example of how you helped someone else succeed. (500 words)

This question is about one experience. It requires you to choose one time when you helped someone else succeed. Your assistance could be on or off the job. While Tuck hasn’t given a time frame, I wouldn’t recommend that you go back more than three years and certainly not more than five years.

A CAR approach will work well here:

• Challenge

• Action

• Result

Keep it specific and concrete or you will blend in with others writing in generalities. Your empathetic, helpful response to the other party’s challenge is key. Set the scene by describing the situation. How did you help the other party succeed? What were the results?

Tuck MBA Application Essay #3 (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.

If you have any of the elements mentioned in Tuck’s question, by all means address them here. You do NOT want the admissions committee guessing or assuming wrongly when they come across something anomalous.

If you feel your application represents your candidacy well, don’t feel compelled to respond to the optional. If you believe, however, that your application is missing key elements of your story and candidacy even if not mentioned in the question, then briefly include here. If you application is missing critical context, succinctly add it here. Whether it’s a challenge that you’ve faced or a hardship overcome or other context for what you’ve achieved that will help the admissions committee appreciate you candidacy, include it.

But don’t waste their time with drivel or material that’s elsewhere in your application. Doing so would reveal a definite lack of judgement, and in Tuck terms, awareness.

Tuck MBA Application Essay #4 (To be completed by all reapplicants)

How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (500 words)

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?

For expert guidance with your Dartmouth Tuck MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too!

Dartmouth Tuck 2018-19 Application Deadlines

Application Deadline Decisions Released
 Round 1 September 24, 2018 December 6, 2018
 Round 2 January 7, 2019 March 14, 2019
 Round 3 April 1, 2019 May 9, 2019
Round 1 Consortium* October 15, 2018 December 6, 2018
Round 2 Consortium* January 5, 2019 March 14, 2019

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. EST

*Prospective students who are applying to Tuck through the Consortium will receive two decisions; one from Tuck regarding their admission decision and a second from the Consortium regarding their membership decision.

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

CTA Top MBA Essay Questions Guide


Linda AbrahamBy Linda 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:

• Why MBA?, a free guide to writing about your MBA goals
• An Interview with Dartmouth Tuck’s Admissions Director, Luke Pena, a podcast episode
• 3 Tips for Showing Strengths in Your Application Essays

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

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