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Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business

Miércoles 7 de julio de 2021, por hurtado claudio

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business

Dartmouth College (Tuck) Essay Analysis, 2021–2022


The school’s first prompt broadly covers applicants’ need for an MBA, and specifically a Tuck MBA. Essay 2 deals with candidates’ individuality, and the third essay is about a time when applicants demonstrated or acted on one or more key characteristics the school values in its students. Tuck clearly seeks individuals who will be ambitious, cooperative, and supportive members of its community. Our more detailed essay analysis for Tuck’s 2021–2022 essay questions follows.


Essay 1: Tuck students can articulate how the distinctive Tuck MBA will advance their aspirations. Why are you pursuing an MBA and why Tuck?


By not specifically requesting short- and long-term goals in this essay prompt, Tuck leaves the decision of how to frame your career aspirations up to you. The natural assumption is that if you have reached a point in your professional journey where you believe an MBA is necessary to move forward, you must have a goal in mind that you are working toward—even if that goal is still fairly nebulous or malleable at this point.

To address the “why Tuck?” element of this prompt, you will need to indicate which of the school’s resources and/or what aspect(s) of its program as a whole will be most helpful to you in your pursuits, and this requires more than a pandering summarization or a stark list of offerings. This means you must move beyond the Tuck website, viewbook, and related marketing materials and make direct contact with students, alumni, and other school representatives. In-person admissions events, campus visits, and online events and options allow candidates to familiarize themselves with Tuck’s environment and resources. Understanding what and who the school’s program truly entails, as well as how it works, is key in identifying and then articulating your need for a Tuck MBA in particular. By thoroughly doing your research on the school and drawing a clear picture for your admissions reader of how the particular offerings you have identified relate directly to your needs and how you intend to apply them, chances are high that you will submit a truly effective essay.


Essay 2: Tuck students recognize how their individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Tell us who you are.


This essay question tasks applicants with sharing what they feel are important aspects of their character and personality. With the essay’s rather tight word allotment, keeping the scope of the query narrow makes sense. Nevertheless, we feel that the prompt’s first line, which notes that Tuckies “recognize how their individuality adds to the [school’s] fabric,” is a hint that candidates are expected to understand and be able to articulate how they fit with (and could therefore theoretically contribute to) the school’s community—they just do not need to be overly specific and detailed in conveying this information.

First, we suggest you grab some paper and make an old-fashioned list of your key characteristics, values, and interests. Do not concern yourself with trying to single out the “right” ones but rather the ones most representative of who you are. A good brainstorming tactic is to imagine meeting someone for the first time at a party or other event and the process of getting acquainted. What kind of information would you want to know about this person, and what facts about yourself would you be most eager to share, as a way of conveying who you are and making a connection? Take some time to delve into your personality in this way. At the same time, keep in mind what the admissions committee will already know about you from the other portions of your application, to avoid wasting an opportunity to share something new, and try to identify stories that provide context and color to your claims, rather than just stating them outright. For example, rather than a declaration like “I tend to be a very altruistic person and enjoy giving back to my community by being a reading tutor,” you might say something more like, “Tuesday nights have become my favorite night of the week, because that is when I tutor local elementary students in reading, and the way their eyes light up when they learn a new word or finish another book never fails to inspire and gratify me.” Giving your claims sufficient context and a bit of “life” in this way allows the admissions committee to more fully understand and appreciate them.

This essay prompt actually allows you a great deal of freedom to choose and share the information you believe is most important for the admissions committee to know about you. In addition to focusing on the elements of your personality that you feel are most distinct and revelatory of who you are as an individual, give some thought to which of your characteristics mesh best with the Dartmouth Tuck experience. (We strongly encourage you to click through and read the school’s admissions criteria in detail, if you have not already done so.) Avoid simply trying to fit in as much information as possible about yourself in hopes of stumbling on the “right” answers and instead clearly present and illustrate your most fitting qualities. Authenticity and enthusiasm are the keys to your success with this essay.


Essay 3: 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.


By illustrating via this essay that you have a natural interest in helping, working with, and/or caring about others and have a history of doing so so, you will demonstrate for the admissions committee that you possess the qualities it is seeking in its next class of students. In addition, stepping up to be there for someone in a way that is important to them also shows an instinct for leadership, which is valued by all MBA programs.

Because this is a fairly straightforward essay prompt, we recommend responding in an equally straightforward manner. Beyond simply sharing a story of having supported, assisted, and/or encouraged someone in a meaningful way, you will need to share the motivation(s) and thought processes that led you to want to do so in the first place. With only 300 words with which to respond, you will need to clearly but succinctly convey the situation as you originally encountered it, your inspiration to become involved, the actions you took, the outcome, and, ideally, what you learned from the experience (though this last element should be somewhat brief). The qualifier “even when it is not convenient or easy” suggests to us that stories in which the decision to engage might have been fraught in some way or the path to the desired outcome was not entirely direct or smooth could resonate slightly better with the admissions committee. Also, in a June 2018 Tuck news article, Luke Anthony Peña, Tuck’s director of global admissions and financial aid, commented, “Tuck is a distinctly collaborative community so being able to challenge others tactfully and thoughtfully is important”. With this in mind, if you are deciding between two or more instances you could discuss for this essay, consider going with one in which your intervention was perhaps not requested or immediately accepted—one in which you perhaps needed to diplomatically negotiate your participation in it.


Note that Tuck does not specify from which realm of your life—professional, personal, or community related—the story you choose to share here must come. This means you can plumb the entirety of your experiences for the one you believe best fulfills what the school wants to see and about which you feel most strongly. Also consider that the prompt does not indicate that the recipient must be an individual, so it could potentially involve a pair or small group. Perhaps, for example, you helped a duo of small business owners with a marketing issue or supported a small musical group or athletic team in some capacity. 

free Interview Guides! Download your free copy Dartmouth Tuck Interview Guide.


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Imparte Claudio Hurtado ex docente UC, consultor razonamiento matemático.

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