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Dartmouth Tuck Admissions Director Talks Admissions Events and Application Updates

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Luke Anthony Peña, admissions director at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, returned to the Tuck 360 MBA blog this month to bring readers up to speed on the latest developments in admissions. In his July post, he offered advice on attending business school events as well as additional details on the recent updates to Tuck’s application process and assessment criteria. His words prove particularly timely given that Tuck’s application went live last week. Below we’ve pulled out the highlights from Peña’s latest post.

Admissions Events

Summer is a busy time for an MBA admissions team. At Tuck, the team has been traveling the world to attend receptions, information sessions, forums, and coffee chats. Peña’s own itinerary includes Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Chicago, New York, Houston, Dallas, and Mexico City.

Here’s a tweet he shared from a recent event in Shanghai:

Stressed about how to stand out at these events? Relax, says Peña. You’re not getting evaluated or assessed. The admissions team just wants to meet you, and the events are really your opportunity to get to know the school. Peña recommends focusing on engaging with the community, not on making an impression. You should be attending events to see if Tuck resonates with you.

“So leave the agenda–and the stress and anxiety that come with it–at home, and come hang out with us to explore Tuck and envision yourself as a member of our community,” Peña wrote.

Application Updates

There were a lot of changes this year to the Tuck admissions process. The school updated the application dates, admissions criteria, and essay and reference letter questions, all with the goal of streamlining the application experience. The idea was to more cleanly and crisply align the application with the strong values of the Tuck School, which is evident in the updated criteria.

Peña plans to share even more details about the application and assessment process before Tuck’s first September 24th application deadline. In case you missed it, he was a recent guest on the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast and shared great information about the admissions process there. (The second episode in the two-part series will air later this week.) Our interview with him from last year also includes valuable insights.

Assessment Criteria

Can you assess if someone is nice? This new criterion has generated a lot of attention and questions from MBA applicants. Peña explained that it’s not the most singularly important criteria of the application because “the nicest applicant in the world must still be smart, accomplished, and aware to succeed here.” However, it is vital to the Tuck experience.

To evaluate niceness, Tuck won’t be looking at arbitrary personality traits but rather at “demonstrable behaviors and outcomes, which we’ll be exploring in detail in essays, interviews, and reference letters,” Peña wrote. The school will be looking for proof of your niceness in your actions.

Peña promised to share even more details about the Tuck application and admissions criteria in his August blog post, so be sure to tune in. To read the entire July blog post, click here

Kelly Vo
Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and topics related to personal development. She has been working in the MBA space for the past four years in research, interview, and writing roles.