As the Round 2 deadline approaches, Dartmouth Tuck’s Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Luke Anthony Peña recently took to the Tuck 360 Blog to offer prospective students advice on admissions essays.
As Peña has shared before, the ideal Tuck MBA is smart, aware, accomplished and nice, and the essays provide a vehicle for showcasing some of these qualities. While he and his team have expanded on what makes a strong essay, they now offer a keyword to keep in mind: simplicity.
He explains, “I tend not to dwell much on mistakes or pitfalls, because I want to empower you to apply with confidence, and that means focusing on all that can go right rather than all that can go wrong. I do often tell applicants that the best way to stand out is to stop trying so hard to do so. We care a lot at Tuck about your awareness, both of your strengths and your areas for growth and development.”
Peña has read an estimated 9,000 essays in his two years at Tuck, and more than 10,000 combined with his prior work. With that in mind, he also cautioned that the goal of an essay should not be to leave a lasting impression on the reader—something memorable is not necessarily informative. Instead, make sure you answer the question and also ensure the reader can get a sense of who you are.
Peña’s best advice for the essays is, “Write them, share them with someone whom you know and trust, and ask them not ‘Is this a good Tuck MBA essay?’ but instead ‘Is this truly me?’ If yes, you’ve done good work. If no, keep at it—you’ll get there!”
See more advice here.