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Tuck MBA Essay Questions & Analysis 2023-2024

tuck mba essay

The following essay topic analysis examines Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business (Tuck) MBA admissions essays. The Tuck MBA essay questions are for the 2023-2024 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.

Tuck MBA Essay Questions & Analysis 2023-2024

Let’s take a closer look at each Tuck MBA essay question.

Tuck MBA Essay 1

Why are you pursuing an MBA and why now? How will the distinct Tuck MBA contribute to achieving your career goals and aspirations? (300 words)
This Tuck MBA essay question is a fairly straightforward career goals essay, asking applicants to explain 1) their professional aspirations, 2) why they’re interested in pursuing an MBA now, and 3) why they’d like to do so at Tuck in particular. When announcing the essays, Director of Admissions, Evaluation & Yield Patricia Harrison noted, “Consider devoting roughly half the essay to why an MBA is right for you, and the other half to why Tuck is right for you.”

Though the prompt asks about the MBA first, we suggest opening with your long-term career goals. This sets the stage for the adcom and lets them know where you are heading from the start. You’ll also want to be as grounded and direct as possible when defining your goals—in line with Tuck’s criteria of being aware, ambitious and purposeful—identify a position and target industry, and explain what draws you to this role and how it connects with your previous experience. If you have space after drafting your response, you may also want to highlight the impact you hope to have through your work.

Then, consider first what skills you need from an MBA; this can inform what you need from Tuck and how this program will help you accomplish the growth you’re seeking.  With respect to how the MBA would help you achieve your goals, it would make sense to briefly comment on your work experience to date in order to establish the skills you already possess; this helps to establish the gap in your skill set that a Tuck MBA would fill. This could also be a great place to comment on timing, particularly how you are ready to leave the workforce to advance your education. This phase of your discussion should establish the skills and knowledge you hope to gain from a Tuck MBA while integrating details about the program. Forging specific connections between the skills you hope to gain (whether in the classroom or through involvement in student clubs or other outlets) and your future plans will show the adcom that you’ve researched the program and have a sound understanding of how a Tuck MBA will prepare you for success. Finally, given Tuck’s remote location, you may wish to acknowledge in this section why getting an MBA away from the bustle of an urban environment is important to you.

Tuck MBA Essay 2

Tell us who you are. How have your values and experiences shaped your identity and character? How will your background contribute to the diverse Tuck culture and community? (300 words)
This is a chance to tell the adcom who you are, where you come from, and what you care about. It is also a good place to highlight instances of resourcefulness and persistence, especially discussing how far you’ve come, if you were a boostrapper or first generation in your family to attend college. You can provide insight into your personal and professional maturity and collaborative nature over the course of a narrative. An effective approach might be to describe the initial experience and its broad implications in a few sentences, followed by a brief illustrative example before concluding with a reflection on how the experience has shaped who you are today.

The adcom also wants to know that you’ll be supportive and collaborative while on campus at Tuck and be a good addition to the student community. Applicants should aim to connect their history with potential future contributions to Tuck. Whether you choose to draw on your professional, personal or academic life, it’s important to create context before connecting to how you would contribute. As you approach the contributions, specifically, think about how you can translate your experience and related lessons into involvement on the Dartmouth campus. Creating a link between your past and your potential future at the program will enable you to present a consistent and clear picture of your candidacy, as well as your professional and personal interests. The more information you can provide about how exactly you would contribute (playing a certain role in organizing a particular annual event, for example), the more reason you’ll give the adcom to admit you.

Tuck MBA Essay 3

Describe a time you meaningfully contributed to someone else’s sense of inclusion in your professional or personal community. (300 words)
This prompt invites applicants to share challenging situations that align with Tuck’s evaluation criteria—in this case, being encouraging, collaborative and empathetic. Given that Tuck is seeking students who “actively celebrate and support others,” it would make sense to choose an example in which you directly engaged and supported someone. With this in mind, applicants may want to reflect on managerial or mentoring relationships that yielded positive results. You may even have a peer teamwork experience to discuss. Harrison advises, “Tell a story that focuses on your engagement with one other person, or perhaps a very small group, conveying the richness and depth of interpersonal interactions.” No matter the nature of the relationship at the heart of the story, it will be important to discuss one’s actions, interactions, and results. What challenges did you face? How did you address them? How were you inclusive? What did success look like? What did you learn in the process? Perhaps you took time out of your day to mentor a new intern, who then moved on to a full-time position at your firm; perhaps you helped challenge stereotypes in your community or have put in the work to become aware of your privilege and then, used it, to help your community. Once you dig into these details, conclude with a connection to how this experience could translate to your time at Tuck.

Optional Essay

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. (300 words)
The admissions committee provides some clear guidance about “allowable” topics for this Tuck MBA essay, indicating that it will be best used to address liabilities in one’s application. It’s possible that there are other elements of one’s background that would be appropriate and not covered elsewhere in one’s application—for example an anticipated promotion or an element of one’s identity not covered in the program’s data forms—though the wording of this prompt suggests that it should be used sparingly (i.e. that applicants should make an effort to fully represent their candidacies within the required elements of the application).

Reapplicant Essay

(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. (300 words)
This response asks repeat applicants to comment on the concrete steps they have taken to enhance their applications–for example, retaking the GMAT, taking on more responsibility at work, or stepping up their involvement in a community organization–while also providing some more introspective commentary on how they’ve grown since they first applied to Tuck. Reapplicants will, therefore, want to offer a balance of commentary in this essay, remarking on how they’ve proactively taken measures to become a stronger applicant, as well as on how their skills, career goals, and (if applicable) appreciation of the Tuck MBA have evolved in recent months.

Clear Admit Resources

Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s Tuck MBA essay topics. As you work on your Tuck MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s Dartmouth offerings: