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Dartmouth / Tuck School of Business MBA Essay Topic Analysis

Dartmouth / Tuck MBA Interview Questions & Report: Round 1/ Second-year Student / On Campus

The following essay topic analysis examines Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business (Tuck) MBA admissions essays for the 2018-2019 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for all other the leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.

On August 8th, 2018, join Clear Admit and Tuck for a free webinar taking you on an in depth, exclusive walk through the Tuck MBA Application. 

Dartmouth / Tuck MBA Essay Topic Analysis 2018-2019

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)
In the summer, Tuck released new evaluation criteria for this admissions cycle.  It would behoove applicants to review Tuck’s descriptions of being smart, nice, accomplished and aware to see what resonates.  Reading through the evaluation criteria should give you a greater understanding of its culture, help you determine your fit with Tuck, and kick start your brainstorming for this essay.

The essay itself has two main parts: a description of oneself and how that would translate into contributing at Tuck.  Applicants may want to begin by thinking about an element or two of the student culture with which they find the greatest resonance, and should also consider which are already evident in their activities and accomplishments to date. In fact, one to two examples that illustrate their skills and potential to make a positive impact should be woven in to selected means of contributing. Consider this in light of the idea that past behavior supports future success.

If you find the numerous qualities of Tuck’s criteria overwhelming, you may try the following exercise to help you focus:

  1. Write down the 10 to 15 most important events, accomplishments, interests, or experiences in your life. Include the good, the bad, the astounding, the ugly, etc.
  2. Look at the list you have generated and try to determine the themes that unify the important events, interests, and ideas in your life. How have you dedicated your time? What values have you fought for? Considering your actions will help you connect to values outlined in Tuck’s evaluation criteria.
  3. Select one or two items from the list that best support given strengths or values and use them to define your approach and kick off the drafting process for the essay.

Once you have established content exemplifying who you are, you’ll then need to forge connections to how your individuality would add to the Tuck community.  It will be important to develop a good sense of opportunities available at Tuck; visiting the campus or attending information sessions, speaking with students and alumni, or learning about the program through our in-depth Clear Admit School Guide to Tuck will pay dividends here.

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)
Tuck again highlights their new evaluation criteria in an essay, specifically bringing up being “nice.”  Given part of the description says, “actively encourage, celebrate, and support others,” the adcom is likely looking for direct engagement and collaboration with someone, as opposed to simply helping someone else succeed by improving their bottom line.  With this in mind, applicants may reflect on managerial or mentoring relationships that yielded positive results.  You may even have a peer teamwork experience to discuss.  No matter the relationship, what’s important is to discuss one’s actions, interactions and results.  What challenges did you face?  How did you address them?  How were you generous?  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 onto a full-time position at your firm; perhaps a team member had a problem with time management, and you stayed late to help meet a deadline; other examples may include investing in your local community, joining the local Boys and Girls Club and working with youths.  Once you dig into these details, conclude with a connection to how this experience could translate to Tuck. This connection may be forge by reflecting on lessons you had learned and how you would apply them on campus.

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)

Tuck has broken down a typical career goals essay with clear parameters for length for each piece.  Applicants will need to address each short answer directly and concisely.  For the first two, be as grounded and direct as possible—identify a position and target industry to start.  Given room, you may fit a target company or two as well.  While the third prompt invites reflection on one’s career history, it would also be suitable to reflect on one’s desired impact.  In other words, what has been your motivation for these goals?  In regards to the fourth question, consider first what skills you need from an MBA; this can inform what you need from Tuck and how they are suited to support your growth.

Optional Essay

Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (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. (500 word limit encouraged)
The admissions committee provides some clear guidance about “allowable” topics for this response, 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, with applicants making 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. (500 word limit encouraged)
This response asks repeat applicants to comment on outward steps they have taken to enhance their applications–for example, retaking the GMAT, asking for 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:

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