Tuck School of Business Essay Analysis 2017 – 2018

Last updated on September 20th, 2017

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Welcome to this article in which we will look at the Tuck MBA program at Dartmouth, walk through the essays, and discuss what is unique about the program.


Firstly, Dartmouth is one of the Ivy League schools in the US. So Tuck has rich reputation in that sense, but if you ask what is really unique about the program, it is the community spirit that you see in Tuck. It’s a small class, and it is not next to a large city. In that sense, it’s “tucked” away. Due to this bonding you have in two years, you form a deeper network with the alum, and your classmates. That can be seen as an advantage.


In the US, the culture of colleges plays a huge role. If you’re okay being in a big city, maybe Columbia is what you should be looking at, but if you would like the warmth, the small class size and the bonding, Tuck is the place you should be. This should reflect in your application essay where you say why this particular style resonates best with you.


Another important factor is that they don’t have a Ph.D. program so the entire focus in on the MBA program. All the professors are 100% devoted to taking classes for the MBA program.


If you look at the Tuck program, they speak about General Management. It’s known for leadership and general management. That’s a very strong theme that comes with the program and if you see “The Center for Leadership” at Tuck, you will see that they have various concentrations where the largest department by far is Strategy and Management. Therefore, if you’re looking at general management, and developing your leadership skills, Tuck should be the place for you.


Dartmouth / Tuck MBA Deadlines 2017-2018


Early Action Round

Applications Due: October 4, 2017

Applicant-initiated Interview Complete: October 31, 2017

Admissions Decision: December 15, 2017


November Round

Applications Due: November 1, 2017

Applicant-initiated Interview Complete: November 10, 2017

Admissions Decision: February 9, 2018


January Round

Applications Due: January 3, 2018

Applicant-initiated Interview Complete: January 31, 2018

Admissions Decision: March 10, 2018


April Round

Applications Due: April 4, 2018

Applicant-initiated Interview Complete: April 4, 2018

Admissions Decision: May 11, 2018


First Round Consortium

Applications Due: October 15, 2017

Applicant-initiated Interview Complete: October 31, 2017

Admissions Decision: December 15, 2017


Second Round Consortium

Applications Due: January 5, 2018

Applicant-initiated Interview Complete: January 31, 2018

Admissions Decision: May 9, 2018


Let’s look at the application deadlines. You have the early action round which is similar to Duke. If you apply for an early action round,  and you’re made an offer, it’s a binding offer, which means that you will not apply to any other schools. You need to be very clear whether Tuck is one of your top choices. If it is your top choice, please apply to the early action round.


It’s either the early action round, the November intake, or the January intake. Do not look at the April intake, especially if you’re an international applicant. Now, students say “between early action round and the first round, am I at a disadvantage with the first round becoming the second round?”. Not necessarily, but if Tuck is not your top school of choice and you end up applying in the early action round, what may happen is that you get an offer but you’re waiting for the other schools. You may not be able to take up the offer. That’s why you have to be a little careful.



Tuck School Of Business MBA Essay Analysis 2017-2018


Essay 1


What are your short and long-term goals? Why is an MBA a critical next step toward achieving those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically? (500 words)


Three questions, 500 words. Here is how you break it down. First, you need to be talking about your career so far. It’s not a rehash of your resume but a quick synopsis of your career progression to date. You can tell them, “This is where I started…this has been my journey…but at this juncture in my life… this is what I see ahead.” Something you couldn’t have seen three years ago. What is the clarity you have about your life and career? That becomes your short-term goal. Once you have your short-term goal, you have to be specific about the function, industry, and geography. All of it has to be very specific. One mistake that people make when writing the short-term goal essay is that they are vague. Don’t be vague.


However, in the long term goals, you can be vague. When I say “vague”, I don’t mean that you put some generic statement like, “I want to be an entrepreneur 20 years down the line.” No! Five to ten years down the line is long enough, and you can say, “five to ten years down the line, this is what I hope to do with my life.” If you want to pursue entrepreneurship, you should be talking about the areas in which you’re going to start your own venture. There is some leeway to be generic and at the same time, you need to have something that ties your past experience, your MBA, and your short-term goal into your long-term goal. That pretty much would be your second paragraph. In the first paragraph, you write a synopsis of what you did, in the second paragraph, your goals and in the third paragraph, you say that if you’re here and this is your goal, this is your bridge. What is stopping you from getting there? That really is the reason you want to do an MBA. You want to look at the specific thing that you want to learn from the B-School. Is it knowledge? Is it different perspectives? Is it brand equity and the network? Whatever your requirements are from an MBA school, you list that in the third part.


In the final part, for each of the characteristics that you have mentioned you require from a B-School, say how Tuck is uniquely positioned to meet those requirements. My suggestion is take up the opportunity to connect with Tuck alum from the website; they call them the Tuckies. Make sure that you connect with some Tuckies, people from your background, and try to understand more about the school, try to understand the culture and the community spirit at Tuck.


That pretty much is going to be your 500 words. You have four paragraphs, roughly about 120 words for each of the paragraphs, and of course you can use your judgment, maybe 80 words in one paragraph and 150 in another. That doesn’t matter. According to me, 500 words is more than enough for you to articulate clearly. Just one point here. For the question,“Why are you interested in Tuck specifically?”, please refrain from making general statements. Don’t say something like “World-class infrastructure” or ‘Globally renowned faculty”. Every top school has it, so you need be very specific.



Essay 2


Tuck’s mission is to educate wise leaders to better the world of business. Wisdom encompasses the essential aptitudes of confident humility, about what one does and does not know; empathy, towards the diverse ideas and experiences of others; and judgment, about when and how to take risks for the better.

With Tuck’s mission in mind, and with a focus on confident humility, tell us about a time you:

received tough feedback,

experienced failure, or

disappointed yourself or others.

How did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result? (500 words)


Now what this essay is really asking you is to help them understand you as a person. In Australian Elite Corps, they have this as a question, “Have you experienced failure?”, and if you respond with a “no”, you are not considered suitable. Why? Because they feel that people who have gone through failure understand life better. They know what it takes to bounce back.  What this essay is really looking at is sometime when you did something that you’re not proud of. It could be a failure. Again, there is a trap over here, a lot of students make this mistake. They don’t really reveal the failure, they don’t reveal when they disappointed others. They will say something like, “Oh, this was a failure but eventually, it was a success”. No, it has to be a failure! It has to be a point where you fell flat on your face, where there were no options left. All you have to do is pick the broken pieces and move on. What is more important is not what happened to you, instead, it is how your response was. Did it really affect your sense of judgment? Maybe you stopped trusting your judgment, and then it took some time for you to regain confidence. Perhaps you also realized that sometimes it’s not possible for us to control the outcome, we can just control the decision.


That’s probably the learning you had, or probably the learning that you had was that it is important for you to trust others. Whatever the learning be, you need to make sure that you devote a significant portion of this essay to that learning. It’s not about the failure part. It’s about what you learned from it. How were you able to grow as a person? It’s very important. Again 500 words, plenty of words for you talk about this aspect.



Optional Essay


Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere and may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., unusual choice of evaluators, weaknesses in academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application.


For optional essays, talk about either a gap in your education or employment, or say something that really could not be said anywhere else. Something that you probably planned to do and that might affect your MBA candidature, but don’t try to retrofit stories that you picked to tell the Admission Committee that you were not able to tell anywhere else. That’s not what optional essays are meant for, and in fact, you do a bigger disservice to yourself by mentioning something you shouldn’t be talking about.


That’s all we have for the Tuck MBA application process. If you’re applying to Tuck this year, just go down and click the link below. We’ve had students who went to Tuck so we understand the program well, and we would love to share our knowledge with you. We could work together.