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June 15, 2022

Dartmouth Tuck School Of Business MBA Reapplicant Essay

Tuck MBA Reapplicant Essay Prompt

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 is a typical re-applicant essay – a nice, specific question about updates on short-term and long-term career goals. It’s important to keep in mind when addressing this piece that it’s not just about the matter-of-fact update itself… we also need to assess the IMPROVEMENT you’ve pulled off.

In other words, one year later, your career plan has to become sharper or more plausible, or more exciting in some way. We need to understand HOW. And WHY. That’s the key: a crystal clear explanation of how your candidacy has improved and what it means given your (new and improved) reasons for getting an MBA. Take a deeper dive into our analysis below:

The Re-applicant Essay

You can also read through our team’s analysis of the rest of Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA application essays.

Learn more and explore each step of the Dartmouth Tuck School of Business full-time MBA application process here.

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June 15, 2022

Tuck Optional MBA Application Essay Prompt

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.

Read our team’s complete take on the idea of the optional essay, including a brief (recent) history of b-schools’ relationship with it, and how our recommendations have evolved over the years, right here.

You can also read through our team’s analysis of the rest of Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA application essays.

Learn more and explore each step of the Dartmouth Tuck School of Business full-time MBA application process here.

June 15, 2022

Tuck MBA Application Essay Prompt 3

Tuck students are encouraging, collaborative, and empathetic, even when it is not convenient or easy. Describe a meaningful experience in which you exemplified one or more of these attributes. (300 words)

The example you pick here will say a lot, so again the CHOICE of story is 90% of it. You need to dig deep to find a moment when you helped someone else… and doing so provided absolutely NO reward or advantage to you personally.

In fact, the coolest versions of this essay are the ones where you demonstrate one of the three listed traits to your own DISADVANTAGE. That’s how committed you were to these values. When have you RISKED something in order to encourage someone else, achieve a group success, or help someone in a difficult spot? When have you been pressured NOT TO HELP SOMEONE, but did so in spite of that pressure? If it’s easy to imagine someone else doing the thing you did… chances are good that it’s not a good enough story. Don’t tell us about the time you helped a disabled child “successfully get out of the way of an oncoming train.” Congrats, you did “as any feeling person would do.” Tell us instead about the time you helped a teammate pull something off that could have resulted in a promotion for THAT PERSON, and threatened YOUR OWN POSITION, but you did it anyway because doing so (in some bigger picture calculus, the human kind), FELT like the right thing to do… “consequences be damned.” “Judgment of others be damned.”

The correct essay here should have us mutter to ourselves, “Hm, were *I* in the your shoes, I’m not sure I would have had the guts/instinct/will to do the same, given all the circumstances.” That should be a solid litmus test. And if you can get someone to have THAT reaction, congrats, you’re on your way to draft with real potential.

This is always a fantastic litmus test: how you’d behave WHEN NO ONE’S LOOKING. It usually reveals your truest nature.

June 15, 2022

Tuck MBA Application Essay Prompt 2

Tuck students recognize how their individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Tell us who you are. (300 words)

First off, the question here isn’t just “tell us who you are.” It’s simply impossible to summarize an entire life in 300 words, and they don’t expect to you. What they’re really asking is “tell us an interesting thing about who you are that would add to ‘the fabric of Tuck.’” Writing three hundred words about yourself is not hard—the challenge is picking the right “interesting thing.”

There are two key pieces to a successful topic selection. The first is to choose an aspect of “you” that will stand out and advance your application. If your “individuality” is shared by half the applicant pool, it’s adding nothing. Either avoid super common traits like “I’m a hard worker,” “I’m an avid world traveler,” or “I like to cook,” or provide a unique spin on them that will make your version stand out.

The second element is how your chosen topic will “add to the fabric of Tuck.” To make this case effectively, we have to prove that you understand what “the fabric of Tuck” is. Think about what makes Tuck unique compared to other top programs, and what they expect from their students that other schools don’t. Another way to skin this is to think about all the things you have to offer a business school… which of those things will Tuck receive the best? Which of those things will feed and feed on Tuck’s campus culture, making it combust in a beautiful, additive, awesome, cool new way? Based on your research, which aspects of “you” will Tuck most value? We should focus on one of those aspects.

June 15, 2022

Tuck MBA Application Essay Prompt 1

Tuck students can articulate how the distinctive Tuck MBA will advance their aspirations. Why are you pursuing an MBA and why Tuck? (300 words)

Let’s start with a little thought experiment. Think about three business school applicants you know—friends, colleagues, people you’ve read about on GMATClub, etc. You can include yourself in the mix if you want to, we just need three applicants whose reason for getting an MBA you know and understand.

Got your three applicants? Great, now imagine how an MBA will advance their aspirations. Not a Tuck MBA, any MBA. How does Generic McBusiness school move each of these three applicants to their goals? How is “Joe Applicant” better able to pull off his goals with a generic MBA?

Cool, now flow these three applicants through TUCK. What’s changed compared to the “generic MBA” scenario? How do the applicants end up achieving their goals faster/better? In what way does going to Tuck change them as people?  We’re interested only in what Tuck adds to the picture—all the changes that you identified in the first part of the thought experiment (Generic MBA) are already “priced in” and aren’t worth mentioning. What does TUCK add that “an MBA” didn’t?

Let’s visualize that value add a few ways. First fling your three applicants into the future 5, 10, 25 years. Our first task is to identify how the 25-years-later Tuck graduate’s life is different from that of the 25-years-later generic MBA alum.  For example, if applicant #1’s goal is to “help my family business do XYZ,” what might be different about her family business 25 years from now if she goes to Tuck instead of Kellogg, Stanford GSB, or CBS? Perhaps Tuck has a certain professor who has worked on a specific problem in the applicant’s target industry, giving her XYZ special advantage that she wouldn’t have had if she went to any other school. How might that advantage play out over the next 25 years?

This is the kind of thinking the adcom is looking for here. After practicing with our three example applicants, let’s do the thought experiment with YOU and your goals. Our task is to articulate how the future version of you that went to Tuck is different and better than the future version of you that just got a generic MBA. Why is the “Tuck Version of You” more exciting and compelling than the others? What’s different about his or her future career arc? What special advantages does s/he have?

Our answer should be 2-3 paragraphs. We recommend first identifying 2-3 special things that you NEED from business school. Then spend the rest of the essay connecting aspects of Tuck to your needs, showing how Tuck’s version of meeting those needs is distinct and makes for a better “future you” than any other program. Being specific is key here: it’s not “I need leadership skills, and Tuck has a seminar on leadership,” it’s “I need to learn how to manage international sales teams in order to become a (title) at (target company). Professor Smith is perfectly suited to teach me this skill, because she worked as (title) at (similar company), achieving (amazing result)….”

In short, this essay is about identifying things only you need, that only Tuck can provide. They’re trying to suss out the folks who are DRAWN to Tuck as their first choice from those who have “thrown Tuck in” to their larger basket of target schools that include mostly M7s. Suppose you were to be handed admits from all M7s… why might you elect to say no to all of them and attend Tuck instead? The answer will have everything to do with something VERY SPECIFIC you want/need, and something VERY SPECIFIC about Tuck that makes for a particularly synergistic fit.

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