The Right & Wrong Reasons For Getting An MBA

Dartmouth Tuck’s Class of 2020 employment report shows declines in jobs offers and acceptances but increases in median salary as the school and its grads navigated the choppy waters of the coronavirus pandemic. Tuck photo

How To Approach The Tuck Essays

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business ranked number 9 in P&Q’s 2021 “Top Business Schools” rankings.

Gaining admission into Tuck is no easy feat with an acceptance rate of 23% and average GPA of 3.48. But what kind of student does Tuck look for?

Amy Hugo, Expert Coach at Fortuna Admissions, recently broke down the three Tuck admissions essays and offered insight into conveying your story in a way that inspires the admissions committee to want to learn more.

Essay 1

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

This is the “Why Tuck” essay. Hugo advises applicants to break the essay into two sections: why an MBA and why Tuck.

The first section on “why an MBA” should introduce your career goals briefly.

“As mentioned, getting straight to the point is vital; 300 words is scant real estate,” Hugo writes. “I would aim for no more than 50 words referencing your goals/vision, then the rest on why an MBA and why Tuck specifically.”

On the “why Tuck” portion of your essay, you’ll want to align your goals to the Tuck program – from electives you’re interested in to clubs you want to partake in.

“Dig deep and really get to know the school before writing this essay,” Hugo advises.

Essay 2

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

This essay is focused on who you are outside of your test scores, GPA, and titles. The key to this second essay, according to Hugo, is focusing on a couple of aspects rather than too many.

“Identify a couple of your strengths, values, characteristics – whatever you believe defines who you are – and how you have demonstrated those in the past with examples, or how you came to be that way (who/what influenced you?), plus a recognition of a growth area and how you have been working on it,” Hugo writes.

Essay 3

The third prompt asks: Tuck students invest generously in one another’s success even when it is not convenient or easy. Share an example of how you helped someone else succeed. (300 words)

Tuck’s community values collaboration and teamwork. In this essay, Tuck admissions officers want to see if you’ll be a good fit to the community. Examples of your collaborative qualities are key in this essay.

“Think of a time when you really went out of your way to help someone else,” Hugo writes. “Briefly outline the situation or context, and then go on to detail the actions you took and why, including your interactions with others, and then the result or impact for you and the other(s) involved, and finally any learnings from the experience. Anything that can highlight your leadership and impact at the same time as strongly emphasizing your team ethic and putting others first would be ideal.”

Sources: Fortuna Admissions, P&Q, Tuck School of Business

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