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How To Approach Dartmouth Tuck’s 2021-22 MBA Essays

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business seeks out applicants who are smart, aware, and nice.

The B-school’s admissions officers look beyond grades and test scores to find applicants who embody the community’s genuine and supportive attitude. Amy Hugo, expert coach at Fortuna Admissions, recently discussed Tuck’s 2021-2022 MBA essays and how applicants can convey that they are the right fit for Tuck.


Tucks first required essay asks applicants the following:

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

The first essay prompt is your typical “Why our B-school” essay prompt. But, it’s important to understand what kind of students Tuck is looking for and connect the dots to your own personal goals and ambitions.

“Tuck wants students who are focused and realistic, but they also like applicants with ambition and vision,” Hugo writes. “Aiming for a particular industry or function is a legitimate goal; the key will be to make sure the dots connect coherently with your previous experience and current motivations.”

Hugo recommends breaking this first essay into two sections: the first focusing on why you want to pursue an MBA and the second on how Tuck fits into that picture.

“An effective set-up may mention career goals very briefly (almost as an introduction, or simply a reference to your previously outlined goals),” Hugo writes. “As mentioned, getting straight to the point is vital; 300 words is scant real estate. I would aim for no more than 50 words referencing your goals/vision, then the rest on why an MBA and why Tuck specifically.”


The second Tuck essay asks applicants the following:

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

When it comes to essay two, Hugo says, diversity and uniqueness are the main points of conversation.

“It’s important to try and get your true character across here,” Hugo writes. “The school is genuinely interested in who you are and what makes you unique. It will be better to focus on a couple of aspects and illustrate these in some depth, versus trying to cover too much ground, which, given the wordcount, may lead to a superficial essay that fails to offer much insight into who you are as a person.”


The third Tuck essay, and newest, asks applicants the following:

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)

Hugo says that the newest essay borrows from last year, with a slight addition: the ‘encouraging’ trait.

“And, because all three traits are relational ones, the question continues to be an invitation to identify a meaningful experience in which you helped someone else,” Hugo writes. “Your considered introspection is the starting point. In responding, identify a singular example for your response, bearing in mind the limited 300 words.”

To approach this essay, Hugo recommends outlining first and then adding details around your actions and intentions before discussing the impact that those actions had on you and those around you.

“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,” Hugo writes.

Sources: Fortuna Admissions, P&Q

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