Tuck Mba Essay Sample


Dartmouth / Tuck Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018

With the release of the 2017-2018 Dartmouth / Tuck MBA essays, we wanted to offer some guidance for applicants targeting the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth for their business school studies.

Tuck has maintained the length of the essay section of its application, once again asking for two essays of approximately 500 words each.  New applicants are also given the space to address any weaknesses in their application while re-applicants need to explain their recent growth.  In regards to content, Tuck has revived its focus on the MBA being a “critical next step” to one’s goals and expanded upon the theme of wisdom.

Dartmouth / Tuck Essay Topic Analysis 2017-2018

Let’s take a closer look at each of this season’s Dartmouth / Tuck essay questions:

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)

This is a fairly straightforward career goals essay, asking applicants to explain their post-MBA career objectives, how an MBA would support these plans and why Tuck specifically meets those needs.

First, applicants should explain the specifics of their post-MBA plans.  Establishing your long-term vision first would lend meaning to your short-term plans, as it can help the reader to know your destination before the path.  So, explain your broader 5-10 year plan, even going beyond the “what” and the “where” to the “why”—in other words, the impact you hope to make on an organization, sector, consumer base, or region. Then, applicants should outline their short-term plans very specifically, including both the position the candidate hopes to hold immediately after an MBA, along with 1-2 companies one plans to target. This short-term goal should lead naturally to the long term.

In regards to how an MBA would help you achieve your goals, it would make sense to briefly comment on your work experience to date to establish the skills you already possess; this sets up the gap in your skill set that an MBA would fill.  This phase of your discussion should describe the skills and knowledge you hope to gain from an MBA with an eye to your future plans. Forging specific connections between the skills you hope to gain (whether in class or outside of it) and your future plans will show the adcom that you have a sound understanding of how an MBA will prepare you for success.

In addition to discussing the ways the Tuck MBA would prepare you to accomplish your professional goals, it will also be important to comment on the ways that you would contribute to the learning experience of your fellow students. Navigating this issue will require a fair amount of research, as it will be important to identify features of the MBA program that are a good fit with one’s goals, background and/or interests. Discussing some focused ways that your skills and experiences would positively affect this close-knit community (in a modest manner, of course) is key to your response here, since the Tuck adcom also looks for applicants who will change the program for the better. Taking the time to learn about the school’s special programs and extracurricular activities–whether through a visit to campus, conversation with alumni or reading the Clear Admit School Guide to Tuck–will naturally pay dividends here.

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)

This prompt presents applicants with a range of experiences they might discuss and we recommend that applicants begin by reflecting on their honest answer to each of the three options. While you may naturally gravitate toward one of them, generating at least two potential topics for each and then evaluating strategically will help you hone in on your best option in light of the following. Be sure to consider your broader application content (what will be tackled in the first essay, your recommendations, résumé, and data forms) and choose a story that is a good fit in terms of your overall candidate positioning.

Once you’ve got your list of examples, we recommend that you cross-reference each with the aptitudes that Tuck outlines. With the expansion on the mission of wise leaders this year, the adcom has signaled that fit with the program’s values is very important to them, so this should take priority in your topic selection. That is, handling feedback with humility or learning how to better assess risk in light of a failure will be better choices than touting an experience that isn’t a fit with Tuck’s definition of wisdom. Select the experience that feels truest to you while also allowing you to demonstrate that you’re the kind of student Tuck wants to admit.

In responding to the second part of the prompt, the anecdote will need to be balanced with a more reflective discussion of one’s own thought process and, in the end, personal development.  We encourage all applicants to maintain a positive tone, selecting some areas for improvement on which they have already made some demonstrable progress.  The point of this essay is to show Tuck wisdom–that you demonstrate confident humility, empathy and judgment as well as provide insight into your own leadership abilities and motivation to improve these skills.

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., 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. (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

How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (500 word limit encouraged, to be completed by all reapplicants)
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:

Posted in: Admissions Tips, Application Tips, Essay Topic Analysis, Essays

Schools: Dartmouth / Tuck

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My long term career goal is to become Senior Vice President and Head of Global Information Security Group in a major Information Security corporation such as $25 billion Cisco, $5 billion CheckPoint or $5 billion Netscreen. I plan to achieve that position after acquiring the necessary tools and experience required to manage a large-scale global business by completing my MBA, starting as Product Manager and working my way up.

I find the information security industry exciting; it is ever-growing, ever-changing and provides a huge technological challenge in adapting to new technologies and attacks. Data security was a crucial element to business managers worldwide deciding to connect their intra-nets to the Internet. This made the transformation to a global-commercial network possible. I am proud to take part in maintaining the Internet’s revolutionary role by making individuals who use it feel secure. I hope to harness my motivation, technological ingenuity and managerial skills in developing the industry.

My fascination with business, direct interaction with clients, strategic overview, and the view of a company as provider of products that meet customer needs has motivated me to move from technical roles to business positions. Both my current position as Group Manager in the military and my desired post-MBA position as Product Manager require team management. While today I use intuition and experience to guide my activity, I plan to strengthen my skills by learning formal methodologies at Tuck and benefiting from personal experiences of classmates and faculty. I feel that such knowledge will help me do my job effectively and achieve my long term objectives.

In future positions I will be faced daily with situations which require interpersonal skills: interviewing a job applicant, rewarding an employee, providing constructive criticism, etc. While there is sometimes a suggested textbook solution to these situations, great skill is required to adapt the general solution to the particular case. I look forward to improving my “soft skills” by taking classes like “Leading Organization” or “Organizational Culture and Culture Change”. Here, I can refine my skills with “hands on” experience in a forgiving environment.

Product management and my subsequent positions also require close interaction with departments such as finance, marketing, sales and R&D. I will need to understand the activities of these departments, best practices for interacting with them and how to take them into account in decision-making. Tuck’s Global General Management approach towards teaching business, providing the “CEO perspective”, will allow me to obtain knowledge on this.

I learned that an important part of being a manager is developing vision, knowing not only what your business unit is doing next month but also what you think it should do three years from now. The job requires developing a road-map and setting milestones that will lead to long-term objective while keeping short-term goals in mind. Knowledge gained through courses like “Global Strategy and Implementation” and “Top Management Teams” will allow me to take these considerations into account, balancing it with reality.

I feel that Tuck is the place to receive my MBA education. The close community, the unique geographical location and the strong emphasis the MBA program has on team players and teamwork creates a special atmosphere. I feel most comfortable learning and exchanging ideas in this type of environment. Its informality allows me to easily open up and express my opinion or risk making a mistake. This special trait reflects also in the Tuck alumni community. Talking to Tuck students and Alumni, I was impressed with their willingness to go to great length to assist each other.

Aiming to get back to the Information Security industry I am thrilled with Tuck’s opportunities to expand my education in a technologically-oriented environment through programs like the Tuck Global Consultancy or the Glassmeyer/McNamee Center for Digital Strategies. I plan to take advantage of the fact that Tuck is part of Dartmouth University. The opportunity to enrich my education through classes in Physics, Psychology or History is something I look forward to as I feel this would allow me to develop a multi-disciplinary creative approach that will provide be with a better framework to achieve my goals.

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