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Tuck Class of 2023 Essay Analysis

June 27, 2020

Tuck has released its essays for the 2020-21 application cycle, keeping them the same as the previous year.

2020/21 essay questions

Essay 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)

Essay 2: Tuck students recognize how their individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Tell us who you are. (300 words)

Essay 3: Tuck students invest generously in the success of others even when it is not convenient or easy. Tell us about a time when you helped someone else succeed. (300 words)


2020/21 essay question analysis

Essay 1

This is a question often asked by other schools, so you may be able to borrow from work you have already done. It is important to highlight the impact you want to have (i.e. improve XYZ industry based on your experience) rather than a role (i.e. CEO of a consumer products company), as the former will be more credible for the reader given the twists and turns one’s career can take. Also important to a successful answer is highlighting what from your existing experience makes you the right choice to pursue this path, and how you will use experiences at Tuck (the more specific you can be, the better) to build upon your existing background. Doing so will showcase what you already bring to the table, giving the reader more confidence you are the right choice.

Essay 2

While this topic may come across easy to some applicants, avoid the trap of summarizing your resume and listing your career progression in chronological order.

Instead, ask friends and family 2-3 characteristics about you that separate you from others they know, and look for common answers. Try to avoid topics that other applicants may also write about (i.e. most applicants are hard-working, smart, and persevere). Then, consider a story or example that encapsulates how you applied these characteristics to achieve success, and write about that (aim to tell this story in 50%-75% of the word limit).

Also try to spend the rest of the essay on how your individuality will make Tuck a better place. Importantly, make these contributions specific, and linked to the characteristics you just discussed. That will maximize the chances that your story is remembered by the reader. 

Essay 3

While fairly straightforward, this essay will depend on the example you choose. We have found the most successful examples include some type of sacrifice on your part, either time, political capital, or resources invested to help someone else succeed. It is ok to use mentoring subordinates as an example, but be aware that this will be a common approach, and thus risks not differentiating you from other qualified applicants. Also aim to use an example over the last 2-3 years from your professional roles, so the Admissions Committee can have more confidence that their extrapolation will be representative of how you might support others at Tuck.

Optional essay

The optional question is available for you to explain any additional information that you may not have had the space to clarify in other parts of your application.


2020/21 deadlines

Round 1: Application deadline: September 28, 2020, Decision date: December 10, 2020

Round 2: Application deadline: January 4, 2021, Decision date: March 18, 2021

Round 3: Application deadline: March 29, 2021, Decision date: May 6, 2021

Round 4: Rolling Deadline: April 1 to June 1, 2021, Rolling Decision dates: May 10 to July 1, 2021


Other application details

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The online application is expected to be released on June 30, 2020.


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School resources

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