Tuck has released its essays for the 2023-24 application cycle. Wording of essay questions changed slightly, but the core of what they are looking for is similar to last year.
Essay 1: Why are you pursuing an MBA and why now? How will the distinct Tuck MBA contribute to achieving your career goals and aspirations? (300 words)
Essay 2: Tell us who you are. How have your values and experiences shaped your identity and character? How will your background contribute to the diverse Tuck culture and community? (300 words)
Essay 3: Describe a time you meaningfully contributed to someone else’s sense of inclusion in your professional or personal community. (300 words)
Optional essay: Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere and 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. (300 words)
Reapplicants: How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (300 words)
2023/24 essay question analysis
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.
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.
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 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.
Round 1: Application deadline: September 25, 2023; decision date: December 7, 2023
Round 1 applicants who submit a complete application, including Letters of Reference and test scores, by 5:00 p.m. EST September 1, 2023 will be guaranteed an interview invitation.
Round 2: Application deadline: January 4, 2024; decision date: March 14, 2024
Round 2 applicants who submit a complete application, including Letters of Reference and test scores, by 5:00 p.m. EST December 1, 2023 will be guaranteed an interview invitation.
Round 3: Application deadline: March 25, 2024; decision date: May 2, 2024
Other application details
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