Dartmouth Tuck MBA Essays: Tips for 2024

At Menlo Coaching, we noticed that most MBA essays will fall into one of a number of categories: personal essays, career goals essays, and behavioral essays etc. Read ahead for our expert guide on approaching these essays for Dartmouth Tuck.  

The Career Goals Essays

  • Share your short term goals. (50 words)
  • Share your long term goals. (50 words)
  • 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)

The Personal Statement Essay

  • 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)

The Behavioral Essay

  • Describe a time you meaningfully contributed to someone else’s sense of inclusion in your professional or personal community. (300 words)

The Optional Essay

  • Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere (e.g., atypical choice of references, factors affecting academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not fully represented by this application. (300 words)

If you are a reapplicant to Dartmouth Tuck, you can also find a section on the reapplicant essay.

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Applying to Dartmouth Tuck

Tuck is looking for students with a well-rounded background and lots of experience that can be translated into a succinct and compelling statement. One of the essential tips for an impactful essay is asking yourself why you chose to highlight a particular experience. Did it show significant professional development? Did it show how you overcame a personal struggle? Connecting your essay to the prompt, especially how it shows why you are pursuing an MBA, will make your essay stand out. No matter what the essay prompt is, these tips are broadly applicable. With that being said, the three different types of essays you will see on the Tuck MBA application are personal, career goals, and school participation. Let’s have a look at this year’s essay prompts.

The Career Goals Essay

The career goals essay is the space to emphasize your post-MBA plans. MBA programs want to accept students who have concrete, achievable career plans and a roadmap to success. MBA programs want a glowing post-grad report that proves they produce successful graduates with many job prospects (and who will donate money in the future)! Tuck also wants students to promote their program to friends, co-workers, and prospective applicants. The Tuck MBA career goals essay combines your hard statistics (ex: GMAT score) with your interpersonal skills (ex: recommendations) to formulate the case for getting an MBA. Make sure to state your achievable short-term and long-term goals explicitly. 

Explain why an MBA would help you achieve these goals and how Tuck is essential to your plan. Connecting the positive attributes from your personal essay to your career goals essay is critical to forming a well-rounded application. Tuck students usually enter the financial service, consulting, and non-profit industries, so emphasize your findings in the essay to show you’re genuinely interested.

The Personal Statement Essay

Personal essays encompass your moral character, passions in and out of work, and the relationships you have fostered with friends and mentors. This essay type is where you can show the MBA program who you are as an individual and the intrapersonal impacts you have made on people around you. Tuck is looking to recruit students who show compassion and enthusiasm in the office and with the people in their lives. They value collaboration, open-mindedness, global immersion, and selflessness in their students. Make sure to emphasize where you have shown empathy in your life while explaining how you will contribute positively to the on-campus experience. One of the biggest mistakes students make when writing a personal essay is focusing too much on their professional expertise. 

This essay is where you can move away from talking about your work and speak about who you are outside of your job. Tailoring which attributes you write about to each program is important. It shows you’ve done your research and are a genuinely kind person in your real life.  

The Behavioral Essay

Behavioral essays involve demonstrating how you have used your leadership skills in real-life situations. Tuck’s version of the MBA gives you the space to identify a meaningful experience you have had that demonstrates your collaborative nature. Tuck’s admissions committee wants assurance that you are self-reflective and able to identify a moment in which you have been a leader. 

In the Tuck behavioral essay, it is important to be truthful and sincere and to tell your personal story in a compelling manner. You should include as much detail as possible for this type of essay, discussing your role in a situation that required a strong leader. You should reflect on what this situation taught you and how your leadership style might have changed after this experience. Tuck is looking for MBA candidates who can contemplate how they used leadership skills to solve a problem. 

In this essay, you might want to reflect on your role on teams in your previous work experience. Further, rather than solely focusing on your leadership successes, it would also be beneficial to identify some failures and explain how you have learned from these less positive experiences. 

Optional Essay

Once you’ve completed your application, the optional Tuck essay gives you an additional opportunity to provide the AdCom with any additional information or clarity that you feel would enhance your application.

One trap that MBA applicants fall into is using the additional space provided by this essay to write on a whole new topic. However, this is not always the best idea.

You should only make use of this essay if you what you write will provide context to an element of your application to improve your candidacy—you don’t want to jeopardize your chances by adding unnecessary noise to your application.

Reapplicant Essay

For reapplicants, Tuck requires a specific essay in which you can address how your application has improved since your last application.

In this essay, you can address any improvements to your test scores, promotions at work, additional volunteer or community work, or any significant professional development that you have undertaken since you last applied to the program.

Timing is key for reapplicants, and when you’re applying for an MBA program a second time around, you want to be sure that you are a more qualified and desirable client than you were in the past—even if your application was stellar the first time.

Reapplicant Essay Prompt 2023-2024

How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (300 words)

Conclusion

Overall, honesty and growth are the most important parts of a successful MBA application essay. In addition, applying the lessons you learned shows improvement in your interpersonal and professional skills, making you a more attractive candidate for MBA programs. At Menlo Coaching, we are prepared to help you take the next step and perfect your essays. Visit our process page to understand how Menlo Coaching can help you!

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