How to answer the Tuck MBA essays
The Tuck MBA application has a number of essays that you need to answer. Tuck values not just your goals and professional reasons for seeking an MBA, but also who you are as a person, and who you will be as a future Tuck student – both inside and outside the classroom.
If you’re wondering how to answer the Tuck essays, don’t worry! You’re in good company — we get asked this question all the time. There is no one right way to answer the questions, but there are some general guidelines that can help make sure you hit all of the important points:
Understand what they want from you: Each school has a different purpose for asking its applicants these questions, so make sure understand what they’re asking for before beginning to answer any questions at all! Tuck values you as a person and as a professional. While focused goals are important, there is more to the Tuck application. They want to know you as a person, and hope they come away impressed.
Use examples from your life: One of the best ways of showing admission committees who you are is by using examples from your life that demonstrate how you’ve acted as an individual or done something significant over time in order to tell your story effectively when answering these essays
Write in your own authentic voice: It’s OK to tell people what they want to hear, but it’s not OK to write things that don’t feel like you. If you’re applying to multiple schools or programs, it’s easy to get caught up in what they’re asking for rather than writing from the heart. The best way to avoid this is by writing early on in your application process so that you have time to revise if necessary.
All applicants must respond to the following essay prompts:
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 question is a broad-based question that asks you to articulate how the distinctive Tuck MBA will advance your aspirations. It’s a good idea to start with some background, and then explain why you are pursuing an MBA and why Tuck. You don’t have to be a great writer or have had any previous business experience, but you do need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely.
If you’re thinking about applying to Tuck, or any other business school, you’re probably looking for a change in your career path. Either you’ve been doing the same thing for years and want to try something new (or different) or you have an interest in a particular industry or function that no one else in your company is working on.
The first part of this question is straightforward: You need to explain what it is about your current role that makes it unsatisfying and why you want to get an MBA. The second part is trickier: You need to convince admissions officers that getting an MBA will put you in a better position than before.
Most applicants answer this question by discussing their career goals first, then explaining how pursuing an MBA will help them achieve them. But there’s nothing wrong with starting with the second part if you think it’s more compelling.
In the next paragraph, explain what sets Tuck apart from other schools that offer an MBA. What is unique about the curriculum or faculty or student body or culture at Tuck? How does what makes Tuck special align with your interests, goals, and ambitions? Think about what your aspirations are and how the Tuck MBA will help you reach those goals. For example, if your aspiration is to become a marketing executive in the pharmaceutical industry, then you might talk about how a certain class or professor or experience at Tuck has helped you get closer to that goal. Be specific about what aspects of the Tuck experience have been most helpful to you in reaching your career aspirations.
Tuck students recognize how their individuality adds to the fabric of Tuck. Tell us who you are. (300 words)
One way to prepare for this type of essay is by thinking about those times when people have asked you, “Who are you?” or “How would others describe you?” If no one has ever asked these questions before, think about what they might ask if they did! The second thing you need to do is think about what kind of person you are. What makes you unique? What are some of your most distinguishing characteristics? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? How does being different make you fit into Tuck’s community?
The key to answering this question is not just to tell a story, but also to explain how your story has shaped your interest in business. This is an opportunity to show off everything that makes you unique. In order for an essay to be successful, it needs to be honest and genuine. You need to show admissions officers that there’s more than just a test score behind your application; there’s also a person behind your application. At Tuck, they look for people who have something extra — whether it’s passion or creativity or drive or some other quality that we can’t quite put our finger on — because those qualities make for great business leaders down the road.
So when answering this question, think about what makes you different from everyone else — both in terms of your personality and in terms of your accomplishments.
The next thing to do is think about what makes you unique. What is it about yourself that makes you a great fit for Tuck? What have you done in your life that contributes to your uniqueness? How have these experiences shaped who you are? Don’t worry if you don’t have many (or any) of these things – everyone has something unique about themselves; it’s just a matter of finding it and communicating it in an interesting way.
So when you have thought through these things, write down as much as possible before starting to type. This way, when you’re actually writing, all you’ll need to do is edit and proofread your essay rather than having to start from scratch every time something comes up that needs addressing.
Finally, remember that this is an essay! It doesn’t need to be long or complicated – just concise and clear!
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)
You need to write about an experience where you were able to show your leadership skills and how it helped others around you. You can either use an example from your current job or college life. If you have been a part of any community service projects, that would be great too.
If you haven’t done anything like this before, that’s fine too! Just make sure that the example is relevant and has something to do with leadership skills.
The best way to prepare for this essay is by brainstorming some ideas first. Write down as many good examples as possible so that when it comes time for writing them down, you won’t have any trouble thinking of one from your past experiences. For this question, the key is to think back on your life and pick a situation where you had to work with others and where you demonstrated one of those qualities. For example, if you are good at being encouraging and helpful to others, think of a time that you helped someone out with something important. If you’re good at being empathetic, think about how you were able to understand someone else’s feelings or point of view. If you’re good at working collaboratively with people, think about how you worked well with others on a project or assignment in school or work.
It’s important to remember that this question isn’t asking for an example of when you were particularly “nice” but rather an example of when your behavior was consistent with what Tuck would expect from its students.
Finally, keep it short and sweet. You only have 300 words, so make sure every word counts! If there is something more important than another part of your story, then just focus on that part and leave out the rest! If there are multiple parts of your story that are equally important (e.g., both positive and negative), then write about each part separately in order to give each one enough attention and space for development. Don’t worry about using formal language; use conversational language instead!
All reapplicants must respond to an additional essay prompt: How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (300 words)
When you’re a reapplicant, the admissions committee wants to know how you’ve grown since you applied.
The question is open-ended, so let’s break it down into two parts: How have you grown personally? And how have you grown professionally?
Personal growth: This is a chance to reflect on your personal transformation over time. You can talk about specific challenges that have been overcome and lessons learned from those experiences. A common theme among applicants is overcoming adversity or challenges such as illness or family tragedy. You should also include any other major life changes or events that could be relevant (such as getting married or having children).
Professional growth: This is where you should focus on what you’ve learned since you last applied — for example, taking new classes, working on special projects at work or doing research in an academic setting. You can also talk about translating your coursework into real-world experience by volunteering or working with a nonprofit organization.