Posted on August 22, 2016

Tuck MBA Essay Questions Analysis: 2016-17

Essays :

 Like last year, applicants will respond to two required essays. However,  Tuck has recently made changes to their first required goals essay that focuses on a global approach. Also, the second required essay, the longstanding essay about a meaningful leadership experience has been replaced with more of a focus on diversity.

Here are the important dates :

Key Application Dates:

Application and LORs* due

interview complete


Early Action Round

10/5/16 10/31/16 12/16/16

November Round

11/2/16 11/11/16 2/10/17

January Round

1/4/17 1/31/17 3/10/17

April Round

4/5/17 4/5/17 5/12/17

1st Round Consortium***

10/15/16 10/31/16 12/16/16

2nd Round Consortium***

1/5/17 1/31/17 3/10/17

Here is Advice from Tuck Admissions Blog:

“Tuck has long provided its graduates with the knowledge and inspiration to do well and do good – to become the difference in the world of business and beyond. As the global economy continues to become more dynamic and diverse, the call for broad, values-driven leadership will continue to grow louder. With this in mind, we’ve made some changes to this year's essay questions, so please read carefully.

Remember, the essays are your opportunity to share with us who you are beyond the numbers and the resume, so reflect, take your time, and be genuine. Think carefully about your content as well as delivery. Communicate clearly and in your voice, not who you think we want you to be; and most importantly, answer the question you are asked.

Please respond fully but concisely to the following essay questions. There are no right or wrong answers. We encourage applicants to limit the length of their responses to 500 to 700 words for Essay #1 and 500 words for Essay #2. Please double-space your responses.”

Let’s take a closer look at the essays.

 Essay 1: Tuck educates wise leaders who better the world of business. What are your short- and long-term goals? How will a Tuck MBA enable you to become a wise leader with a global impact? (500-700 words)

This year Tuck has provided 200 extra words for its goals essay. In addition, it has added a statement about ‘global impact’ in the world of business.

Addressing members of the  AIGAC, (Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants) during their visit to the Tuck campus this summer, Dean Matthew mentioned that Tuck strives to develop “wise leaders to better the world of business.”  This mission statement highlights the interaction between business and society.  The term “wise leaders” focuses on confident, empathetic, and humble people who are also good decision-makers, and  the “to better the world of business” focuses on enhancing traditions, creating opportunities, and giving hope

In view of this change, you may start the essay with your overall vision for bettering the world of business. After that introduction, you may continue with the discussion of your short term goals and long term goal. Provide specific info about the position you are aiming for post-MBA and also the organizations /companies you are interested in. Also, explain how you see yourself progressing from your short term goal to your long term vision. After discussing your goals, comment on why you believe that an MBA is the next logical step in your career path and how an MBA will fill the gaps in your career and bring you closer to the fulfillment of your goals? Please note that this gap can best be established with a brief career summary to show the skills you have acquired in your six years’ experience in the banking industry.

To address the second part of the question, explain how an MBA from Tuck is your best bet at this time and how it will help you achieve your goals. It is important to connect your goals to specific resources/ offerings of Tuck e.g. courses, faculty, student community, clubs, organizations. Thorough research and understanding of Tuck culture and offerings is key to answering this part of the question. Demonstrating your ‘fit’ with the unique culture of Tuck is the key here. You should connect with Tuck’s alumni and /or current students and share  insights you have gained from your interactions. By reaching out to current students and alumni you can learn more about the experiences and classes that would help you develop as a global leader. Conclude your essay with a comment on how you will contribute to the close-knit community of Tuck in Hanover and establish your ‘fit’ with the school’s culture.

 Essay 2: As a diverse and global community, our students arrive at the same place from many different paths.  Tell us about an experience in which you have had to live, learn, and/or work with other people very different from yourself.  What challenges and/or opportunities did you experience, how did you respond, and what did you learn about yourself as a result? (500 words)

Tuck has changed its second essay from ‘most meaningful leadership experience to the one focused on diversity and the applicants’ ability to grow and learn in a diverse setting. To answer this question well, you will need to do a significant amount of introspection to come up with a story/ experience when you had interacted with someone or some people who were entirely different from you in terms of language, accent, nationality, values, beliefs, etc. Think about a time when you were truly challenged by a person or group of people different from yourself, and how you resolved the experience. Make sure your story not only shows your respect for other cultures and value systems but also your adaptability in cross-cultural settings and the resulting growth.

You use the following 4 point structure to organize this essay:

  1. Situation:  Explain the situation and the people involved in it. What was your challenge or conflict?
  2. Action:  How did you deal with the challenges?
  3. Result: What happened in the end? What did you learn about yourself and others?
  4. Significance: Why do you think this experience is meaningful to you?

A compelling narrative will demonstrate learning and growing through interacting with others.

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 words)

An optional essay is an opportunity for you to give the Ad Com relevant information that you could not provide in other essays or other parts of your application essays, recommendation letters, and résumé.  This question is also meant to shine a spotlight on the experience or side of your personality that has not been revealed in the other parts of your application.

To provide context for a weakness in your profile, such as a low GPA or GMAT or a gap in your job history, make sure your reason is genuine to convince them that your low grades occurred due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control.

Also, keep in mind that your story should not only explain that particular weakness in your profile but also bring out your other strong personality traits. That means your response should be positive, straightforward, and fact-focused and should not sound like you are making excuses for a weakness in your profile.

Reapplicant Essay: How have you strengthened your candidacy since you last applied? Please reflect on how you have grown personally and professionally. (500 words)

Through this question, Tuck Ad Com would like to know that your need for Tuck is as strong as it was last time. Hence you should demonstrate your continued interest in Tuck by mentioning any meetings you have had with alumni/ professors/ad com, or any information session you have attended. Tuck wants its applicants to tell them how they have enhanced their application since they applied last time. You may answer this by focusing on the areas you have improved upon since you applied last. Whether you have taken extra classes, received a promotion, led a new and exciting project, increased your community involvement, or taken on a personal challenge, the key here is to demonstrate that you are now a better and stronger candidate. Your conscious efforts to strengthen your profile and to work on your weak areas will prove how determined you are about your Tuck MBA.

Lastly, and most importantly, you should use the feedback you received from the school on your previous application and focus specifically on those areas e.g. clarity of goals and improved essays with clarity of message.                            

Since 2011, MER (myEssayReview) has helped many applicants get accepted into the top 20 MBA programs. (Poonam is one of the top 5 most reviewed consultants on the GMAT Club.)

Do you have questions about your application? E-mail Poonam at or sign up here for a free consultation.

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