Essay One: What are your short- and long-term goals? Why do you need an MBA to achieve those goals? Why are you interested in Tuck specifically? (Approx 500 words)
This goal essay is the heart and soul of your Tuck application. Articulate your post MBA goal in terms of functions, industry, location and geography. Also show ADCOM what inspires you to accomplish this goal. Why it resonates with you? The answer need to be convincing and real. Keep in mind that short term goals are a means to an end (long term goals). Hence, talk about post MBA goal that will be rooted to reality and don’t sound like building castle in air! Also, don’t say that you wish to work for a specific company such as Google. You can write that you aspire to work for a software company such as Google, Yahoo! etc.
Your long term goal should flow logically from your short-term goals. Think about the big picture of your career and state your overall ambition. Don’t just focus on the job title or position. Instead tell them what value you wish to add to an industry, or to the society, or maybe just to that company. Keep in mind that you don’t wish to simply achieve the title of “CEO”, but you want to make your marks in the company, industry or society through the position of CEO of ABC or Partner in XYZ consulting firm.
Next question is “Why MBA”. Show admissions team why an MBA is absolutely necessary to accomplish your dreams. Talk about the various leadership skills and competencies that you currently lack,which most possibly will prevent you from reaching your targets.
The final section of this question is “Why Tuck”. Before you start thinking some common answers such as top ranked program, global faculty and peers, alumni network, excellent branding and so on, let me tell you that the proper way to search for an answer to this question is to ask yourself why not Duke, Columbia, Kellogg or some of the other renowned 2 years program. These schools might also fit into your common criteria. Hence, search your soul to find Why Tuck and not any other business school is your best choice.
Show admission committee the power of your in-depth research on the program. Network with current student, alumni and the admission team. Attend any web seminars or admission events in your city and try to visit their campus in order to know as much as possible about the program. Show them how the program fits in your career plan and how it’s going to hone you as a business leader. Tuck is famous for its small class size, tight-knit community and lifelong relationships with alumni. If you can showcase how these qualities are important for you, it will certainly help to open the door of Tuck for you!
Essay Two: Tell us about your most meaningful leadership experience and what role you played. How will that experience contribute to the learning environment at Tuck? (500 words)
First and foremost, Tuck puts a lot of emphasis on collaborative leadership and team work. Hence, selecta team based experience that will help you to describe various facets of your leadership experience. Keeping this big picture in mind, craft this “most meaningful leadership experience” essay with a masterful mix of personal anecdotes, sparks of insight and applicable pieces of wisdom.
Have you spearheaded any strategic project that significantly improved your company’s bottom-line? Have you led an initiative to launch new products in emerging markets? Have you led you company’s social initiatives? Have you been a board member for a not-for-profit organization? Have you championed any Six Sigma initiative? Have you led a cricket team that has won any major tournament? Well, all these are appropriate examples of leadership. Show them how did you motivate your teammates to shoulder higher responsibilities? What were the challenges you faced? How you overcame inter-personal challenges? Did you take any tough decision such as firing a poor performer? Tell admissions committee all the crucial aspects of the story.
The crux of the essay is what you learnt from this experience. Keep in mind that all the applicants are going to write their best leadership experience in this essay. In order to differentiate yourself from others, you need to articulate the in-depth perspectives on leadership and management that you have learned from this chapter of your life.
Finally, show admissions team how the lessons learned through this experience will help you to contribute to Tuck. They value collaboration and teamwork. How will you add value to your peers both inside and outside the classroom? Are you going to share some of the major challenges of teamwork? Are you going to elaborate how to handle a sudden crisis in team? Or how to influence others? Such information will certainly make the admissions team feel like exploring your leadership potential more in an interview.
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.
In case you have some of the weaknesses that are mentioned above, you need to address that in the question. However, if you don’t have any apparent gaps in your profile, then you get another chance to highlight another aspect of your leadership that is not covered in the two required essays. A truly accomplished applicant will certainly have lot more to share with the admissions team apart from his “career goals” and “most meaningful leadership experience”. The possibilities are endless such as any life changing event and how it shaped your personality or how a failure has provided you rich leadership lessons and so on. Go for it!
Founder and Director of MBA Essay Consultant. Author of the best selling books such as “Admission Guide for Indian IT Applicants“, “How to Dazzle Admission Officers in MBA Interview” etc. Guided thousands of applicants globally for Full Time, Executive, Part Time and Online MBA applications.
Early Action Round
Science + Technology