July 8, 2022

Dartmouth Tuck Essay Tips: Essay 3 & Optional Essay

Dartmouth Tuck has released their application deadlines and essay questions for the 2022-23 application cycle. Last week we shared Admitify’s guidance on Essays 1 and 2. Today we’d like to share our guidance on Essay 3 and the Optional Essay.


Essay #3: 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)


Admitify Guidance:

The key words encouraging, collaborative and empathetic are all facilitative, other-directed words; they are all about how good you are at making people/groups click and drive. So, think of some recent examples where you were instrumental in getting a group to achieve some goal or overcome some problem. It can be a business/career example or an extracurricular/volunteer/community example. Choose the one where your impact or the challenge was greatest. Open the example up, that is, show the reader how (what you specifically did or said) that made the group move; don’t just tell the reader you called a meeting; refer to the specific actions or words you used during that meeting that inspired everyone. Tuck’s inclusion of “not convenient or easy” just means they will be more interested in examples where you met some resistance (how did you overcome that resistance?), and their use of the word ‘meaningful’ just means they don’t want a trivial example; look for an example where the outcome of the group’s action was impactful, e.g., the outcome is still in use today or it benefited X number of people or it’s been rolled out across the organization.


Optional Essay: Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere (e.g., atypical choice of evaluators, 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)


Admitify Guidance:

Tuck gives you examples of the kinds of content you might include here: “atypical choice of evaluators, factors affecting academic performance, unexplained job gaps or changes.” These fall under the rubric of ‘extenuating circumstances’ – stuff you need to explain to keep Tuck from drawing their own conclusions about some question mark in your profile. But Tuck’s language (“additional insight or information,” “not addressed elsewhere,” “not fully represented”) is quite broad, so if you have no extenuating circumstance to explain, by all means use this essay for anything of value that might impress the committee or show them another side of you. “Of value”: don’t write about your stamp collection, the chili contest you won when you were twelve, the marvelous PowerPoint you produced for your boss, or about anything that is already discussed elsewhere in the application.


Check back each week for more essay guidance at the top MBA programs, and contact us to start on your application today!