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What Dartmouth Tuck looks for in MBA applicants

What Dartmouth Tuck looks for in MBA applicants

At Menlo Coaching, we really like Tuck because its tightly-knit community helps students, alumni, and faculty to make lifelong connections.

Community is, to quote Executive Director of Admissions Luke Anthony Peña:

“The asset that appreciates in value over time.”

Want to know what Tuck is looking for in applicants? Watch the interview with Luke Anthony Peña, Tuck’s Executive Director of Admissions.

Want to know more about the Tuck program? Read on.

The Tuck Community

Tuck does three things to foster a strong community:

  • Total Focus on the MBA

    Tuck has no PhD, Executive MBA, or Part-Time programs, nor does it have an undergraduate business school. That results in a community where professors, staff, the career team, the TuckGo team and others are not overwhelmed with multiple programs and too many students. Professors can host small groups of students for dinner, and offer independent study with motivated students.

  • Human Scale

    With only ~285 students enrolling at Tuck each year, students can get to know all of their classmates well. Where students at other programs might know only their cluster or cohort, Tuck students move past superficial conversation and are able to develop deeper relationships with every student.

  • Location

    Tuck is located in Hanover, NH—a very small town where people are unlikely to have visited, worked, or lived previously. With schools in major metropolitan areas, some students already have a strong network outside of the school. At Tuck, everyone is a transplant, and that means that student focus is going to be on developing relationships with one another.


Tuck Recruits “Nice” Students

Many schools claim to have tight-knit communities of students who genuinely support each other, but at Tuck there can be no doubt that this claim is true.

One stand-out story involved a student who had forgotten his passport just before an international trip and was able to call a friend in the program who, with the help of other students, was able to drive the passport from Hanover to Boston in time for his flight.

Residents of New England will know this is no small feat and the kind of thing that typically happens only between the closest friends and relatives.

Tuck’s supportive community originates with their application criteria. The admissions team at Tuck doesn’t focus on managing the statistics in their class profile, but uses the selection process to figure out if applicants are nice as well as accomplished.

Part of their philosophy is that people increase their own success when they invest in others’ success. Once students get to Tuck, these behaviors get reinforced by the focus, scale and location mentioned above.

There simply isn’t a large enough population for people to disengage or get away with an unfriendly or uncollaborative attitude. It’s a positive sort of accountability that gets everyone involved.

This comes out in the classroom as well. With greater social accountability, students do a better job of studying and collaborating. At larger, urban schools, it is not uncommon to see students skipping the reading, partly because they know they won’t be interacting with those same professors or classmates again afterwards.

At larger schools, there may be no consequence to coming off as unprepared. At Tuck, the sense of community means that you’re letting down your close friends if you come unprepared to class.

Almost nothing at Tuck is undertaken alone. Study groups get formed the first day of the first class. TuckGo trips, which include Global Insight Expeditions and OnSite Global Consulting projects, are done in groups.

There are even pre-term trips to help students build close relationships before arriving on campus.

The Tuck Curriculum

Tuck faculty members are both scholars and educators. 96% of the faculty is tenure track and that path means that they balance teaching and research. Many academic communities are split, where research faculty and teaching faculty almost never interact, but at Tuck the teaching is done by the same professors who do research.

A Tuck student might, for instance, be taking a class with a faculty member like Paul Argenti, whom they’ve seen in the news discussing Facebook’s Capitol Hill testimony or commenting on Tesla’s response to Elon Musk’s treatment of his employees. They then get the chance to speak with him both inside and outside of the classroom on these same topics.

Similarly, they might find themselves in regular conversation with Emily Blanchard, who is an expert on trade policy, or Sydney Finkelstein, who wrote the bestselling book “Superbosses.”

Tuck is also part of Dartmouth College, which means that students have the ability to take classes at Dartmouth on topics such as energy, public policy or medicine. Being a small institution connected to a broad, Ivy League network allows Tuck MBA students to explore their academic interests.

Recruitment Opportunities and Careers at Tuck

Tuck is often unfairly characterized as being at a disadvantage when it comes to recruitment due to Hanover’s remote location. But in Tuck’s most recent employment report, 96% of the class had an offer three months after graduation.

Not only does Tuck’s great reputation draw in employers for on-campus recruiting, Tuck also organizes an extensive set of job treks for students, like the Tech Trek to visit San Francisco Bay Area tech employers.

Tuck’s career team is committed to working with every student one-on-one. They meet with students early and often to get a sense of each one’s individual goals and strengths. Above and beyond what most schools do, Tuck’s Career Development Office checks in on students proactively.

The small class size means they are well-staffed to foster individual relationships and customized attention. The team is organized around industry verticals and each group includes a coach with knowledge, experience, and relationships within an industry, be it finance, consulting, health care, energy, or international recruiting.

The close relationship between students and faculty also means that professors often make introductions to their own contacts in industry. And alumni are eager to “pay it forward,” helping the current generation of Tuck MBA students transition into industries and make the kind of contacts that are going to help ensure their success.

Which, in the end, is just another sign of the Tuck philosophy at work: one is always more successful when working with a team, and Tuck’s recruiting success reflects the strength of the bonds between students and alumni.
Want to learn more about Tuck? Watch the second part of our interview with Luke: The Right Fit for Tuck.
About Menlo Coaching
Our team of expert MBA admissions consultants helps you push for more, find your voice, and tell your story in the most compelling way possible. We help current-year and future-year applicants to top MBA programs. Start your journey to MBA acceptance at Menlo Coaching.

This article is part of CrystalConnect, an outreach initiative by MBA Crystal Ball.

Also read,
Tuck School of Business in a nutshell
Tuck MBA Admissions – Interview with Regional Director (India, SE Asia)
Tuck MBA Admissions Success Story

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