Let the Games Begin
Juliet H. T'14, May 31, 2012 | 0 comments
As another application season kicks off in the coming weeks, here are some words of advice for you eager applicants. While the online application system will not be available until July/August, there is quite a bit of work that can be completed before then. I hope these points help you make the best use of the coming weeks:
Get to know Tuck: connecting with current students can provide invaluable insight. Even if you do not know current Tuckies there are plenty of ways to make these connections. Sign up for Tuck Connections on the website and current students or alumni will reach out to you. You may also reach out to the leaders of the organizations that are of particular interest to you (contact information is available on the club’s page). Asking why these students chose Tuck, what a normal day is like, or what they are involved with on campus can shed some light on what the student experience is like that is impossible to gleam from a website. Or attend a Tuck event in your area. Admissions hosts events in major cities around the world and this is a great way to get to know the school if you are not able to visit campus. Check the listof cities and dates. Also, begin researching which classes, professors, or special programs especially interest you. This level of detail will be necessary for essays and your interview so this research will pay dividends later.
Brainstorm stories: even if the exact essay prompts are not yet available, you can assume there will be some key questions you will need to tackle. This is a good time to reflect on some examples you want to share with the admissions committee. Even if the questions are not asked in this exact form, you will in some way need to share examples of leadership, teamwork, successes, failures, strengths and weaknesses.
Develop your personal brand: while you will have a number of opportunities to share your story with the admissions committee through essays, short answers on the data forms, interviews, and recommendations, what few key themes do you want a reader to walk away remembering? This certainly does not need to be strictly related to your professional background; brainstorm what personal involvements and characteristics you want to share as well.
Connect with potential recommenders: writing recommendations is a time consuming process and since you are about to ask a big favor of two former or current colleagues, you want to make sure you are in good standing. Keep these relationships active by scheduling a lunch or coffee or if you are not in the same location, arrange a call to catch up. Apprise them of your plans to apply to school so it is not as much of a surprise come this fall; this will also assure them that you have fully thought through this decision and are serious in your plans.
Take the GMAT and complete any extra coursework: applications themselves are time consuming so if possible, take the GMAT prior to starting these so you do not need to split your focus. Also, if you plan to take any extra coursework to round out your undergraduate experience, now is a great time to complete that for the same reason.