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Jan 03, 2021

Dear Tuck Admissions: Your Application Questions, Answered

Valerie Wiens

By Valeria Wiens
Associate Director of Evaluation, Admissions

Tuck Admissions’ Valeria Wiens is back on Tuck360 to answer your burning application-related questions. In our first “Dear Tuck Admissions” column, Valeria offers advice on the dreaded wrong school typo, interview invitation timing, and event attendance. Have a question for our admissions team? You can submit your queries anonymously to Dear Tuck Admissions and Valeria will respond in future columns.  

Dear Tuck Admissions,

I am mortified. I just hit submit on my application and realized that I accidentally expressed my enthusiasm for another school in one of my essays. I keep pressing undo on my keyboard, but alas, to no avail; no amount of pressing it allows me to un-submit. Is that it for me? Will you hit deny with the same speed and rigor as I’m hitting undo? Any chance of salvaging the situation?

Yours truly,

How did I miss this?
 

Dear How did I miss this?,

Do we rejoice at seeing another school’s name in your essay? No. Is it a disqualifying mistake? Also no. We all know mistakes happen. While we love Tuck, we also know that many applicants apply to more than one school. Our team reads with empathy, and will likely look past your unfortunate mistake if they see your enthusiasm for Tuck and alignment with our four admissions criteria elsewhere in your application.

We would never deny an otherwise strong applicant because of a typo, just as we wouldn’t admit an otherwise weak applicant because of one well-written sentence. Does this mean that it’s ok to not proofread and thoroughly review your application? No – one mistake or typo can be looked past, however more than a couple will make up a pattern and could influence how we evaluate your alignment with our admissions criteria. In the meantime, perhaps you will find this how-to article for the find and replace function helpful.

Sincerely,

Tuck Admissions

Dear Tuck Admissions,

I submitted my application a couple of weeks ago and haven’t yet received an invitation to interview. Is that a bad sign? A good one? Am I reading too much into it? Do you actually read the full application, the essays and all, before deciding yay/nay on the interview? Or do you just glance at my scores and resume and decide that way?

Sincerely,

Pins and needles
 

Dear Pins and needles,

Indeed, before deciding on an interview invitation we do read your entire application, front-to-back, because the information we ask you to provide allows us to get to know you better. We don’t skip parts or cut corners. We know how much effort goes into putting together an application to Tuck and truly enjoy learning more about you. If you took the time to write something, we will absolutely take the time to read it.

You will have often heard us say that the timing of your interview invitation does not indicate our level of interest in your candidacy—we mean this. We don’t “pick” the files we read but are randomly assigned them. For some candidates, this means that their file might be the very first one we will read in an application cycle, while others might have their file read towards the end. The interview invitation timing has little to do with the strength of your application, and a lot to do with this random assignment algorithm. So, take a deep breath, and don’t put too much stock into reading the tea leaves.

Sincerely,

Tuck Admissions

Dear Tuck Admissions,

I LOVE Tuck and want to show you how excited I am about the prospect of attending your program. I already went to several of your events and feel that I know the school so well that, at this point, I could be the one leading your info sessions. Would attending even more events reflect positively on my application? Will it send you the “signal” of my intent?

Best regards,

Zoomed-out
 

Dear Zoomed-out,

We LOVE your excitement about Tuck! We also know that you have a life outside of the Tuck application process. Our intent behind not limiting event attendance is not to create an arms race of who can convince us through sheer enthusiasm that they want to be here. The intent is to allow you to get to know us and our program through whatever type and however many events this may take. For some of you, this might mean attending one or two events, for others this could mean more. There are even some candidates who prefer to learn about Tuck through conversations with our alumni, students, and community members, entirely outside of our formal events.

So keep attending! Or don’t. We encourage whatever approach works best for you! What will show us how you meet the aware criterion is not how many events you’ve attended but what you learned about Tuck from them. It's the difference between loving Tuck and knowing Tuck. Instead of focusing on showing how much you want a Tuck MBA, use the events to learn and help articulate how well Tuck aligns with your goals. And while my colleagues and I always appreciate seeing familiar faces at our events, in your case it seems like a foot-off-the-gas approach might be most beneficial to you.

Sincerely,

Tuck Admissions