Oct 29, 2018

Tuck Admissions Insights: Between the Rounds

Luke Anthony Peña

By Luke Anthony Peña
Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

Happy October, friends!  My Admissions colleagues and I are (mostly) off the road and back at our base camp. Autumn is a beautiful time to visit Tuck, and we’ve been hosting many of you for campus visits. Several hundred of you have come to Hanover to take advantage of our open interview policy. We welcomed over a hundred more at Military Visit Day and the Women in Business Conference.  We’re looking forward to seeing over 70 of you at the upcoming Diversity Conference. If you can’t join us on campus for DivCo, don’t worry—you can stream the event virtually!

We’re also getting to know many of you through your applications. It’s reading season! Each of us on the Admissions Committee appreciates the trust and faith you place in us to evaluate your candidacy. At Tuck, we view your application as an opportunity to get to know you better, and we take great care to conduct our evaluation work with fairness, equity, humanity, and positivity.

Round One Applicants 

To all of you who applied in September: thank you. It’s an honor and a privilege to read your applications, your resumes, your essays and your reference letters. For those of you who have already interviewed, we love hearing about your conversations with our student interviewers. We updated our essay prompts this year, and I’m inspired by all the distinct and wide-ranging ways you are collectively defining who you are, what you will contribute, and how you have invested in the success of others. Yes, the essays require thought and reflection, but there truly is no right topic, and I am appreciating the incredible variety in what you’ve shared with us.

And thank you for your patience as we learn more about you. Our evaluation efforts take time, as we review each application one by one; we’re just over halfway through our Round 1 reading. I know this wait can feel long, and some of you are wondering what else you can do. My encouragement: stay connected with us! You can reach out to me and my colleagues if you have an application update, or if you just want to say hello. Connect with the students and alumni you’ve met, and make new connections with those you haven’t. Keep up with the Tuck 360 blog and social media. We want you to continue to feel connected to our community.

Round Two Applicants

Now, a few words for those of you considering a Round 2 application. My colleagues and I very much want to get to know you, too!  Some of you have told me you’re waiting until Round 2 so you can close a deal, or secure a promotion, or work on your test scores. Good on you; we want you to confidently submit your strongest candidacy. Others have told me you’re still carefully pondering our updated essay and reference questions, and contemplating whether you and your references should dedicate time and effort to them.

My encouragement: don’t let these components stand between you and Tuck. We care about lowering application barriers, both for you and for everyone supporting you on this journey. So keep in mind the following:

  1. Any essay that is genuine and true to you is a good essay. There’s no right or wrong topic. Yes, you’ll need to thoughtfully reflect. We believe you’ll find the reflection helpful both to prepare for business school, and more generally to explore who you are and what you contribute.  
  2. You and your references can choose which reference questions to answer. Responding to our specific reference questions is not required, and my colleagues and I happily accept responses to other prompts, including those in the Common Letter of Recommendation. We know your references may be authoring multiple letters, and we want to eliminate the marginal to cost to them of supporting your Tuck application.

On the Fence about Applying?

If you’re still deciding whether to apply, or you know you’ll apply and want to know more about us, we have great upcoming opportunities to do so. We’re hosting a Facebook Live Admissions panel on November 8 at 7 pm Eastern Standard Time, featuring several of my wonderful Admissions colleagues. I’ll be interviewing our Dean Matt Slaughter in early December about why you should come to Tuck, and we’ll stream the conversation live. We’ll soon be offering a virtual conversation specifically geared towards those of you applying from India. Our students will be hosting informal coffee chats all over the world in November and December—keep checking our events calendar for locations and times. And I’ll be in Boston on November 16 and New York on December 14 to host morning coffees; I hope to see many of you there!

Keep in Touch!

My colleagues and I care a great deal about your experience with Tuck as you get to know us and prepare your application. If you haven’t yet created a Tuck profile to stay informed about upcoming events and school news, and to receive insider tips on the application process, you can do so here. And if you’d like to personally connect and share how we’re engaging and inspiring you—or how we can do better—don’t hesitate to reach out to me via emailTwitter, or in person in Hanover. My colleagues and I pledge to be accessible, responsive, and helpful, and we’ll offer all the encouragement and support we can.

Keep in touch, and see you back here on the blog in November!