Tuck graduates
Jun 27, 2023

Tuck Admissions Insights: Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

By Patricia Harrison
Director of Admissions, Evaluation and Yield

Patricia Harrison

Knowing where you are going is an important part of the MBA journey. In this blog, I’d like to share thoughts on our short prompts that ask about your goals.

Word Limit

Our goals prompts have word limits that are … limited. Many of you have told us that they’re really brief. This is by design. There’s no room, literally or figuratively, for elaborate storytelling here. We want your responses to be clear, concise, and matter-of-fact. Our advice to those of you trying hard to shoehorn in a supporting narrative: save the additional details for your essays or your interview, and trust that we really, truly do want you to be factual and direct.

The responses may be short, but we assure you that they matter to us. As we map your application to our criteria, your goals reflect your awareness. Aware Tuck candidates craft a compelling vision for the future and identify coherent goals, audacious in scope yet grounded in reality.

Question One: Share your short-term goals.

While your first essay highlights why an MBA and why Tuck, your goals convey what you expect to accomplish thereafter. This distinction helps frame the scope of the first goals prompt which asks you to share your short-term goals. Some of you have asked for clarification on the short-term time horizon. This question is not asking about your goals while at Tuck. In this prompt, we’re keen to learn your goals immediately after graduating from Tuck. We stopped short of explicitly specifying that the goals must be professional, as some of you have goals that are both professional and personal. That said, we expect most of you will tell us about the job you hope to have and the impact you’d like to make after you graduate.

Question Two: Share your long-term goals.

If the first goals prompt is meant to capture your first stop on your post-MBA trajectory, the second is meant to capture your last. What is your dream job? What role and impact do you want to have 20, 30, 40 years from now? What legacy do you want to leave? What is your compelling vision for the future? My colleagues and I are especially excited to read your response here, as this reflects how you aspire to better the world through business.

Our Awareness Criterion

Let me take a moment to return to a key phrase in our awareness criterion: strong candidates will have coherent goals that are both audacious in scope yet grounded in reality. We can’t overstate the importance of this balance. On one hand, the Tuck School and the world of business need wise, decisive leaders who dream big. You don’t better the world through low ambition, so share your highest aspirations with us. At the same time, remember that judgment is an essential aptitude of wise leadership. You need that good judgment to identify the right steps on the path to your goals, and to assess whether the Tuck MBA makes sense as one of those steps.

Both your short- and long-term goals should be ambitious and realistic, though on the margin, we will expect your long-term goals to tilt towards the former and your short-term goals to tilt towards the latter. This balance will be the hallmark of strong responses to these prompts. We’re not taking an opinion on the industry, function, geography, or ideology of what you aspire to do. Instead, we’re assessing that your goals are coherent, ambitious, and purposeful.

One other quick note, because you have shared your goals here, it is not necessary to restate them in your response to essay 1. Instead, you can focus that answer on why an MBA and why an MBA from Tuck will help you achieve these goals.

As always, my Admissions colleagues and I are happy to help if you have further questions about writing your goals or any other part of your Tuck application. Happy writing—we look forward to getting to know more about you and your plans for the future!

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