The Most Important Question

by on August 9th, 2012

One thing I tell everyone that I speak with about the admissions process is that there is one single question that is more important than the rest. Important to ask students when you visit schools. Important to answer when writing essays, even when they don’t ask you. And important to answer in your admissions interviews. And the question is ….

The question is “Why?”  No doubt about it, why is the single most important question you should answer in the admissions process. It’s what’s most compelling things you can give your audience. Sometimes it’s the only compelling thing. Your readers don’t care if you want to be a consultant, if you want to become an entrepreneur or if you want to become a health care executive. They care why you want to.  They care that you want to pursue the dreams that you dad never could pursue. Or that in your home country, there is not enough access to the health care devices to keep the country safe.

So next time you’re writing essays, I propose that you consider answering the following:

  • Why did you make that decision?
  • Why is that our goal?
  • Why did you say accept that job (or reject that job)?
  • Why do you care about leadership?
  • Why did you pick them as your mentor?
  • Why do you want to start this business?
  • Why do you want to go back?
  • Why not?

The more compelling your answer, the better off you’ll be. In spite of the “what” you write down.

For more information on why the question “why” is important, I recommend a Ted Talks by Simon Sinek done about one year ago.

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