Essays vs. Recommendations
When it comes to the essays, with most applications, you want to give them a personal dimension.
Work is already covered in the letters of recommendation, resume, application boxes. There are exceptions, but do your best to use personal examples if they make sense. Strive to give adcom a 360-degree understanding of you, allowing them to develop a sense of empathy and attachment to you as a candidate.
Let me let you in on a little secret. You want the reader to feel an EMOTIONAL CONNECTION to the person on this piece of paper. EMOTIONAL. And this is best done by tapping into the universal-type stuff.
Take the adcom to the movie of your life for a moment.
• The essays use anecdotes and examples that are written in chronological order. The reader can mentally see the story unfold.
• The story is told in brief sentences in universal, non-jargony language.
• Each essay shows a different side of you, yet all of them feel authentic, sincere, and accessible.
• They demonstrate self-awareness, personal growth, leadership, and/or results-orientation.
• You reach the reader on both an analytical and emotional level.
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