To get a more complete picture of you as a candidate, admissions officers will often ask for a personal graduate school application essay, which may also be called a statement of purpose or a motivation letter. Whatever it is named, its purpose is clear. So they want to be sure you are prepared, willing, competent, and motivated to make the best of the opportunity you have been given to excel, both academically now and professionally throughout your life. It is not unusual for a student or professional to evolve in knowledge and skill beyond what earlier transcripts or test scores can reveal.
If you fear your transcripts or test scores do not accurately reflect your capabilities, the graduate school application essay is also a perfect opportunity to supplement your academic record.
If not, that is certainly your first step. Do you know what you hope to achieve with a post-graduate degree? Are you certain you want to invest this time and money in that particular programme? Have you studied the various career options this degree will allow, and are you committed to this particular path of study? You cannot convince an admissions committee of your commitment if you have trouble convincing yourself.
Neither would you want to. To crystallize what you want to communicate in your essay, start by listing your professional goals and noting exactly how this degree programme will further them.
For example, if you are deeply interested in applying for higher-level jobs for which only degreed candidates are eligible, that demonstrates an obvious need for the programme.
If you begin the writing process with a clear picture of what the degree will add to your life professionally, you will have a much easier time communicating those points in your graduate school application essay.
What amenities, student groups, and career services do you want from the school you select? Illustrating how a particular school meets all your needs and wants demonstrates a fully thought-out decision-making process, which is fundamental to the entire application. Finally, think of your personal goals. Search within yourself to find what motivates you most and what that degree will mean to you on a personal level.
For example, if you would be the first person in your family to receive a post-graduate degree and that would bring you great pride and fulfillment, or if you think it would demonstrate to your children that anything is achievable with dedication and hard work, that is certainly a personal detail you would want to include. Ideally, by this time in your education or career, you will have learned that procrastination works against you.
If not, heed this warning: Allow yourself enough time to make several drafts and to have people with vastly different experiences and viewpoints to read it and offer suggestions. Overall, you want your essay to reflect your own ideas and ambitions, so it needs to be — above all else — authentic and sincere. Do not attempt to flatter the institution in the hope of winning over the committee, but instead personalise the experience ahead of you with your goals and dreams and how they will motivate you to succeed.
I spoke with many different levels of staff and pored over all available information, finally deciding to take a position with another consulting firm that better fit my interests and desired career. Over a year later, I still love my job working alongside an impressive group of professionals on a variety of interesting topics for many complex companies. As the years passed, I developed more rational reasons why a career in architecture was right for me: I acknowledged that I did not possess the inherent artistic abilities of a Claude Monet or even a Bob Ross , but I felt certain that my desire to be an architect would overcome any of my shortcomings.
I was therefore dismayed to find, upon completing my first architecture course, that my grade was based entirely on the artistic quality of my work. Having never received such a low mark, I consulted my professor, who straightforwardly informed me that she did not believe I had a future as an architect.
Determined to prove her wrong, I sought the advice of other architecture faculty. Although sympathetic, they invariably agreed: I took the summer to plot a new course of action, speaking with friends, classmates, and advisors while searching for a field that combined quantitative analysis with creative concepts. After much deliberation, introspection, and even an auto shop class at the local community college, I finally decided to major in business. To my surprise, my first semester of classes made me forget all about golden ratios and ionic pillars; my eyes were opened to the ways that business could provide the variety and depth of curriculum I desired.
I began loading my schedule with business classes, participating in business-related extracurriculars, and subscribing to the Wall Street Journal and The Economist. Today, I consider that C-minus to be one of the best grades I ever received. It opened a door to a field of study, and ultimately a career, that I would have otherwise never discovered.
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Sample Grad School Essay:
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2 MBA Admissions Essays That Worked MBA admissions officials say they prefer personal statements that convey personality and demonstrate grit. covering graduate schools. Check out this successful HBS application essay and an analysis of what made the essay so special and how you can apply that to your own application essay. Sample Essay from Admitted HBS Student: The Mechanical Engineer. • Harvard Business School MBA Essay .
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