Want to Write a Winning Graduate School Essay? Tell Us Something We Don’t Know.
by Linda Barringer, Graduate Admissions / Bryant University
We’ve read your resumé, we’ve looked at your academic transcripts, but what does that really tell us about you? Your application for admission essay will set you apart from the other well qualified applicants.
Not only do we want to know; we need to know, because it’s not just about finding the right students for the program. We want to make sure that when you graduate, you will look back on all your hard work in Bryant’s graduate school as time well spent. It’s our job to make sure the program is the right fit for you.
Whatever has contributed to making you, you and has shaped your vision of the future, is important information that should be shared in your essay.
One of the most memorable essays I’ve read discussed how much the applicant learned about leadership while trying to train a pair of oxen calves for his 4-H project. The applicant, now a successful MBA student here, opened his essay with a line that drew us in and made us want to know more; “When I was nine, I bought my first pair of oxen. That first business deal, paid for with cash while standing ankle-deep in manure, started an experience that taught me more about business and leadership that I could have ever guessed.” One doesn’t necessarily think that information would appeal to an admission committee, but it really made this person stand out in the crowd. It also gave us a good sense of this applicant’s commitment to a task, organizational skills, and patience (which is very important in the business world and in graduate school).
Another essay spoke about the applicant’s experience as a mentor, role model and foster brother to more than twenty children, while yet another spoke of the desire to use his education as a force for change in his home country. If you want to write a great graduate school essay, whatever has contributed to making you, you and has shaped your vision of the future, is important information that should be the focus.