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Thursday, May 20, 2004

Essays 

I've been starting to think seriously about aplication essays. Thoughts have been generally maturing in my brain for quite a while now, espscially for the Stanford 'What Matters to you most and why?' one, but in the last few days I've started to get thoughts down onto paper. I know it seems early to be doing this, but Wharton has released its essay requirments, Stanford has said 05 will be the same as 04, and Kellogg says that the first three questions are highly likely to stay the same, so there's no reason not to. Having looked at my calendar for the next few weeks I've also realised that I have precious little free time between now and the end of June, and if I'm not careful I'll blink and find it's September, so getting started seems sensible.

One of the things I've been mulling over is the tension between the general adcom advise to 'write what you want to say, not what you think we want to hear' and the direction of Montauk et al to take a 'marketing approach'. Coming form a marketing background myself, I'm very aware of the need to understand you target audience and its wants/needs and to communicate appropriately. I don't see these two pieces of advise as mutualy exclusive, but they need to be balanced. I think I'm developping a pretty good idea of what the various schools are looking for in their students, so my intention is to write the essays in a 'what I want to say' way and then go back over them to check that I'm covering the things that the schools are loking for - attempting to represent myself in an honest and relevant way.

I've spent some time on Stanford's 'What matters...' and have been drawing a mind map to address the why issues. So far, I'm finding it a really valuable and enlightening experience, recognising conections between things that had never occured to me before.

I've also been spending some quality time with Wharton's website, which has increased my enthusiasm about the school significantly

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