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Advice for Optional essay write up

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Advice for Optional essay write up [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2006, 07:51
Hi,
I hit the roadblock when I had to select between 2 possible themes about writing my optional essay. One of them is my recent business venture in real estate investment and the other one is the extenuating family circumstances I faced in the the early 4 yrs of my career when my wife died of cancer after 4 yrs of our struggle with the disease.Both of them are not mentioned in rest of my application and I am not sure which one to select for the optional essay write up that has positive impression on the admission committee.
Your advice in this matter will be highly appreciated.
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Re: Advice for Optional essay write up [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2006, 13:06
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gmacvik wrote:
Hi,
I hit the roadblock when I had to select between 2 possible themes about writing my optional essay. One of them is my recent business venture in real estate investment and the other one is the extenuating family circumstances I faced in the the early 4 yrs of my career when my wife died of cancer after 4 yrs of our struggle with the disease.Both of them are not mentioned in rest of my application and I am not sure which one to select for the optional essay write up that has positive impression on the admission committee.
Your advice in this matter will be highly appreciated.


First of all, my condolences on your wife's passing.

It is very difficult to advise you without seeing the rest of your essays and putting the optional in context. Some questions come to mind: Was your career adversely affected as you struggled with your wife's illness? do you have something to explain or address there? If that's the case, then probably the essay about how you dealt with your wife's illness is better. On the other hand, if you want to go into real estate or something related to your recent venture, then that one may be better.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2006, 13:15
Hi Linda,
Thanks for your condolences and your reply. To be honest,I can't say that my career was adversly affected due to that. It was just the beginning of my career and I was just learning things at work front, though it affected me metally a lot but I faced all that with determination and courage. Yes, this shattered me emotionally for those and subsequent years. At the same time it gave me the reputation of a very integral and compassionate person in my society.Its been 6 yrs now and I am much settled in my personal life now. So do you recommend me to put all these into the optional essay or my recent business venture into real estate investment company or my travel adventures(trekking sort) to Indian pilgrimage in Himalayas would fit better into that?

Your advice would be highly appreciated.
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2006, 14:44
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gmacvik wrote:
Hi Linda,
Thanks for your condolences and your reply. To be honest,I can't say that my career was adversly affected due to that. It was just the beginning of my career and I was just learning things at work front, though it affected me metally a lot but I faced all that with determination and courage. Yes, this shattered me emotionally for those and subsequent years. At the same time it gave me the reputation of a very integral and compassionate person in my society.Its been 6 yrs now and I am much settled in my personal life now. So do you recommend me to put all these into the optional essay or my recent business venture into real estate investment company or my travel adventures(trekking sort) to Indian pilgrimage in Himalayas would fit better into that?

Your advice would be highly appreciated.


Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Again, it is very difficult for me to make a specific recommendation without knowing what's in the other essays as well as what your goals and previous experience are. Include in the optional the subject matter that is most distinctive about you, reflects who you are, and reveals something not found in the other parts of the application.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2006, 10:02
If I may add my two cents into this, in my optional essay I wrote about my struggle with an illness in graduate school. I addressed this in my optional essay because I left Northwestern's PhD program in organic chemistry to deal with it. I felt the admissions needed to see that me leaving the program is not a reflection of a lack of maturity but rather a decision that I needed to make and which I ultimately showed was a very positive motivation in my life. In my optional essay I talked about how my struggle and my decision to leave graduate school affected other aspects of my life positvely.

If you do mention your wife's passing I think it might be useful to talk about how it has affected your motivation in your life and how despite the fact that it was undoubtly one of the most difficult things you experienced it made you the person you are today. Personally I think if you frame it this way you can write not only about your wife's passing but also about all the other things you mentioned.
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