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Can I write about a DUI on a failure essay?

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Can I write about a DUI on a failure essay? [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2013, 14:23
I was wondering if I could write about a DUI on the failure essay, or should I look for another topic?

This incident in my life was a very personal failure that taught me quite a bit, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot with the Adcom. Are there specific schools where an essay like this would be acceptable, or schools where I should just steer away from this topic?

Thanks for the help!
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Re: Can I write about a DUI on a failure essay? [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2013, 13:40
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The answer to this is a short and emphatic NO. There is no doubt that criminal charge gave you an eye opening experience - I would hope it did. However, you absolutely cannot write about it for any school.

Remember - your failure essay is there to help you acknowledge a time you failed, what you learned, and how you grew from that experience into a better person. Not to be blunt or rude, but learning not to break the law doesn't exactly qualify.

Generally, you want to stay away from "personal/sin" topics. For example, overcoming addiction, a bad relationship, etc.

I know that my response was a little forward but I hope it helps!

Bhavik
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Re: Can I write about a DUI on a failure essay? [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2013, 16:17
CriticalSquareMBA wrote:
The answer to this is a short and emphatic NO. There is no doubt that criminal charge gave you an eye opening experience - I would hope it did. However, you absolutely cannot write about it for any school.

Remember - your failure essay is there to help you acknowledge a time you failed, what you learned, and how you grew from that experience into a better person. Not to be blunt or rude, but learning not to break the law doesn't exactly qualify.

Generally, you want to stay away from "personal/sin" topics. For example, overcoming addiction, a bad relationship, etc.

I know that my response was a little forward but I hope it helps!

Bhavik


Thanks for the reply, I appreciate when people can give an honest feedback. Given that schools run background checks, i know they will find about this in my record, and I would like to own it somehow. Perhaps I could use the optional essay, but Let me know what you think.

Thanks!
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Re: Can I write about a DUI on a failure essay? [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2013, 21:55
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summer99 wrote:
I was wondering if I could write about a DUI on the failure essay, or should I look for another topic?

This incident in my life was a very personal failure that taught me quite a bit, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot with the Adcom. Are there specific schools where an essay like this would be acceptable, or schools where I should just steer away from this topic?

Thanks for the help!


Um, Bhavik wrote it already, but in case there is any doubt at all: no, no no and no... :)

You learned a lot from it for sure, but still no. (not just because its a DUI, although that's reason enough but also because it gives you no advantage... meaning a good failure story, has a good business story buried inside). We don't want to see you fail to follow the law, we want to see you fail to found a 20 million start-up!
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Re: Can I write about a DUI on a failure essay? [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2013, 00:13
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Hey,

You're welcome - I'm glad you found it helpful! Firstly, a few things to note about the background check. Firstly, most programs only pull it once you're admitted. Secondly, they're not always full criminal profiles. Some do, some don't. It varies. However, the first point here is the most important. The background checks that schools perform are time intensive and outsourced to companies that specialize in this. They verify your employment, salary, recommenders, etc. It's a time intensive process and it makes the most sense for them to do it after they admit you - just to make sure you are who you say you are. At that point they'd have to decided if they're going to rescind your offer and it is highly unlikely (but not impossible) that they would do so.

I don't think it's bad to own something that happened in your past but the optional essay may not be the right place to do that. There might not be any right place. Think of it this way - HOW would you own it in that essay? Would you merely acknowledge it? In which case you're better off just not writing anything at all. Would you provide a reason for it? I doubt you have a very compelling reason for a DUI. Would you say you learned from it? If so, then we run into the same reason it wasn't good to write about in the failure essay.

Overall, I think you're better off just leaving it alone. If they pull your record before admitting you, it's on there and that's a fact of life. If they don't, then it doesn't impact the admissions process and it doesn't matter until a little bit later down the road (if even then).

You're not the first applicant with a DUI and you won't be the last. They're unfortunate and they do highlight a documented lapse in judgment, but they're not the end of the world. It's natural to fixate on the part of your profile you're most worried about. There just has to be careful thought around the messaging and strategy.

Bhavik
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Re: Can I write about a DUI on a failure essay?   [#permalink] 26 Aug 2013, 00:13
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