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Unique Essays

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Manager
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Unique Essays [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2005, 19:29
I feel like my essays will get me into B-school because I am a good writer and have good stories to tell, but I'm not sure what is better left unsaid. For example, I grew up in a single parent family (my father died when I was 9), but nonetheless it was still a middle-to upper middle class town and a great school system.
I am only the third to graduate college in the family- after my father and 3rd cousin and will be the first to pursue graduate school.
My greatest accomplishment to date is getting into my undergrad institution- top 30 (it was top 25 when I was there) and I was initially waitlisted (guess they had enough people from NJ...what else is new). It was my dream school and I wouldn't let it go so I wrote an award winning play because I knew it was an extra letter my guidance counselor could send to the school to push me over the edge. It worked.
My career life has been quite similar- took a Wall Street job in a highly quantitative area. When my quant skills came into question I passed an extremely intensely quantitative test which has a 42% passage rate (not to mention it felt like I was the only non-middle-aged man in the room).

I think these things show that I work hard to achieve my passions, whatever they are at the time. Not to mention I self-financed my education and am still paying the loans.

Finally, I don't know if this is anything to write about at all but my brother has been convicted of a couple of different crimes and it has been a huge family issue dealing with it all (my mother took a 2nd mortgage to pay for lawyers, etc.) I don't want to write an essay conveying my family is white trash or using my brother's bad situation to my advantage or anything like that because that is so not true, but is this something that I should write about in terms of obstacles I've overcome? Or is it better left unsaid? I am completely embarassed by this situation and the fact that he is 30 and living at home, and I would hate for an interviewer to pry further into the convictions because I can't bring myself to talk about them. What do you guys think?
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2005, 21:00
Dude, showing that you overcame obstacles in your life, no matter where, is important. Plus, I think that kind of candor that you need to discuss your brother's issues will be valued by admission committees. I think you should go for it.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2005, 13:37
Expert's post
I agree. The best essays are SINCERE and PERSONAL. Obviously, you don't want to come across as someone with "issues," but I think these are all very relevant and memorable illustrations of how you have overcome adversity. Use them to show your inner strength, your persistence, your courage, and your compassion!

My main piece of advice is to make sure to keep the essay focused on YOU as much as possible. Describing your brother's situation (for example) will be important to describing your own life, but at the end of the day, make sure that it's still an essay about you, and not him.

BTW, don't feel bad... My family has someone like that, too (a cousin), and I get upset just thinking about it... I think most of us have someone like that somewhere in the family tree...

Scott
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thanks [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2005, 09:23
Thanks so much guys. But I'm still a little weary of applying to a top 10 grad school and telling them I was waitlisted at a top 25 undergrad....doesn't that look kind of bad?
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2005, 13:54
Expert's post
No, that won't matter. What matters 1000x more is what you did to over come that, as well as what you've accomplished since then!

Scott
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