I just read a great application essay/personal statement, and it’s not even written by an Accepted client. In fact, it’s not even written by an applicant.
My daughter sent me a link to “Pay It Backwards: An Act Of Coffee Kindness” by Arthur Rosenfeld, a novelist, tai chi master, and philosopher. However, this article is a model personal statement. Note how it:
- Draws you in with an anecdotal opening.
- Discusses his values and reveals a lot about his character.
- Shows impact.
- Presents what he learned from the experience.
Although the essay is not ostensibly about leadership — the uber-value of admissions — he certainly influenced a lot of people’s behavior. And that’s one form of leadership. The article is not ostensibly about compassion, although it is about compassion’s close cousin, kindness. He certainly shows both.
Don’t even think about copying this story. Do think about times when you influenced others through example. Remember those occasions when your actions had influence beyond what you anticipated. Then see if you can’t use the structure Rosenfeld uses in his Starbucks story to respond to your application questions about leadership, “challenging interactions” (MIT Sloan), challenges to your values (Yale MBA) or leadership.