Content is King (or Queen)! . . . for Audio
“My life has a superb cast but I can’t figure out the plot.” — Ashleigh Brilliant, English cartoonist.
For your clip, you’ve already got the superb cast (you!). Now you need to concentrate on telling a compelling story.
Anthony Pu: desk worker by day and hip hop dancer by night–ended up performing in a professional dance group and teaching classes to inner city kids.
Lianna Kong: restyled her blog “I am Neurotic” into a book deal.
These stories are good because they highlight an aspect of the person’s life NOT related to their regular jobs. Anthony made an impact by nurturing his talent and sharing it with others. Lianna creatively turned a writing hobby into an entrepreneurial venture.
To prepare your story:
- To clips of prior candidates
- To “This I Believe” or “This American Life” to hear how people tell their stories, so it doesn’t sound like they are reading it off a page.
- Don’t take notes while listening. Rather, wait until the clip is complete and write down the details that really struck you, that you remember.
You’ll notice that most successful application clips follow this structure:
- Clear, catchy introduction
- How you became interested in this aspect of your life
- How it has enriched you personally
- How you have had an impact on others through this activity
- Catchy conclusion that refers back to the beginning
Stay tuned for Part III in the series: Content is King or (Queen)! for Video.
By Michelle Stockman, who worked in the Columbia Business School admissions office, has a Masters in Journalism from Columbia, and has assisted Accepted.com clients applying to top business schools since 2007. When not advising Accepted’s clients, she a multimedia producer with works published by Agence France Presse, Economist.com, WSJ.com, the Times of India, and Hindustan Times. She is happy to help you with your application.
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