When one thinks of passion, one doesn’t generally think of investment bankers. But the admissions committees are looking for passion in their applicants; so how are you – a computer guy, an engineer, a biology major, or yes, an investment banker – going to craft a winning application that shows them the passion they’re looking for?
“Passion” has a sexy ring to it. An emotional, visceral appeal. It evokes images of glamorous actors and actresses in hot and heavy romances. The good guy in a Frank Capra film changing history. Generals exhorting the troops before sending them into battle.
Forget the steamy romances. Forget the hero delivering a stirring speech. Forget the generals addressing their troops.
That’s not what we’re talking about in admissions.
“Passion” in admissions – be it college, MBA, law school, medical school, or grad school – means dedication. It means commitment. It requires action over time. It can be very calculated and goal-oriented, and not at all glamorous. It may lead to a feverish culmination, an earth-shattering moment, and it may not. It can be any one of the following and an infinite number of other activities:
- Spending hours practicing the cello day-in and day-out, year after year
- Assuming responsibility for an annual silent auction that raises thousands of dollars for your favorite cause during the five years that you have chaired it
- Training and training and training so that you beat your personal best in the race of your choice
- Volunteering at a medical or legal clinic twice a week since your sophomore year in college
What are you dedicated to?
Next time you see the word “passion” in an admissions context, look between the lines. Read it as “dedication.” And those calculating, number-crunching, spreadsheet addicts among you, remember this equation: Passion = Action + Dedication.
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