You’re applying to six different schools and each one requires 2-7 essays/personal statements which equals…a whole lot of writing.
PROBLEM: How can you draft so many essays and still maintain a fresh and original voice in each?
SOLUTION: Adapt one essay from one application to another essay on another application, given that you follow these 4 guidelines:
1. Give Each Essay a Unique Theme and Focus on Different Experiences. If you present two essays on the same experience in a single application, you’ll probably end up with duplicate material, and at least one of the essays will be boring. Within a single application, you want to present varied experiences. Minimize repetition.
2. Chart Yourself. If you have multiple essays/personal statements to manage, consider making a chart and attributing certain experiences, accomplishments, and skills to certain questions so you don’t end up using the same experience, accomplishment, or skill for more than one question at a given school.
3. Portray Your Multi-Dimensional Self. While composing multiple essays, keep in mind the different layers and textures of your personality. Try to present these layers in your essays so the adcoms receive a rich, multi-dimensional portrait of you as a human being.
4. Double Check Your Name Dropping. Check CAREFULLY (and then check again) to make sure that you don’t forget to change an occurrence of “Wharton” to “Ross” when you adapt your essay. Sending a “Why I want to go to Wharton” essay to the Ross adcom doesn’t bode well for you!
Most importantly, make sure you’re not simply cutting and pasting (no matter how similar the questions are) and that you’re not being sloppy!