Cindy Harper Covington [email protected]
How a Good Essay Works for You Lets you talk about YOU Distinguishes yourself from the competition
Reveals interest and passion Exposes depth of personality and maturity Demonstrates potential and impact Shows that you are thinking ahead
Before You Begin Reflect Why do you want to pursue a business undergraduate major?
What do you hope to achieve? How do you want to contribute to Kenan-Flagler? The world?
Recall When were you most effective as a leader? A team player?
When did you make an impact? When did you learn from a mistake?
Revisit What makes you unique? What gets you excited? Why do you do what you do? How have you impacted others? Why would you be a good representative of Kenan-Flagler?
Choosing Essay #1 (500 Words) A. With so many conflicting priorities, it can be challenging to motivate a
team to complete projects. Tell us about a time when you were successful at achieving results even though you were part of a volunteer or work team that was difficult to motivate. How will the strengths you relied on to overcome this challenge enable you contribute to the next undergraduate business class and what do you hope to gain personally and professionally by being a part of this program? B. The UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School attracts students who have drive, energy and a record of achievement. Provide a recent example of a leadership challenge you faced and how you were able to overcome the challenge to achieve your desired results. What did you learn about your personal strengths and how will these strengths enable you to contribute to the next undergraduate business class? Drawing on your experience, what do you hope to gain personally and professionally by being a part of this program?
Effective Examples Recent Within the last 12 to 18 months Unless you were President of a international organization,
leave high school behind
Simple Clarity, clarity, clarity – easy to explain, easy to understand
Relevance Connection to business and the business school Sports adventures can be fine, but don’t stretch them to fit
Choosing Essay #2 (500 Words) A. (Students NOT applying to GLOBE) – UNC Kenan-Flagler strives
to make business an engine for positive global change. What does this vision mean to you personally? How will you prepare yourself to step into the world as a global citizen upon completion of the undergraduate business program? B. (Students who are applying to GLOBE) - The GLOBE Program is a
unique opportunity to join an exceptional group of students in the study of business on three continents. GLOBE students will study with top faculty at Copenhagen Business School, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and will gain firsthand exposure to foreign business operations and culture. How would this program lead to your development as a professional and future leader? This is an extremely competitive program, what distinguishes you from other candidates?
Connection to the World This is NOT an academic or research paper Link to the global issue to UNC and to your personal
Show, Don’t Tell Don’t just say it; give relevant examples Understand all your words Stay away from empty sentences and words Avoid too many adjectives
First Sentences “I have spent the past year of my life re-learning everything I ever thought I knew about change in a process that has been both challenging and humbling.” “Short, shallow breaths, a racing heart, and cool droplets of sweat beading up at my brow quickly converged with my feelings of shock, fear, and anger.”
Impact The grants I wrote and continue to write are seeking to raise $40,000 dollars that are necessary to increase output to meet our objective of 50,000 Guatemalans served in the next ten years.
Reflection “Professionally, my experience taught me the importance of relationships, and how ones career can be impacted by them.” “Facing this challenge head on helped me to learn more about myself as a person. Spending twelve hour days working through reconciliations revealed my persevering nature. My self-motivation became apparent as I stepped up to take on new responsibilities, even when not asked of me.”
Stand Out Course rigor and preparation Interest and curiosity Goal-oriented Open-minded Initiative Passion
Participation Contribution and Impact Results Leadership Teamwork Going above and beyond Potential
Brainstorming Try a variety of brainstorming strategies: Mapping/webbing Comparing and contrasting Journalistic questions Having a friend interview you about your experiences and
interests Tape recorder Keep a notebook handy
The optional essay Please include any other information that you believe would be helpful to the Admissions Committee in considering your application (500 word limit). All re-applicants, Junior applicants, and transfer students Otherwise, is it needed? If not, don’t do it.
Situations where it might be needed: You are (legitimately) concerned about your GPA You’re an international student (and you haven’t discussed this elsewhere) You’re employed full-time You’ve had legal problems Other non-obvious things readers NEED to know to evaluate your application
Anatomy of an Essay Beginning Engage your reader from the beginning Middle Use transitions Stay vibrant and active End Tie it all together Draw out lessons
Tips for an Effective Essay Answer the question Does your response satisfy the inquiry? Outline your key points Did you provide a roadmap for your reader? Be concise Did you adhere to the word limit? Add depth Did you answer the “so what” and “why” questions? Proofread, edit, revise Did you spell check? Have someone else read it?
Microsoft’s Readability Tool
Active vs. Passive Voice The project was completed by the entire team. (passive) The entire team completed the project. (active) The work needed to be done on the house by my crew before the new family could move in. (passive) My crew worked tirelessly on the house so that the family could move in on time. (active)
Final Thoughts Be authentic Find your voice Don’t list
Watch your tone Vary sentence structure Avoid repetition Check punctuation Proofread/Feedback Revise Edit
Writing Center services Teaches strategies and skills and will give opinions
as readers NO edits or proofreads - but will show you how Up to 2 appointments per semester (not per essay) to learn about writing personal statements Online or face-to-face Open during summer sessions I and II Tons of tips at writingcenter.unc.edu under “handouts”