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The Requirements: 1 essay of 250 words; 1 half-page essay; 2 page-long essays
This prompt may come first on the list, but we think you should save it for last! For the other essays on the Georgetown application, we ask you to dig deep and share personal stories that showcase talents and interests. Don’t dry the well by listing all of your (many!) skills and talents too soon. Every essay should reveal something new to admissions. So once you finish polishing your other pieces, ask yourself: what’s missing? Is there some critical puzzle piece that will help connect your other three essays? Or have you been dying to get something off your chest that didn’t fit anywhere else? This essay could be the perfect outlet for you to showcase your more personal skills, interests, and quirks. If the rest of your essays showcase your drive to work in international relations, perhaps your answer to this prompt could showcase a lighter side: your love of experimental cooking (and impressive knife skills!). Or maybe explain how learning a new language helped you learn how to whistle! While you should aim to showcase genuine skills that you have put effort into cultivating, you can also have a little bit of fun. This prompt is the most open-ended one on the application, so show admissions something they won’t find anywhere else on your application.
Next up is a fun twist on the classic activity essay, which asks you to expand on an extracurricular endeavor that you care about. For starters, we’d give you basically the same advice the prompt does: focus on one of the activities “in which you have been most involved.” Although we usually urge students to write about items that haven’t appeared elsewhere on their application, the activity essay is an exception since it specifically asks you to address an item on your resume. So, pick something with meat! When have you had the opportunity to take on a leadership role? How has four years of debate club shaped the way you communicate? Was it difficult coaching pee wee soccer as a freshman, and what motivated you to stick with it?
Though it seems straightforward, this may be one of the hardest prompts! (What do you mean, tell you about myself in my own words?) Don’t fret. You can treat this essay just like the Common App’s prompt #1, which asks students to write about a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. (Even better: if you’ve already written an essay in response to the Common App’s first prompt, you can recycle that essay here since Georgetown has its own application platform!)
If you’re approaching this essay from scratch, take some time to brainstorm. What about your background, talents, or identity might be worth highlighting for an admissions officer? Don’t worry about cramming every aspect of the wonder that is you into one essay; they will naturally reveal themselves along the way as you write. Whether you want to write about a facet of your identity that few people know about or a passion you’ve been dabbling in (and telling everyone about) for years, you can’t go wrong with authentic reflection and an engaging hook!
Admissions wants to learn about a time when your mind was changed. If you’re an active reader or information seeker, you probably have a few ideas already. But if nothing comes to mind immediately, don’t panic; instead, think about the times in your life when you’ve had an “Aha!” moment that forced you to drastically re-examine one of your beliefs or understandings. Admissions wants to know that you are open to new ideas and can reflect in order to see things from a different perspective. As you tell your story, include sensory details to bring your experience to life, whether you’re sitting in the back of a classroom, head in your hands, trying to wrap your brain around the truth-bomb your teacher just dropped; or curled up in a blanket by the fireplace with your nose in a gripping book. If you’re deciding between “Aha!” moments to write about, pick the one most closely related to your intended field of study. Applicants who can articulate their thoughts and feelings while showcasing malleability and a willingness to thoughtfully consider new ideas will likely stand out as valuable additions to the Georgetown community.
If we know anything about applying to medical programs, it is this: everyone wants to help people; everyone wants to make the world a better place; everyone wants to make a meaningful contribution. Few fields lend themselves to service-oriented clichés and platitudes as readily as medicine does, so to safely navigate the minefield of hackneyed generalizations, start with something personal! What’s one eye-opening experience that made you believe healthcare could be your calling? Perhaps it was a single moment, like accidental eye contact with a concerned mother at the ER. Or maybe it was something more long-term, such as navigating your school in a wheelchair after knee surgery and realizing you want to improve patient outcomes through researching physical therapies. Whatever the case, use your personal story as the backdrop for your argument. What did you learn? What problems do you hope to tackle? What change do you hope to help create? As we said, it’s not enough to just want these things; your job is to show admissions why medicine interests you personally. Once you’ve accomplished that, be sure to address the role Georgetown will play in your plan for the future. In other words, why do you want to study healthcare at Georgetown in particular? Do they have a research lab that’s at the forefront of innovation? A wise applicant will do some research so they can infuse their response with specific details that demonstrate meticulousness and drive.
Well, this is about as straightforward as prompts get! Our advice is much the same as it is for students applying to the School of Health (see above). Set yourself apart from other applicants by not only discussing the factors that led you to pursuing a career in nursing, but by also connecting those experiences to your larger goals for the future. If there are elements of a Georgetown education that will support your particular interest or connect to your past experiences in some way, you should dig into that in your response, while also revealing new information to admissions about your character, motivations, and aspirations.
The Walsh School of Foreign Service wants to know what fuels your fire. What is driving you to dedicate your undergraduate studies (and maybe even your life!) to a path of service? Maybe you are incredibly passionate about combating climate change before it’s too late. What do you hope to achieve and how? Perhaps you’re following in the footsteps of a trailblazer you look up to—how do you hope to continue fighting the good fight in their honor? If you’re feeling stuck, ask yourself: what kind of mark would you like to leave on the world? How do you think you can positively contribute to a cause that is important to you? If you had the power to make a lasting impact in any area at all, what would it be? While building the personal connection is key, you’ll also want to leave yourself some space to spell out at least a few steps you might take to address your global issue of choice.
If you think we’ve never seen an essay with the line, “I love money,” you would be wrong. Spoiler: this does not make a great first impression. Studying business is about so much more than dollars and cents, and the prompt offers a few other aspects of business you’ll learn about in this program including “ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives.” In order to get some perspective, we’d recommend doing your homework. Like any classic why essay, the best answers are personal and specific, so go beyond your general interest in business and try to figure out specifically why Georgetown could be the right fit for you. Is it the location? The professors? The travel opportunities? Allow yourself to follow every lead and fall down every rabbit hole as you root through the program website. Your essay should paint a picture of the kind of student you will be at Georgetown, from the classes you’ll take to the activities you’ll pursue. How will this education prepare you for your dream career?