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Georgia Tech’s unassuming supplement does a good job of disguising its challenges. 2 essays of a combined length of 500 words – easy, right? While the first prompt poses as a basic why essay, it issues a few caveats that may throw some applicants for a loop. The prompts of choice pose similarly cockeyed versions of classic college essay questions. Although the writing may be brief, applicants will want to spend some extra time planning their responses. Fortunately, we made you a guide!
Supplemental Essay Type(s): Two essays of 250 words
Admissions wants to know how you plan on using a Georgia Tech education to accomplish your career goals. Some schools ask students why they want to attend or why they like different offerings, but Georgia Tech isn’t messing around. They’re asking you to specifically speak about academics here, so don’t waste your time researching the dining halls. Why study here? Why study this subject? And finally, why study this subject at Georgia Tech, specifically? Spend some time learning about Georgia Tech’s majors, classes, professors, resources, and alumni network. Pore over the website for the department you’re interested in and soak up information about faculty, research, guest speakers, and special opportunities for undergraduates. Jot down the details that appeal to you and by the end of your research session, you’ll have everything you need to plead your case. Connect the school’s offerings to your personal interests and goals and you will demonstrate your fit and commitment to the school. What career path do you see for yourself? Is Georgia Tech known for producing successful graduates in that department? The more details you can provide, the better.
Many schools ask applicants to write about the communities they come from, but this prompt turns that question sideways. You may have a few good stories about your grandma’s impact on your life, but have you ever taken a moment to think about how you might have changed her life? Your response can be super concrete (“I started working at age 16”) or more abstract (“I make people laugh”), but either way, you should focus on a single notable (and relatively brief) anecdote. Without a specific narrative, you risk writing an essay full of self-aggrandizing platitudes (“I changed my mom’s life for the better”) or irritating self-deprecation (“My family probably sometimes wishes I didn’t exist”).
Not sure where to start? Why not go straight to the horse’s mouth? Interview your parents, siblings, or extended family members about their memories. What are their fondest stories about you? How would they describe you? You can also dig through old photos and mementos like postcards and gifts/souvenirs. What are the kinds of things that your family members give you? What does that say about how they see you?
It should already be clear who should/shouldn’t go for this question: if you don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur, move along. That said, there’s a pretty broad definition here: you don’t have to have started a tech company. Maybe you learned a valuable lesson from your first lemonade stand, or discovered something about the complications of working for friends/family when you decided to babysit for your neighbors. How did starting your business (of any variety) change the way you think about entrepreneurship? What did it reveal about your leadership skills?
Although your life experience should be central to this essay, you also need to consider how Georgia Tech can help you “further your entrepreneurial interests.” As with the first part of this prompt, you can think broadly here. “Entrepreneurial interests” don’t start and end with starting your own business; you might want to cultivate a sense of independence as an artist, or be prepared to advocate for yourself in the competitive world of local politics. Get creative, but be prepared to cite specific details about Georgia Tech! If you find that you are repeating points you already made in your Why essay, you might want to consider responding to another prompt.
Georgia Tech wants to know more about you, and what better way to get to know you then learning about the ways in which you choose to spend your time? Admissions wants to know about your “typical” day, so don’t worry about sounding grandiose, just be honest. Maybe everyday you wake up and read the newspaper to your grandma since her sight isn’t what it used to be and you both share a passion for politics. Perhaps every night after school, you play around with coding because you hope to be the next Steve Jobs. This could also be a great opportunity to elaborate on how you balance school with extracurricular commitments like jobs and clubs. And if nothing specific is coming to mind, ask yourself: What are the things that make your day feel complete? Do you feel naked without your watch? Does it drive you crazy if you brush your teeth before you drink your orange juice? Lean into the little rituals and details that define a day in your life and we guarantee admissions will discover something new (and maybe you will too!).