Wouldn't it be nice if you only had to write one essay? Simple. Nice. Easy. Or. . .
Confining. Limiting. And in some respects much more difficult than writing multiple essays.
Multiple essays give you the room to go into greater depth AND provide more breadth. How so? You can use each essay to reveal different achievements and influences in your life. At the same time, each essay should reflect varied aspects of your personality, values, and interests.
So when you approach an application requiring multiple essays, whether it be HBS' seven-question application, the new AMCAS application, or any number of other undergraduate and graduate applications, make sure your essays are not merely variations on a monotonous theme. Ensure that they complement each other without overlap or duplication. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Which accomplishments and experiences do you want to bring out in your application?
2. Which of your experiences, activities, and accomplishments best answer each individual question?
3. Which combination of experiences presents the most textured and impressive picture of you as a distinctive human being with diverse interests and accomplishments?
Remember, the essays have one overriding purpose: introducing you as a unique individual with personality and character to the admissions committee members. Exploit the opportunity that multiple essays provide, and your reader will say, "Hey, I'd like to meet this person. I think he/she would be a great addition to our school!
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com, the premier admissions consultancy and essay editing company that has helped applicants around the world gain admissions to over 450+ top schools since 1994.