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MAR 11, 2020 • 8 min read
Georgetown University - Washington D.C.’s premier private research university, was founded in 1789 as a Jesuit college - the oldest Catholic affiliate in the United States. Now, Georgetown has a global reputation for its footprint in the social sciences and its education of countless American policymakers -- as well as growing programs in the humanities, sciences, and health sciences.
A walk through Georgetown campus takes you through a quaint, affluent corner of D.C., including a campus filled with Gothic architecture and bustling M street, full of boutiques and designer brands.
Georgetown requires a number of supplement essays, regardless of undergraduate school, so let’s take a look:
This is a tricky essay, and your aim should be to avoid the most common pitfall students will make when writing this: either sounding arrogant / bragging or underselling yourself. The difficulty will be walking the line between these two.
Make a list of as many talents/skills you can think of as possible. The difficulty is being exhaustive, so here are some ideas:
Identify which of these skills are not already apparent in the Common App.
This is an easy one: a chance to show that you (1) did something you were passionate about and (2) that you learned something from it.
Remember, you’re writing an entire essay about this activity - it should be something you have stuff to say about! Maybe your parents made you run cross country last year, but you didn’t enjoy it much -- probably not the right topic. However, if you’ve been training for a marathon, on your own volition, over the past six months, that’s a great topic.
Whatever it is, you’ll want to choose something where you feel like you learned something about an activity, a group of people, or yourself.
This essay should be more focused on your takeaways from the experience, rather than the details of how you did it.
Tell your reader - did the activity make you think something different about yourself or your community? How did it change your relationship with your family? How did it change your perspectives or interests?
Try to avoid common takeaways like, “it taught me to work hard” or, “it taught me that everybody is equal.” The more personal the better - tell your reader something that is unique to you, that (probably) no one else would have also taken away from the experience.
Remember to be humble - avoid any takeaways about how great you are, or how much better you are than other people on your team or in your class.
This essay is a bit of a free-for-all. At the very least, it should express elements of your personality that are not accessible elsewhere in the application. Most importantly, you shouldn’t aim to write what you think the admissions committee wants - you should aim to write what you want.
The question beneath the question here is -- there will be lots of applicants to Georgetown with similar applications to yours. They will have similar test scores, extracurricular activities, and academic achievements. But as a real life person - how are you different from these people who seem similar to you on paper?
If you have a great sense of humor, let it come out here. If you have a powerful value system taught to you by a family member that guides you in every decision you make, talk about it here. If you see the world differently, or have different beliefs from your classmates, feel free to write (respectfully, of course!) here. The “essay” can even be something that’s not an essay - a poem, or a song. Regardless, this essay should be unique to you.
This is really a two part essay: first asking a difficult general question, and the second asking for a standard “why our school” essay. Once you can nail down your answer for the first essay, the second will be pretty straightforward.
Another way to think about “what it means to be educated” would be - what are the different types of ways to be educated? For example, part of your education is academic - you gain a body of knowledge around certain subjects which has both practical applications (sometimes it’s actually necessary to read or be able to do arithmetic), as well as more obtuse applications (part of school is “learning how to learn,” to absorb and apply information, follow instructions and deadlines, to produce bodies of work).
So, ask yourself - what types of education are you most excited about at Georgetown? Maybe it’s your classes, your classmates, or the internships you’ll pursue in DC. Maybe it’s a certain Georgetown program, or a club you want to start, or a conference where you’d like to speak.
In this essay, you should… First, answer what it means to be educated, focusing on what ‘types’ of education excite you most.
Then, use specific Georgetown information to demonstrate why Georgetown can give you this type of information. For example, let’s say you’re interested in economics. Sure, you could discuss in your essay how you’re excited to take Georgetown’s intro economics course - but every college has this class! Instead, try writing about more Georgetown-specific facts - for example, Georgetown is unique among peer institutions in having a specific major in “Political Economy.” If you’re interested in the economic forces driving politics, Georgetown can uniquely help you become “educated” in the way you want to be.
This is really the same essay as for Georgetown College - first, give a fairly straightforward answer about how you became interested in health care. Then, use the above guidance to link Georgetown-specific programming to this interest.
The key here is to be specific. Something too broad like “the economy” will be very tough to make compelling. In your essay, make sure to do two things:
The McDonough School of Business is a national and global leader in providing graduates with essential ethical, analytical, financial and global perspectives. Please discuss your motivations for studying business at Georgetown.
Similar to above - make sure you are highly specific in justifying both your personal reasons for studying business, and why Georgetown particularly is best positioned to help you pursue these motivations.