Sunday, February 10, 2008

Confessions of an Applicant

"There comes a time in everyone's life - when you truly have to ask yourself: do you want to go to law/business/med school?"
- Thanks Nada Surf, for allowing me to rip off your mid nineties ironic hit, Popular.

January and February are grad school application months. Your average Faux Hillary is busy tracking down their favourite university professor to ask for a letter of recommendation for their application to the London School of Economics, or busy booking their interview circuit at various medical schools. To quote El Huerd - re. medical school interviews at U of T, where they give you only two weeks notice, "the entire interview system is biased to help your classic fourth year psych major at Western, its not like she has a job that she has to miss to come into Toronto for her interview! Besides - she probably comes home to Toronto every weekend anyway."

In times like these my collective class is lying awake at night thinking of potential answers to the "tough questions" they're going to have to answer on their application or in the interview.

Although the words change per application the basic query is as follows: "Why do you want to be a lawyer/ doctor/ ruthless business person?" And just as the question is basically the same for every application, so are the answers. Only in these situations, we all spend our days fluffing up our answers with feel good stories. Take Bold Sharon who is currently reading application essays herself (as part of her ability to be both a mom and successful career woman). Do you know how many stories she's read along the following lines: "meeting "johnny" who was dying of cancer, precipitated my life-long love of pediatrics, and its why I'm applying to medical school today - so I can make a difference in kids like johnny's life." 50% of medical school applicants contain a variant of that story.

So instead of fluffing up our reasons for further education, why not simple and brutal honesty?

Take for example, my NYU application, which asks the following:

Think about the decisions you have made in your life. Answer the following (750 word maximum):
(a) What choices have you made that led you to your current position?
(b) Why pursue an MBA at this point in your life?
(c) What is your career goal upon graduation from NYU Stern? What is your long term goal?

Don't think I didn't slap something together about public service and working in a not for profit and becoming a leader in the community, because I did.

But what if I actually wrote what was really on my mind, something along the lines of this:

"Dear NYU Stern School of Business:
Having dated my way through most gays in the Faux Hill and RosedAle - I feel like it is high time that i move to New York City so I can meet a proper Upper East Sider with a trust fund. And if all else fails completing an MBA will allow me to maintain the lifestyle I'm currently accustomed to.

Best,
Jonathan

p.s. do I get points for being under the word limit?"

What is it? The truth will set us free?

1 comment:

JG said...

One doesn't actually have to interview to get into law school. Get your story straight, Typhoid.