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Application Tips: Required Essay

Laurel Grodman
Managing Director of Admissions, Analytics and Evaluation

Hi, my name is Laurel Grodman. I oversee candidate evaluation and analytics for our Admissions team, and I’m going to provide you with some guidance on how to approach the essay portion of your application. The essay is your chance to speak directly to us as an admissions committee.

Our application has one required essay, which asks you to describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. 

So, what are we looking for? The prompt is intentionally broad to allow for a wide range of topics.  Your commitment can be personal or professional, specific or expansive. One type of commitment is not inherently better than another, and we have received strong, compelling essays covering each of these types of commitments. 

What we care about most, and what helps provide the most insight into you as an applicant, is how you have approached the commitment.  Let us know what it is you set out to do and how you have gone about doing it.  Whatever topic you choose, you should be specific and detailed in describing that approach.

Lastly, be genuine in your response.  We are asking you for your biggest commitment, which means you will be writing about something very important to you.  This gives you an opportunity to speak in your own voice about something meaningful and distinctive in your life.