Harvard's Career goals essay was a mere 400 words long. Stanford's Career goals essay is 3 pages max, which means that it can stretch as far as 1500 words. Clearly, Stanford wants the applicants to elaborate on the goals as much as they can. This is no easy task as i have to speak about something i can say in as less as one statement in so many words.
Okay - i agree. I have to explain stuff. But three pages for that??? I don't think so. I accept that allowing the applicants to elaborate on the career aspirations is a good thing. Especially for someone like me who needs to explain a shift in industry and all the other related stuff. But something keeps telling me that many applicants will end up writing stuff simply coz they have to write stuff.
Really, i had to initially fight this battle myself - do i fill three pages because i have the space or do i just write up as much as i can and leave it at that - even if it is only two pages long. It was not an easy decision to make at all, because writing just two pages dint appear that good to me. The one question that stuck with me was "What if the AdComm guy doesn't appreciate this succinctness?" I was telling myself that this risk was not worth taking.
Luckily for me, as i gathered more material to elaborately answer the essay questions, i found that i needed more than 3 pages to finish this essay. I haven't finished this essay as yet, but i have run half the distance. I have stated my career aspirations and have explained why this career choice was made. I have to work some more on this justification bit and then i have given myself one page for the "Why Stanford" portion. Enough research has already been done. Gotta jot down points and churn out a good essay.
I think i can stick to my deadline of finishing this by this month end. I can easily finish the career goals essay tomorrow. I worked on the first essay yesterday and have reviewed it to my satisfaction. It has reached a state where i need someone else's mind to see the holes in the essay. So i gotta send it out for review. This weekend, someone is gonna see "What matters most to me and why" and say whether i have said it well. Then i will start working on the Chicago essays.
I did some progress on the reviewer front today as i my friend agreed to review some essays. I don't think i will be sending her the Harvard, Kellogg and Wharton essays as they have already been reviewed by atleast one person. I can use her time to review Stanford and Chicago. On the Reco front, all my recommenders are out of station and will get back in the next week. So next week, i shud give them all material and get them going. Things look pretty fine now.
Okie - time to hit the bed.