We had the opportunity of interviewing Uday Tripathi, a student at the University of Pennsylvania about: College Application Essays
The President of MUSE Consulting,
The President of Engineers in Medicine,
An Engineering Teaching Assistant,
Co-Founder of Golden Gate Editing (college application consultant),
Valedictorian of his class in high school,
Scorer of 5s on all of 8 of his AP exams,
Achiever of perfect scores on three SAT subject tests,
A Merit Semifinalist,
and a Scholar Athlete.
Uday shares with us:
"When writing my college essays, the main thing I focused on was telling admissions committees a story that was meaningful and unique to me, and not just one that could simply be written by another prospective applicant."
"I think it’s important to understand what works for you and not to try and box yourself into a style that worked for others."
Q: What type of message did you try to convey through your college application essays?
A: When writing my college essays, the main thing I focused on was telling admissions committees a story that was meaningful and unique to me, and not just one that could simply be written by another prospective applicant. I focused on putting together a package for applications - I didn’t focus on only one aspect of my extracurriculars/internships/leadership. If there were four essays in an application, for example, I tried to gear each one towards a different subject (e.g. one about summer research, another about Boy Scouts, another about baseball, and the last one about debate). I think it’s important to not get absorbed in a singular portion of the application and let that dominate it.
Q: Can you briefly describe the process you took to write your essays and how long this process took? (brainstorming, writing, editing, etc.)
A: I spent the summer before high school brainstorming and writing my UC application essays as well as my Common App essay. I think I got to a few supplementals as well. This gave me a good foundation and lowered the amount of work I had to do during senior year when I was juggling classes as well. My writing style may be unconventional and probably not what seasoned writers would recommend - I would dedicate a couple days of my week to just sitting down at my desk and churning out essay drafts. Of course, I would tinker with them later but I preferred to enter that headspace a few times a week and really dig into my essays. This may not work for everyone, but this has always been my style (I rarely write outlines for papers). I think it’s important to understand what works for you and not to try and box yourself into a style that worked for others.
Learn more about Uday and his experience on his LinkedIn account.
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