Undergraduate Blog

Application Advice from a McIntire Student Ambassador: How to Approach the McIntire B.S. in Commerce Application Essay Questions

Student ambassador Maggie Seabrook offers tips on how prospective students can best share their story with the B.S. in Commerce admissions committee.

By Maggie Seabrook

There are three required components of McIntire’s B.S. in Commerce application: your transcript, your activities, and your essays. Sometimes, written applications can be intimidating, but the best way to think about it is a chance to show the admissions committee who you really are. Your grades, courses, and extracurricular activities speak for themselves, but only your essays can vividly explain who the person seeking admission into our business community really is. With only 250 words to do this, it’s important to ensure every phrase is meaningful. Nevertheless, reflecting on who you are, why you are at UVA, and why you want to attend McIntire is something that will ensure your essays are authentic, engaging, and unique. Here are several tips to help you approach the writing process.

  1. Start the brainstorming process early, but don’t rush to finish your essays. It’s easy to procrastinate starting the writing process and commit to your first idea, but don’t fall into this trap! Give yourself time to reflect and think about different ways you can approach the essay questions. Maybe you even write a draft of each essay with several different ideas, then ask yourself, “Which sounds like me?” In short, consider spending more time than you normally would engaging in some self-reflection and brainstorming.
  2. Sound like yourself, not who you think McIntire wants you to be. There is no typical McIntire student, nor is there a “one size fits all” solution for the essays. You should write about what moves you and what you, as an individual, have to share with the McIntire community. Your essays are your chance to stand out among all the applicants, not to blend in!
  3. Share your talents and accomplishments, but don’t be someone you are not. Many pre-Commerce students have amazing experiences, business acumen, and accomplishments. We are a community of motivated and hardworking individuals, but don’t feel the need to embellish simply for the sake of impressing the committee. Nevertheless, don’t shy away from sharing your excitement and pride with the committee through your essay. McIntire is full of bright and talented people, so own your accomplishments! Just be sure you are being honest with yourself and the committee. Otherwise, you risk sounding inauthentic.

I hope these tips are helpful as you begin the writing process. Remember that writing your essays is the best way to share your story with the admissions committee, and only you are the expert of that. Happy writing!

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