Undergraduate Blog

Telling Your Story: B.S. in Commerce Application Essay Tips

A current Commerce student and McIntire Ambassador offers tips for completing the B.S. in Commerce application essay.

We all have a unique story and set of experiences. The essay of the McIntire application is a place for you to tell your story beyond your grades, coursework, and activities.

The essay prompt: McIntire defines diversity as a collection of unique characteristics, both seen and unseen, that enrich our community by challenging assumptions, inspiring thoughtful discussion, and contributing to the development of innovative solutions. How will your background, perspective, and experience contribute to Mclntire’s learning environment and business community? (250 words or fewer) (Required)

During the brainstorming phase, I highly encourage you to take some time to reflect on your past two years at UVA.

Questions to Consider

  • How have your experiences shaped you?
  • What are some qualities you tap into when engaging with the communities you are involved with?
  • What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and how have you overcome them?
  • What kind of things motivate you and give you energy?
  • What kind of impact are you looking to make at McIntire?
  • How can you use your perspective and experiences to contribute to conversations with your peers or in classroom discussions?
  • Is there any experience, skill, or attribute that is not demonstrated by your coursework and activities that relates to the prompt?
  • Is there anything relevant to the prompt that you would like to emphasize based on what it means to you?

Remember the application is not directly asking you what makes you diverse. Instead, it encourages you to reflect on your unique and diverse experiences and how you can use them to contribute to the learning community at McIntire.

Additional Essay Tips

  • Familiarize yourself with McIntire’s learning community. In order to talk about how you can contribute to the community, you need to understand it. Take a deep dive on the blog to explore what we do in the classroom, what our faculty research, and what our alumni are doing. Speak to current students and engage with the McIntire ambassadors.
  • Be strategic with your writing. You have a limited word count, so every word matters. Make sure to avoid filler words and be direct with your writing. I recommend you book an appointment with the UVA Writing Center or have another person read your draft before you submit. Also, make sure you check thoroughly for grammar mistakes and typos.
  • Start ahead of time. Don’t let the deadline (Jan. 12, 2022, at noon – before the semester starts!) creep up on you. Start the brainstorming phase early, and give yourself enough time to reflect, write, and get your work proofread.

Good luck and happy writing!

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