Michigan State University released its 2012 application this week; the essay choices look pretty much the same as last year’s.
Since essay question No. 2 confused many of last year’s applicants, we’ll tell you what we think the question is really asking.
The prompt states: “If admitted to Michigan State, you will join a diverse community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Please respond to the following hypothetical situation: In your first-semester English course you are assigned a group writing project to be completed within a week. In addition to yourself, your group is comprised of five other students, some of whom are from different countries and/or have different racial/ethnic backgrounds than you. Please explain how your past life experiences will help you effectively collaborate with your group members in order to achieve success on this project.”
MSU admissions staff want to know how you work in a group, particularly with people who are different from you. It doesn’t matter if you know someone who is white, African America, Chinese or Muslim; that’s not the point.
Are you a leader who prefers to delegate tasks or someone who is happy taking direction from others and will do anything to get the job done ? How do you handle differing ideas and approaches? Were you the team leader for a science experiment or the go-to person for a group research project on 20th Century American authors? Did you challenge your teammates on a history project to think creatively? What did you learn about yourself while working in a group? How will you use what you have learned once you get to MSU?
Remember to answer these two questions: What happened? Why does it matter? No matter what the prompt, that is what college admissions teams want to know. When you are ready to write the essay, Wow is here to teach you a tried-and-true process for doing it right.