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The contest is open to medical school students, interns, residents, and fellows; doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in biomedical research; graduate students in public health programs; and graduate students in other health professions programs. The 2017 Essay Contest is open to international applicants, including those from programs outside the U.S.
Yet I want to answer that question. And I guess that’s part of the reason I’m writing this essay. I’ve accepted the fact that, right now, I simply don’t know who I’m going to be, and that it’s going to take some time before I can finally look around and think to myself, I want to spend my life doing this.” But I’ve come to realize that college can serve as the catalyst that gets me there, the place where I can begin to learn and see the world on my own terms, and take advantage of the choices I’ve been blessed with the ability to make, when the same couldn’t be said about the generations that came before me. I know that with the freedom to study what I want to learn, I can pursue a career born, not out of necessity, but out of choice. I’ve been given the opportunity to change not just myself, but the attitude that my own family will have toward higher education, and the doors that it can open in their own lives.
How did the beach shape my life? I’ve gone to the beach ever since I was a little girl and have many family memories of walking along the beach with my father looking for shells. When I went through the struggles of growing up, I remember feeling soothed by the waves. They always seemed to keep on going. That reminded me to not give up. To know that there is always something to look forward to ahead. To remember that laughter and tears are both a part of everyone’s life. To me the waves reminded me to have faith in a God who is in control of everything and has a bigger purpose for me than I can imagine.
The four samples that follow from the past two years, reprinted here with the permission of The Harbus, may well surprise you. In most cases, content trumps style. Admissions staffers aren’t expecting master storytellers. After all, the Harvard Business School (or any other business school for that matter), does not enroll the likes of a Malcolm Gladwell or a Stephen King.