First project, “Identify Core Beliefs”
In a 500-word essay, I would like to know what you value and what’s important to you about your profession, industry, career, or education. This requires a level of introspection that no one else can reach for you. Use the following suggestions, adapted from the This I Believe, as a guide:
- Name your belief—If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about your belief. You are writing an essay, not a list, so focus on one core belief. You will define, explain, and develop ideas about this belief through the essay.
- Tell a story—Be specific. Ground your belief in specific events of your life. Consider moments when your belief was formed, tested, or changed. Think about your own experiences in work and life and share things you know that no one else does. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your professional or educational philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs. Tell how you reached your beliefs, and if they have grown, what made them grow. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real.
- Be positive—Please avoid preaching, editorializing, or finger-pointing. This essay should explain what you live by and what you believe, not what you don’t believe.
- Be personal—Avoid speaking in the editorial “we,” the projecting “you,” or the accusing “they.” Make your essay about you. This essay should not be about your views on society or the world; it should be personal to you and your professional or educational journey. Speak in the first person. Read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time, edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly reflects your belief.
In a 500-word essay, write a statement of personal and professional belief. Answer these questions: “What motivates you? What’s your professional passion? What do you believe?”