Duke Essay Analysis

Duke Essay 1

Life is full of uncertainties, and plans and circumstances can change. As a result, navigating a career requires you to be adaptable. Should the short-term goals that you provided above not materialize, what alternative directions have you considered? 

Duke Essay 1 Explanation

In this question, Duke requires a personal statement with a non-personal component. The institution realizes that students should be unwavering in their goals, yet here, the admissions committee is asking if you are prepared to switch gears and opt for a different path. The committee recognizes that, at times, the best-laid plans may fail to yield better results and, if it happens, are you prepared to make the necessary changes? To answer this question, the committee requires an answer that shows them that your alternative goal links to your skills and ambitions as your original plan. For instance, convincing the committee of your intent to join human resources would be hard to link with an alternative goal of technology consulting because the industries are far apart and require different skills. It is necessary that you show the admissions committee that your goals are plausible and achievable.

Your alternative solution should be one that puts you inside a mindset where you would not hesitate to figure out an alternative route to follow. There always has to be another way for doers, because guys with success at their fingertips always figure out a way. The idea is to lay out the alternative goal as if you have knowledge of what you need to make your goals materialize. Convey this message to the admissions committee by acknowledging to them that your alternate paths do work. Bring out the idea that the alternative route may be less efficient and costs a little more, but that you stand to reach there. Recognize the impact of the alternative route on your goals in the short and long term because they have an effect on your aspirations and the broader perspective of where you are going.