Writing the diversity essay. You’re applying to graduate and professional school, and at the moment, you’re stumped. You’re faced with a diversity essay question, and you’re not a member of an underrepresented group, and you haven’t faced some really serious social ill in your life.
First of all, congratulations. I’m happy you haven’t faced this serious social ill in your life, but you still have to write the diversity essay. I’m gonna tell you how to write it in this video. The classic diversity question is “How will you contribute to the diversity of your class or community? The problem you face is that you are not a member of an underrepresented group. You might even be a member of an overrepresented group in the applicant pool, and you are assuming that only underrepresented minorities can really do well on this question.
I’d like to suggest that you’re thinking about the question rather narrowly, and that while ethnicity certainly can be an element in diversity, it’s not the only way to look at diversity. At Accepted, we help applicants get accepted to dream schools all around the world, and from all kinds of backgrounds. We’ve developed the Three ID’s of Diversity. One is IDentity, two is I Dids or Deeds, and three is IDeas. Now let’s go into a little more depth on those three concepts and you’ll see what I mean. IDentity, who you are, and this is the most commonly thought type of diversity.
It’s your background, your ethnicity, your religion, who you are. It could be that you come from a particular geographic region, religious commitment, political affiliation, something that you feel really identifies you. That’s number one. Number two: the I Dids, which I realize is a stretch for ID but it works, I Dids or Deeds.
Your accomplishments, what are you truly proud of? Now, some of you are gonna think, “Well, gee. I didn’t climb Mount Everest, I didn’t find the cure for cancer.” No, you probably didn’t, most people haven’t, but you have done something. Where have you made a difference?
Where have you really served? It could be military service, it could be community service, it could be an unusual level of professional progression, all those things are things you’ve done, the I Dids, as I call them, your deeds, and they may be a form of diversity. The third form is IDeas. That could be your perspective on life. Maybe you’re a natural bridge builder.
Maybe you have a particular theology that you’re attached to that influences your thinking and your approach to life. Maybe it’s a political commitment. That’s the third form of diversity that you could contribute to your class, school community, or post-degree community. Now I’ve just given you a few ideas here, but I have a lot more and I’d like you to access them. So, to access the Diversity Checklist, which gives you a whole lot more examples and sample ideas, go to accepted.com/diversity, download the Diversity Checklist, and then use that Diversity Checklist as a springboard to show your own individual and unique ways of contributing to diversity of your future graduate school classroom.