Before and After

The “before” and “after” example below excerpts the first paragraph from a five page essay written by an adult student. She was admitted to and has graduated from the School of Information at the University of Michigan.

Essay Question: Why are you interested in attending the University of Michigan School of Information?


The School of Information Program at the University of Michigan has taken on the far-reaching mission of defining a new set of principles and practices to help today’s society integrate and organize the vast array of information entering our lives on a daily basis. The program’s goal of educating a new generation of professionals who will practice these principles is achieved through the multi-faceted and varied fields of study offered. The Master of Science in Information specialization where I would like to focus my studies and build my education is in Library and Information Services with a concentration as a Media Specialist.


From being a bookworm as a kid to prowling the library shelves for a good read as an adult, a life-long love of books and reading has led me on a direct path to the School of Information. As my children are beginning to leave the proverbial nest, I have begun to look at my future and think about how to spend the next phase of my life. With the purchase of a book called Zen and the Art of Making A Living, I began the process of examining my values, defining the type of people I would like to serve, identifying my skills and talents and finally creating a career to meet all of these criteria. This self-discovery led me to reflect on my love of reading and books. I remembered how I had enjoyed reading to my kids for hours on end and taking numerous trips to the library to replenish our reading supplies. As a volunteer in the classroom, many days were spent helping kids from the 1st grade through middle school learn to read.

This real-life example is used in Essay Coaching workshops to help place the reader in the seat of a college admissions officer. To do so now, ask yourself: “What did I learn about this student after reading the “before?” What did I learn about this student after reading the “after?” Which example did I prefer and why?

Sign up for a free initial phone consultation to learn more about how Essay Coaching works with students. Hours for individual sessions are 2:30-8:00PM Monday through Thursday and 1:00-4:00PM on Sunday.