DBC03

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Editing for clarity on question and background of response ideas: Ok, I'm having a tough time deciding which example I should discuss for the prompt asking about when I was NOT in the MAJORITY (title was slightly incorrect). I joined an Asian group in college as a decidedly blonde-haired, blue-eyed white girl. It was a very interesting cultural experience because I grew up in a city with absolutely no Asians and I did not realize how much our backgrounds would differ. On the other hand, I studied abroad and had to learn to communicate knowing very little of the language in a country where I stood out. The other problem was that I was not into clubbing and found it difficult to identify with the other American students, so I ended up becoming good friends with people I met in the country. This entailed long dinners in a language I was just learning and trying to fit into a culture I did not necessarily understand. I obviously learned a lot from that.

Honestly, study abroad probably had a bigger impact on me than the group membership, but I wasn't sure if purposefully joining a group where I would not be part of the majority would be important to discuss. I'd love input.

Further EDIT: I appreciate the ideas about work - but I work in an engineering firm and it's difficult to be "not in the majority" as that often means you didn't do your calculations correctly. I have one example, but it's not that solid. I'm not sure about getting into not being in the majority with ideas, because while that has certainly been the case, that would require discussing polarizing political ideas which I don't think is appropriate for this response.
 
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DV-T

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Déjà vu...spooky...

Could you possibly be limiting yourself in regards to the prompt? Minority does not necessarily have to have a racial component unless there is more to the prompt you are not providing.

How about being in a minority when it came to an idea, a decision that went against the grain/group, etc? Just a thought.
 
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DBC03

DBC03

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Déjà vu...spooky...

Could you possibly be limiting yourself in regards to the prompt? Minority does not necessarily have to have a racial component unless there is more to the prompt you are not providing.

How about being in a minority when it came to an idea, a decision that went against the grain/group, etc? Just a thought.
I considered that as well. This is one of those weird prompts where I have a few too many options to pick from. When I think of study abroad, it was not being a racial minority but a cultural one. Actually, both were examples of being the cultural minority (but it's easier to state the obvious as to why I stood out). I actually felt more in the minority when abroad because I was not a big partier and most of the other students were into partying. So I felt somewhat distanced from both the students I was with and the people who lived there. I ended up becoming very friendly with the people who lived there as a result.
 
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Toutie

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I considered that as well. This is one of those weird prompts where I have a few too many options to pick from. When I think of study abroad, it was not being a racial minority but a cultural one. Actually, both were examples of being the cultural minority (but it's easier to state the obvious as to why I stood out). I actually felt more in the minority when abroad because I was not a big partier and most of the other students were into partying. So I felt somewhat distanced from both the students I was with and the people who lived there. I ended up becoming very friendly with the people who lived there as a result.
I would go with something in a work or group environment. I think they are looking for an example of how you would deal with a difference of opinion in a group when your opinion was in the minority. Surely you must have a good work environment example...or even a family example.
 
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DBC03

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I would go with something in a work or group environment. I think they are looking for an example of how you would deal with a difference of opinion in a group when your opinion was in the minority. Surely you must have a good work environment example...or even a family example.
Thanks for the feedback! This is why I asked - I wasn't happy with either of the options I had considered. I'll think of something like what you said above. The problem is I tend to see both perspectives of nearly everything, so even when I am in the minority I understand the other viewpoint. I could go into family stuff, but that would get political and I'm not sure I want to go there. Actually, I feel like most of the times I've been in the minority would get somewhat political in nature. I can have a political discussion with anyone and find something that we both agree on, then focus on our agreements and how we need to change things to align with those. Would that be worth discussing without going into specifics?
 

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Thanks for the feedback! This is why I asked - I wasn't happy with either of the options I had considered. I'll think of something like what you said above. The problem is I tend to see both perspectives of nearly everything, so even when I am in the minority I understand the other viewpoint. I could go into family stuff, but that would get political and I'm not sure I want to go there. Actually, I feel like most of the times I've been in the minority would get somewhat political in nature. I can have a political discussion with anyone and find something that we both agree on, then focus on our agreements and how we need to change things to align with those. Would that be worth discussing without going into specifics?
I work in an engineering firm and it's difficult to be "not in the majority" as that often means you didn't do your calculations correctly.
No need to be political. Have you ever had a disagreement over how to approach a team project where the majority of your team didn't agree with you despite you having solid reasons to back yourself up? A team of doctors can disagree with each other on how to treat a patient and it is important how they deal with that. Also your patient might disagree with you despite you having the knowledge to treat them. Think about it.
 
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DBC03

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No need to be political. Have you ever had a disagreement over how to approach a team project where the majority of your team didn't agree with you despite you having solid reasons to back yourself up? A team of doctors can disagree with each other on how to treat a patient and it is important how they deal with that. Also your patient might disagree with you despite you having the knowledge to treat them. Think about it.
Yeah, we don't often do teamwork like that where I used to work. It was generally split up with each person doing a section of the work that played to that person's strengths. The absolute only example I can think of from work (and I haven't done a team project at school since the early 2000s) is when I was in a management meeting and we were going over budget, and I mentioned that we should possibly fire the clients who were consistently not paying us for the work we were doing. That definitely went against the majority opinion, but it doesn't seem to be a good answer to this.

I get the feeling this school may want something along the lines of understanding other cultures or beliefs - since other threads (like adversity, etc. ) point more to problem solving/teamwork and I've addressed those issues in those questions. I realized today that I was originally going with something along the lines of what other people are saying here now, but I changed ideas in the middle of this week when I realized I had covered the other issues in the application. I think the possibilities are broad here, but I'm not seeing any work examples that would answer this question well.
 

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Yeah, we don't often do teamwork like that where I used to work. It was generally split up with each person doing a section of the work that played to that person's strengths. The absolute only example I can think of from work (and I haven't done a team project at school since the early 2000s) is when I was in a management meeting and we were going over budget, and I mentioned that we should possibly fire the clients who were consistently not paying us for the work we were doing. That definitely went against the majority opinion, but it doesn't seem to be a good answer to this.

I get the feeling this school may want something along the lines of understanding other cultures or beliefs - since other threads (like adversity, etc. ) point more to problem solving/teamwork and I've addressed those issues in those questions. I realized today that I was originally going with something along the lines of what other people are saying here now, but I changed ideas in the middle of this week when I realized I had covered the other issues in the application. I think the possibilities are broad here, but I'm not seeing any work examples that would answer this question well.
The two examples you have in your original point are not what I think of when they say "tell a time when you were in the minority."

It's expected of you to be culturally different in an Asian club or if you study abroad, especially to somewhere that speaks a different language from your 1st language. Cultural differences are expected in those two situations, as any culture shock, etc. and/or possible adaptation/assimilation that may result from your exposure.
 

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Yeah, we don't often do teamwork like that where I used to work. It was generally split up with each person doing a section of the work that played to that person's strengths. The absolute only example I can think of from work (and I haven't done a team project at school since the early 2000s) is when I was in a management meeting and we were going over budget, and I mentioned that we should possibly fire the clients who were consistently not paying us for the work we were doing. That definitely went against the majority opinion, but it doesn't seem to be a good answer to this.

I get the feeling this school may want something along the lines of understanding other cultures or beliefs - since other threads (like adversity, etc. ) point more to problem solving/teamwork and I've addressed those issues in those questions. I realized today that I was originally going with something along the lines of what other people are saying here now, but I changed ideas in the middle of this week when I realized I had covered the other issues in the application. I think the possibilities are broad here, but I'm not seeing any work examples that would answer this question well.
This shouldn't be guesswork -- if the school does NOT mention anything about culture in the prompt, it's likely they're not looking for a time you were not in the cultural majority.
 
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This shouldn't be guesswork -- if the school does NOT mention anything about culture in the prompt, it's likely they're not looking for a time you were not in the cultural majority.
I've spoken to a few people who are already admitted and it appears that the prompt is for *any* situation when you were not in the majority - and what you learned from that. A few of them used their experiences studying abroad and they were either accepted partly because of that answer or accepted in spite of it. Others used examples of when they joined campus groups and did not fit in with the majority. I guess I fail to see how any of these types of answers would completely go against the prompt - especially considering others have used similar responses with success. I appreciate the additional perspectives that others are giving, but I'm also trying to write unique responses that *don't overlap* what I've already written for other prompts.
 
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I've spoken to a few people who are already admitted and it appears that the prompt is for *any* situation when you were not in the majority - and what you learned from that. A few of them used their experiences studying abroad and they were either accepted partly because of that answer or accepted in spite of it. Others used examples of when they joined campus groups and did not fit in with the majority. I guess I fail to see how any of these types of answers would completely go against the prompt - especially considering others have used similar responses with success. I appreciate the additional perspectives that others are giving, but I'm also trying to write unique responses that *don't overlap* what I've already written for other prompts.
Well, if the prompts aren't the same, why would what you've already written overlap with your answer to this prompt? And by all means you don't have to follow suit because people who wrote about study abroad or other things got accepted. Everyone has different writing abilities and theme to their own application and maybe those people you mentioned are good at putting a good spin on that topic, but that doesn't mean you can do that to the same extent.
 
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Adcoms on this site have mentioned coming across a plethora of bad essays. Only a few essays within a given cycle have been noted as having merit.
Source: Mbuto was here.
 
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MCATISEZ

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I may not know much but I think you're overthinking it. Pick an instance where you can provide something valuable that is not reflected in other parts of your app. Ultimately these questions are likely left rather open ended to give you some leeway to provide a unique perspective. I don't think most secondary questions have a right answer.


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DBC03

DBC03

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I may not know much but I think you're overthinking it. Pick an instance where you can provide something valuable that is not reflected in other parts of your app. Ultimately these questions are likely left rather open ended to give you some leeway to provide a unique perspective. I don't think most secondary questions have a right answer.


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Like you said, I'm trying to avoid overlap with other parts of my app and add something that might be missing. I already know I'll have a different perspective from most as I don't generally come at answers in a similar way. I should add that I'm throwing ideas out there and how I write the actual response will be completely different from how I describe them here. One reason I'm leaning toward my experience abroad was that I felt more isolated from the other American students than from the people I didn't share a language with (that was my perspective in that response), and that forced me to come out of my shell and interact with the community. Honestly, at this point I feel like I should scrap everything and talk about the difficulty of being a morning person when everything in college was geared toward night owls ;)
 

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I think both ideas are fine. The first idea about joining the Asian student group could be more interesting, but you'll have to handle it a bit more sensitively because it could come across as awkward/somewhat culturally insensitive if you stereotype too much (like getting too into the blonde/blue eyed vs. the appearance of Asian people). The study abroad is good and a little bit more straight forward, so it might be the better approach. Being a morning person could actually be a unique thing to talk about as well, but it could be slightly more difficult to talk about/explain (is there much to it other than being tired at bars/club meetings?).

To be honest, I don't think you'll get very good advice about answering essay prompts on SDN. People seem to get on here and take the idea at face value, and then proceed to hand out hyperbolic, overly dramatic advice about "this is NOT a good topic!!!!11!!!one!! UR shallow N gettin REJECTED!!". Not that all writing topics are perfect and beyond criticism, but how you handle the writing will matter a lot more than the idea itself. If you listen to the opinions here, you reach the point where you are now: with all your ideas unreasonably blown up, and having made negative progress on completing the thing.

Also, it's unfortunate but I think sometimes you just don't have an amazing experience in the area being evaluated by a certain prompt, and you just have to be ok with writing an average to above-average essay rather than trying to blow them away.
 
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@fdgjfg It may have escaped you, but we were trying to navigate her to writing a passable essay. When you are competing with matriculating applicants (the top 2~4%), they are not taking their essays lightly. There is an art to safe, intention-minded writing that does not attempt to pass itself as art, but attempts to convey a driving point for the admissions team to understand who you are and what you will bring to their medical school.
 
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DBC03

DBC03

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I understand the different perspectives on this issue. I think it is a broad question so that the medical school can get a feel for what is important to me (as the dean of admissions said in a podcast - they want to know what is important to the applicants). I'll think through this carefully. There are many short prompts in this secondary and I have provided answers that align with some of the answers that have been suggested in this thread. I would like to avoid repeating those ideas. I will consider tonight whether there is something that I left out of my application thus far that I think would help the admissions committee in reviewing my application that also corresponds with this prompt. If anyone truly wants to be helpful, let me know and I'll PM my essay so you can dissect it.
 
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