You’ve just landed your dream job with a dynamic organization. The head of the organization is charismatic and wants to meet with every new employee. You’ve been tracking her career for several years through your university’s alumni news, since she graduated about 10 years before you and is still very involved in the university. You want to make a good impression. She was recently interviewed for the New York Times column, “Corner Office,” and she commented that she always asks new hires her “signature question.” You’re anticipating that the head of your organization will ask her signature question at lunch today: “What motivates you, what’s your passion, and what do you believe?”
The question is important to reflect on because your response may provide valuable insights into what drives you, as described in this article, The Search for Worthwhile Work.
Your response to this question takes the form of an essay, the model for which is This I Believe, first begun by Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s radio program, and revived by NPR several years ago in an online forum. The program highlights inspiring statements of belief from both famous and ordinary people.
In an essay of no more than 500 words, please write your statement of personal and professional belief in response to“What motivates you, what’s your passion, and what do you believe?” Share what’s important to you in regards to your profession, your industry, your career, or your education. This is a first-person essay and requires no research or citations.
This is challenging! It requires a level of introspection so deep that no one else can do it for you. Use the following suggestions, adapted from http://www.thisibelieve.org, as a guide:
Feel free to visit the This I Believe website for examples. There are thousands! You can also browse by theme, by age of writer, or by featured essay. Some of my favorites include “Always Be Cool to the Pizza Dude” , “Satisfaction for a Job Well Done” , and “Teacher”.
Here are some additional helpful resources for writing this first essay:
From the Effective Writing Center, here are some good strategies for thinking about assignments and preparing to write;
Some good information from the EWC writing guide about the process of writing;
and, David Taylor with his video on writing the 5 paragraph essay
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