Harvard Supplement: Tell Us About a Person Who Has Influenced You In A Significant Way



In addition to the essay you have written for the Common Application, please write an essay of about 500 words (no more than 650 words and no less than 250 words). Using one of the themes below as a starting point, write about a person, event, or experience that helped you define one of your values or in some way changed how you approach the world. Please do not repeat, in full or in part, the essay you wrote for the Common Application.

  1. Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.

I have always regarded Joe as one of my musical heroes for working with world renown bands, such as [REDACTED], but he has influenced my life as a mentor, a role model, and a friend these past few years. I met Joe through my music school, the School of Rock, during my sophomore year when I joined the showteam, a team of the best musicians in the school that tour the state. He runs the band through rehearsals each week in preparation for our shows, however, when I first joined, he mentored me not only as a musician, but also through a crippling anxiety that stunted my playing and behavior. I was so nervous and anxious to meet him because I had been listening to his music for years, and I felt sort of starstruck to be learning from him. This anxiety made the first few rehearsals incredibly embarrassing as I constantly made mistakes and shied away from any interaction with the other band members. I was certain Joe would be disappointed or angry with me, however, he was incredibly kind and helped me get through my anxieties by talking to me in and out of rehearsal about the importance of having confidence in one’s self. He also taught me how to maintain a relaxed composure while on stage and during practice. His kindness helped me develop the confidence and composure needed to synergize with the band. Furthermore, his advice and mentoring molded me into the confident musician and person that I am today.

However, Joe is also the reason why I’m a leader and teacher at the school today. After a year in showteam, Joe decided that the school needed a student to act as a mentor to all the younger students. I didn’t initially see myself as a possible candidate for the role so when he asked at showteam I immediately balked at the prospect. Joe, however, specifically asked me to fulfill this role as he was confident that I would be a great teacher and role model. At first, I was going to decline, but then remembered my earlier difficulties and how I had matured with Joe’s help. I wanted to help the younger children just as Joe had helped me. Further, the fact that he had so much faith in me empowered me and gave me the courage to accept. His proposal led to my work with the students and volunteering at the school’s summer camps, which, as I discussed in an earlier question, has led me to consider teaching as a career path. Joe’s confidence in me has helped me improve myself as a musician and as a person, and without him, I would never have realized my love of teaching children.

Published in Successful College Essays, Successful Harvard Essays

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