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University of California: Freshman Essay - Prompt #3 (2016)
Prompt: What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
Example
When the people around us are supportive, inspired and happy, we thrive. I have learned this in my life through my greatest skill: the ability to motivate other people. The famous saying that "no man is an island" is, for me, entirely true. Rarely are great things achieved alone. Teamwork is how most great projects are successful. My skillfulness in motivating other people has been clear from my childhood, when I would always find ways to encourage other players on my soccer team. Though I was not a coach or a leader, I always made it a priority to motivate my teammates to stay positive. I continued to develop my motivational skills throughout high school, participating in a variety of extracurricular activities including the student government.

Motivating the people around us can be a tremendous asset in life. During my soccer days, I would always encourage our goalie to maintain a positive outlook even when we were down points. I believe that people need to feel appreciated in order to feel motivated. I always made sure our goalie knew how much I valued his role in our team. I believe I played a role in our team?s defense being one of the finest in the league. Another time I applied my motivational skills was during our high school student body elections. I was running for Vice President against a girl named Sally. Someone vandalized many of Sally?s election posters, and she felt discouraged. Through our conversations, I convinced her to stay in the race, to prove her courage and resilience. In fact, she proved it so much that she won the vote over me.
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I have become more serious about the art of motivation. I've read over 20 books on the subject this year. I will be applying specific motivational strategies to my next endeavor in academia. My knowledge will support my role in group projects, especially given my intention to study business and entrepreneurship. Nowhere is group motivation more valuable than in getting projects or new businesses "up and running." That's my role.