University of California Personal Insight Question 8 Back to all templates
Section 1

By describing one specific thing that sets you apart from other candidates, you are putting yourself in the spotlight.


Do: Choose something that is a personal trait rather than one experience you have had in the past. 

Do: Choose something that will be a part of you permanently.


Don’t: Choose a single experience as what sets you apart. For example, do not write that you are unique and special because of a trip you once took to Europe.

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Identify What Sets You Apart

The one thing that sets me apart from other candidates is my [briefly describe a unique, specific trait or experience you have had, eg “experience growing up in an immigrant household,” “resilience,” “perseverance,” “attention to detail,” “creative talent,” “community-oriented mindset.”]


Section 2

Provide at least 1 specific example of how you have demonstrated in the past what “sets you apart.”. Don’t be afraid to brag! 


Do: Describe exactly how you have applied “what sets you apart” to real life. 

Don’t: Add more traits that make you special. 

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Examples to Demonstrate what “Sets you Apart”

My unique [trait/experience] has expressed itself in many ways. For example, I once [briefly describe an experience you had or an action you took that proves your uniqueness.] Another time, I [briefly describe a second experience or action related to your uniqueness.]


Section 3

How do you plan to make “what sets you apart” valuable to your experience at the University of California? 


Do: Discuss future goals in which “what sets you apart” is an asset.

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Future Contributions

In the future, I plan to further draw on my [trait/talent] by pursuing [briefly describe a goal related to your uniqueness.] I also plan to share my gifts by [briefly describe a way your unique trait or talent can benefit others.] As a student at the University of California, I will add value to [describe a specific program or student experience you plan to participate in.]


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