Application Short Essay Questions
The PLP online application includes a number of short-answer essay questions. Each question requires a 250 to 500-word answer. Be aware that the essays are a significant part of the selection process and very important to making admissions decisions. The essay questions on the Political Leaders Program online application are as follows:
- What role should civil discourse, dialogue, and respect for others unlike oneself have in our polarized politics? Do these notions have value in themselves? Should they play a role in elections? Do they have value in the effort to achieve policy goals? Explain.
- Describe a time when you had to work with someone or a group of people who disagreed with you and with whom you had to build consensus or a compromise. How did you do that? What was the result of your efforts? What did you learn from the process?
- What achievement, experience or pursuit in your life makes you most proud? What has been your most satisfying leadership achievement so far? What barrier(s), if any, have you encountered in achieving your goals? Explain.
- What does state or local government in Virginia do well? What would you like to change about government in Virginia?
- Have you ever run for political office? Is it your goal to become an elected and/or appointed public official? If so, what sort of office would you pursue, and why? If not, what role do you see for yourself in the political and/or civic life of Virginia or your local community?
- What specific skills, knowledge or resources do you hope to acquire as a result of participating in the Sorensen Institute Political Leaders Program?
- Each class is selected to bring together unique individuals who care about politics and policy in Virginia. If you were to be selected, what unique attribute, experience, or perspective do you feel you would contribute to the cohort?