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Recently, the new CEO of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon, was interviewed. If you haven’t heard of Goldman Sachs, it is perhaps the most influential investment bank in the world. A number of its former employees have gone on to hold very high positions in governments around the globe.

During the interview, Mr. Solomon described that one of the skillsets that are becoming more difficult to find in employees is the ability the write:   

His perspective reflects a growing trend that concerns us here at KEY. Over the years, we have observed a number of students not getting the critical foundational pieces needed to become effective writers. Changes to the BC curriculum, which de-emphasize writing, are only adding to our concern, and that of parents across the Lower Mainland. 

Why writing is important

Being able to communicate effectively and efficiently is incredibly important – and valuable – skill. Employers want employees who can not only solve problems but also properly articulate their analyses and solutions. 

Writing involves a number of related skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, researching, and communication, among others. As such, learning to be a good writer is an academic, professional, and lifelong skill that you serve you well in so many aspects of your life.

What you can do

To each of you KEY students, we hope that you will see writing as something that extends beyond an expository English essay. Rather, writing is critical across all subjects from business to liberal arts to STEM.

Grade 12 students: I can appreciate that you are looking forward to graduation in a few short months. When you do start university this fall, you should expect a number of writing-heavy assignments. If you find that your writing is weak, make use of the free writing clinics/centers that many universities offer. This is a valuable resource that can help you with your research writing and even resumes for internships or summer jobs.

Grade 11 students: As you start thinking about your university applications starting this fall, it would be advantageous to get a head start on your college admissions essays, in particular for those of you who are intending to apply to the US. I’ve already been in touch with a number of you letting you know that the essay writing preparation will begin in June, so you should be expecting to work with Robin and me on your essays. 

Our great hope is that before the start of the Grade 12 school year, you will have completed the drafts of the following essays:

1. Common App statement (1 essay)

2. A supplemental statement of your ED/EA school (1-2 essays)

3. University of Washington statements (3 essays)

4. University of California personal insight questions (4 essays)

For students applying to Canadian universities, the essay prompts will become available in the fall. But that doesn’t mean that you have to wait until then to improve your writing, as we offer writing classes to build your foundational skills, insightful writing, and self-reflection.

Grades 9-10: One way that you can easily improve your writing is by reading more, whether that is a favorite book, or spending 15 minutes each day reading the news. 

If you feel that you’re not getting enough support from the school, think about taking a writing class or getting a writing coach. At KEY, we offer a wide range of options, so feel free to talk to us about how we can help support you in becoming a better writer.