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Short answer essay for Masters of Environmental Management

Callipyge 2 / 6 2  
Dec 10, 2020   #1

Yale application essay

I'm having issue with a 300 word essay for my application to Yale. My goals are to
1. Answer the question
2. Give them some more information about my goals that I couldn't clarify in my personal statement

I'm a bit confused on the wording of the question. I'm not entirely sure if it's asking about a time I enjoyed learning about something (i.e. learned that chess exists) or learning something (i.e. learning how to play chess). I'm not sure if this distinction actually exists outside of my head. Does it seem like I answered the question in a useful way? I think I might have answered the question twice. I'm more looking for feedback on the content rather than spelling/wording. I plan on revising the wording once I'm more comfortable with the substance.

"Reflect on a time in the last few years when you felt genuine excitement learning about something. Describe not only what you learned but how you learned it.":

About a year into my project working with sea turtles during my Peace Corps service, the managing director of the partnering sanctuary was looking to introduce a new computer program to the staff. It was a spatial database designed for use by the wardens to centralize and simplify data collection. The director asked whether I'd be willing to look at the program and help with training. At first I was hesitant, due to my inexperience with databases and GIS. But after diving in I was enthralled.

At the local library I downloaded the program and manual, and spent the rest of the week at home on my laptop tinkering. I decided I could best familiarize myself by building a sanctuary database that I could reference while helping train. It was a slow process, often scribbling down questions to research when I was next able to access the internet. But as I brought it to the staff to get their feedback on the program, I truly began to be impressed by what the system could do.

I was impressed by not only the usefulness of the system, but its inclusivity. The end user was considered every step of the way. The final result was an app that could collect vital data by users of any skill or reading ability. As I implemented their feedback, I realized I was learning just as much about proper project design as databases. Staff at every level enthused to me how this program could improve their work-flow. In the end, what excited me most about the program wasn't that we could report our data more quickly and accurately, but that everyone found a way to contribute to the project and make it their own.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,364 3368  
Dec 11, 2020   #2
Both approaches are correct and are effectively combined in your response statement. You clearly displayed an excitement about learning, after discovering something about the software and you followed through by learning something in relation to the discovery. I would like to suggest that you play up the excitement factor instead. Limit the hesitation because that defeats the excitement purpose of the presentation. You have to show that you are eager / excited to learn about new things since that relates to your image as a student. When you say you were hesitant, you kind of imply that you do not take nicely to change and will only do it if it comes in the form of a veiled order from a superior officer.
OP Callipyge 2 / 6 2  
Dec 11, 2020   #3
Thank you so much for the response! That's a really good note, I'll be sure to adjust it. I guess I wanted to emphasize that I was willing to try something new and scary, but I can see how it comes across as reluctance.

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