Here is my first draft of an admissions essay I wrote for the Rochester Institute of Technology. The rules say you can pretty much write about whatever you want, so I chose to write about my hobby. Please give me your honest opinion. I know it's probably not very good. I tried to keep it brief and to the point.
Do you remember the TV show "Battle Bots"? When I was young, this TV show exposed me to the fact that you do not have to be an engineer with formal training to build robots and electrical systems. Ever since I can remember I have been interested in figuring out how things work. Whenever I came across a piece of obsolete electronics gear like an old VCR or answering machine, I would take it apart. Even if I was too inexperienced to understand how the device really functioned, it was still one of my favorite activities. Seeing the complexities of the engineering that went into such mundane objects was amazing to me. I knew that someday, I wanted to be able to design similar devices.
Because of my drive to create, I was ecstatic when LEGO came out with their RCX robotics platform. I can still remember the excitement of getting one as my ninth birthday present. Although I had played with various electronics kits before, this is what really hooked me in to electrical engineering.
Although I enjoyed playing with the LEGO robotics platform and participating in FIRST Lego League competitions, I really wanted to be able to design my own circuits and gain more technical knowledge. That is when I came across Society of Robots, a website which provides complete instructions on how to build your own robot, whose purpose is to follows light, from scratch. I considered this closer to real engineering than playing with mere toys made by LEGO. When I create a circuit, I can tweak it and improve it. There are no limitations to what I can make other than my technical knowledge and the laws of physics. I had soon made the robot with instructions from the website. My success from this project spurred me on to create different robots and ultimately branch out into other electronics projects like designing watches and headphone amplifiers. Each project is a hard-fought battle where every little detail has to be thought out. I believe this is where most of the fun comes from, hammering out every imperfection in a project. There is no greater satisfaction to me than molding a pile of electronics bits and pieces: resistors, capacitors, and integrated circuits, into a working object, whatever it might be. Even if my projects do not always work out, I still have solace in that I learned something from them.
Engineering is not just another academic subject to me, it is my passion. It is what I like to do in my free time. Every time I start a new project I feel excited about what I will learn and how the final product will function and look like. It's gratifying to design a circuit board, send the design off to a factory, and then a week or two later be able to see what I have designed come to life. One minute I am designing a schematic on the computer, and the next I have the physical incarnation of it in my hand. A childhood curiosity turned into a lifelong hobby.