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'The best advice is experience' - Cornell university --why cornell engineering?


ruzhang143 3 / 16  
Dec 6, 2009   #1
Prompt: College of Engineering:
Engineers turn ideas (technical, scientific, mathematical) into reality. Tell us about an engineering idea you have or your interest in engineering. Explain how Cornell Engineering can help you further explore this idea or interest.

Thanks for your time. Give me any suggestions possible.

"Thump, crack!"

"Boom!" "Oh, no!"

Running down the stairs immediately after my electronic dictionary fell from my hand, I prayed that it was not broken. However, when I picked it up and saw the horrible cracks in the LCD screen, I knew that my eighth electronic dictionary kissed me goodbye.

Frustrated, I dismantled the dictionary with my screwdrivers after I got back home, hoping to fix it on my own. However, I realized that I was struggling in vain after the components were scattered over my desk. Everytime I encountered such an "Electronic dictionary nightmare", I wished I were an almighty engineer who could grant my baby a second life.

With frustration came inspiration. I stepped into the realm of engineering and gradually fell in love with it: I probed the working principles of our water dispenser, distinguishing between internal heating and external heating; I figured out the electromagnetic structure of our security door and tried to fix it when it malfunctioned; I frequently visited my father's chemistry lab and volunteered for my father, a chemical engineer, and performed lots of experiments under his instructions. Fascinated with new ideas and creative designs, I also had my own wildest dream of building a flying broomsticks, just like how Henry Ford dreamed of creating his "horseless carriges." I always kept my father's words in heart: "with engineering, anything is possible. It is a powerful tool that will offer you the opportunity to change the world."

Not until I encountered Cornell did I find the right place to strive to be a skilled and determined engineer. The Writing-Intensive Co-op in Engineering Communications Program will enable me not only to develop strategies for learning how to act and communicate effectively, but also integrate my skills into workplace experience. Since I aim to build up my own company in the future, the Kessler Fellows Program also grabbed my attention with its one-year work-study program that combines special educational and employment components. After I took part in UTACCEL, a entreprenuership contest this summer, I found that turning new ideas into reality and applying new designs to the business world would be revolutionary. During Jason's laser engineering seminar course, we envisioned laser technology's application in the business world, and realized there are in fact no clear boundaries between the two domains. By combining the two courses we can achieve a win-win. I hope to become a Cornell's engineering student who will have the best opportunity to challenge and promote myself. In this peaceful and exuberant campus, I will never walk backwards on my road towards success.

Llamapoop123 7 / 442  
Dec 6, 2009   #2
Frustrated, I dismantled the dictionary with my screwdrivers after I got back home, hoping to fix it on my own. However, as much as I am good at physics, I struggled in vain in the face of such technical work. That was when I finally made up mind to take up engineering in college.

^Physics...and fixing electronics. how do those two things relate? And it just sounds silly when you say that this event caused you to decide what you want to do for the next four years of your life.

Tell us about an engineering idea you have or your interest in engineering.

^Not how your interest in engineering came about, which is what your essay talks about.

"Boom!" "Oh, no!"

^Wouldn't it be more of a thump thump crack?
Logical_Fella_C - / 33  
Dec 6, 2009   #3
The best research university for undergraduate education in the nation and a member of the Ivies, Cornell would be the ideal place for me to grow up to be a skilled and determined engineer.

There are many great universities for undergraduate education, both within and outside the Ivy League. Cornell being "a member of the Ivies" in itself does not really have much to do with it's strong engineering departmet.

The co-op program for the engineering students would provide me with the perfect opportunity to challenge and promote myself.

Mentioning "the co-op program" is good, but you don't mention in what way it will help you.

Cornell's Red, a color that stands for passion and vitality, will always inspire me to strive for the best and head towards my dream.

Again, this statement is too generic and could be said about many other universities.

I advise you to go to Cornell's website and do some research on its engineering department and find specific programs or some other aspects that interest you. Then, talk about how they relate to your interest in engineering istead of making general remarks.
mmmargarita 10 / 79  
Dec 7, 2009   #4
Nice intro, but you could beef up the rest of your essay. Elaborate on the 3rd paragraph; really dig into your interest in engineering, how it excites you, etc, and don't just list a few broad examples. Use you father's quote as a jumping point and relate your interest in engineering to how you want to change the world. Otherwise, the quote just seems out of place. You want your essay to be an inch wide and a mile deep, not vice versa. As Logical Fella stated above, you should use specific examples in your last paragraph. You're probably aware of this, but Cornell engineering is EXTREMELY selective. It's all about fit, aka how cornell fits you, how you would fit at Cornell. After all, it is the most prestigious (;
OP ruzhang143 3 / 16  
Dec 9, 2009   #5
Thanks guys! Great feedback! I've taken in most of your suggestions and written a new draft. Please see if it's better and give me more help.
batmankiller 6 / 40  
Dec 9, 2009   #6
Not trying to be mean, but I think you should completely rewrite your essay. The only paragraph you could keep is probably the first paragraph, assuming you can still incorporate.

You did pretty well in your second paragraph.. you were specific, but then you died down in the third and fourth and looked like you don't have an experience that explains your interest in engineering or you just got lazy.

This essay is superficial, a bit too colloquial, sometimes generic and does not answer the prompt, Llama is right..

"Engineers turn ideas (technical, scientific, mathematical) into reality. Tell us about an engineering idea you have or your interest in engineering. Explain how Cornell Engineering can help you further explore this idea or interest."

Either write about an IDEA and briefly about how it developed or write about your INTERESTS. While you wrote about your experience of attempting to fix something and that your dad was an engineer, you didn't really explain your own interests in engineering and why you want to pursue engineering or even the field you want to commit to (if any). And if you did, then it was poorly done and not very specific at all.

As a frequent visitor to my father's chemistry lab, I became a volunteer for my father, a chemical engineer, and performed millions of experiments under his instructions

-not only does "millions" sound like an un-necessary hyperbole, but it also doesn't give the reader a sense that you're lying. You say you did a lot of experiments, yet not one single experiment was worth talking about in specifics in this essay? Really? Explain one single defining experiment that occurred that made you want to pursue engineering. Anyone can say a general list and then say they want to be involved in such fields. You need more substance

Luckily in the last paragraph you briefly touch on your experiences:

Since I aim to build up my own company in the future, the Kessler Fellows Program also grabbed my attention with its one-year work-study program that combines special educational and employment components. After I took part in UTACCEL, a entreprenuership contest this summer, I found that turning new ideas into reality and applying new designs to the business world would be revolutionary. I hope to become a Cornell's engineering student who will have the perfect opportunity to challenge and promote myself. In this peaceful and exuberant campus, I will never walk backwards on my road towards success.

But honestly, it's too little too late. In an essay of 500 words, all you could come up with was two sentences that just touch on your experiences that made you want to pursue engineering? I agree that talking about an entreprenuership wasn't a bad start, but come on... business and enterprise in engineering? You seem more like you wanna do business at this point. If you're going to make connections, you're going to have to be more specific and if anything, find specific examples on your basic interests for engineering before you travel to the other sub-categories and skills for engineering (such as advertising, consulting and entrepreneurships).

Overall, my best advice is experience, experience. This essay was 90% you telling me what you thought, and very arbitrary at that, without any details to explain why you thought so. Not to mention the other 10% were details that deviated from the main topic when you have very little details to support your interests in engineering.

Sorry if I sound harsh.
OP ruzhang143 3 / 16  
Dec 10, 2009   #7
Thanks Chuen Lai, your "harsh" feedback is what I was looking for. I'll work more on this essay.
OP ruzhang143 3 / 16  
Dec 11, 2009   #8
Here's my 3rd version, can anybody see if it's better?

READ ABOVE
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Dec 13, 2009   #9
You write very well! It is a fun kind of writing style that you use here:

Frustrated, I dismantled the machine with my screwdrivers, after I got back home hoping to fix it on my own. However, I realized that I was...

Not until I encountered Cornell did I find the right place to strive to be a skilled and determined engineer.---This is worded in a very unnatural way! It is better to say: When I discovered Cornell, it struck my intuition as the correct place to lay the foundation for me career as an engineer.

...or something like that...
jjeff 4 / 9  
Dec 13, 2009   #10
Nice essay! (I'm applying to Cornell too)
Not many problems, just found:

The Writing-Intensive Co-op in Engineering Communications Program will enable me not only to develop strategies for learning how to act and communicate effectively, but also to integrate my skills into workplace experience.

Good luck!
OP ruzhang143 3 / 16  
Dec 13, 2009   #11
Thanks I really appreciate everyone's feedback on this essay. :)
batmankiller 6 / 40  
Dec 19, 2009   #12
latest edit was much better. I like how you took out the useless things that I mentioned and altered and assimilated my other complaints instead of blindly following my suggestions. =)


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