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Campus Diversity - Rutgers University Undergraduate Prompt


DmitryK 2 / 10  
Nov 30, 2009   #1
Essay: Rutgers University is a vibrant community of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. How would you benefit from and contribute to such an environment? Consider variables such as your talents, travels, leadership activities, volunteer services, and cultural experiences. Only personal essays submitted via our website will be considered. You may enter a maximum of 3800 characters including spaces.

A mosaic of society and culture, a forum of free thought in which dissenting opinion is not only constitutionally protected but encouraged: as someone who, throughout childhood, rarely managed to settle into one environment before being presented with another, there was a time when I wasn't quite ready to grasp its importance. Yet, with every additional year that I have lived, my appreciation for the diversity of man has grown. Exposure to differing ideologies and ethics serves as a check to intellectual stagnation and ignorance; a heterogeneous population shatters individual assumptions. This principle in mind, I hold great respect for any university rich not only in academic opportunity but also in volume and variation of personal experiences. I believe that the diversity of the Rutgers student body will help further my understanding of the many differences that make us human, and that I--drawing from my life experience--can contribute to the facilitation of the same understanding in others.

My family is undoubtedly one of the dominant influences that have shaped my character. I am the son of parents who, in pursuit of economic opportunity, fled the former Soviet Union during the time of its collapse. When I reached adolescence, the confusion brought upon by the constant city-hopping of childhood began to wear off, and the recognition of the opportunity given to me through my parents' rise to the middle class finally sunk in; the effect on me was profound. Having been interested in foreign affairs, I joined my high school's Model United Nations team, a group that attends model conferences on international politics for days at a time. The independent research, public communication, and negotiation I conducted at such conferences exposed me to a variety of cultures and opinions, and helped to both develop my abilities and reinforce my confidence. I'm reminded of an occasion (one that took place during a Rutgers Model United Nations Conference, no less) in which a delegate visiting from China had difficulty communicating with me in English; a member of our diplomatic coalition who could speak both Chinese and English was promptly located, translation was made possible, and mutual understandings were formed. Though the policy decisions reached in the conferences held no actual bearing on real world affairs, and though the occasional (inebriated?) conference staffer came in to play a song on his guitar amid spirited student debate, I consider the experience gained from interaction with unfamiliar persons and views to be invaluable.

Nonetheless, knowledge becomes irrelevant if it is not used effectively to achieve an end. I intend to use the experience I gain in college, in addition to my current experience, to fuel my passion for writing and creative expression, and to learn from others as they may learn from me.

Any suggestions for additions/omissions? Should I expand upon any of the ideas? Are there any malicious grammar fiends hiding within the essay, threatening to ruin my chance at a happy life?! Woe is me! But seriously, I would appreciate any help.

medelman2010 11 / 31  
Nov 30, 2009   #2
"My family is undoubtedly one of the dominant influences that has shaped my character. I am the son of parents who, in pursuit of economic opportunity, fled the former Soviet Union during the time of its collapse. When I reached adolescence, the confusion brought upon by the constant city-hopping of my childhood began to wear off, and the recognition of the opportunity given to me through my parents' rise to the middle class finally sunk in; the effect on me was profound. Having been interested in foreign affairs, I joined my high school's Model United Nations team, a group that attends model conferences on international politics for days at a time. The independent research, public communication, and negotiation I conducted at such conferences exposed me to a variety of cultures and opinions, and helped to both develop my abilities and reinforce my confidence. I'm reminded of an occasion (one that took place during a Rutgers Model United Nations Conference, no less) in which a delegate visiting from China had difficulty communicating with me in English; a member of our diplomatic coalition who could speak both Chinese and English was promptly located, translation was made possible, and mutual understandings were formed. Though the policy decisions reached in the conferences held no actual bearing on real world affairs, and though the occasional (inebriated?) personally I would shy away from anything that could be "scandalous", especially because you refer to Rutgers in the line before. conference staffer came in to play a song on his guitar amid spirited student debate, I consider the experience gained from interaction with unfamiliar persons and views to be invaluable."

Your essay is great! Wonderful ideas, and you've really employed diction to your advantage. I made a couple of grammatical changes (and hopefully someone else will help with this as I'm not sure I caught everything).

"Nonetheless, knowledge becomes irrelevant if it is not used effectively to achieve an end. I intend to use the experience I gain in college, in addition to my current experience, to fuel my passion for writing and creative expression, and to learn from others as they may learn from me."

I think you could develop your conclusion a bit more, I'm not sure how you are on word count, but I think it would be beneficial to add a sentence or to about writing and creative expression; what it means to you, how you plan to use it, etc.

Great work!
OP DmitryK 2 / 10  
Nov 30, 2009   #3
Thanks Michal, I think I have about 800 more characters left, so discussing my passion for creative expression won't be a problem. I'll be sure to specify that the staffer brought his guitar at a non-Rutgers conference, haha.

Are you sure it's "has" and not "have" in the first sentence of the second paragraph, though? The verb "have shaped" is attributed to the subject, "Influences".
medelman2010 11 / 31  
Nov 30, 2009   #4
Hmm you must be right, I had originally attributed it to "My family..." therefore it would have been has, but I think you are correct.

If you have a chance, would you mind looking over my essay? You are a great writer and I think you could give me really good feedback.

Thanks!
OP DmitryK 2 / 10  
Nov 30, 2009   #5
Sure, I looked over your essay and offered some advice on what to change.


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