Please submit a one-page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen your major, department or program. This essay should include the reasons why you've chosen the major, any goals or relevant work plans and any other information you would like us to know. If you are applying to more than one college or program, please mention each college or program you are applying to. Because our admission committees review applicants by college and programs, your essay can impact our final decision. Please do not exceed one page for this essay.
Holding a pencil in my hand is as natural as breathing. The lead of the pencil flows on the paper like water and clouds. Lost in the world of what I see, what I dream, and what I recreate is absolute bliss. I have always known I was an artist, but what makes me a designer?
I love design, because it is more than art but it is also art. Design allows me to draw from my innate talents-the carefully-cultivated fine motor skills and expansive visual abilities of mine. At the same time, Design requires me to think critically and creatively-it challenges me. A designer must venture into the world and take in and carefully evaluate their environments. They use more than just the paper and the pencil. Photography, typography, engineering, marketing, and many various other fields converge and coalesce on the ever-dynamic field of design. Design makes me take risks.
Six weeks on the grassy campus of Carnegie Mellon made me more doubtful and still more assured of both the major and myself. Doubtful I became of my skills and my abilities. I may not be the best candidate for design out there. I may not get into Carnegie Mellon. Design is more than just adding some text to a beautiful picture and then playing with it on Photoshop. Design is deliberate yet surprising, subtle yet sublime, new-fangled yet utterly familiar. Design had suddenly transformed from a vaguely-supple and soft dream into this giant untamable three-headed hydra. Even so, I was thrilled. I loved being in that classroom with peers at the same place in life as I was. Some were more talented and others were more experienced, some were less confident and others were just clueless; but we all experienced those six weeks together.
Seeing them create and formulate brilliant design daunted and inspired me all the same. I loved that feeling. I loved the surging rush of euphoria I felt looking at and watching their designs and design-process; the same feeling I had when I sat on the streets of Pittsburgh until eleven o'clock curfew writing down and drawing the words and images around me or when I wake up from half-brewed sleep in the design workroom with the detailed instructions of my next design imprinted in my mind.
When I came into the conference room shivering in my shorts and Brett asked us why we wanted to be a designer, I had answered 'in order to combine my interests in art and psychology into a useful and profitable profession.' It may not have been the fantastically ambitious answer, but it was honest. As well as art, my personal interests are spread out into other fields like music or typography, literature and philosophy. However, psychology took me by surprise. I took a summer course in psychology after my sophomore year, not sure what to expect. I came back ever more fascinated by the human mind and the creatures who live, talk, and somehow survive beside me everyday. This is important, because the most important of design-any design: industrial, communication, or otherwise-is the consumer. I love people and I want to work for people and I want the people I love to be happy and for them to love what I create.
The closest thing I have to experience in design outside this program is perhaps the community service hours I took at the Veterans Affairs Hospital-creating small Flash movies to document the Veterans' experiences. I learned how to use Adobe Premier and about the mentality that forms when working on long-term projects. I want to learn and experience more. I would like to travel back to China at one point and study Design there. China is an ever-growing economy and with my predisposed lingual understanding, I could learn so much there. I would love to collaborate with my fellow talented peers and superiors as well-not only design either, but maybe even other engineers, programmers, marketers, and entrepreneurs. Opportunities are everywhere; there are no limits to what I can do.
While I sit back and let the pencil roll off my fingers and ripple onto the wood grain of this table, I'll let you briefly absorb and contemplate what you have just read. Take a deep breath and relax in its metaphorical intricacies or perhaps let the overall impact buoy you into the next essay. In the end, this is just another design.