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U Chicago, desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future.


Pranav91 2 / 7  
Jan 31, 2009   #1
How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future?

A myriad men and women that I admire have attended, and taught at the University of Chicago. I have read twice Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March, analysed the works of T.S. Eliot, and quoted Milton Friedman a countless number of times in Economics class. This is the first and foremost reason that I would like to attend the University of Chicago.

My uncle, Dr. Srinivas Reddy, has a wealth of experience when it comes to the American university system. He was once a professor at Columbia, New York University, and UCLA, and was also a visiting professor at Stanford. Knowing my personality and my areas of academic interest, he recommended the University of Chicago. He spoke of its excellent Political Science department, and explained me that the courses are very application based (preparing students well for life after school), and that there was a large emphasis on skills development. He also said that Chicago really puts its students to the test. I feel this very important because the strength of a program is the extent to which it challenges its students. I work best when I am pushed to my limits, and would work even harder, especially in a top institution like Chicago where there is a fiercely competitive environment. I do not mind long hours of study so long as they are fruitful because the pain of hard work is only temporary after all.

Unfortunately, despite my keen interest in Chicago I was not able to visit it during my trip to America over the summer. I was staying in New Jersey and only for a limited amount of time. I did, however, perform extensive research on the University, and have spoken to a cousin of mine who is an alumnus of the school. He majored in Economics.

He told me that Chicago is an excellent choice if I am intending to study Political Science because of the wide range of interesting courses available. He also said that the Economics courses were more quantitative than qualitative, and that Chicago likes to follow its own curriculum to a certain extent. This, I feel is what sets Chicago apart from other institutions, its willingness to experiment, and to propagate the idea of intellectual freedom. This is exactly the type of institution that I would like to be associated with, a seedbed of innovation and drive to know more.

By nature I am averse to linear classroom education. Despite the fact that it gives my field of study variation, with the development of telecommunications and such, I do not enjoy natural science with its rigid parameters. The Social Sciences are viscous, and to a certain extent temperamental, this being a quality that I admire. Economics and government are two subjects in particular that are forever changing. Their very foundations are unstable, and under constant scrutiny. There is always something new to examine whether it be the correlation between abortion and income, or the global struggle to keep protectionism at bay. These subjects can be looked at from so many different angles, and merged with a number of other disciplines. For instance, Milton Friedman despite his background in Economics conducted a number of metallurgical studies, which exemplifies the University's encouragement of students to broaden the scope of their research, and renowned interdisciplinary approach towards education. This is why the University of Chicago is home to so many Nobel Prize winners. Its alternative methods allow it to produce innovators. In this sense I enjoy working beyond the borders of a classroom. In subjects that I enjoy I make regular readings. In terms of Economics I have tried Galbraith (despite the limited nature of my knowledge), and in terms of history I have read both John Gaddis' "We now know" and Eric Hobsbawn's "The Age of Extremes".

Another aspect that attracted me to Chicago was the idea of a student union. The fact that students have a certain amount of control over their college must make the Chicago experience all the more personal. I feel that at my present school far too much power lays with the institution in the sense that the students cannot make small changes, for instance, food in the cafeteria. I could see what a large influence the students have upon college affairs on the Chicago website. It was evident in the admissions process itself, as the students themselves had created the prompts. Again, this highlights the "left of centre" nature of the University of Chicago, and gave me an insight into the types of individuals that attend it: broad minded, and passionate. I was particularly impressed when I saw that students had protested with dining hall workers for an increase in pay. The idea that I would not simply attend Chicago, but would also call it my own is a very exciting prospect. The student run Chicago Maroon also caught my interest. I am editor in chief of the newspaper at my current school, and there are not many things that I enjoy more than writing, so I would love to become a staff member. Acting is also a passion of mine, and Chicago has a thriving drama scene. I am glad to see that this option is available as acting allows me to express myself in the fullest manner possible.

I am set upon majoring in political science. Currently I am intending to go to Law school after attaining my degree. However, being young and fickle minded I am assuming that I may change my mind at a later stage. This is yet another reason why I would like to study at the University of Chicago. Its courses will allow me to apply my knowledge in many different fields leaving my career choices very open ended. Everything about Chicago indicates that it is dedicated to academics and the well being of its students. For instance, despite not having a pre-law degree course the university provides students with an environment in which to study for their LSATS via CAPS. Furthermore, the attitude of the University of Chicago towards education is conveyed succinctly in its motto "Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched". Chicago will give me what I want- substance. I do not want to be in the possession of a number of superficial facts when I graduate. I want to have control. I want the information that I possess to be at my disposal.

Essentially, I would like to attend Chicago because it is an anomaly. I am intrigued by the fact that the education I would receive at this institution is far different from the education I would receive at any other top institution. I hope to meet people there who are as self-aware, motivated, and as dedicated to their field of study as I am. I think that I could bring the best of two conflicting cultures to Chicago and a whole new perspective on life due to the unique nature of my experiences. I would do anything to be a part of such a collision of ideas and intellect. The University of Chicago is definitely the sort of school that I want to be a part of. A school with an environment that is not only conducive to learning, but also to the development of free independent thinking.

My SAT score was awful: 1980

WR- 640
CR- 660
Maths- 680

My SAT II scores were abysmal

Maths II- 620
Lit- 630

My IB scores were reasonable

Maths HL- 6 (A)
Economics HL- 6 (A)
Histor HL- 6 (A)
English SL- 7 (A+ or *)
French SL- 6 (A)
Bio SL- 5 (A)

TOTAL= 36/42

I have a bunch of extracurricular stuff. Basketball, soccer (founder and captain), school newspaper (editor in chief), working administration/accounting at a 4*hotel and I have worked at numerous NGOs.

Some recommendations from teachers and places I've worked.

I am applying to Chicago for Eco.

Are my essays good enough, and what do I need to do to improve in them?
OP Pranav91 2 / 7  
Jan 31, 2009   #2
I'm applying for Eco

I copied my grades from an old post.

My IB grades are actually:

Economics HL- 7
Maths HL- 6
History HL-6
English SL- 6
French SL- 5
Bio SL- 4

Total= 34

I aced my interview.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 31, 2009   #3
The essay seems really strong overall. You cite specific people and examples of why you want to attended U Chicago, and stick to answering the prompt throughout. It does seem like its a bit long for an application essay, though. Do you have a word limit? If you need to, you could probably get rid of the modesty markers you've scattered throughout your essay. They aren't really necessary, and detract a bit from your presentation of yourself as an ideal applicant.
lulu 1 / 1  
Jan 31, 2009   #4
I thought it only requires one or two paragraphs...
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 31, 2009   #5
I was staying in New Jersey and only for a limited amount of time. I did, however, perform extensive research on the University, and have spoken to a cousin of mine who is an alumnus of the school. He majored in Economics.

For instance, Milton Friedman, despite his background in Economics, conducted a number of metallurgical studies, which exemplifies the University's encouragement of students to broaden the scope of their research, and renowned interdisciplinary approach towards education.

In subjects that I enjoy I make regular readings. This sentence needs to be fixed.

There does seem to be a lot you could cut out, but overall it is a good essay, with a good strong conclusion.
Good luck!

:)


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