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Why you have chosen Carnegie Mellon and your particular major(s), department(s) or program(s)?

jacky9852 1 / -  
Dec 31, 2017   #1

CMU Supplemental Essay

Hi, this is a draft of my supplemental essay for Carnegie Mellon University. I need some last minute help with editing this essay.

1.Please submit a one page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen Carnegie Mellon and your particular major(s), department(s) or program(s). This essay should include the reasons why you've chosen the major(s), any goals or relevant work plans and any other information you would like us to know. For freshmen applying to more than one college or program, please mention each college or program to which you are applying. Because our admission committees review applicants by college and program, your essay can impact our final decision. Candidates applying for early decision or transfer may apply to only one college and department.

The Million Tree planting sight sat on the barren plains of Ningxia,China, an area that the locals call "out there." There, I spent a week of my summer planting saplings in a collective effort to mitigate desertification. Step by step, we blew life back onto the sandy expanse of Ningxia, but I knew bringing the entire desert back to life at our rate would take thousands, if not millions, of hours of human labor. Helping the environment has always been something meaningful to me, but this experience shined a torch on how limited my efforts were compared to my desire.

Luckily, I knew the way to break this limitation. Ever since middle school, physics has always been my favorite subject. Every lesson about the mechanics that govern of our world fascinated me. However, it was really the potential to apply the theories to real life that anchored my interest for the subject. Through daily experiences, it was clear to me how engineering has helped humans break the limitations that came with the design of our bodies. Amongst the various fields of engineering, I found Civil and Environmental Engineering to be the field that hones in on my interest in physics, passion for engineering, and the love for the environment.

In CMU, the flexible curriculum allows me to take environmental engineering and sustainability as my minor. Further specializing in sustainable engineering equips me with better tools to achieve my future goal of helping the environment through designing innovative sustainable infrastructures.

When a CMU alumnus shared his experience of seeing a hallway clogged up by students gathered around to see a robot twist an Oreo cookie open, I knew "innovation" was not merely a buzzword displayed on the website; it was the word that defined the atmosphere of the university.

The small class size of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University perfectly complements the innovative atmosphere of the university. The thought of studying in a tightly knit community comprised of like-minded people enthralls me already, but having more chance to develop closer relationships with the faculties in such prestigious university truly makes CMU one of a kind for me. Together, the innovative atmosphere and the small class size at CMU combines to form the ideal environment for me to pursue research at highest level.

Amongst the numerous research centers in the university, the Green Design Institute grabs my attention the most. Living in China for half of my life lent me a personal insight into the environmental impacts of rapid economic development. Often failing to find the balance between development and environment here have resulted in very real consequences that everyone has, at the very least, experienced in the form of visible air pollution. This instills me with the sense of duty to help my second home nation. Green Design Institute focuses precisely on finding the balance between development and environment. This makes me believe that contributing to and learning from the research center at CMU can provide me with the necessary tools to bring more sustainable development practices to my second home nation in the future.

Finally, the sense of global community at CMU exists beyond the diversity of the student body. Activities such as Engineers Without Borders demonstrated to me that education at Carnegie Mellon is not only catered for individual success; it supports the mentality that secures the benefit of the global community. My experience as a volunteer for the Million Tree Project over the years have engraved the similar global value in my identity. This makes me confident that I will always experience sense of belonging in CMU.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,531 3446  
Jan 1, 2018   #2
Min, This essay is good. It represents the prompt requirements on a personal level. However, it is not proper for you to present your minor first then your major second. Since you are majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering first, environmental engineering and sustainability second, you should be presenting your discussion in the same manner. The tree planting relates to the second major / your minor so that is something that should be presented in the second half of the essay. You need to represent the development of your interest in Civil and Environmental Engineering in the first half of the essay because that is the major you have chosen. Try to relate a relevant anecdote for this portion in the same manner that you did for your minor. Additionally, remove the reference to the "Oreo Cookie" incident as it creates a redundancy in the presentation of that information. Always focus on your personal discussion and avoid using second hand information as a reference in the essay because that creates a disconnection in the presentation and the focus of the reader. Due to its sudden appearance in the essay, without a connecting before and after paragraph or sentence, you can bet that the reader will get confused by the sudden change in discussion focus. That is why you need to clean up that part. You need to keep the reader focused and on track with your personal discussion.

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