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Computers and technology - Purdue undergrad essay


cmailer91 1 / 3  
Feb 21, 2010   #1
a. Describe how your college education will allow you to achieve personal or professional goals.

I don't just want to be just another guy in a suit, sitting at a desk; I want to contribute back to society. While I've had a decent education up till this point, there are those in the world who have never gotten the opportunity to attend school, much less use a computer. I want to bring technology to the masses - even to those who can't afford it. With a degree in computer engineering, I can improve on existing technology that's already in use. From power efficiency to manufacturing size, there's room for improvement in almost everything. And that's the attitude in the field of computers and science that's brought us to where we are today. The first decade of the third millennium is proof of this, with the pace at which computers have been seeing new technological advances and its one statement that I've always stood by to keep myself from getting complacent.

Many people go through college as a means to get a degree to aid them in getting a job after. While it's one of my reasons, it's not the biggest. Coming from a private school, I've never really had the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. Stuff like managing and organizing events for the Student Council and taking part in interschool events such as Mathematics Olympiads are among the things that I've never gotten the chance to try out. I don't want to go through college for the sole purpose of getting a degree; I also want to participate in activities that will help me grow as a person, as an individual and I strongly believe that colleges such as Purdue that offer a well-rounded education can help me achieve this goal.

My best quality ? my unquenchable thirst for knowledge in computers and technology. While it's held me back from exploring other fields of potential interest, it's kept me working towards my goal of following in my Dad's footsteps as a computer engineer. And that's how it started, when I watched him put together my very first computer back when I was ten. That set off a domino effect which brought me to one of the biggest milestones in my life: building my first computer from scratch at fourteen. Watching the CPU fan spin up for the first time and hearing the series of beeps to indicate the motherboard had completed its power-on self-test (POST) was mesmerizing and it basically affirmed what I had known then: this was where my passion lay. And it's only been uphill from there, with me actively following tech blogs and building DIY computers for friends to keep up with the latest in computer hardware.

With Purdue's reputation and facilities in engineering, I strongly believe that I can achieve my goals and above all - give back to society. Using knowledge of skills picked up during classes, I intend to design hardware that is cheaper to produce, more energy efficient, but most importantly - available to everyone.

-draft, to replace a section of the third paragraph-

...After dad's footsteps as a computer engineer...

I was lucky to have my own computer as early as fourteen. Many people in the world don't get to use one at that age, and some never get to use one throughout their entire life. Currently, less than 20% of the world's population has computer access, with less than half of that having internet access. My goal is to raise that figure. Its an ambitious goal, but the industry is already moving in the right direction, with the laptop segment currently focusing on netbooks and cheaper alternatives. I aim to reduce manufacturing costs and pass on these savings to the end-users, catering specifically to poverty-stricken countries such as South Africa and Ethiopia.

-paragraph end-

i've left the original paragraph intact for easier comparison to help those who are reading.

thanks again for any responses.

how can i improve on this ? i intend to submit it this coming tuesday so any quick tips would really be appreciated. thanks for any help!

-SNVN

defnite 1 / 1  
Feb 21, 2010   #2
The essay seems to be fine. Personally I don't like the whole "my worst trait is my best trait", it comes off as passive and condescending.
OP cmailer91 1 / 3  
Feb 21, 2010   #3
thank you for your reply.

any idea what i can use to start off that paragraph then ?
afurgeson 2 / 11  
Feb 21, 2010   #4
I have some wording suggestions that I think can make your essay stronger, but before I go through it sentence by sentence, I would make this suggestion:

Start your essay with the message you are delivering in the third paragraph. This is such a powerful message and something that will stand out to the admissions committee. So, rather than starting with a personal history (as I'm sure most everyone does) start with this powerful "personal mission statement" about making technology available to the underprivileged.

If you really want to make an impact, do some quick research on the issue. What percentage of the world population has computers? is online? etc...

After you talk about the issue, talk about why you think access to technology can improve lives. Then move into how you feel Purdue and your personal background will prepare you to make a difference.

Bottom Line... less focus on your personal story and more focus on your mission.

I'll keep an eye out, and if you decide to post an update, I'll review and offer some guidance on wording.

Good Luck!
OP cmailer91 1 / 3  
Feb 22, 2010   #5
thank you so much for your reply. i'll post back with another draft in a couple of hours. i'm actually giving this alot of thought coz my friend said an essay can make or break an admission decision, sometimes as much as grades ? i'm not sure how true that is, but i'm going to really work on this one :D
afurgeson 2 / 11  
Feb 22, 2010   #6
Ok... So some major edits here. I definitely think you are well served by talking about the issue of access to technology. I started to revise, but ended up rewriting. I really think you have good perspective on how your skills can be used for good. I think you are deserving of admission and want to help as much as I can. That said, I would not advise that you use this essay exactly as I revised it -- that would be dishonest and could get you in trouble with the admissions committee.

Instead, please use this revision of a sample to follow when completing your final draft. I have not changed the message you are delivering -- I've just rearranged it for the sake of flow.

Let me know if you have questions and good luck!

I was lucky to have my own computer as early as fourteen. Many people in the world don't get to use one at that age, and some never get to use one throughout their entire life. Currently, less than 20% of the world's population has computer access, and only half of that group has internet access. I hope to use my past experience and an education at Purdue to improve access to tecnology . Its an ambitious goal, but the industry is already moving in the right direction with the laptop segment currently focusing on netbooks and cheaper alternatives. I know that Purdue's computer engineering program will give me the skills and experience I need to join this movement. Upon completion of my degree, Ihope to make an impact on the industry by reducing manufacturing costs and passing on these savings to the end-users .I think bringing information technology to poverty-stricken countries such as South Africa and Ethiopia will make my work in computer engineering rewarding and meaningful.

Many people go through college for a degree and a good chance at employment. While this is one of my reasons, it is not the biggest. I want to take my passion for computers and technology and use it for a greater good.The Purdue Engineering program offers the excellent academic experience that I require, but I also think Purdue offers opportunities for personal growth that will allow me to make an impact on society. Coming from a private school, I have had limited opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities. In a large University Environment, though, I look forward to managing and organizing events for student organizations and discovering new interests beyond the classroom.

Some might say my thirst for knowledge in computers and technology is unqenchable. It started, when I watched my dad put together my very first computer when I was ten. That set off a domino effect which brought me to one of the biggest milestones in my life: building my first computer from scratch at fourteen. Watching the CPU fan spin up for the first time and hearing the series of beeps to indicate the motherboard had completed its power-on self-test (POST) was mesmerizing and it affirmed my passion for computers and my desire to make computers a big part of my life's work. I am excited that Purdue will offer me that opportunity and provide me an experience that will allow me to explore my interests beyond computers and develop a well rounded life.

Purdue's environment, facilities and reputation in engineering will allow me to achieve my personal and professional goals and, above all - give back to society. Using skills learned in class, I hope to find a career where I can design hardware that is cheaper to produce, more energy efficient, but most importantly - available to everyone.
OP cmailer91 1 / 3  
Feb 22, 2010   #7
thanks afuregson, i'll make another draft and post back again. you've been really helpful :)


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