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My contributions to CU-Boulder's 2030 Plan

kunaal 2 / 4 1  
Nov 23, 2015   #1
Hi all - Please take a look at my response to CU-Boulder's essay prompt. I welcome all feedback. Thank you, Kunaal

Prompt: The University of Colorado Boulder's Flagship 2030 strategic plan promotes exceptional teaching, research, scholarship, creative works, and service distinguishing us as a premier university. We strive to foster a diverse and inclusive community for all that engages each member in opportunities for academic excellence, leadership, and a deeper understanding of the world in which we live. Given the statement above, how do you think you could enrich our diverse and inclusive community, and what are your hopes for your college experience?


Coming out of my research, CU-Boulder was at the top of my list of universities to apply for. It was also the first campus that I went to visit. Not only was Boulder amazing as a city, the CU-Boulder campus exceeded my expectations, on many counts, including diversity of its student community.

I lived in India for over 11 years, including the very different western and southern regions. While studying in Indus International (India), I had the the opportunity to work with classmates from Europe, East Asia and the Americas. I have also traveled, with family and with friends, to many different countries in southeast asia, europe and middle east. Finally, we moved to the US in my 10th grade.

All of these moves exposed me to many different cultures, traditions and norms. I know four languages, and am fluent in two. We celebrate not just Indian festivals at our home, but also tradition from other cultures like Thanksgiving . I follow soccer and american football, cricket and baseball, enjoy arts, theater and music from different origins. Overall, my experiences in diversity have moulded me to where not only do I appreciate diversity, I have come to expect and enjoy it. It is a strong part of my identity and values.

Having mutual understanding and respect for our differences is just a bare minimum requirement in our fast shrinking planet. We need to be able to celebrate our differences, and use them as a way to tie us together as people.

CU-Boulder with its focus on diversity as part of being a "Global Crossroad" will allow me to contribute to this area strongly. While at campus, I had favorably noticed the very diverse student community, which I plan to add to, and leverage. Activities like cultural festivals and exchanges, as well as the CSI Student Group platform are things I will be actively participating in. I hope to be a student ambassador that helps infuse diverse communities together through cross cultural initiatives. I was excited to learn about the international student exchange program, and that CU-Boulder tops the list in total number of international transfers is exciting, and I hope to participate in that.

Additionally, I have strong technical skills in software (relative to my peer group) which I hope to not only keep growing, but find opportunities to use. The entrepreneur in me will be looking for opportunities to try new things - both within CU-Boulder - and in the high tech eco system in Boulder. The "Research Diamond" initiative should provide me a platform to do that.

I am excited to be sending my application for consideration will consider it an absolute privilege to be at CU-Boulder to earn my undergraduate degree.

hasdymath 11 / 25  
Nov 24, 2015   #2
let me help you out. overall, you have shown your intention to your goal by telling your background and live. Yet, I have found something wrong and ambigu.

first, almost every paragraph does have correlation. My suggest: try to make a involved sentence before next paragraph,

second. to persue a goal, don't use word "try", since it is weak word that makes readers doubt about your intention,

Additionally, I have strong technical skills in software (relative to my peer group) which I hope to not only keep growing, but find opportunities to use. The entrepreneur in me will be looking for opportunities to try new things I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT I AM ABLE TO GET THE ENTREPRENEUR OPPORTUNITIES- both within CU-Boulder - and in the high tech eco system in Boulder.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Nov 24, 2015   #3
Kunaal, you need to be more personal and less research based in your response to this prompt. Although the reviewer will admire your international exposure and background, you don't really offer a unique perspective as to how you can manage to further evolve and heighten the quality of the college community through the activities you mentioned. Why is that? Simply put, those activities already exist and therefore, will only allow you continue what others have already started. While that is a good idea, that is not what will make a mark or impression in the mind of the reviewer.

My suggestion is that you can improve your chances of offering the reviewer a memorable idea as to how you can improve the student community by using your international influences to heighten the level of international camaraderie on campus. Don't just rely on the international organization or club that already exists in the university, that is already old and expected. Instead, think of a way that you can establish a new club that will cater to the international student community of the campus in a unique way. Think of something, an activity or an interest that seems to be a common denominator among all of your international friends. Then look into the existing clubs and organizations at the campus. What void do you see existing along those lines? When you recognize the weakness or hole in the community that your idea can plug in, develop the idea.

By presenting a new activity that you hope to pursue at the university, which will call upon the other students to participate, you will let the reviewer know that you are not a mere follower, but a leader as well. That is something that CU-Boulder is definitely looking for in their future students and is a character trait that you should definitely play up if you believe that you can actually represent it once you become an official student at their university.
justivy03 - / 2,366 607  
Nov 24, 2015   #4
Kunaal, as I read through your essay, it lacks a lot of the answers that the prompt is looking for, I suggest that you reflect on the prompt and respond accordingly.

You have to focus on answering the prompt and not in sharing the research you made in your previous school, you have to form the best response to the questions in the prompt. How do you think you could enrich our diverse and inclusive community, and what are your hopes for your college experience? This is the question and from here, draw your answer and strengthen it by adding your facts, activities and hopes that you want to share with your future institution.

Also, share more of you academic aspirations and not the ones that you have done already, I understand that your past is where you draw your inspiration, but you don't have to write the whole essay about this.

I hope you follow through and revise your essay and post it back here so we can assist you further.
OP kunaal 2 / 4 1  
Nov 25, 2015   #5
Thank you for great feedback. I have started to rewrite my prompt and should have a version posted shortly.
OP kunaal 2 / 4 1  
Nov 25, 2015   #6
Hi, Here is my rewrite. I have tried to make it talk more directly about how the moves enriched me, and how i hope to translate it to my contributions at CU-Boulder. I am continuing to fine tune it, but wanted you to have a look at it and get early comments before I go too far.

Thanks again for your time and very valuable input.



Moving anywhere, even to a different house in the same city, will change you in some ways. Moving across cities will change you significantly. Moving countries is a magnitude more involved, and is a life changing experience.

By the time I turned 16, we had done two country moves, 5 city moves, and 10 house moves. So yes, I have had plenty of experience in dealing with change. I was born in the US, but we moved to India when I was 3 years old. I lived and schooled there, till we moved back to the US during my 10th grade.

Each of these moves added to a rich list of experiences and skills, and left me with rich perspectives and insights. I am fluent in two languages (English and Hindi) and know two other languages (Marathi and Spanish). I listen to music from the west and the east, and play my guitar to both. I play "asian" sports like Cricket and Badminton, passionately enjoy Soccer, but also follow the 49ers and the Golden Warriors. We celebrate all Indian festivals, but also the tradition of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our dining table reflects this diversity by having cuisines from across the world. While not a great cook, I do asian, indian and italian, often doing fusion food. I am interested in US politics, follow what is happening in India, while staying keenly tuned to international affairs. I have made close friends that have various ethnic backgrounds, regional or national, and we enjoy both the shared experiences, as well as the differences of our experiences. I often find myself questioning implicit and unconscious bias that my friends or family might have, and these make for great debates and are always a great learning opportunity for all.

Through these many moves, I have learnt to recognize the emotional process when facing the unfamiliar. There is the initial reluctance to having to change, and a strong need to avoid the pain of questioning one's own assumptions or having to reform existing ideas and habits. The default style for many is to simply stay aloof. However, with increasing ease, I have gotten over that, and emerge incrementally better as a fellow student and a lot richer as a human being. Overall, I have not just come to accept and respect diversity, I have come to take joy in it. I have naturally come to expect and appreciate different point of views.

Every one of my fellow students will be unique in their own way. They will also share a universal curiosity to learn more about the world around me, but also have this innate fear like I had. I will create a platform that will allow their curiosity to be met in a safe and accepting environment. I will be actively looking to start up cross-cultural exchange clubs, to help people cross these divides and experience other cultures up close.This clubs will have activities that range from music, traditions, cook outs, and more. The intent will be to go below the surface and develop real appreciation and understanding of our uniqueness, while having fun. This will be an opportunity for all of us to expand our horizons, and becoming better global citizens.

As people get closer in our ever shrinking planet, conflicts are on the rise. Mutual respect for our differences is just a bare minimum requirement. We need to go much beyond, and be able to celebrate our differences, and use them as a way to tie us together as people. This is the experience I plan to create at CU-Boulder for myself and all my fellow community. I am sure these initiatives will not only be fun, but valuable enough that they will survive my stay at CU-Boulder.

One area that really stood out for me when I visited CU-Boulder campus was the diversity on campus, and the international exchange programs that are in place. I would like to set up, or participate in a host-program for incoming international students, helping them better integrate in the local culture. I will also be part of the outgoing students to international schools, and bring back those experiences back to CU-Boulder.

The 2030 plan with its flagship initiative like Global Crossroads give me the platform to implement my plans around cross-cultural exchange and understanding.

CU-Boulder is my top school choice, and I am excited to be sending my application for consideration. It will be an absolute privilege to not only earn my undergraduate degree at CU-Boulder, but create an environment that fosters better understanding towards a better future.

Now that you have read it, here is my overall layout:
Para 1 - hook.
Para 2 - my move summary.
Para 3 - my diversity experience
Para 4 - my understanding of the change process
Para 5 - how i will apply this to CU-Boulder
Para 6 - how this make for a better world
Para 7 - how i will participate and enhance the international exchange program
Para 8/9 - conclusion.

Looking forward to your inputs and critique.

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