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'a destroyer of things'- Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science essay

Mushrooms 1 / 6  
Dec 27, 2011   #1
Required for all applicants: Considering both the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying and the unique aspects of the University of Pennsylvania, what do you hope to learn from and contribute to the Penn community? (Please answer in one page, approximately 500 words.)

I am a destroyer of things.

Ever since discovering that I am a proud owner of these magical appendages called "hands", I have taken apart everything I could lay my hands on, slowly progressing from simple analogue clocks to electric fans to hard disks. I can only say I'm glad I'm not a cat, because curiosity would have killed me nine times too many for me to still be around now.

What has this got to do with applying to Penn, you ask? Well, if you haven't guessed by now, I am applying to the School of Engineering and Applied Science. After all, what better excuse is there for taking things apart than "in the name of science"? With engineering, I will be able to further pursue my studies in the sciences- which I have always been passionate about- while also solving problems hands-on. It will no longer be just studying the theories behind how the world functions, but rather reaching behind the scenes and actively make improvements to the world using these theories. How exciting is that?

At the same time, I am not just a hard-core science student. Literature and the arts fascinate me, and I have spent many pleasant afternoons being immersed in the worlds created by books. While science paints a picture of our limited understanding of the universe, the humanities reflect the human condition which is no less interesting. I believe that there is no limit to amassing knowledge, hence the idea of interdisciplinary programs like the Penn Integrates Knowledge program attracts me strongly. I will certainly be glad to have the opportunity to study under such a unique system.

Of course, education is not merely unilateral. While at Penn, I also hope to give back to the Penn community in the best way that I can. For starters, I already have my sights on volunteering at Penn Vet. I have always had a soft spot for animals, and they seem to like me too. In fact, there have been many instances of stray cats following me home, much to the dismay of my parents. I have a lot of experience in community service too, from working with young children to visiting old folks. I am never lacking in ideas for activities to benefit the community, and just this year organized crafts sessions for the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) Kids' Club to raise awareness of environmental issues in an enjoyable way.

In the end, there are many reasons for going to college. The more practical reasons include receiving a degree in the hopes of getting better jobs, or picking up marketable skills so as to be able to lead a better life. However, what I truly hope to receive from a Penn education is an opportunity to learn how to learn. To not just gain knowledge but to understand how to use them. I may be a destroyer, but that is just the first step to becoming an innovator and a creator.

Please provide feedback, thanks!
admiraljes 2 / 14  
Dec 27, 2011   #2
I like your ideas, but you don't go into so much detail, which makes it hard to feel personal. I'd suggest you add in some more personal details (experiences, beliefs, etc.). At the same time, I would recommend you put in something about you can not only destroy, but build. Put in some more power (you are both creator and destroyer) to give them a much more impressive feel. Remember, engineering is about building! xD Hope this helps!
OP Mushrooms 1 / 6  
Dec 27, 2011   #3
Thanks Jessy!

I'll try to add some personal details and stuffs about creation rather than destruction (although that will propel me well over the word limit).
deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 27, 2011   #4
Honestly, I am really impressed. The flow of your ideas is superb and your writing style very agreeable.
This is maybe the reason for the impression of the first poster.
The second paragraph is maybe a good example for this.
It is funny and demonstrates your interest in engineering, but it does not convey that you
are really passionate about it, hence no real power.
Secondly, you list the reasons you want to attend Penn very logically and
support them with appropriate examples. You could maybe leave an impression
of a good writing style, but exactly this excellence makes it too sophisticated to be personal.
The end merges good writing with passion, creator and builder.
This is what leaves really good impression.

I would really be glad if you could check out my essays and tell me opportunities to improve.
wahmed 4 / 10  
Dec 27, 2011   #5
I like that you include your interest in humanities courses. Penn wants aspiring polymaths not just people who specialize in one thing.

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