Prompt: The Michigan Research Community (MRC) aims to build a community of students from diverse backgrounds and academic fields and to expose these students to the interdisciplinary nature of research and the breadth of its applications. MRC enhances our students' undergraduate experience by providing them with a year-long, research experience with a faculty mentor as well as an academic and social environment that supports their educational and personal growth. Based on this description of the program, please tell us why you would be a good candidate for membership in the MRC next year.
As I sat down to begin to plan and draft this essay, I tried to think about why I wanted to be a part of the Michigan Research Community. Nothing specific came to mind, albeit the fact that it interested me. Originally, this was not a sufficient reason, however, as I began to brainstorm even further, I realized that a majority of the things I have done in my lifetime were done simply because they interested me. I believe, probably as most do, that people who are actually captivated by something tend to dedicate themselves and care about that thing substantially more than the average person. Science has always intrigued me from the very beginning. Starting in elementary school, I loved doing experiments, learning how things work, and solving problems that required deep-level thinking. As a child, I would always find myself spending countless hours in my room, playing with Legos. Alone or with friends, I would masterfully design and manipulate these pieces of plastic into battle scenes or metropolises. Every day, I would want to create something new, something unique and unparalleled. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of building as well as the end result, knowing that it was a sole result of ideas in my head. Later in grade school, I came to the realization that I was an applicator. Citing random facts and information was not my forte, but instead taking something I had learned and applying it to a new concept or problem was where I excelled. When I face a dilemma, my mind will not stop until there is a solution. In research, I think this type of mindset and dedication is extremely important as the researcher ultimately determines the boundaries of the exploration. An example of this attitude would be from my junior year of high school. I decided to take AP Statistics, but the class was cancelled due to low enrollment. My counselor offered to let me take it through an online provider, and I agreed. This was a very unusual classroom environment for me: no teacher in the room, no one to tell me to do homework, and essentially no guidance. Because of this, I basically had to self-teach the course to myself, which was difficult. How well I wanted to do in the class, and on the AP exam, was strictly determined by me. I ended up scoring extremely well on the exam, which I attribute to my self-motivation. I plan to carry this skill forward and apply it, among other things, in the MRC.
As far as what I want to get out of the MRC, I really hope to broaden my educational experience and further prepare myself for life after college. Unfortunately, in high school, lots of courses are designed in a way that students can only pass by remembering and citing random pieces of information, instead of understanding the reasons why things occur. By being in this community, I know that I will be able to have a learning environment where application of concepts is more prevalent. Also, although I am enrolled in the College of Engineering, I aspire to be a doctor. I realize that I need the right technical and specialized skills if I want to pursue a career in medicine. The methodical and systematic techniques in research bolster decision-making and quick thinking, both powerful tools in the field of medicine. Finally, there are no boundaries as to what subject I would have to research within the MRC. Because of this, I would be able to learn more about medicine, while pursuing a degree in engineering, which will allow me to obtain my career goals.