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Need help on my admissions essay - Art Institute, San Francisco


ashtonrounds 1 / 6  
Jul 21, 2009   #1
Here is the link to what I needed to write about: artinstitutes.edu/sanfrancisco/pdf/Application_Essay.pdf

I am afraid that it's going to be too long or that is doesn't sound right. Please help!!

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It would be difficult to explain my passion for fashion without first telling you about my childhood and the lessons I have learned. At the tender age of nine, I was living in Alaska, which to some may not be the home of high fashion. For me, it was a world of creativity awaiting discovery. I spent many hours sitting outside of my Barbie dollhouse making clothing for a fashion show that I would later share with my dogs. Having never seen a fashion show or even a fashion magazine, even now I find this a marvel. I knew not what I was doing, it just felt "right". Though my world then consisted of my three dogs and crippled Barbies, I had an undying need to create clothing that would be shared and seen by the rest of my world. The dogs would sit patiently waiting for the show to be over, so that they might add a few Barbies to the crippled group. This lead to me design clothes for the armless, footless, and headless dolls of doggy war. Lessons learned: Do not leave Barbie dolls in places dogs can reach, always create clothing out of scrap material, and do what feels "right", because in the end Happiness is all we have to offer each other.

Already knowing my true passion in life, my career goal is simple: I want to be the next Betsy Johnson. Creating clothing with flare that leaves a lasting impression and has the ability to show off the personality of the person wearing it...well that's just what feels right to me. I want to change the way people view suits and business items; they need to become modern and fresh. I hope to create a style that expresses the drive and desire of the young entrepreneurs of this world. I want to change the way people view fashion as a whole. Fashion is sex and sex sells fashion, so I want to create clothing that makes any gender, race or body type look sexy. I want to invent styles that inspire people to go out of their house, make new friends and put their lives on the runway. After all, being comfortable in your own skin is the ultimate desire of most people, they just want to feel right with the world.

I know that my life goals will only be achieved by going back to school. There are many reasons why the Art Institute will help me achieve my career goals; my number one goal being to obtain a job that I love and am inspired to go to. I want a job where I can grow as a person and as a designer, to be in a place where I am not afraid to stand on my own two feet and voice my opinion on what looks good and what does not. I currently work in a law firm, solely for the paycheck. No matter how hard I try I know that my conversation skills and wiliness to help will not change the lives of the people I talk too over the phone. I may brighten their day for just a moment but I want to brighten their lives forever. The Art Institute will give me the necessary skills needed for me to change the world. If I can make someone's day I little bit brighter with a smile or hug, I can't wait to see what I can do when I make a person feel comfortable in their own skin; letting them know that they ARE good enough, brave enough, pretty enough and amazing enough. To know that people are walking around happier in clothing that I have designed just because it makes them feel good is my ultimate goal. This choice to take the first step in going to the Art Institute of San Francisco is a perfect fit for me. It feels "right" to have the opportunity to attend such an amazing school that will teach me the skills to become a better person. ( Should I put this in?? The Art Institute will help me with my career goals immensely. From offering smaller class sizes to the amazing labs and career driven lessons, there is no doubt in my mine that I will accomplish every goal that I set my mind to do, no matter how big. I love the idea of having a school that will help get students get started on their career even before they have graduated. The flexibility of class times for those who work is truly amazing as well.)

I plan to participate and commit to my education in every way possible to develop my skill set and mindset to be successful. I will join clubs to meet others with the same passions and to provide help and advice when needed. I will be dedicated to my work and it's quality, so that I may represent the school to the best of my ability in the real world. I will take my passion and apply it to my everyday life by making clothing that people can feel great about and by designing clothing that will be remembered by centuries to come. I will do my best to help the other students achieve their goals as I achieve mine. If we, the students, teachers and faculty, can work together as a team, we will create amazing concepts and redefine the industry. I believe in hard work and dedication, and I will never settle for less than the best.

Martin Luther King once said, "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." I am truly touched by this statement as I take my first step toward a new life. I am antsy and excited for what may developed around the bends and curves of this windy road. I know that by taking this first step into a new life, that I am taking the first step into changing the world. I am committing myself in to doing what is right and I am more then willing to do whatever it takes to make this world a better place. I know my transformation will be difficult and that there will be times that I want to cry. I am glad that this will develop me into an individual with the skill set and mindset to reach for and achieve my every goal. I am ready to start learning at your amazing school and excited to see how I can change the world.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 21, 2009   #2
Hmmm... I'd like to see this be less wordy and less chatty while still being lively.

I like the description of staging fashion shows for dogs with crippled Barbies, but you're better off not exclaiming how remarkable you were for staging them. Little girls who like clothes stage fashion shows. While you don't remember seeing one, if you had a television in your house, that is certainly where you got the idea.

Similarly, the MLK quote is a little too deep for its context. He was talking about taking courageous steps to challenge a form of oppression that seemed like it had always existed and would never go away. Going off to school may feel that big to you, but it's immodest to suggest that doing so is akin to participating in a social justice movement.

You mention Betsy Johnson. I'm not sufficiently attuned to fashion to know: Did she effect the kinds of changes you say that you would like to make in the field. If not, choose somebody who did.
OP ashtonrounds 1 / 6  
Jul 28, 2009   #3
I have rewritten the essay.. would love your feedback.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 28, 2009   #4
I don't see the revision. If you've written a revision, post it as a new reply rather than amending your original post. You can save space and scrolling time by replacing the essay text in your original post with "SEE BELOW"
OP ashtonrounds 1 / 6  
Jul 28, 2009   #5
EF_Simone

I have no idea what your talking about.. lol.. I'll figure it out though.

I can't figure out how to edit my original post.
Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Jul 28, 2009   #6
Hmmmm I could not read the essay question, since there is a page error. O well

My passion for fashion began in the magenta flower fields of northern Alaska. At the tender age of nine, I was living in a small town called North Pole, far from what's considered the "home of high fashion". For me, however, it was a colorful world of designer creativity awaiting discovery.

^Wow. I do like that sentence.

I spent hours sitting in front of my Barbie dollhouse preparing for a show that would be produced in fields of Fireweed (rosebay) blossoms. I made clothing for fashion shows that I would later share with my dogs. Having never seen a fashion show or even a fashion magazine, I knew not what I was doing, only that it was beautiful and it made me feel good.

^I do not see how having never seen a fashion show or a fashion magazine means that you did not know what you were doing...

Though my world then consisted of three dogs, crippled Barbies, and thousands of pink perennials, I had an undying need to create clothing that would be seen by the rest of my world.

^Hmmm. If i may, perhaps you can omit the entire sentence before this one, and link this undying need to the 'beautiful and it made me feel good' part.

My dogs would sit patiently waiting for the show to conclude, so that they could add a few Barbies to the crippled group. I began to design colorful clothes for the armless, footless, and headless dolls of puppy war. As the Barbies walked (or hoppled) down the runway in stylish cuts and glimmering patterns, their beauty was matched only by the flowers that surround my first fashion show.

^Is any of the above truly relevant in your opinion??

I can best describe who I am as a person and who I strive to be as Alaska's flowering herb, Fireweed. Fireweed is known as a "pioneer species", thriving in locations that have been destroyed by forest fires. The delicate, pink flowers are the first life to start growing after a fire, replenishing the soil with nutrients that allow trees and other plants to begin their return. They can only survive in places with plentiful sunlight and open space . I, like the flower, find comfort in creating beauty and inspiration from nothing. I am known for finding materials that to some are outdated, used, or "ugly", and allow the materials to take on a new life. My spaces of bright sunlight are those where I can nourish the minds around me.

^Alright. This flower stuff digresses from the topic quite a bit. So I ommitted what I thought was redundant. However, this is just my opinion.

My career goal is simple: I want to become the next Coco Chanel. Like her, as a blossoming young entrepreneur, I am starting a new life with only dreams, drive and the desire to give people the confidence to put their lives on the runway. I strive to create clothing with flare that leaves a lasting impression and shows the personality of the person within. I want to change the way people perceive suits and business wear, while making them modern and fresh with style and color. I want to create a fashion movement that expresses the drive and desire of the young entrepreneurs this world. And I want to change the way people view fashion as a whole.

^I liked everything, until I came to the bold part. Whilst I appreciate your clear and focused aspirations, the last part is a bit much in my opinion. Not even Chanel has changed how people view fashion as a whole. Perhaps, you can come with a strong and powerful statement that is possible, rather than making such a bold statement, if you know what I mean.

My budding ideas can only bloom by me returning to school; to a new vibrant world waiting for my arrival, providing nourishing change and personal rebirth. I dream of a job to which I will wake in the morning smiling, and leaves me feeling inspired when I lay my head to rest . I want the feeling that I had when I walked into the fields of Fireweed, the feeling of everything being right and change being good. .

^I thought the job part is unnecessary. You never mentioned about walking into the fields of Fireweed and feeling amazing, that is why I ommitted it.

I need to plant my roots in a profession where I can grow as a person and as an entrepreneur, a place where I can find inspiration and sunshine to which I can point my mind.

^I like this. I see that you talk about your current job in the next sentence. If you can just link this part, to your love of fashion, it should be really effective. Like 'fashion is in my nature, in which I find beauty'( sorry I was trying to work on the nature part, with the roots and sunshine. I am sure you can come up with much better wordplay lol)

My current job, at a prestigiouslaw firm, is for me a just a paycheck. My conversation skills and willingness to help may brighten the day of another for a moment, but I want to give them confidence and photographic memories forever.

^By 'another' and 'them', at first I thought you were talking about your law clients. Perhaps you are. But do you really want to give them confidence and photographic memories as well? Because I would assume that confidence would be that they believe that they are winning the case, and the photographic memories are that they won the case...Maybe I am wrong. But if you are tyring to link this to fashion, I suggest revising this sentence.

I believe that the Art Institute will give me the skills to create those memoirs, not simply in a pretty picture on a runway, but also as a feeling that they are beautiful living their day-to-day lives in clothing that makes them feel good. The school's small class sizes, in-depth labs, and career driven lessons will develop my abilities to match my drive. I plan to commit to my education by joining clubs to meet and help others, to be dedicated to my work as an incessant scholar, and create fashion shows that will represent the magnificence of the school to the rest of ourthe world. The program will give me the nutrients to start my career, enabling me to immediately begin reaching for my goals. If we, the students, teachers and faculty, work together as a team, we can create amazing concepts to redefine the industry. We will be able to give people a feeling of happiness in their lives, the same feeling that flowers and fashion did for me as a child.

^Well, you do need to understand that not everyone cares about fashion. Oscar Wilde believed it was so hideous, that it needed to be changed quite frequently( cant remember the quote). So people, in general, may not get happiness. Perhaps, you should be more specific as to the type of people that can benefit from your fashion.

Also, if you are an entrepreneur, will you be using the assistance of the people at Art Institute. If not, then why would you say 'we', if it is your own fashion label, that will make people happy.

Coco Chanel said, "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." For me fashion started with Fireweed, a beautiful flower that signifies who I am as a person and who I strive to be in this industry. I hope that within my application and this essay, you will find a small magenta flower that is yearning for growth. With your help, I hope to make my dreams come true like Coco Chanel.

^I liked your essay. I found the nature references, artistic.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 28, 2009   #7
Don't you dare take Liebe's suggestion and cut the dogs and crippled Barbies. They are the most charming aspect of the essay and will surely stay in the reader's mind.

Speaking of which:

"...so that they could add a few more Barbies to the crippled group"

Liebe suggests cutting out some of the fireweed details. I agree, except that I think you should keep the part about using discarded or outdated materials, as fashion faculty will like that.

Liebe's other suggestions are sound. This is a strong and vivid essay. Good luck!
Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Jul 28, 2009   #8
Don't you dare take Liebe's suggestion and cut the dogs and crippled Barbies

^I never suggested she cut it out. By the way, there are two sentences on dogs and crippled Barbies, and I commented on both of them. The first sentence, I thought was decent, but could be arranged elsewhere.

On to the second sentence.
Alright, I can see how designing colorful clothes, and mentioning the stylish cuts and glimmering patters, along with their beauty matched my flowers is all quite useful in depicting imagery and showing Ashton's interest in fashion. Perhaps, I should have commented on the organization. Given the way it currently is, all of this is just there. (The dog chews up the Barbie, and then dresses are made for them. There*)

As it is just 'there', that is why I questioned it's relevance. Ashton had made the point earlier that she 'knew not what I was doing, only that it was beautiful and it made me feel good.' Ashton, perhaps, as with the previous dog and barbie sentence, all of this could be placed earlier on in the paragraph, and the paragraph's conclusion can be that it was beautiful and made you feel good?

Do you agree Simone?
tal105 7 / 130  
Jul 28, 2009   #9
i like it!
i agree, dont cut out the dogs part!! :D
thats about all i can rly say, im a young writer in training ><
good luck! this rly speaks from the heart though. i know that much
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 29, 2009   #10
Do you agree Simone?

I hear what you're saying and your suggestion is not bad. I'm not as troubled as you are by the organization of that section. It's narration, and colorful enough that the reader will move through it quickly and onto the next paragraph.
OP ashtonrounds 1 / 6  
Jul 29, 2009   #11
I turned in my essay yesterday and I was told by the admissions director that it was one of the best essay's he has ever read.

I created a coversheet and bound the essay up with my application paperwork in the back.

He said in all of his years of working there no student had ever given him a packet that was so beautiful.

TIP: always go above and beyond the call of duty because it pays off in the end

Here's a pdf link if you want to see the final product:
Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Jul 29, 2009   #12
Thats great to hear. The coversheet and everything looks great. Good stuff.
x
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 29, 2009   #13
I turned in my essay yesterday and I was told by the admissions director that it was one of the best essay's he has ever read.

That is wonderful to hear. But it's "essays" not "essay's"!
Notoman 20 / 419  
Jul 29, 2009   #14
It is very endearing! I smiled the whole time I was reading it.


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