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Undergraduate   Posts: 12

Interests and aspirations in engineering (UMich essay prompt #2)


fat_b  
Aug 16, 2009   #1
Hi all. This is my response to the 2nd essay prompt for Umich. Any comments on content and grammar is greatly appreciated.

Please describe your interests and aspirations in engineering. What experiences have influenced you?

"Engineering is the bridge between theory and practicality; engineers turn ideas into reality." This simple reason is why I am so captivated by Engineering. Traces of Engineering's influence can be easily found everywhere, from infrastructures to electronics to aircrafts. I believe that Engineering is the key to solving most of our scientific problems.

During my first year in junior college, I was attached to the Nanyang Technological University to assist the undergraduates there in a Material Engineering project where we were tasked to work on using Non-Newtonian fluid to create a type of body armour. It was my first encounter with Engineering and I was intrigue by how it translates Physics theory into real-life applications. The fact that Engineering combines Physics and Mathematics, the two subjects that had always interest me, to find new solutions to problems only strengthen my interest. I knew then that Engineering was the perfect fit for me and I could not wait to learn more.

By studying Engineering, I too can be a problem solver. Engineering can equip me with analytical skills and methodical thinking techniques which will allow me to transform good ideas into great real-life applications. I hope to follow in the footsteps of notable engineers such as Larry Page and Tony Fadell and make my own contribution in improving the world. I believe the University of Michigan's College of Engineering, where I can learn under and alongside the brightest minds, can help turn my aspirations into a reality.

EF_Simone [Moderator]  
Aug 16, 2009   #2
This simple reason is why I am so captivated by Engineering.

"Awkward" is the word a composition instructor would write next to this sentence.

This was my first encounter with e ngineering and I was intrigue by how itthe translation ofp hysics theories into real-life applications.
tal105  
Aug 16, 2009   #3
whoa, you use the word engineering a lot.
can you somehow say the same stuff without using the word as much?
Mayada  
Aug 16, 2009   #4
I agree.. with less usage of the word engineering it would be as amazing as I think I'd find it.

:)
Good job otherwise.. and why do u capitalize Engineering???
EF_Sean [Moderator]  
Aug 16, 2009   #5
where we were tasked to work on using Non-Newtonian fluid to create a type of body armour

The rest of your essay is mostly full of generalizations that I don't want to read (nor will the application officers, I assure you.) This, on the other hand, sounds fascinating. Why don't you talk more about this experience, and show, rather than tell, how it influenced you?
OP fat_b  
Aug 20, 2009   #6
Thank you for all the feedback.

This is my 2nd attempt at the essay prompt. Any comments on content and grammar are greatly appreciated.

Please describe your interests and aspirations in engineering. What experiences have influenced you?

During my first year in junior college, I took part in a Nanyang Technological University project where I worked with a team of undergraduates to research the application of Non-Newtonian fluids in light-weight body armor. Despite my academic interest and strong background in both Mathematics and Physics, it was my first time working on an engineering project.

After studying the theory of the project, we put our hypothesis to the test. Firstly, I had to spend hours in the laboratories, weighing out materials and mixing them under the right temperature and pressure so as to produce the fluid, in which we soaked a layer of Kevlar. In order to test the strength of the armor, we fired a projectile into the armor and measured how deeply it penetrated. This process was then repeated with a different fluid to collect a comprehensive set of data.

Although tedious, I did not once felt bored nor had the thought of giving up crossed my mind. My interest did not waned despite the repetitive nature of the project. The theoretical aspect challenged me while the experimental portion excite me. I was fascinated by how the prototype was slowly taking shape. Engineering was bridging the gap between the theoretical and the practical. I knew then that engineering was what i want to study.

Simple put, I aspire to be a problem-solver. Using the knowledge i will gain and the analytical skills engineering teaches, i hope to make significant improvements and contribution to the society by turning good ideas into great real-world applications. I am sure that the University of Michigan's College of Engineering can turn my aspiration into reality.

I went slightly over the recommended word count. Is that ok?
EF_Sean [Moderator]  
Aug 20, 2009   #7
This is a stronger draft. Don't forget to always capitalize the personal pronoun "I," though. Also, avoid dangling modifiers: "Although tedious, I did not once felt bored nor had the thought of giving up crossed my mind." According to this, you were tedious, rather than the experiment. Introductory clauses always modify whatever comes directly after the comma, whether you mean them to or not.
OP fat_b  
Aug 21, 2009   #8
Thanks for the feedback on grammar.

Any comments on the content?
EF_Simone [Moderator]  
Aug 21, 2009   #9
Any comments on the content?

I like the specific example of the project on which you worked, but I wonder about spending so much time on that that you have few words left over to more generally describe your interests and aspirations.
OP fat_b  
Aug 22, 2009   #10
I thought it is better to be specific than general? I trying to use this example to show my interest in engineering.
EF_Sean [Moderator]  
Aug 22, 2009   #11
"nor did the thought of giving up crossed my mind"

I like your third draft. You could maybe be a bit more specific about this:

I hope to make significant improvements and contributions to the society by turning good ideas into great real-world applications.

but for an undergrad admissions essay, you can probably get away with leaving it as is.
EF_Simone [Moderator]  
Aug 22, 2009   #12
I thought it is better to be specific than general? I trying to use this example to show my interest in engineering.

Right, but you must also at least sketch the range of your interests and aspirations too.


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