My name is Zeeshan and I am hoping to transfer into UT-Austin next semester! For reference, I noticed other examples or response to this prompt have been a narrative or similar to an elevator pitch. I went a different route and told a story - please let me know if this might hurt my application and I can re-write something else. Thank you!
Unlike most whom find their passion taking different classes in high school or switching majors their first year of college, my passion was found in my childhood room. Growing up, my family wasn't very wealthy. I was the youngest child, so I slept in a bed placed in the study room. Most people choose engineering because it's what their parents always wanted them to do, or because it pays very well. Personally, I would have never pursued engineering if it weren't for the old computer in the corner of my old room.
My story starts at age 10, browsing the Disney website, not knowing that my life would forever be changed by a hardware failure. The computer stuttered as if it were coughing, until it finally shut down for what I thought was going to be the final time. My parents didn't have money to buy a new one, but I couldn't bear to see it be thrown away. I researched endlessly about topics that I didn't have the slightest clue about, and considered every possibility, until I finally found the source of the issue. The screen slowly flickered to life, and as it did, my fate was sealed.
After disassembling and successfully repairing the computer, the whole world of technology was opened up to me. I began opening up everything that I had the screwdriver for, and admittedly broke a lot of items in the process. The knowledge I gained, however, was a small price to pay. This led me to open a freelance service where I built and upgraded computers, modified gaming consoles to turn them into media centers, and replaced cracked screens on phones. At the age of fourteen, I discovered soldering. I felt like the 10 year old fixing the computer all over again, exploring an unknown world and not knowing where to start. I began to learn about concepts such as voltage, resistance, and integrated circuits. After practicing extensively and burning myself profusely, I mastered the art of soldering and the patience it took to work on circuit boards. It was no longer about modifying or repairing a device that someone else had made; I now had the tools to create beyond my wildest imagination.
Having always had a small gaming hobby, my mind was drawn to creating a portable gaming system like a Gameboy, only bigger and better. Theoretically, if one were to take a home gaming console, strip away all the connectors and controllers, leaving only the motherboard, the system would still run, provided it had a suitable power source. This would be my greatest challenge yet and my weapon of choice would be the Nintendo GameCube - a five-layer motherboard. I slowly sanded each layer of the motherboard, scanning them in the process, trying to see how much smaller the motherboard could be made. I used a multi-meter to find replacement pinouts for transistors and capacitors, as the original outputs would be cut off in the motherboard trimming process. Finally, I had to find a way to overcome the system's power regulator. The regulator was inefficient and quite large, unsuitable for what I had planned. After spending days looking for replacements, I decided I would be better off building my own. Wires soldered and regulators connected, the system stuttered to life, like the computer did those many years ago. My challenge, and my greatest achievement was finally complete.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have stumbled upon the thing that fuels my passion. I have learned so much about electrical engineering because of my years of tinkering and creating. My experiences have confirmed that having the privilege of attending the University of Texas and obtaining an electrical engineering degree is all I want. As I look back over my life, an incredible surge of pride passes over me as I remember how a simple computer and an old GameCube changed my life forever.
This essay was very impressive. I couldn't stop reading from beginning to end. I feel your passion and love for what you do.
You did not make a mistake by writing a story. This is what colleges want to read. A real human behind the essay. A real human that has a heart and feels passion for whatever he/she is doing. I love how you found your passion at the age of 10. Impressive!
I did not make any edits in your essay.
You did excellent!
Good luck in your studies, and remember, dream big and never give up!