Hey I'm an international student (living in U.S. currently) applying to some U.S. universities and would love to get some help and constructive criticism(too long, fix spelling, etc.) on my essay (as well as help others). This is for Northwestern's supplement essay on CommonApp. Thanks in advance!
What are the unique qualities of Northwestern - and of the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying - that make you want to attend the University? In what ways do you hope to take advantage of the qualities you have identified?
I actually don't know enough about your school. I know that you guys are a prestigious place of study and really this should be reason enough. This may be a rash decision (the last two sentences) on my part but don't put this letter down and let me explain. When a company like Apple introduces a new product (like the ill-fated iPad) the company works very hard to build brand recognition. Much like companies, universities work very hard to become renowned. The only difference is that the way a university gets its name recognition is only if the university is really good.
Northwestern first caught my eye when I heard about a good friend who got accepted into it two years ago. Throughout the years, I heard more and more about this "Northwestern University" and would listen to what people had to say about it. After some research, Northwestern eventually became my priority when it came to the university I wanted to attend because of its challenging academics, numerous extracurricular activities, and the chance to meet people that are similar and different from me. Growing up in Algeria, I always dreamed of going to a good American university because they were viewed as the best schools and when I learned of Northwestern I knew where I could pursue my dream. My interest in engineering naturally led me to Northwestern's engineering undergraduate program because I believe engineering is very crucial and is the foundation of our everyday lives; from the cars we drive, to the buildings we occupy, engineering plays a big role in making sure we live more safely and efficiently. The McCormick School of Engineering intrigues me because it offers a person that enjoys challenging work a chance to learn from esteemed professors. McCormick's involvement in the real world is another reason why I chose Northwestern. McCormick's Center for Energy Efficient Transportation is a calling for me because of my passion in pursuing and expanding green energy. Having the opportunity to be involved in a project or program that can affect millions of people positively will drive me to work harder to achieve it and have it benefit the people around me.
I actually don't know enough about your school. I know that you guys are a prestigious place of study and really ... way a university gets its name recognition is only if the university is really good. It seems like you are saying you do not need to learn about the school because it's prestige is enough to convince you. But if you were serious about YOUR process prestige would not be enough. There are prestigious schools I would never attend because some prestige is misleading... some prestigious schools are better for some than for others. Prestige is not everything; many schools have that. You need the perfect school for your clearly devised plan for the future.
My interest in engineering ----Finally I learn something about you...
...the cars we drive, to the buildings we occupy, engineering plays a big role in making sure we live more safely and efficiently... sounds like a very superficial understanding of engineering. What type of engineering interests you most, and what type of engineering interests the departments heads most? What articles have they written?
...and you mention green energy at the end without giving much explanation. The essay reveals that you have not yet made a detailed plan for your future. You do not seem to have any specific goals, only general goals of learning engineering and contributing to green energy and transportation development. Read some articles about those topics, see what like-minded students at northwestern are doing, and write in a way that demonstrates that you have a detailed plan... the kind of plan that makes you feel some pressure to achieve specific goals at specific times during the next one or two years.