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MIT essay - How did you manage a situation that didnt go as planned


Jan 4, 2022   #1
Tell us about a significant challenge you've faced or something that didn't go according to plan that you feel comfortable sharing. How did you manage the situation

200-250 words

"Team 99000Z, please make your way towards the field."

It was the Ontario provincial robotics championship and our team was being called to the field for our final placement match. My team and I had worked all year for this moment, and it came down to one last game. This was the make it or break it moment for whether we would make it to the playoffs or not.

With everything on the line, disaster struck! The extension arm on our robot, which was meant to lift cubes for extra points, overheated and no longer worked properly. We needed this system to work or our chances at progressing into the playoffs were next to none.

My whole team glared at me, hoping for a solution. I had nothing. I began to panic because our match was about to start and our robot arm could barely lift an inch. Had all my hard work been for nothing? Was this really how it was going to end?

I calmed myself down and took a deep breath. I realized that panicking wasn't going to help the situation and if I wanted to progress in this competition, I was going to have to think logically.

I raced over to my box of parts, grabbed a handful of rubber bands, my trusty screwdriver, and a few pieces of metal. I constructed 2 trigonal shaped brackets and used the tensile strength of the rubber bands to assist the motors. It worked like a charm.

I would appreciate any advice :)
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 12,263 3976  
Jan 4, 2022   #2
My whole team glared at me

You definitely do not want your team to glare at you. That would mean they are angry enough to probably be thinking of physically assulting you. Maybe you want to rethink that part? Over dramatization really doesn't help. You tend to choose the incorrect descriptive words. Maybe they stared at your hopelessly? Looked to you for direction? Maybe tell us what the team was expecting you to pull a rabbit out of a hat? Were you the team captain?

If you were the team captain, it would help your statement if, rather than solving the problem yourself, you thought of the solution and engaged the team in the solution application process. That way you portray how your personal insight found a solution to the problem while you shared the glory of solving it with the team. It shows logic and grace under pressure by allowing others to help solve the situation.


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