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NORTHWESTERN SUPPLEMENT--McCormick Integrated Degree, Design for America


edoodles 1 / -  
Jan 1, 2016   #1
Please edit this for grammar and content! Looking to make sure it is relevant enough to the school and really demonstrates what I will bring to the school that is unique!

What are the unique qualities of Northwestern - and of the specific undergraduate school(s) 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? (300 word max)

this is 299 words right now, haha!!

Before discovering Northwestern, I was convinced that my multidisciplinary interests would be my greatest bane: I would need to diminish my interest in visual art to the extracurricular level in order to pursue only one discipline, engineering. However, after learning of the Integrated Engineering Degree and reading about current students' projects, such as Technology and Design for the Arts, I learned that Northwestern makes it possible to pursue multiple interests as they intersect.

Northwestern's philosophy of "whole-brain engineering" perfectly mirrors my ambitions to become an engineer who not only has broad technical knowledge, but can also communicate articulately. I am excited to delve hands-on into real-world engineering problems during my first semester through Northwestern's unique Engineering First initiative. Also, by taking classes like Design Thinking and Communication, I know I will be challenged creatively and technically to develop skills vital to success in the work force.

I am also drawn to Northwestern for the community-minded entrepreneurship and innovation it fosters, as evidenced by McCormick's Farley Center and Segal Institute. Last summer, I attended Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, in which I lead the marketing and communications efforts of our "company" to victory in a simulated three-year business competition against twenty-three other teams. A few weeks later, during my visit to Northwestern, a group of Design for America students staying at our hotel invited us to observe their presentations. Listening to them market their creative ideas, demonstrating not only their passion for innovation, but also for making a positive impact on society, I knew I had found a school where I could thrive: one with an atmosphere of collaboration and entrepreneurship that I found at PFEW.

I look forward to spending the next four years as a proud Wildcat, and seeing where I will go when I take a Northwestern direction.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 1, 2016   #2
You have a great writing style, so the essay is difficult to criticize. I have a suggestion, though - the first paragraph doesn't seem as strong as the rest of the essay, and maybe you can improve the whole essay by changing that paragraph. I don't like the rhythm of the first sentence, and I don't like suggesting that you had resolved yourself to diminishing your interest in art. But I can't find anything else to criticize, this essay is written very well! About those two suggestions, here's what I mean:

The first sentence begins with a pause right away - Before discovering Northwestern, ...- and it takes some power out of the essay. It helps if the first sentence is steady and strong.

Right now the focus of that first paragraph is on the fact that the school's blend of technology and design perfectly fits your interests in engineering and art, and it solves a problem. This current version presents a multidisciplinary interest as a problem to be solved, but you don't have to begin by presenting a problem (i.e. bane); instead, you can establish any theme at all for this essay.

It's possible to make the whole essay more meaningful and poignant if you us that first paragraph as an opportunity to add a new dimension to the essay. If the school's integrated program is solving a problem, you're reacting. But if you're acting, you're using this program as a means to an end. So maybe you can share your vision for the future in that first paragraph. : )
vangiespen - / 4,134 1449  
Jan 2, 2016   #3
Erin, I agree with Kevin in the sense that the first paragraph that you wrote does not exactly instill confidence in the kind of student that you can be at Northwestern. However, I have a different take on how you should approach strengthening the essay. As I read through what you wrote, I came to the conclusion that the rest of the essay is quite strong but the new conclusion as I see it, needs more work.

We have to start by deleting the first paragraph in its entirety and the essay will immediately go down to below the required word count and also deliver a more confident discussion coming from your first person point of view. Consider the essay content as I have it edited below:

Northwestern's philosophy of "whole-brain engineering" perfectly mirrors my ambitions to become an engineer who not only has broad technical knowledge, but can also communicate articulately. I am excited to delve hands-on into real-world engineering problems during my first semester through Northwestern's unique Engineering First initiative. Also, by taking classes like Design Thinking and Communication, I know I will be challenged creatively and technically to develop skills vital to success in the work force.

I am also drawn to Northwestern for the community-minded entrepreneurship and innovation it fosters, as evidenced by McCormick's Farley Center and Segal Institute.


The last part of the essay is the conclusion that i hope you can improve upon to better reflect an activity that you look forward to participating in at the Farley Center, without relying on what you observed of the other students who were at the event that you attended. Instead discuss how you would be participating in the event when you finally get your chance to do so as a student at Northwestern :-) That will better reflect the prompt requirement relating to "In what ways do you hope to take advantage of the qualities you have identified?"

You don't have to write a very long essay, just an informative essay so it is alright for you to use less than the maximum word count but not less than the minimum word count.


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