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From paper origami to mechanical engineering - UPENN supplement


ixchocolateful 1 / 2 1  
Oct 5, 2014   #1
Can anybody offer advice on my essay?

Topic: The Admissions Committee would like to learn why you are a good fit for your undergraduate school choice (College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing, The Wharton School, or Penn Engineering). Please tell us about specific academic, service, and/or research opportunities at the University of Pennsylvania that resonate with your background, interests, and goals.

Paper and glue are all it takes to construct a unique work of art . During middle school, I stumbled across images of 3D origami. I was utterly astounded by the diverse and intricate creations; each was uniquely designed and built solely by layering small, folded pieces of paper. I immediately researched tutorials on how to create 3D origami and from then on, I began designing and assembling my first project: a sailor penguin. It was a tedious process: folding more than 600 pieces of paper, creating a design, and placing each piece in its exact position so the design wouldn't be ruined. However, the process of building and adding each piece was exhilarating. Layer after layer, my design came to life. Finishing the product after hours of labor gave me the utmost satisfaction. These paper creations sparked my interest in mechanics and engineering.

I joined the robotics team during my junior year of high school and was instantly captivated. The first robotics competition I attended was brimming with diverse robots. They were all designed and manufactured differently, yet were all capable of performing the same task given. The competition's objective required my team to build an autonomous robot that could pick a ball up, and shoot it into the desired goal. Extra points were awarded if the robot could shoot the ball over a truss. My job was to brainstorm efficient and simplistic ideas that would satisfy the requirements for the robot and construct prototypes. After months of building, the robot was finally finished and ready for competition. My team was placed first seed and reached the semi-finals for the first year ever. Before I knew it, robotics inspired me to become a mechanical engineer.

While participating in the Penn's Summer Science Initiative program during the summer, I visited the GRASP laboratory and I had the opportunity to see the X-RHex Hexapedal Robot in action. The design was simplistic and was modeled after a cockroach, yet was practical and functional. I then realized that Penn could provide the tools and resources for me to eventually develop my own machines in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. I will be able to participate in the MEAM program (Penn's Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics). The program will not only educate me, it will also provide hands on experience in designing and manufacturing mechanical systems (MEAM 101 and MEAM 201). The flexibility of the MEAM program also grants specialization in multiple areas, allowing me to continue my passion for robotics. From paper origami to mechanical engineering, I believe SEAS will provide me the components to build up my future, one layer at a time.

Despite being thoroughly involved in robotics, I was also engrossed in sports and languages. I joined field hockey, lacrosse, and Students Run Philly Style, a long distance running club. Seeing my hard work pay off as my team won two consecutive public league championships and as I completed two marathons was invigorating. After viewing the Sunkaraku tea house in the Philadelphia Art Museum, I was intrigued by Japanese language and culture. I also excelled in my Spanish classes, which further inspired me to pursue foreign languages. Not only was I interested in engineering and robotics, I was now also interested in pursuing foreign languages and sports. I knew with these diverse interests, only select colleges would permit me to pursue all of them.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 5, 2014   #2
You need to revise the essay in such a manner that the prompt is immediately answered in the first paragraph. I suggest using the following statement from you:

Penn's One University policy allows me to take courses regarding ...

Then you can follow it up with the following:

I joined the robotics team during my junior year of high school and was instantly captivated. (...)

[...] allowing me to continue my passion for robotics. From paper origami to mechanical engineering, I believe SEAS will provide me the components to ...

From there you can move on to:

Despite being thoroughly involved in robotics, I was also engrossed [...] to pursue foreign languages. Not only was I interested in engineering and robotics, (...) colleges would permit me to pursue all of them .

Finally, you can now write a more suitable conclusion that praises the One University policy of the school and how you look forward to fully utilizing the unique opportunity the university is offering you as a student.

I know it looks difficult right now because you are being asked to revise the essay. However, you only need to move the paragraphs around this time in the format that I suggested. Totally drop the origami reference at the beginning because it does not really connect with the theme of the paper. One you get the new version's theme settled, we can work on revising the grammar issues of the paper :-)
OP ixchocolateful 1 / 2 1  
Oct 5, 2014   #4
I revised my essay. Of course it needs a lot more work but I restructured it. I'm not sure if the beginning and ending sound redundant, but please critic it as much as possible.

Penn's One University policy allows me to take courses regarding all of my interests. Not only can I pursue my main passion for mechanical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, I am allowed to take courses in the Japanese Language Program in the College of Arts and Sciences, and I can also participate in the field hockey and lacrosse club teams.

I was instantly captivated as I joined the robotics team during my junior year of high school. During my first competition, all of the robots were designed and manufactured differently, yet they were all capable of performing the same task given. I was fascinated by how individual fragments that seemed insignificant could create unique, fully functioning machines. The competition's objective required my team to build an autonomous robot that could pick a ball up, and shoot it into the desired goal. My job was to brainstorm efficient and simplistic ideas that would satisfy the requirements for the robot and construct prototypes. After months of building, the robot was finally finished and ready for competition. My team was placed in the first seed and reached the semi-finals for the first year ever. Before I knew it, robotics had inspired me to become a mechanical engineer.

While participating in the Penn's Summer Science Initiative program during the summer, I visited the GRASP laboratory and I had the opportunity to see the X-RHex Hexapedal Robot in action. The design was simplistic and was modeled after a cockroach, yet was practical and functional. I then realized that Penn could provide the tools and resources for me to eventually develop my own machines in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. I will be able to participate in the MEAM program (Penn's Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics). The program will not only educate me, it will also provide hands on experience in designing and manufacturing mechanical systems (MEAM 101 and MEAM 201). The flexibility of the MEAM program also grants specialization in multiple areas, allowing me to continue my passion for robotics.

Despite being thoroughly involved in robotics, I was also engrossed in sports and languages. I joined field hockey, lacrosse, and Students Run Philly Style, a long distance running club. Seeing my hard work pay off as my team won two consecutive public league championships and as I completed two marathons was invigorating. After viewing the Sunkaraku tea house in the Philadelphia Art Museum, I was intrigued by Japanese language and culture. I also excelled in my Spanish classes, which further inspired me to pursue foreign languages.

The One University policy enables me to remain academically challenged whilst being thoroughly engaged with the community. The flexibility of the system allows me not only to focus on mechanical engineering, it also allows me to explore my other passions by taking courses from all four undergraduate schools. By combining my passion for both mechanical engineering and languages, I hope to give back to the community by utilizing Penn's study abroad program to not only deepen my studies in Japanese, but also to learn more about foreign mechanics and technology and brainstorm new innovative techniques to improve modern mechanics. I look forward to utilizing this unique opportunity offered by Penn to build up my future, one layer at a time.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Oct 5, 2014   #5
I've got some suggestions to make. I hope you agree with them :-)

I was instantly captivated as I joined the robotics team during my junior year of high school.

- My first serious exposure to the world of mechanical engineering was when I joined the...

Despite being thoroughly involved in robotics, [...] which further inspired me to pursue foreign languages.

- Explain how these interests will be further enhanced by the One University policy in your opinion. Talk about the sports you will participate in and the specific culture related classes you will be enrolling in and why. How will these help your development as a robotic engineer in the future? This will give further credence to you statement that you will be taking courses all geared towards your interests aside from your major classes.

I hope I was able to help you with the problem areas you mentioned :-)


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