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Stanford Experience Essay


aan027 2 / 7  
Jul 14, 2009   #1
Like my previous essay this is still a very rough draft- tried to go for a more formal approach but not sure how well it turned out. Any suggestions?

PROMPT: Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging

The capacity for people to grow despite facing hardships and obstacles has continued to excite me and engage me intellectually because of the prospect of further expansion and development. I was introduced to this concept of evolution when I was in middle school and I took a class trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. This trip proved to be not only one of the most intellectually engaging experiences of my life, but also one of the experiences that has driven me to work harder in academics in order to achieve my aspirations.

When I went with my class to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the guide explained many of the missions that were both ongoing and still in development. One mission that immediately caught my eye was a mission that was still under development- a reconnaissance mission to Pluto. I was completely awestruck that it was possible to develop something that could travel trillions of miles away to the farthest reaches of our galaxy. However, this mission caught my attention not because it was a spacecraft travelling to Pluto, but because it was the quintessential example of mankind's unlimited potential for growth. At the time, it blew my mind to think of an airplane travelling from one side of the nation to the other, and here was a craft travelling billions of miles to the end of the galaxy. While this event triggered a short-lived obsession with engineering, it sparked an even greater interest within me. I became spellbound with the idea of indefinite human growth, and even to this day, I hold this memory close to me.

As an aspiring physician, I can only hope for greater development in the field of medicine, and to me, this ongoing journey to Pluto is a sure sign of advances in all fields of studies. Although progress may be slow and at times stagnant, this mission has led me to believe that mankind is undoubtedly continuing to move forward.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 14, 2009   #2
The capacity for people to grow despite facing hardships and obstacles has continued to excite me and engage me intellectually

How is this in any way related to the jet propulsion laboratory?
Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Jul 15, 2009   #3
The capacity for people to grow despite facing hardships and obstacles has continued to excite me and engage me intellectually because of the prospect of further expansion and development

^You do not really need to begin with that line.

I was introduced to thisthe concept of evolution when I was in middle school and I took a class trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. This trip proved to be not only one of the most intellectually engaging experiences of my life, but also one of the experiences that has driven me to work harder in academics in order to achieve my aspirations.What I have highlighted in bold, is what I think is just a giant cliche.

At the time, it blew my mind to think of an airplane travelling from one side of the nation to the other,
^Even when you were well into high school, the thought of an airplane travelling from one end of the Earth to the other was 'mind blowing' to you at the time? Ok, well I guess that is you then.

and here was a craft travelling billions of miles to the end of the galaxy.
^It was a project under development. How was it 'travelling'.

While this event triggered a short-lived obsession with engineering, it sparked an even greater interest within me.
^Perhaps you can specify the branch of engineering; aeronautical engineering.

I became spellbound with the idea of indefinite human growth, and even to this day, I hold this memory close to me.
^I think readers would understand that it is a close memory if you decided to talk about it in your application essay.
By the way, human growth does not seem to be the right word. It is as if you are implying that we can physically continue to grow. Whilst this may be true, I do not think that this is the track you want to be on...

As an aspiring physician, I can only hope for greater development in the field of medicine, and to me, this ongoing journey to Pluto is a sure sign of advances in all fields of studies.

^
I think mankind in general relies on greater development for medicine. Your sentence structure implies that because you are an aspiring physician, that is why you hope for greater development in medicine..is this the case? If you were not an aspiring physician, then would you not want greater development in medicine?

The ongoing journey to Pluto is not an advancement in the field of English Literature. So I would not say all 'fields of studies'.

Although progress may be slow and at times stagnant, this mission has led me to believe that mankind is undoubtedly continuing to move forward.

To what extent can you consider it slow?

Look, you were meant to discuss an idea or event that you found intellectually engaging. Alright, you decided to go for the Jet Propulsion event. You do not develop how you found that event intellectually engaging.

You just say, literally, 'I went to this event. There was a mission to go to Pluto. It is amazing. Mankind is taking a giant step forward.'

I also do not see what is the point of mentioning being an 'aspiring physician' because neither is it relevant to your essay, nor the essay question. You also talk about your brief interest in engineering. What made it brief? Your whole essay focuses on an 'intellectually engaging event' that centers around engineering...what just made that interest fade away. It kind of implies that perhaps, you did not really find this event that intellectually engaging to begin with.
OP aan027 2 / 7  
Jul 15, 2009   #4
simone- What I was going for is that the JPL introduced me to this mission to Pluto, thats why I'm using it kind of as an introduction.

Liebe- I want my essay to focus on this event that kindled my interest in the limitless possibilities that are available, but perhaps I didn't use the right topic.

Thank for your help- I'll take what you said and hopefully make my essay a lot better (probably will start from scratch). Thank again!
Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Jul 15, 2009   #5
I did these Stanford questions last year, and am debating as to whether I should do them again. Trust me, they are hard and they do require a lot of thought.

I do suggest starting from scratch and give some time and put some effort into it.
Right now, all you are doing is thinking of something, writing it, and then dumping it here on this site.
What is the point in submitting lame rough drafts if even you know it needs some work on it.
Work on it, and when you think that 'man, this finally looks good', then post it here and then our feedback will be more meaningful and useful.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Jul 15, 2009   #6
simone- What I was going for is that the JPL introduced me to this mission to Pluto, thats why I'm using it kind of as an introduction.

But look at the actual words of your first line, which is about people growing despite hardship. The rest of the essay concerns the intellectual excitement of space study but not a word about personal growth or hardship. So your first line, which is boring boilerplate anyway, has nothing to do with the rest of the essay. Come up with a stronger and more relevant lead.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jul 18, 2009   #7
The entire essay sort of suffers from focusing on an experience that stoked your enthusiasm for engineering, when that is no longer the field that you seem intent on entering. If you are an aspiring physician, why not talk about an event that inspired you to take an interest in medicine?


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