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STANFORD extracurricular activities or work experiences, can I make supplement essay on photography?


cbarnes17 1 / 1 1  
Nov 1, 2016   #1
Prompt: Briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.

My current response:

Every week starting in September, I plan and lead the meetings for Photography Club as the president. Last year, one of the activities that I planned for our weekly meeting was to go into a windowless classroom, turn off all the lights, and use glow sticks to spell out words or draw pictures in the air while a partner captured what was being drawn using the long exposure technique.

This was a challenging task to master and it took everyone a few tries. Most club members used an app that I told them to download that allowed them to take these long exposure pictures with their phones, but one of the club members brought in his DSLR camera, an extremely daunting camera for first-time users. For this specific club member, the camera was brand new, and he had no idea how to use it. He wanted to learn so that he could participate in the task presented. As president, it was my job to guide him through it. After I made sure that everyone else could handle their phone apps and glowsticks, I moved on to help the boy. I slowly guided him through the settings needed for the glowstick project. We had to work through all the steps and directions multiple times for him to get the hang of it, but after I showed him how it was done, and he finally understood, he started to do it on his own. Not only that, but he called his friend over to share his new knowledge and show off the amazing pictures that he had just learned to capture.

This experience provides just a glimpse of the patient leader and dedicated worker that I am. This is not the only time or activity where I have had to step up and be a leader in order to help others, whether they needed help with their academics or hobbies, or even just needed someone to be there for them - I am the person anyone can come to. Being president of photography club has opened my eyes to my ability to teach and lead people and to realize how fun it can be to help others with something I love as much as photography.

Okay. First of all, this essay is WAY too long. It is supposed to be 150 words, so I need to remove 223 words. Second of all, my common app essay is all about photography, so I'm not sure if I should make my supplemental about photography again, especially since it's unique, or if I should find a different topic to do. THIRD, if I SHOULD keep the topic on photography, I was considering rewriting it to be about how I have my own photography business since that might be stronger and also since I need to rewrite the essay anyway since it is so long.

I need answers to my questions and corrections ASAP because my school's deadlines for applications is very soon!!
Thank you so much.
rwright9 - / 1  
Nov 2, 2016   #2
@cbarnes17
Hello,

Maybe it might show a different approach if you use your photo business as an example for the prompt. The prompt states extracurricular or work experience. Using your photo experience to discuss how you approach the topic from a business perspective might be stronger. I think your focus should be on which perspective you can tell in 150 words and use the other for the more elaborate response.

Also, I wouldn't use acronyms in a response of this nature.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,535 3447  
Nov 2, 2016   #3
Hi Cecilia, I have a different suggestion for you. Since most of your essays related to your Stanford application already deals with photography, try to impress the reviewer by presenting a different side of your character or personality. Show the reviewer that you are capable of leaving your passion behind for something less stressful and relaxing. Present an extra curricular activity that would offer an insight into who you are beyond the lens and far from the photography studio lights. By doing so, you will present an equal and balanced personality to the reviewer. You will have presented your passion for photography in your application essays, so its time that you let the reviewer know that you have the ability to let your hair down and just have fun in the supplement.
admission2012 - / 481 90  
Nov 2, 2016   #4
Hello,

You certainly do not want to keep writing about Photography in all of your essays. However, the major issue with this essay is its tone. You come off as very self-indulged and that alone will result in rejection from Stanford. For example when you wrote"This experience provides just a glimpse of the patient leader and dedicated worker that I am. This is not the only time or activity where I have had to step up and be a leader in order to help others, whether they needed help with their academics or hobbies, or even just needed someone to be there for them - I am the person anyone can come to. " you are constantly patting yourself on the back....These are things that other's should say about you. You need to take a more humble approach with these essays. When I was an admissions officer of an Ivy league school, I routinely rejected applicants who came off as though the world revolved around them....why? Because those were the same students who were cut-throat and often times caused problems with other students on campus. - selective admissions


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