I am new to this forum. I was advised to post my essay on your forum so that I could receive effective feedback. Now, I am not sure what my SAT scores will look like so I am banking my admissions strategy on my college admissions essay, my essay looks back upon my Summer 2007 internship with Senator Charles Schumer, where I was given a taste of public service. After this experience I was sure I wanted to pursue this path in my career. I would like an honest evaluation and any other improvements you could offer me. Also, I think cutting back on the words in the statement would be good being that I went over it. Please help me. Also the biggest concern I have is my opening statement with the quote, it just seems weird. Help.
"Justice has been served in the Department of Justice." Senator Schumer's historical statement regarding the resignation of one of America's most controversial Attorney Generals was heard by Americans across this country. As the news media broadcasted the Senator's public statement live, Americans watched history taking place through their television screens. However, amidst the television cameras and news reporters, one aspiring young man was standing less than ten feet across from the Senator, vigorously taking notes on the Senator's statement and his question and answer session with the news media. I was that young man and I was apart of living history.
While a large majority of high school students choose to spend their summer relaxing, I decided I wanted Summer 2007 to be something more; I wanted to gain something out of it. Sure, I could have spent the dog days of summer doing something unproductive, or just going to play ball at my neighborhood park. However, when I received notice from the Senator's office that I was one of the students chosen to intern at his New York City office, I decided that this was an offer I could not refute. Looking back, I could not have pictured myself anywhere else at nine in the morning, on those hot summer days, but sitting behind my assigned desk, reading letters, both typed and handwritten, from concerned constituents. While this process may seem monotonous to some, to me it really wasn't. Every envelope opened revealed a new story, ranging from one constituent writing to complain about identity theft to another who wrote to inform us that big Sallie (Mae) was going to eat her alive. I truly wanted to assist these people in anyway that I could, and for that reason, I usually found myself rushing to open responses to letters I had sent out on behalf of these constituents from various federal agencies in hopes of opening a letter that read: "Dear Senator Schumer, We thank you for keeping us informed on your constituent's matter.... After a thorough review we have concluded that your constituent is in fact eligible for this program." My internship was also important to me in that it really tested my ability to work independently, to make decisions, and to stand out. There were many times throughout the course of my internship, when I had to make decisions without the guidance of my staffer. I had to take the initiative to investigate a complaint before I took the necessary steps to start a case. I knew that as one of the only high school students in the office, I had to work hard and demonstrate that I could handle the very same tasks that some of my fellow interns who were current students at prestigious Universities such as Yale, University of Pennsylvania, and NYU did. I'm glad to say that I all-in-all, I did well. I also look back on my internship as one of the most important events in my life because it really made me sure that a career in public service was the path that I wanted to take.
It is my greatest hope, that the fall of 2008 will lead me into new endeavors and allow me to become one of the approximately two thousand freshman students accepted to the University of Miami. I really want to attend the University of Miami because I know that the home of the 'Canes, is a great place to grow and get an education. Ultimately, I hope to gain an education that will last me a lifetime and yet another interesting experience that I can look back on and say was a significant one in my life.
It sounds like you've had an experience that should make you stand out from other applicants! I have just a few editing suggestions:
I was that young man and I was apart of living history. - "apart" means "not a part of"; you want to say "a part" (so that you will stand apart from others! :-))
I decided that this was an offer I could not refute. - "refute" means to prove erroneous; you mean "refuse."
I truly wanted to assist these people in anyway that I could, - say "any way"
Here are some phrases you could eliminate to shorten the essay:
As the news media broadcasted the Senator's public statement live, Americans watched history taking place through their television screens.
I wanted to gain something out of it. -
I'm glad to say that I all-in-all, I did well. - This is awkward, and not a very strong statement of how well you did.
I think your last paragraph could be a little more specific about why you chose that particular school; you could say the exact same thing about any number of schools. What programs does this one have that make it right for you, and you right for them?
Best of luck in your studies!
One question. I took your changes into account, however, if I am trying to shorten the essay wouldn't it be unwise to add more to the last paragraph? Also what can I do to my opening statement to make the quote tie into the first paragraph so it doesn't seem so awkward?
I don't think your quotation is awkward; I would have said "attention-grabbing"! As far as the last paragraph goes, I have found that it is always possible to shorten an essay; you just have to willing to "murder your darlings" as Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch suggested. For example, a sentence like "While this process may seem monotonous to some, to me it really wasn't." could easily be eliminated without any ill effect. There are probably more hiding in there which could be excised, freeing up space for something more important--like telling the University of Miami why they're not just like every other school you could go to! :-)
I hope this helps!