ESSAY: (It's not complete yet, as can be seen by the [transition] brackets and the notes I have placed for myself within the essay, but please tell me where and how I could improve this, if needed!!)
I thrive where I am constantly inspired. If there is one aspect of my personality that the past couple years have solidified for me, it is this. Although I have always been cognizant of my career aspirations, much of my initial involvement in pursuing my interests remained limited to the organizations within my high school. Until my junior and senior years came around, I never truly realized the importance of expanding my skill sets to broader platforms. My peers, however, introduced me to incredible alternate perspectives. I took note of how they each sought out means to exercise their passions outside the walls of our high school, their initiatives taking them cross country, and some even internationally. Being around them, I began to understand that growth stemmed from stepping outside the ordinary, and that putting myself in unfamiliar situations was necessary for creating my best work.
Having lived in upstate New York for the past ten years, all my experiences thus far have been within the boundaries of this state. Initiating change and relocating will be an invaluable opportunity for personal development. Being able to plunge into Austin's thriving urban atmosphere, one that is booming with start-up companies of every kind, will provide me with greater exposure to professional settings. The establishment of numerous media companies here reflects the perseverance of the individuals working behind them, and being surrounded by their drive will be a constant push for improving my own work. [I'm not sure if this sentence is coming out as clear as I want it to be... my idea was to say that the companies that have been started here required people who were really willing to put in the time and effort, and so their perseverance in turning their passions into something tangible serves as a great inspiration]
As an Advertising major, the Texas Creative track within the Ad department encompasses every ideal of an interactive program, and its structure is aligned perfectly to the way I learn best: working in a fast-paced environment, engaging with real clients, and producing work that genuinely leaves an impact on their companies. My specific program of study also benefits tremendously from Austin's urban setting. Knowing that the city is a hub for interactive media, my eagerness to get involved will be greeted with far greater opportunities here as compared to Syracuse University's location.The exposure to real-world experiences will strengthen my creative skills, and will also help to steer my interests in a clearer direction.
So far, my time at Syracuse University has proven to be a learning experience; I have taken the initiative to visually direct two magazines on campus, produce multimedia pieces for different publications, and learn the workings of an ad agency, to list a few. Carrying these skills with me, though, I am ready to progress towards the next step. With the resources of UT's Advertising program, and the university's media-central location, I will be able to utilize my abilities in a much broader context, and take on challenges that allow me to embody a versatile profile.
In addition to growing professionally at UT, my visit to campus last November also left me certain of my place amongst the student body. Even with my short stay here, I encountered people whom I immediately shared cultural bonds with, and found a sense of belonging that I knew would be crucial to developing myself personally, as well. In just 3 days, I met people I still keep in touch with 5 months later. And if this short span was all it took to develop such valuable connections, I am thrilled at the prospect of lifelong friendships from three years at UT.
A strong support system is concurrent with professional growth, and at an institution which offers both these qualities to such a great extent, I am confident in my ability to excel and I intend to give back to the people, the university, and the city as much as I am fortunate to learn from them all. If what starts at UT changes the world, I am ready to be here, and I am ready to work with a passion that will make a difference.
What I find intriguing (and possibly confusing) about your essay thus far is that you begin by expressing the significance of taking a risk and stepping beyond your comfort zone. You talk about people whom you admire because they have managed to do so. But then you switch to talk about what makes you "comfortable" about the people in Austin--saying that "I cannot comprehensively describe the ease of comfort I felt around every single person I interacted with here at UT." Given the current framing of your essay (as one of the generative value of discomfort), should you not be discussing what about Austin might help you take a risk and grow yourself as a person/colleague at this new school?
What about the atmosphere at Syracuse is holding you back and how do you expect it will be different at Austin? Do you feel that placing the responsibility on the universities themselves might turn off potential auditors of your essay? Instead could you approach the topic from a position of opportunity? Instead of something at Syracuse holding you back, perhaps it prepared you for an experience you think you might receive at UT. If I were an auditor, I would want to see a young person ready to take responsibility for their actions and decisions and who would benefit the UT community through his/her energy and exuberance for the subject.
Good luck! EF_Season