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An uncultured person is nonexistant[ University of Wash. Transfer Application]

phoenix70 1 / 4  
Dec 6, 2009   #1
here are the rules for the personal statement(yes they do demand a lot in their prompt):
Academic History

Tell us about your college career to date, describing your performance, educational path and choices.
Explain any situations that may have had a significant positive or negative impact on your academic progress and or curricular choices. If you transferred multiple times, had a significant break in your education, or changed career paths, explain.

What are the specific reasons you wish to leave your most recent college/university and/or program of study?

Your Major and/or Career Goals

Tell us about your intended major and career aspirations.
Are you prepared to enter your intended major at this time? If not, describe your plans for preparing for the major. What led you to choose this major? If you are still undecided, why? What type of career are you most likely to pursue after finishing your education?

How will the UW help you attain your academic, career, and/or personal goals?

Personal Elements (required)

Cultural Understanding

Thoughtfully describe the ways in which culture has had an impact on your life and what you have learned about yourself and society as a result. How has your own cultural history enriched and/or challenged you?

Suggested length is 750 to 1000 words.

Any constructive criticism is appreciated(no matter how harsh):

I never was one for high school ceremonies. The assemblies and pep rallies seemed pointless to me. Even on graduation day my feelings were mainly focused on getting my diploma and leaving. But one thing that sticks in my mind from that graduation day was what one of the valedictorians from my graduating class said. She said "your life is just beginning now, and you still have a difficult road ahead of you. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it in the end". I may not have realized it at the time, and I may not have liked it, but each hard step I took toward something new was one step closer to becoming a wiser and more sensible person. When I moved from Kuwait to the state of Washington, it was hard for me to adjust to life in America, but in the end, it was all for the better. I went to my current college instead of a community college because I wanted the experience of living away from home. It was difficult adjusting at first, but I managed to live on my own. Events like school and work shaped my character. These experiences made me who I am today.

Usually when I thought of culture, I used to believe it was the unanimous values of a community. But this definition of culture does not have much of a personal impact on me. The people in my life, my family, my friends and enemies who I gain social knowledge from, they form my culture. The way people have treated me and the way I view them reinforces or revises this culture. Through each new friend I make, through each new lesson I learn whether from school or life, or each success and defeat I encounter, my cultural history is enriched. Each and every one of us has our own distinct culture, shaped by our experiences.

Majors/Career goals
My educational goals seem to have been volatile for the past two years. Back in high school, I always wanted to try something creative. I enjoyed drawing in my free time, and I did play the alto saxophone in the school's band, as well as taking saxophone lessons on the side. My parents told me that I really couldn't do much with a B.A. in music or art, so I looked into other creative work, like architecture. But apparently I wasn't cut out for designing buildings. The next best thing I could see myself doing was programming. I wanted to try programming, to see how to design software. However, I wasn't as good at creating programs as I imagined I would be. I struggled in these classes, and didn't do exceptionally well in them, but can I say I didn't learn anything from them? I learned my weaknesses and how to improve on them, so I learned how to strengthen my work ethic.

Sadly, architecture wasn't the career I was looking for, and I didn't have enough experience in programming to stay in computer science. But at least I tried, and failure seemed to teach me more than success. Sometimes I look back at my high school years and wish I had taken more challenging courses, and that I was more involved in school, to prepare more for college. Transitioning into high school was challenging for me, and this despair lasted for my first two years. If I had the discipline I retain now, I could have done so much more to help myself. But there's nothing I can do to help that now. I need to keep moving ahead. It's like the old saying "measure success by how far you traveled from where you started"

So, in the fall semester of 2009, I tried the next best thing: management information systems. The funny thing is, I was never really interested in business. I saw business as something tedious and boring, and not creative at all. But I did some research into MIS, and what I found was that MIS involves the development of web-based technologies, and the effects of these technologies on businesses. In my MIS classes there was much emphasis put on creating new technologies with innovative thinking. These topics caught my interest. Here was a career that was creative in ideas and design, and useful in application. I wanted to do this. I could easily comprehend the other required business classes such as statistics and accounting. With a degree in information systems, I would have so many opportunities for work open to me. I specifically want to work with the web-based aspects of information systems.

Why move?
As well as I understand information systems and business, there is a concern I have. To major in information systems, I have to get into the school of business at Washington State University. The school is extremely competitive, more so than UW's school of business. If I don't get in the school of business, I can say goodbye to getting an information systems degree, or any other business degree for that matter. If I go to the University of Washington, I know I will still be entering a competitive major, but I would have a better chance than staying at Washington state university. And if there's the chance that I don't major in information systems, there is always informatics as a backup major at UW, which fits well with the college courses I have taken. And they do not offer informatics here at Washington State University. My chances for success would be improved greatly if I transferred to the University of Washington.
NonSequitur 3 / 15  
Dec 6, 2009   #2
Be careful about sounding like you are not someone who will be involved in the school's social life...(look at your first paragraph...)
OP phoenix70 1 / 4  
Dec 7, 2009   #3
You have a point. I'll scrap the first three sentences and start off talking about my graduation day.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 7, 2009   #4
Despite how well I understand information systems and business, I still have a lingering concern.

It's great tat you used headings to ensure that you intend to all of their requirements, but now I think you should search these sections for a theme that can unite them all. Give an intro paragraph that introduces a idea that the reader will remember after reading the essay. In the intro paragraph, list the subtopics of the essay in a clear sentence.

That is my suggestion... make it a solid essay that touches on each required topic, and make it look easy!
Vulpix - / 71  
Dec 7, 2009   #5
I agree completely with EF_Kevin. Although they make your organization very clear, the section headings break the continuity of your essay and instead make it read like a series of short answers.

Also, when you're addressing the "Why move?" section, I think you could be a little less convoluted and a little more straightforward in your answer- it took me a couple of read-throughs to fully understand what you were trying to say. Make sure you capitalize everything you need to capitalize, and try to mention a little more of your enthusiasm for the University of Washington business school beyond the fact that it's less competitive than the business school at Washington State University. (My mother is a professor at the UW Business School, and I may be a little bit biased, but Foster has a lot of great programs).

Good luck with your application!

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