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'wide array of opportunities' - transferring & my objectives - Washington Uni

dreamer 3 / 18  
Mar 10, 2012   #1
Hi! Here's my essay for Washington University at St.Louis. (please note: this is for my first-choice school and it's a reach for me because it's a very competitive school. I'm still trying though, cause I love this school.. and I don't think this essay does it any justice.)

Please comment on anything you find I should work on - sentence structure, writing style, grammar, content. Do I answer the prompt?
I really want to improve. I appreciate honest and constructive criticism.
This is the only school that I'm applying to that uses common app, so is it okay that I personalized this essay for Wash U?

Thank you, and I'll be glad to return the favor!

Personal Statement: Please provide a statement (250 words minimum) that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve.

"Congratulations! You have received a Public Service Department Scholarship to study International Business at the Nottingham University, Malaysian campus."
At that moment, I knew. After all those months I spent soul-searching; this was a moment of clarity when I knew when I wanted to pursue. And it was not international business studies.

My plan to transfer to a United States institution began when I decided on psychology, and my decision came from a discovery of an inclination I believe I have always had. An innate introverted nature has always centered my interest upon my own mental life; rich with its own thoughts, beliefs and ideas. Growing up, this focus deepened as I was battling a low self-esteem. It affected my every action, spoke as a deafening voice in my head, and glared back whenever I looked into the mirror. However, my reflective and persistent character led me to find meaning in the challenges I faced. The most profound journey through my own inner realm eventually ensued. I began to appreciate the human spirit, and view the world through a lens of compassion and empathy. This experience revealed to me my passion for the human psyche. I discovered psychology.

Ever since William James, who famously said "the first lecture on psychology I ever heard being the first I ever gave", the teaching of psychology has become an integral part of universities in the United States. There, at the other end of the world from me, psychology is made up of inspired individuals, who strive for psychological inquiry and collaborative research, and see its potential and applications within and beyond the field. More than anything, I dreamed to a part of it.

At Washington University, I see myself achieving this dream. From establishing personal contacts with psychologists, professors and peers, to forming group affiliations with the Psi Chi and community service groups on campus - I have a chance to integrate and network with highly motivated individuals. In the positive psychology movement, there are prospects for me to further deepen my comprehension and captivation with the concepts of flow, personal strength and human virtues - by taking related courses or even getting involved in undergraduate research under the supervision of Professor Randall Larsen, a pioneer in the science of happiness. Whether I muse over the workings of a placebo effect or join in on the age old question of the power of the mind over matter - the Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology (PNP) program gives me an exciting multidisciplinary approach to study the mind. During my senior year, I aim to partake in the rigorous Honors program, which will aid in my preparation for graduate school. Also, I am eager to peruse the university's extensive course catalog to uncover even more interests and to be exposed to a well-rounded education as well a broad based grasp in psychology. I feel that achieving expertise in the field will not just provide me the necessary skills and knowledge, but also a platform to share the gift of psychology with others in my own way. Ultimately, as I continue to grow and solidify my identity, I hope to find my niche within psychology to eventually specialize in and contribute to.

These wide array of opportunities presented at Washington University are almost inconceivable in my country. I have experienced its limitations when I was offered a path in business instead of psychology, because there was no scholarly area distinguished for its professional study. In the end, the words that informed me of an alternate path to the one I wanted were the same words that forced me to look beyond geographical boundaries to passionately pursue psychology.

chalumeau /  
Mar 10, 2012   #2

lists the faculty at Wash U. I suggest that you read through their profiles and contact a couple of professors to see if they could use an undergraduate research assistant. Usually their emails are answered by a department secretary, although not always.

I would not turn down an opportunity to study international business--it's still in demand. Psychology is a harder field to crack, b/c it's a very popular undergraduate major. Would it be possible to major in both international business and psychology? You may find yourself better off with a double major.

If I were applying to Wash U, I would write a 10-page personal statement. It is a competitive university. I remember hearing a friend's story about getting into med school there. They waitlisted a genius! Thereafter, I associated Wash U with Harvard, Yale etc. with all the big names.

What a fantastic personal statement you wrote for a non-native English speaker! It is truly wonderful. You must be a bright young student.

"Congratulations! You have received a Public Service Department Scholarship to study International Business at the Nottingham University, Malaysian campus."
At that moment, I knew. After all those months I had spent soul-searching, I, at last, knew what I wanted to pursue. And, it was not international business in Malaysia.

My plan to transfer to a United States institution was not completely an ephiphany. It was quite the contrary.
**"Transfer" means you are transferring from one college to another.

As an introvert, mental life, rich with its own thoughts, beliefs and ideas, filled my core. It spoke as a deafening voice in my head and stared back whenever I looked in the mirror.

**"Glare" means to gaze menacingly, whereas "stare" simply means to look at, examine.
chalumeau /  
Mar 10, 2012   #3
I never read her essay, and I never knew anyone who went to undergrad there.
It's funny that your second post sounds like an American talking, so your English is very good.
I'm happy to make your acquaintance b/c the only interaction with a Malaysian I've had was
an extremely confusing one. In college, I talked to this boy at lunch or dinner for over a year.
I considered him a friend/acquaintance.
My senior year he broke into my email account to call me the B-word.!!
He literally broke into the account, b/c he sent the email with NO return address.
Maybe he broke into the server.
I'm not sure why he did such a thing. It's another unsolved mystery.
Maybe my ex-roommates put him up to it. Who knows.
But, he was the only Malaysian I've ever met, so I'll always remember.
So... I'm happy to help you. Good luck with everything.

I started putting smiles on everything (just like you) after receiving several verbal assaults.
I hope it's not the reason you are doing it.
OP dreamer 3 / 18  
Mar 11, 2012   #4
Hey chalumeau, I'm sorry to hear about that experience you had!
Nah, I use smileys pretty often, even in my other replies to essays. :)

Thank you very much with your generous help!

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