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How will college ed. help you achieve personal+professional goals? [Purdue]


answers: 7
Oct 22, 2008, 01:33pm   #1
Hi everyone

Applying to Purdue Engineering as an undergrad this year... The essay topic I've opted for is "How will your college education help you achieve your personal and professional goals?" The topic to me came across as a little vague and I'm having trouble figuring out whether the stuff i've put in my essay is relevant or not. Thing is, I'm from India, so I'm not accustomed to this kind of essay writing. I've written the whole thing, but I'm reviewing it bit by bit. First paragraph is posted below, comments and pointers would be welcome, and so will ideas for what should ideally come next.

Para 1
***
My best and worst quality is my insatiable curiosity, especially when it comes to computers and gadgets. I was the sort of kid who instead of playing with his brand new remote controlled toy car rips every component apart to try and figure out how the thing works. Over the years, I moved on to gutting PCs and gadgets, breaking some, learning some. I grew some more and graduated to dissecting and creating my own software. But my curiosity remains as acute as ever. I've always felt the need to be in the know. And a good college education is what will give me that knowledge. Fifteen years on, I see myself as an entrepreneur, establishing my own web solutions and software distribution firm. But to be able to do that I need some basic skills in that field skills which my college will train me in. College will equip me with the tools necessary to achieve my professional aims in life.
***

Would be great if you could answer:
1. Is there too much I and me in it? Should I rephrase somehow
2. Are the last two sentences extra cheesy? How could they be improved?
3. What next? [just to get some ideas flowing, I play keyboard and classical violin, I want to develop those at college too...should I mention that next?)

Thanks

Good afternoon.

I think you've got a good start. I think your "I"s and "me"s are well spread out, so they're not too redundant. I don't think the last two sentences are cheesy; I think they are the words of a person who knows exactly what he/she needs in order to get where he/she wants to go.
In regards to the third question, I would stick to focusing on your engineering topic. If you stray to these other things, your essay will become disorganized and less relevant. The prompt wants to know about your professional goals, and those seem to be in the engineering field, not in the musical arena. What are your personal goals in the engineering field? Perhaps you could discuss that a little more in depth as well. You could also be more specific as to what areas of engineering you want to get into? What do you want to do once you get there?

I hope this helps!

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com
Oct 24, 2008, 02:04pm   #3
Thank you for the prompt response and your valuable advice! It helped a great deal in maintaining my focus in this essay. I took your advice and instead of writing about my musical interests, I've added a little more detail on my technological interests and the inspiration behind it. I think I have two paragraphs now, which I'm posting below. Please comment and suggest improvements, and advise on what I should talk about next. These two paragraphs measure upto 280 words. According to the prompt, it should ideally be around 500 words.

Para 1 and 2
**
My best and worst quality is my insatiable curiosity, especially when it comes to computers and gadgets. I was the sort of kid who instead of playing with his brand new remote controlled toy car rips every component apart to try and figure out how the thing works. Over the years, I moved on to gutting PCs and gadgets, breaking some, learning some. I grew some more and graduated to dissecting and creating my own software. But my curiosity remains as acute as ever. I've always felt the need to be in the know. And a good college education is what will give me that knowledge.

I'm an avid follower of the gadget weblog Engadget.com and have been visiting it almost every day for the last three years. Reading about the latest developments in the IT and communications industry helped shape in me an idea of what I want to do when I grow up. The last decade has seen the rise and growth of the largest technology conglomerates in the world, such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, and countless others. Iconic and revolutionary inventions and devices the Apple iPod, the iPhone; the Goliath of the software world Microsoft Windows have created a domino effect reaching out to people who ten years ago had never seen a telephone. I want to be part of that revolution. Fifteen years on, I see myself as an entrepreneur, establishing my own web solutions and software distribution firm. But to be able to do that I need some basic skills in that field skills which my college will train me in. College will equip me with the tools necessary to achieve my professional aims in life.
**


Should I write further on my personal and professional inspiration and aspirations, or switch to a different facet of college life, such as writing about personality development and social life at college?

Thanks again
You're welcome. Your changes will improve your essay very much; it is much more linear and on target. If you have personal goals like personality development for our college years, this would be a great place to write about them. Give them their own paragraphs so they are clearly set aside from your professional goals, and a more well-rounded essay will be the result. Great work.

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com
Oct 27, 2008, 02:10pm   #5
Thanks again for reviewing my text. Your comments helped me gain a clearer focus of what I wanted to write about. I think I now have a draft of the complete essay. Comments, as always would be very welcome. I was confused as to whether I should shift my focus and talk about personality development, so I've written an extra paragraph which I'm posting separately. Please advise on whether that would be relevant and whether I should accomodate that in my main text too. Currently, I'm just exceeding the given word limit by 7 words (507).

***
My best and worst quality is my insatiable curiosity, especially when it comes to computers and gadgets. I was the sort of kid who instead of playing with his brand new remote controlled toy car rips every component apart to try and figure out how the thing works. Over the years, I moved on to gutting PCs and gadgets, breaking some, learning some. I grew some more and graduated to dissecting and creating my own software. But my curiosity remains as acute as ever. I've always felt the need to be in the know. And a good college education is what will give me that knowledge.
I'm an avid follower of the gadget weblog Engadget.com and have been visiting it almost every day for the last three years. Reading about the latest developments in the IT and communications industry helped shape in me an idea of what I want to do when I grow up. The last decade has seen the rise and growth of the largest technology conglomerates in the world, such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, and countless others. Iconic and revolutionary inventions and devices the Apple iPod, the iPhone; the Goliath of the software world Microsoft Windows have created a domino effect reaching out to people who ten years ago had never seen a telephone. I want to be part of that revolution.
Many philanthropists, such as Nicholas Negropronte, who envisioned the $100 laptop, are doing extraordinary work, working with the aim of 'One Laptop per Child' a program which has been vastly successful, especially in developing countries such as Nigeria, Brazil, Argentina and Peru. The focus has shifted from building more powerful, more expensive computers to volume focussed, cheap computers. But for many people in less-developed nations, the cost, at $188 per OLPC laptop, is equivalent to their annual food expense. With a degree in Computer Engineering, I aim to research methods to make cheaper, yet faster processors, cut down on manufacturing costs by using better materials, and the use of new technologies, such as solid state drives for greater durability. I want to help realise a dream which the legendary Bill Gates dreamt, the vision of 'a computer on every desk and in every home'. Fifteen years on, I see myself as an entrepreneur, establishing my own computer firm, cutting down overheads, building the cheapest computers, reaching into the grassroots and putting those computers into the remotest, least accessible parts of the world.
People ask me, 'how come you're passionate about computers, of all things'? Little do they realise, that the technology which is taken for granted by many is in fact the reason why they have the all the world's information resources at their fingertips. It is those dumb computers which run their lives smoothly, from complete transportation systems to the elevator they travel in everyday. Are they not a modern wonder? I want to help make that wonder accessible to everyone in the world. A good college education will play a key role in helping me contribute towards that higher goal.
***

Paragraph on Personal Goals
***
In school, I was an active participant in public speaking activities and had the opportunity to represent my school at the Delhi Public School All India Chairman's Debate and the DPS Model UN conference. As a House Captain, I also played a vital role in the organisation and execution of events such as the school Annual Day, Sports Day, and major inter-school music competitions at my school. I feel the ability to put forward one's ideas and work effectively in a team furthers is vital for a person's success in his or her chosen career. In college, I aim to develop my public speaking and managerial skills further. College is the only place where a student can discuss and debate key topics, carry out negotiations, and essentially simulate situations which he or she will face throughout his career in a secure environment. My college education will therefore fulfil my objective of not only gaining expertise in my chosen field of study but becoming also a better communicator and manager on the way.
***

Thanks again
You're welcome.

Mechanically, a few things. Avoid using contractions in formal academic writing, as they are inappropriate and many instructors will count down for their use. Make sure that you are not capitalizing words that are neither proper nouns nor the first words of sentences. When you enclose a statement in quotes such as you have done here, use double quotation marks instead of single ones and make sure the punctuation is kept inside the quotes.
In regards to content, as long as the second paragraph pertains to your academics in regards to your personal goals (which it does) it is fine to shift gears towards the end and use this piece. When you write your conclusion though, make sure you write it inclusive of both parts.

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com
Oct 27, 2008, 09:04pm   #7
Thank you for the review. I will make the corrections you have suggested. I can't seem to be able to find where I have used unnecessary capitalization. Could you point it out please? I have exceeded the word limit narrowly in this essay. Would it be advisable to add extra text after that? Do you think the extra paragraph is important enough to be in the main essay? Or is the essay fine in its current form? Any comments as regards to quality of the text? Does it manage to hold your attention?

Thanks
You're very welcome.

Sure. "House Captain," "Annual Day, Sports Day," Computer Engineering."

It's really up to you whether or not you think the additional paragraph is relevant enough to warrant its inclusion. I think the newest draft of the first section is sufficient, but the second section would be an appropriate addition. If you are very close to your word count with the original section only, I would not include the second piece. I think the content is a good response to the prompt; it answers sufficiently and is a thorough description. I think it will hold the board's attention with no problem.

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com



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