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University Admissions Essay reference, I need your opinion!

  1. Jan 11, 2013 #1
    First, a brief description of myself: I'v gotten my associates degree in Automotive Technology/Repair, with perfect scores. ASE certified. But I have always been an aspiring Mechanical Engineer, with assisted passion for technical/hands-on intuition. That is why I studied a vocational field before entering my Higher Education Studies.

    I'm currently writing my University of Texas Cochrell School of Engineering admissions essay, and I am trying to WOW the judges, while being 100% honest.

    I came up with a way to describe engineering in my own words, which I have always reffered to it as. TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK :)

    Engineering is a compromise between theory and application.

    We all need the math/science, although its quite abstract and theoretical, but we also need the creativity that draws toward application of that theory. That is why Engineers are the so called "inventors" IMHO.

    Strictly in my opinion, we need more engineers with an alternative approach to design/problem solving. Most engineers come out of a 4 year university with only the smallest amount of hands-on experience, and a head full of jumbled up theory. It can be extremely helpful to have an engineer that has the intuition of a technician, while focused on the central goal: building something that will work in the most efficient and desired way.

    Thanks everyone for reading, I would really look forward to hearing some responses, or corrections. I am not an engineer, but I am taking higher level courses which have helped me conceptualize the ideal engineer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2013 #2
    Hello Honda Man - in addition to the turbo post - I am wanting to take exception to "compromise" - I totally get where you are coming from - but a better way to say this would be the "application of theory to solve problems".
    Scientists can live in the very focused world- they are usually trying to prove a very specific point and this can be an abstract world, but Engineers make real things of value. Math - to me is not abstract, it is a language by which we understand the world(universe) around us. So think of math as the language - and science is the topic of study. - I guess I did not like lumping math and science into abstract ( a really good lecure on abstraction is here :

    So a good engineer DOES NOT COMPROMISE - they are able to construct a rational (best) solution based on ALL of the elements of a problem, and math provides the equation that justifies the final solution. In many fields there are "paper" engineers - they can solve technical problems on paper - but they can not build anything practical - a good engineer looks not only at the technical problem, but reliability, practicality, cost, impact, etc - the bug picture. A good field service engineer - tries to fix the problem - not just repair the item, a good sales engineer recognizes when the customer does not really know what they are looking for and asks more questions, a good design engineer knows a good design when he sees it (there is a beauty involved) and a sourcing engineer knows that a vendor making 100,000 pc will probably be a better supplier than some one making 1000pc - even if his "specs" are better (if this is for a production item, for a one off low volume it is probably the opposite due to flexibility).
    Your comment about hand-on I can agree with - practical - hands on experience is crucial, but it will become more crucial after you have more engineering ( education ) under your belt - and then go get hand on, because you will then seek to

    Lastly - the number one trait I look for is, not the engineer that thinks he is good - but the one who wants to get better - never stop learning.

    Good Luck.....

    BTW - MIT has all classes on youtube or all courseware on http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm...... - like really good food, consume only what you can handle, but do not write it off if you did not get it - step back and be humble.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Jan 11, 2013 #3
    instead of a compromise, you may wish to rephrase it as a tradeoff
  5. Jan 11, 2013 #4
    Ok. What if i considered it a trade off between pure theory and physical application.

    Does that sound more accurate?

    I can see how the term "compromise" might marginalize the skills of an ideal engineer.
  6. Jan 12, 2013 #5


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    Gold Member

    Your admissions essay will be judged for its thoughtful and insightful contents. The fast track towards judges taking off points is an essay filled with English mistakes. Do NOT make grammatical or spelling mistakes in your essay. In your sentence

    “We all need the math/science, although its quite abstract and theoretical, but we also need the creativity that draws toward application of that theory. That is why Engineers are the so called "inventors" IMHO.

    The above sentence is grammatically incorrect: “...math/science” compromises two separate items. Therefore, the sentence should be rewritten as: “We all need the mathematics and science, although they are quite abstract and theoretical...”

    If you had used only one item, for example, “...mathematics, although its quite abstract and theoretical...” you would be mistaken anyway, because "its" should be "it’s".

    The rules for this are:

    1. It's is short for it is or it has. It cannot be used for anything else. If you cannot expand it's to it is or it has, then it is wrong.

    2. Its is used for neuter things. (These are its footprints.)

    Avoid using SMS messaging shorthand like “IMHO”.

    Your intellectual and practical ideas about Engineering all have value which the readers and judges will certainly notice. Please do not feel bad and think I am excessively nit-picking. Use spell check and be sure you have a qualified person proofread your document before you submit it. I simply want to emphasize the importance of ZERO defects in English grammatical structure, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

    Good Luck and Cheers,
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  7. Jan 13, 2013 #6
    ^^ yes, i'm aware of the fact that "math/science" does not make grammatical sense, I was just trying to communicate a message, and I won't do something like that in the essay. :smile: Grammar isn't something I typically care for in a forum, rather, getting the message across. I'm also going to have numerous people proofread the essay, before I submit it.

    Thanks for the input though.
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