I chose Purdue over University of Southern California. It wasn’t because Purdue is renowned for its engineering, but because California doesn’t snow. Coming from a tropical country, I yearned for a complete winter experience. But do I regret going to Purdue? Despite my lack of real research and snow or no snow decision making process – the answer is a clear cut no. Purdue has shaped me to the person I am today, one that I am proud to be.
Purdue is a great school to study engineering, which is a common thought about Purdue. But it wasn’t until I went through Purdue’s engineering program that I came to realization what that actually meant. The first year was a “filtering” process where I was able to witness many students who were unable to cope with the rigorous curriculum switch majors. But it was through this selection system that I got the most out of Purdue’s engineering program. Because of this “filtering,” all the students that go on to be your closest peers are smart and hardworking, making academic life competitive, rigorous, and rewarding.
At Purdue, opportunities to grow, succeed and learn are plenty. Purdue hosts the largest college career fair on campus in the United States, with many dream companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple coming to recruit talented students every year. But it was the excellent service provided by Purdue’s career center that made all the difference – they helped me land a job in the States despite being an international student.
The people that I’ve met while being at Purdue constantly inspire and challenge me to grow personally and professionally. Through my involvement with the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) at Purdue, I was given the opportunity to personally talk to and learn from many top company executives, including the Vice President of P&G and Chief Counselor of BAE Systems, a chance that many wouldn’t have during their undergraduate experience. Their unceasing aid to student organizations allows us to have those great minds as our speakers during events.
Luck was on my side as it turns out that Purdue is a great fit for me – despite my snow or no snow decisions process.
-Gary Khoo, Lucent Education
I applied to colleges thinking I knew what I wanted to do – become a pediatric dentist while completing a major related to science or engineering. That didn’t happen. But, I was given the freedom (without judgement – actually, with lots of encouragement) to find my real passions. I transferred from the Engineering school to the College of Arts and Sciences. Switched majors, added a 2nd major. Coming from a family of engineers and doctors, no one could see it coming: my double major in Child Development and Psychology.
I felt comfortable and open to new things, making changes (and keeping my family and friends on their toes) because of Tufts’ philosophy and supportive action around academic exploration. For me, this is what I think really shines about Tufts – the belief that your years of college are a time to explore, learn what you hate, what you’re indifferent to, and what you love.
Other insider tidbits about the university that I think everyone should consider are:
- Supportive academic team that really gets to know students (I met with Deans multiple times during my four years); Professors are accessible, seriously
- Amazing food
- Small enough campus to not feel like a sardine in the ocean, large enough to move through 4 years and not have met even close to everyone on campus
- 10-15 minute walk to the Boston T station on what I consider the best, fastest T line (Red – takes you through MIT, Harvard before hitting Boston)
- International – students from lots of places and students that hope to be in lots of places (and a high % that study abroad)
- Seasons! (for those of you from California)
- Sledding down the hill on a tray in the winter
- Rigorous academic expectations with a supportive group of peers (and professors, peer tutors, teaching assistants) to help you to meet those expectations
Starting an essay is always the hardest part. The blessing and the curse of an admissions essay is that the topic is incredibly broad. You have to discuss your past, present, and future all in less than 1000 words. Fortunately, by approaching the topic in a structured manner you can quickly determine what gets to take up precious essay real estate.
Step 1: Brainstorm your topic
- Write out your essay ideas on post it notes and then group the post it notes based on the theme of the story
- Think about which themes apply to the essay the most and then toss the rest
- Rank the stories within each theme from top to bottom
- Grab some friend, tell them the essay question and the top story to each theme and see which stories they think highlight you the best
- You have your topic/top topics!
Step 2: Figure out the flow
Sometimes, the story you thought would work so well, doesn’t work when you start detailing it. Good stories have a clear beginning, middle, and end with sign posts throughout to tell the reader where he/she is headed. To check if your story flows, write out the structure of the essay using this form.
Topic sentence 1:
Bullet points for the paragraph
Topic sentence 2:
Bullet points for the paragraph:
Step 3: Obtain peer review
Grab a different set of friends and ask them to look through the structure. The benefit of having the structure is that it’s difficult to hide a bad story without being able to use flowery language, Ask the following questions:
- Does it address the essay question?
- Does the story make sense?
- Can you see how paragraph 1 is connected to paragraph 2 and so on?
- Which sections of the story do you want to know more about?
- What is the impression you’re left with after reading this structure?
At this point, you should have a really good idea of whether or not the story you picked is suitable. If the answer is no, that’s ok. Start at step 1 again. The whole process should be a relatively quick and easy one and will save you the pain of starting fresh when you’re chest deep in to the essay.