Selected Personal Statements for Technology and Engineering Applicants

A detailed presentation on student’s abilities on scientific research to makes you stand out

Columbia University -- Chemical Engineering

One of my favorite projects had to be my report on the MEA and MgO Carbon Capture

Processes. Here, I worked with a couple of classmates to study the cost, benefit, and

effectiveness of MEA-based versus MgO-based carbon capture, from varying perspectives. For example, we implemented a net present value (NPV) model and sequential NPV sensitive analysis to tackle the issue from a cost benefit perspective. Furthermore, we also employed the Aspen model to forecast the performance of the two different carbon capture processes. I thoroughly enjoyed testing my classroom knowledge, as well leading my fellow teammates to ultimately succeed in our endeavor. However, what I appreciated most was the opportunity I had to dissect and study an issue as important as the removal of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Beyond my experiences on campus, I also had the opportunity to test my abilities and knowledge in the professional setting, at multiple positions in the private sector. Currently, I am working as a Facilities and EHS Intern at Alta Devices, a world leader and record holder in the solar industry. I was fortunate to take on various high exposure responsibilities such working with internal data to calculate the company’s pollutants in each product line, ultimately helping management and the company to stay within EPA regulations. Furthermore, I coordinated amongst internal factory and production departments, as well as external bodies such as the Ministry of Health and Safety to implement various safety protocols and procedures. Through my efforts, I was able to contribute to Alta’s company goal of bringing continued sustainability to our world through the use of solar power.

Carnegie Mellon University -- Mechanical Engineering

A loud controlled roar sounds as the engine revs up. The V-6 twin turbo engine was the source of the ruckus sound. It was audacious and powerful, with signature aesthetics. The carbon wheel arches are not only a stylistic choice, but helps strengthening the car body by making it more rigid. The iconic spoilers give the car a distinct look while also allowing the vehicle to become more aerodynamic. The Nissan GT-R is a truly an amazing feat in engineering. From a young age, I was obsessed with cars, their designs, and the way they were carefully conceived and constructed. Overtime, as I sped through my childhood and then adolescence, I discovered mechanical engineering as the driver behind the creation and design of almost all things. My interest in the subject came quickly and suddenly.

Analysis such as that in the form of an AHP matrix had to be done before we could proceed with design; various boxes needed to be checked, such as overall functionality and quality, efficient kinetic energy capture and storage, cost of production, amongst other factors. Efficient energy capture through the blade and rotor design was the most important factor, as it would influence other factors such as costs and overall functionality. Thus, we made it a major focus. Copious amount of work was done to find the optimal target after charting angular velocity versus torque. Later on, blade design had to filter through various sub-factors such as stability and manufacturability. The beta prototype would ultimately prevent crop destruction and preserve the elephant population in Kenya. The tremendous experience reinforced my passion for the subject that also enlightened me to the possibility of creating a more sustainable world through mechanical engineering.

Cornell University -- Electronic Engineering

During my junior year, I took part in the Discovery Park Undergraduate Research internship with Professor Austin Toombs in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). The focus of the project was to analyze HCI in platforms in today’s shared economy, namely Uber and Lyft. The goal was to gain a deeper understanding of the social-technical systems behind these behemoths in today’s shared economy. The study was done from the driver’s perspective as we wanted to study and evaluate the impact of automation and technological innovation on an employee’s support and experience on the platforms as well as changes in employer responsibility. One point of interest in this research project was the work and analysis of autoethnographic data and different forms of metadata. These unconventional forms of information had to be compiled, grouped, and parsed in a fashion in order to derive quantitative metrics from them. We measured conventional statistics such as income, and overall money earned from Uber versus Lyft. In addition, we also logged overall driving summaries and tracking the frequency of request to feedback receipts, and even applied Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count analysis (LIWC) on various communications with the companies.

From a high level, the biggest takeaway from the study was the major role that different HCI qualities played in the perceptions of the underlying companies. There were stark contrasts between the two platforms’ styles and messaging that ultimately drove that difference in perception. Further studies are warranted so we can further analyze our autoethnographic notes and explore in greater depth the linguistic differences beyond the dimensions captured by LIWC. The study also confirmed my belief that effective HCI played a critical role in creating effective automation.

University of Chicago -- Computer Science

My story can only start after I first take a few steps backwards. When I first stepped onto University of Georgia’s campus, I had very little idea of what I wanted to learn. I took on an eclectic sort of classes from Chemistry to Physics to History with very mixed results. Finally, I was able to gain some traction of interest after taking mathematics and Japanese classes. I liked the logic of mathematics but was uncertainty due to the vague and abstract nature of the subject. I loved my Japanese class, but wanted to ultimately major in a field that was less traditional and more innovative in application. Things started to illuminate when I took the introductory class to computer programming. Immediately, the course struck a chord with me. I was able to apply logic and reasoning to a language based class that had ever-growing worldly applications. I became hooked. As I progressed through my undergraduate years, I started learning computing and programming with unmatched fervor. I earned top grades in classes such as Systems Programming, Introduction to Theory of Computing, Software Development, and Software Engineering, just to name a few. My resulting efforts helped me achieve presidential scholar and dean’s list honors for multiple semesters.

I continued to build upon my understanding of this field through complex academic projects. One of those that I am most proud of occurred during my Direct Study course. Specifically for this project, we were given total discretion to create an application in any language. My professor suggested an Android app as that was her expertise. However, as an iPhone user, I wanted to create an iOS application to beautify and improve images. To do so, I had to learn the Swift language and also become acclimated with the Xcode environment. I faced a number of challenges, as the Xcode environment proved buggy while, learning the language on my own was also an obstacle. Through perseverance and relying on my previous knowledge base, I was able to deliver a final app product in the eleventh hour. I was proud of my app as it showed my ability to quickly learn and apply a new programming language as well as to push past initial complications.

Former Admissions Office Director from Columbia University, Mr. Heaton: Sincerity leaves impression, details make a difference

One of the most common mistakes made by applicants is that they don’t express enough sincerity in their application. It is not enough to only state a high academic performance in your personal statement. Those who are able to get admitted to Ivy League universities are all with high scores. So admissions officers tend to evaluate canditates on details presented in their application materials.

Selected Personal Statements for Liberal Arts Applicants

Emphasis on logics and uniqueness, combined with career planning and academic goal

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania -- MBA

The field of SRI has grown tremendously over these past few years; according to the U.S. Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, one out of every six dollars under professional management is now invested according to SRI strategies. Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) has contributed greatly to this cause. The recent researched report released by WSII shows that socially positive investments have returns as good as the market. However, there is still much more work to be done. My friend recently left his corporate job to move to Kenya to start SunCulture, a solar-powered water irrigation system that is 90% more efficient at delivering water to crops in a drought-filled area. The microfinance loans he received had so many unrealistic terms for borrowers that it was difficult for him to comply with. I believe there should not be this many impediments and that impact investing should be more accessible. I can foresee a future where SRI investments are as simple as 401(k) elections where instead of picking a pre-selected fund with an investment mix based on your target retirement age, people will be able to select causes they care about and put their assets where their heart is. At Wharton, I will lead my life every day with the conscious knowledge of my privilege and do my best with the resources I am given to advocate to those less privileged.

MIT Sloan Business School -- Finance

Although financial education has been a great interest of mine, I have also displayed a knack for quantitative classes as I earned the highest honors in courses such as Mathematical Analysis III and Probabilities and Statistics. Eventually, I expanded upon my classroom knowledge by working in CICC’s quantitative trading department where I honed my analytical and technical abilities. I built a number of trading tools with VBA macros that automated various trading and market data collection processes. I also worked on FX valuation models that helped the traders to pin-point the mid-price of FX forwards using academic concepts such as covered interest rate parity. During my internship, I realized the immense impact that applied analytics had for businesses. Quantitative methods and analytics could help optimize revenue generation and lower costs. During my internship, I worked with the team to code in VBA two types of checks that helped ensured data quality. First, running a regression to pinpoint outliers greatly narrowed the amount of data to be manually checked. In addition, in incidences when there were two sources of the same data, we built simple verifications between the two sources to spot potential discrepancies for further investigation.

Columbia University -- Business Analysics

I continued down this path further with my most recent internship with China’s Nation Bureau of Statistics. With this institution, I worked in various capacities ranging from high level analysis to meticulous maintenance of data. For example, I helped the team by using a variety of economic data to model the potential paths of Chinese unemployment rates by using multi-factor analysis and regression techniques based on industrial production, costs of living, seasonality fluctuations, labor force and population trends, amongst others. In total, over 40 factors were implemented in our model. In terms of the low level work I was also responsible for, I worked often with inflation data, gathering, normalizing, cleaning, and categorizing various inflation data from different municipalities, regarding different goods. The data sources were extensive and diverse as we drew information for the prices of countless goods from many regions. This was also an important task, as the bureau was a government entity and thus needed all its information to be correctly normalized, with high levels of integrity as these were all inputs used to create the national CPI index.

Northwestern University -- Integrated Marketing Communications

After completing my undergraduate degree in three years, I received an opportunity to work full time at an innovative startup called BrainCo_Tech, a pioneer in wearable brain machine interface. At the firm, I wore multiple hats with a main focus on marketing and product research. The company’s products were the first of its kind, implementing brainwaves for the automation of different actions ranging from daily chores to complicated procedures.

As the company’s main marketing professional, I employed a three-pronged strategy to market the firm and its products. The complexity of the technology produced unique challenges for marketing. It was imperative to distill the byzantine nature of the product into palatable pieces of understanding for various marketing mediums such as mass media press releases, industry papers, and digital advertisements. Next, I promoted brand awareness from our target market segment of highly educated youth and professionals by maintaining a strong online presence and

coordinating events at local universities such as Harvard and MIT. Lastly, I conducted focus group research to garner specific feedback and input to ensure the final product met the needs and expectations of our target audience; the research and development costs of the product were exorbitant, thus avoiding potential missteps was vital.

Former Admissions Officer from Columbia University Ms. Allen: Be unique and stands out

Similar personal statements may cause admissions officer fastly skim all your materials. No matter how excellent your professional experience are, if these highlights can not stand out, your application will be buried in many other similar applications.

Some butique personal statements

An attracting story, excellent leadership and independent thinking ability makes you stand out

Sample I : Undergraduate, Economics, Cornell University

An additional phenomenal I witnessed through my experience is that of diversification. Being an equity investor in the fund, I have learned to be cautious and not overly optimistic. One should invest into many different projects in order to capture better risk adjusted monetary gains instead of always chasing the highest growth project with the maximum possible return. By doing so, stress can be minimized and success more likely achieved. After completing my classes in Macroeconomics and Statistics, I realized that the majority of these skills I gained are only technical and supporting skills and I am missing the most vital aspect: vision. After watching Professor Robert Frank’s lecture online, I have confirmed my belief that a strong vision cannot be taught from a textbook but must be gained through experience. I believe my needs can be fulfilled through the many research opportunities that are present for undergraduate students at Cornell. Being a research assistant and with access to PhD students and world renowned faculties is invaluable. Opportunities to learn about their projects and contribute through analytics and modeling would truly be a dream come true. Combined this with Cornell’s wide range of advance electives taught by professional adjuncts, I cannot fathom a more comprehensive environment for me to develop my own ideas and passion. Ultimately, Cornell will further my career in the banking and venture capital industry.

Sample II: Undergraduate, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

My grandma is an avid stock investor. When I lived with her when I was younger, I would always hear her complaint such as “I could have avoided the loss if I sold the stock a bit earlier” or “I could have made so much if I bought the stock a bit earlier”. I heard the same complaint for so many times throughout the summer that I started wondering what went wrong with people’s decision making process while trading stocks.I had a misconception that the stock market is controlled by computers. In fact, humans are the masterminds behind the stock market. There is a tendency for people to overanalyze the quantitative side of the stock market, and overlook the importance of human nature such as fear and greed, and the human decision making process. Psychology is so relevant to the topic of economics and finance; as a stock investor, I realize that I cannot maximize my return until I have a good understanding of the human thinking process. As a result, I’d like to study behavioral economics at the Wharton School.

Sample III: Undergraduate, Barnard College of Columbia University

Mathematics has been my passion since I was a child. The crux of mathematics is based in logic, something that I had a strong knack for even at a young age. Initially, it was my success in the subject that fueled my continued interest. As I learned more and more about the subjects of mathematics and statistics, I realized the tremendous depth and utility of the subject. The numbers and figures in any statistical study provide explanation and substance behind different stories. Thus, statistical analysis and studies can be used as a powerful tool to explain phenomena and other worldly occurrences. Furthermore, I am passionate about the subject as it acts as a light of truth that can shine even in the darkest of situations. The numbers will always display true relationships and detail an accurate account of past events. The illuminating power of math and statistics is self-evident. Understanding math and statistics is the key to ultimately understanding and using those numbers. This drove my passion to new heights.

Sample IV: Undergraduate, NYU Stern School of Business

Simone de Beauvoir noticed that “there is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” The energy of the city is undeniable. The constant bustle, the ubiquitous nature of the art and culture, and the diversity in thought all contributes to every nook and cranny of the city. Sitting at the heart of the city is NYU’s integrated campus circling Washington Square Park. That is where I want to be as I progress through the rest of my undergraduate journey. I have developed a passion for the fashion industry over the course of my adolescent life. The creativity and individualism that define the nature of the fashion industry, is what I find so compelling. Specifically, I want to apply those characteristics to the field of fashion media and communications as it merges my passion with my known abilities in communications. NYU is perfectly designed for this purpose. The school offers a tantalizing amount of flexibility in terms of limitless study options for its students. I want to structure a concentration that focuses on a mix of marketing and branding with media and communications, through an overall tilt towards the fashion industry. This resulting concentration leverages my current foundation and interests in communication, while allowing me to choose my own destiny as I pivot towards fashion industry focused subjects in these study areas. Furthermore, New York City is renowned as a fashion capital of the world. From the trendy boutiques in SoHo and glamorous designer stores on Fifth Ave, to the gritty factories in the Garment District, the fashion industry is an integral part of the city.

Former Associate Director of Admissions Office, Mark: Be the 6% that got admitted

Reveal the backstage process of application from first POV to have a deep analysis of top universities in USA. Do you know how to stand out among applicants? Do you know how to leave a deep impression in a short interview? How to get unique competitivity for your personal statement? Do you know how admissions officer review an application? How to choose between “Easy-A Courses” with high GPA VS “Hard Courses” with low GPA? Does admissions officers favor an internship in a top Chinese enterprise over a small US company?