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MIT application essays that worked

‘My love for people is the best part of myself’

This is part of a series of MIT application essays submitted by students who were later admitted to the Institute. The following prompts are from the 2014-15 admissions season.

Prompt

We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it. (100)

Response

Thankfully, I don’t have the attention span or the tolerance to invest time into an undertaking that I don’t find worthwhile and fun. While I am involved in numerous activities ranging from violin to debate, I never expected to look forward to my four-hour shifts as a waitress at a retirement home. I have a community of grandparents who recognize me as “Smiley Judy” and a family of coworkers who relish the food with me after Sunday brunch. Along with the fast-paced table juggling, the silly and serious interactions I have at my workplace are my ultimate source of pleasure.

Prompt

Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (100)

Response

Some of my hardest decisions take place in the booth of a restaurant, so choosing a major has been an absolutely agonizing process for me. I fancied subject areas from English to chemistry, but I finally (hesitantly) decided on double majoring in mathematics and economics and minoring in French. My most concrete interest, mathematics, originates from my introduction to calculus and the realization that the breadth and depth of the mathematical world extend beyond straight numerical calculations. I believe that MIT’s superior mathematics program will add unimaginably new dimensions to this magical realm that I have only just discovered.

Prompt

What attribute of your personality are you most proud of, and how has it impacted your life so far? This could be your creativity, effective leadership, sense of humor, integrity, or anything else you’d like to tell us about. (200-250)

Response

My love for people is the best part about myself. There is no better feeling than the happiness I find in meeting new people and creating connections with them. My extroverted personality is the root of much of my success in leadership, presentations, and networking. I naturally reach out to people, and as a result, I am able to accomplish projects like establishing a mentoring program for the French Honor Society and a threefold increase in membership for the Asian American Club. However, my outgoing personality made the most memorable impact at the “Conversation with Michelle Obama,” an event for which I was nominated to attend. Through Google Hangout, several American cities were able to connect to Michelle Obama in South Africa. When the Kansas City group was asked about technology integration in education, the students all froze underneath the limelight. In a burst of courage, I blurted a couple of words and consequently received the microphone to continue. At that moment, it didn’t matter that there were thousands of people around the world including Michelle Obama listening; it was just me and my string of thoughts. I was the only person in Kansas City to speak that day.

I distinguish myself with my enthusiasm, and I easily see myself thriving as a part of the tight-knit community, the risk-taking hacking culture, and the passionately nerdy student population of MIT. After all, I still keep in touch with my lime-green carded tour guide.

—Judy Wang ’19