This is a college essay submitted by a student who graduated from Northwestern University. Hopefully from reading this essay, you will be able to gain a better idea of what Northwestern University is looking for when answering the question, “Why Northwestern”. As you read this Why Northwestern college essay example, think about what you know about the school that really makes it resonate with you.
Prompt: What are the unique qualities of Northwestern — and of the specific undergraduate school to which you are applying — that make you want to attend the University? In what ways do you hope to take advantage of the qualities you have identified?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply!” As potent as knowledge is, it is useless by itself. Only when we use the power that knowledge grants us can we surpass our own limits and achieve the extraordinary. For as long as I can remember, I have always been a doer. When I was four years old, I constructed a bridge made of pillows (and actually tried to cross it). Even though I was pretty bruised up after that incident, I never gave up that desire to apply what I knew. By the time I was thirteen, I had built my own computer with no instructions at all. Today, I am programming a momentum indicator for stocks. I believe innovation is the pinnacle of human imagination, and for that reason, I want to major in Computer Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering.
Upon witnessing the smooth, sleek power of my friend’s gaming PC in the seventh grade, I knew I wanted my own. After months of persuasion and persistence, my parents consented to buying me one, but I proposed to them that I would build it instead. Although they were hesitant at first, I convinced them that it would cost less for more performance and give me a chance to engineer something on my own. Two weeks later, I had the parts sitting in my living room. I was bewildered at first; I had no idea how a computer was assembled and the instruction manuals were less than helpful. I took a step back, drew a diagram, and wrote out a step-by-step plan on how I was going to build it. Eight hours of trial and error later, I pressed the power button and was thrilled to see my monitor light up.
However, I was not about to get complacent just yet. The next day, staying true to my philosophy of doing more with less, I wanted to figure out how to enhance performance without decreasing stability. I turned to overclocking, which involved experimenting with the frequency multiplier and the FSB (Front Side Bus) clock in the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) settings of my computer. After many days of experimentation and stress testing, I succeeded in stabilizing my processor to function at 2.75GhZ. But it did not end there; to this very day, I still enjoy the challenge of diagnosing and fixing computer problems for my family and friends.
As thrilling as finding the solution to a computer conundrum is, there is something lacking in what I do. It is as if I am solving practice problems instead of innovating. That is why I find the McCormick School of Engineering so appealing; its emphasis on creativity coincides with my future goals. Ultimately, I want to do more than fix or install; I want to design the latest cutting-edge technology. At McCormick, I will be able to participate in projects my first year, which will provide valuable hands-on experience.
In addition, the internship opportunities allow me to connect with prospective employers, such as AMD and Intel. In addition, I can pursue my other interests at Northwestern and give back to the community. I will join the Undergraduate Economics Society and the Undergraduate Investment Banking Club as an aspiring entrepreneur. By the time I am a senior, I want to be able to give a helping hand to a freshman who shares the same ideals and goals as I do. In addition, Northwestern gives me a chance to be independent and pursue my own projects; I am thrilled that I will be able to design and test my own microprocessor in the Microprocessor System Projects course. Given chances to innovate both on my own and interact with peers, I feel I will be right at home at Northwestern.
It’s true that the Northwestern University offers a world-class education with fascinating courses like Artificial Intelligence Programming and Microprocessor System Design. However, I want to go to Northwestern for more than just what the classroom has to offer; I want to explore. I want to immerse myself with peers who share my passions. Most of all, I want to realize my dreams and see my ideas become a reality.
Photo by Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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Interested in sharing the same alma mater as Stephen Colbert and David Schwimmer? If Northwestern is one of your top choices, you should be able to succinctly explain why.
Part of the Northwestern application includes a supplemental essay that asks you to elaborate on why you are applying to their school. Here’s their prompt:
We ask an intentionally open-ended question: why would you like to attend? When you answer, focus on your interests or experiences.
Here are 5 successful “Why Northwestern” essays to help you kickstart yours:
Any school, but especially Northwestern, is difficult to summarize. Balanced, spirited, laidback, ambitious; although true, each word generalizes the depth of the overall university experience. Two descriptors stand out above the rest, however: flexible and magnetic. Keep reading.
After researching potential college majors, I decided to pursue engineering with a focus on the more creative and human side. While I love math and science, creativity and human interaction are very important to me. When I attended the Northwestern McCormick School of Engineering information session, Dean Holtgreive talked about the Design Thinking and Communication class; it sounded exactly like the course of study I want to pursue. Read more.
What appeals most to me about Northwestern is that it houses some of the world’s top scholars and innovators in Evanston who are accessible and willing to work with undergraduates on research projects. After my summer 2014 internship at The University of Akron’s Polymer Science department, the second best in the country, where I designed and implemented a procedure to test the effect of varying gecko toe pad surface chemistry on the effectiveness of the self-cleaning of its feet, I am seeking a school that is committed to undergraduate research. Continue reading.
There are many things I love about Northwestern, such as the academic flexibility, the chance to take more classes with the quarter system, the variety of clubs, and the proximity to Chicago.
That’s the answer I give to my friends and teachers. While those things are true, my real reason for choosing Northwestern is more than just academics, statistics, or Gator Bowl titles. It was the feeling I got that Friday afternoon in May when I first met Natalie, the student who would be hosting me for an overnight. Read more.
With the rapid increase of global communications and the cultural preeminence of social media, the social fabric of American society is constantly shifting, and with it, the role of media within our everyday lives. The Medill School of Journalism would allow me to not only gain insight on the dynamic functions of modern media, but also develop the crucial rhetorical skills required to thrive in the professional world. View full essay.
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About The Author
Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.