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Introduce Yourself Answered

Well, now we have a suitable place to do this... let everyone know who you are, school?, job?, future plans, etc... My Name is Paul - I'm a Mechanical Engineering student (third year) and I go to school at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando. I currently don't have a job (other than little things around campus) - but I'm looking for an internship or even better an externship. As for the future -- I really don't want to work for someone else after I graduate. I don't know how that's going to work out just yet - so I continue to network...

Discussions

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KentsOkay

12 years ago

Um, I'm like ah me. I'm big on Instructables that a written by people fully knowledgable on the subject that there wrigting on. I'm entering high school here in Texas, I'd love to go to MIT for Aerospace Enginering, and I've always wanted to live in Scotland or NZ.

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KentsOkayKentsOkay

Reply 12 years ago

Oh yah, would anybody be willing to tell me what I need to do to go to MIT?

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ewilhelmKentsOkay

Reply 12 years ago

A super strong work ethic. The best people I met while at MIT all worked really really hard.

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ewilhelmKentsOkay

Reply 12 years ago

Ok. I remember applying to MIT and my mindset, and I know at that time I wouldn't have accepted "strong work ethic" as an answer; I would have pressed for more specific details. So, here you go: - I got straight A's all through highschool. My highschool actually did percentage grades, so my transcript was full of 99's and 95's. - I took every AP class offered, and with 5's on the tests placed out of the first semester of chemistry, biology, calculus, and physics at MIT (I actually opted to take the first semester of "physics with advanced math" known as 8.012 because it sounded like fun. Good thing I did, because the professor, Wolfgang Ketterle, turned out to be a Nobel Prize winner. I explicitly remember the day he showed up obviously frazzled for class, apologized for not having slept because his research group had made a break-through the previous evening, and explained how to make Bose Einstein condensate.). The European and American history, and Government AP tests didn't get me out of anything, but I took them too. - I got a 1380 on the SATs. I don't know how many times they've been re-centered, so this number may have no bearing on you whatsoever. My verbal score of 520 was embarrassingly low. I had no concept of what a comma was, or how to use it, and my vocabulary was poor. Both have (marginally?) improved since. - I started "The Outdoors Club" and organized caving and rock climbing trips. - With my best friend as vice president, I ran for school president anonymously. We plastered the school with "Vote Mystery!" posters ("Ignorance is Strength, Vote Mystery!" was one of my favorites), and only announced who we really were at the last minute because we couldn't get "The Mystery Candidates" on the ballot. We won a plurality, but the school decided to hold a run-off, which we very narrowly lost. My entire plan was to expose school government as a sham popularity contest and dismantle it from the inside. Word of my plan got out, and probably was the cause of the run-off, the first ever in the student government's history. Tongue-in-cheek, I publicly called the whole thing illegal, and declared that if the all students would rise up with me, I'd cancel pep-rallies and we could all go home early rather than pack into the gym to pretend we liked the football, or worse, the basketball team. I used this experience as the basis for my application essay to MIT. - I was actually arrested on a couple of occasions for building and using items that now appear in one form or another on this site. Even though I said, "I plan to cause trouble at every opportunity" in my essay, I guess MIT didn't check too closely! So what should you do? Give your full and best effort to all things, both work and play.

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chriskarrewilhelm

Reply 10 years ago

I've been having trouble in school - not because I'm bad in any of my subjects (my teachers all realize that I can do the work in my classes more easily than any of the other students in my classes - besides in history, that is) but because I can't find the drive to actually do my homework. I get straight A's on the tests and I do projects, all the time, that could be used as extra credit in my classes. I know that some colleges look at grade history and see a jump in the grades at some point in highschool and say "Hey, look at that! He got motivated!", but I'm not sure how MIT would react.

I'm only fifteen years old, and I've never taken any SAT test, and I've never applied for any colleges, as I'm only a freshman. I'm just hoping to God that there's a way that i can correct my errors. I'm working, right now, to make money for MIT at my website along with for some of my research. My website is called Tesla Surplus. And, also, for donations I have a link at the bottom of the page, or you can click here

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canidaewilhelm

Reply 12 years ago

Ha!
I got better SAT scores than that when I was in 8th grade.

Obviously you can't do much math now either, because 1380-520=860, which is hard to get out of a max 800! Heh.

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John Smithcanida

Reply 12 years ago

8th grade? I thought it was only in high-school? (unless you take it in 7th grade like I did... ...for the Duke University Talent Identification Program)

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canidaJohn Smith

Reply 12 years ago

I took it in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade for some experimental program. It was amusing, but killed a weekend morning.

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John Smithcanida

Reply 12 years ago

Wow...
...I really feel sorry for you. :p

The one time I took it for the Duke TIP program, last year in 7th grade (I'm going into 8th grade),I hated. I don't have any patience, which is why it was probably so bad for me, though.

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FerriteJohn Smith

Reply 11 years ago

I took it in 7th too but it was for the Hopkins talent search.

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ewilhelmcanida

Reply 11 years ago

Ok, duh. I meant 620. Who cares? You can tell if someone is smart in 5 minutes, by asking, "what are you passionate about?"

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canidaewilhelm

Reply 11 years ago

It does say something about one's attention to detail. Constant vigilance!

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Goodhartewilhelm

Reply 11 years ago

Yes I agree. Sadly (in the 1970's) my high school grades were crap. But I hadn't had any reason to study, I was interested in few things, nothing was "shown" to me to see if I might be interested....it wasn't until 6+ years later that I got involved with "exploring everything". Grades don't tell the whole story, and even motivation can be depend on resource availability.

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KentsOkayewilhelm

Reply 12 years ago

Thanks a bunch (I think), I've wanted to go to MIT ever since I've been able to notice that the people who usually are on Scientific American Frontiers are MIT. I'm homeschooled, would that count against me?

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canidaKentsOkay

Reply 12 years ago

That does make things a bit more complicated, because it's harder to compare you to other students.

A quick answer is to make sure you can prove both breadth and depth of knowledge and experience- one of the concerns with students who are home-schooled is whether their instruction is sufficient across all technical topics. In practice that means documenting your studies such that colleges will understand what it is you've learned, and doing research, participating in academic contests, and building neat things to show that you're actually able to apply that knowledge successfully.

In general, picking a few activities and doing them diligently and well is preferable to spreading yourself thin. That's where the work ethic Eric mentioned comes in. It doesn't have to be strictly academics- I swam competitively for 13 years, putting in four+ hours/day during some parts of the year. That probably looked just as interesting as the academic competitions I'd been in, really. You need the scores (grades, SATs, etc) but it's also necessary to have some other interesting things to back them up. The scores are sometimes the easy part.

Learning to do well on standardized tests is a fairly specific skill, and one that's only partially applicable to doing well in college and later life. (It's
very good at teaching you to deal with the form required to navigate bureaucracy, but I prefer to avoid those whenever possible.) At MIT, like most top schools, they want to enroll people who will be able to actually think. Applying your book knowledge is sometimes hard, so if you can prove that skill it's a big plus. A portfolio of creative projects to show off will help on that count- and I know a nice place to document those. ;)

Learn to express yourself well through speech and writing, and how to positively organize and interact with a group- it will set you apart from many math/science types. MIT requires an interview and essays as part of the admissions process, as do many other top schools.

I know that by definition all these answers are going to be vague and insufficient. Eric's suggestion of talking to the admissions office is a good one, as they'll be able to give you more details, but expect them to be insufficient and vague as well. ;)

All that said, don't stress yourself about getting into MIT or one of the other "top" schools. Some of my good friends who are most successful actually dropped out of MIT and never got degrees, or didn't go to one of these schools in the first place. The most valuable thing I got from MIT was the chance to associate with lots of bright, interesting people who do things; MIT doesn't have a lock on all of them, and you don't even have to go to college to associate with a great group of people. It does make it easier, of course, and you have to be a serious self-starter to do awesome things without the infrastructure, but don't be fooled into thinking that it's the only way to go.

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ewilhelmKentsOkay

Reply 12 years ago

I'm pretty sure there are homeschooled kids at MIT. Considering you'll be compared against kids in public and private school, my recommendation would be to seek out as many opportunities as possible so the admissions office has a sense of who you are and how you stack up against the rest of the applicants. You could also try calling the admissions office directly and asking how they do comparisons between different schooling environments.

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lemonieKentsOkay

Reply 12 years ago

I'll assume that Eric's point is this: hard work and a good attitude are what you need. The grades you get are a product of hard work, but there is some measure of tolerance around grades if a person shows potential. I've got some poor staff, average staff, and some bloody-good staff. The best are the hard and enthusiastic workers, the worst have the most experience, but that amounts to nothing more than time on the job. L

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Brennn10lemonie

Reply 12 years ago

MIT would be nice. Not likely, but you never know! I got a 4.125 GPA my freshman year. Only 1 final grade of a B. (It was grammar that killed me) I am going into my Sophomore year, so hopefully I can get straight A's. Soph in latin does mean wisdom....

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KentsOkayKentsOkay

Reply 11 years ago

Gagh, what an improper intro... I'm Clark, 15, self taught. I have numerous interests, mainly in the field of aerospace sciences, females, and hand to hand combat. I fence, ride, build rockets, blow up stuff, pursue females, eat, sleep, eat some more, and whatnot. I inhabit the state of Texas I hope to have a career either in aerospace engineering (Motor boatin' to Mars baby!), or possibly at Jagex (RuneScape creators, Cambridge England sucka!), or even Squid Labs (Awesomeville Earth). I wouldn't mind moving to the UK or NZ, but I'm never living in mainland Europe if I can help it (those people have been in the same gene pool for to long...)

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mikestyKentsOkay

Reply 12 years ago

"I'm entering high school here in Texas, I'd love to go to MIT for Aerospace Enginering, and I've always wanted to live in Scotland or NZ." Push yourself as hard as you can in high school and see how you feel then. I wouldn't pump yourself towards MIT yet - it's a cool school I'd bet, but there are a lot more out there and you really don't know what awaits you. Take your time and enjoy it but work hard.

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westfwKentsOkay

Reply 12 years ago

FWIW, my father got his masters at MIT and specifically DIS-recommended it as an undergraduate school, though he was never entirely clear about the reasons. Based on my own experiences in the Ivy League I would say he was right; the transition from high school to college can be pretty traumatic. If you're capable of doing well at MIT as an undergraduate, you can almost certainly do well enough at a less ... intense... school to get into MIT for postgraduate work, with a lot less stress. And you may find that your actual interests lie in different directions than you thought; a rather large number of people end up with post-graduate degrees only somewhat related to their undergraduate degrees.

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royalestelwestfw

Reply 12 years ago

That's exactly what I was going to recommend to the fellow.

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Dim-1

11 years ago

I'm Dim-1. I likes everything you like, but just a little more.

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chooseausernameDim-1

Reply 11 years ago

I like tuna rillettes. Do you prefer them with green olives or natural ? Else, welcome !

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Bardouv

11 years ago

Hi I'm Brandon. I am an American. When I took the SAT last year (7th grade) I received a score in the 1400's. I hope to go to Davidson County Community College for Highschool and that way I can earn a Two year Degree while I take normal school. I hope to be a sleep scientist when I get out of college. In no way am I satisfied with the quality of teachers in NC. I like shoes, bikes, and parkour.

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AnarchistKid

11 years ago

im Casey, i enjoy ThC, alcohol, and the female anatomy, im 16, a junior in high school, smarter than i look, actually enjoy studying electronics, all d.i.y culture and such, hobbies include dumpster diving, stenciling, airbrushing, bonfires, and roaming the streets at 2 a.m

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KentsOkay

11 years ago

Call it a bad day---

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Jake Turner

11 years ago

Heh, sorry bud, I haven't found a single way to get even inclined to English Grammar. If I can't see a logical reason to take it, I can't apply myself to it. :P

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Jake Turner

11 years ago

Yeah, I'll consider doing that once and if I get another VMU. Or if I decide to (backlight?) my TI-83+ calculator's screen.

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Jake Turner

11 years ago

Whassup guys, name's Jake, from North Carolina. I'm in my senior year, I'll be 17 in April. I've applied to both the state university and MIT, in hopes of getting into a Computer Science and Engineering program. I'll post more after school lol.

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Jake TurnerJake Turner

Reply 11 years ago

Right, school's out. I get real bored at my house, so I'm liable to do all kindza crap, from cool and useful, to WTF? Most of what I mess with is electronic, and most of that is video game-related. I've made an arcade panel for a PC, built a power button into a Xbox1 controller, modded my Xbox1 and then installed it's guts into a PC case, and... I made my Dreamcast VMU's LCD backlit. Yep. But every now and then I do stuff that involves no circuitry. Right now I'm working on replica armor from the Halo series of games, I've been known to dabble in pyrotechnic chemistry, and so on. i"d write more, but I can't concentrate. Just got back from the dentist's, and the right of my mouth is annoyingly numb. :P Hit me up on AIM or MSN messenger: AIM:Nube H8ter MSN Messenger: Jakebiggsownzu@hotmail.com

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gnomedriver

11 years ago

Hello, Im Matt. Ive been reading some of the posting and it seems a lot of you have studied engineering or something technical. I did a machining apprenticeship when I left school and then when traveling. I found out that I liked castles, pyramids, medieval dudes in armor and stuff like that more than I liked standing at a lathe. So I went to university and studied history. I collect garden gnomes and Lenin memorabilia. As I write this I am listening to The Chemical Bothers and PJ Harvey.

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Gjdj3

11 years ago

My name is Joe. I'm glad instructables finally has a high school group. Technically I'm in eighth grade but i take more than half of my classes at the high school (band, jazz band, trig, language, science) and I hang out with a lot of high schoolers so I hope I'm still welcome here!

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Bran

11 years ago

My name is Brian, although I go by Bran everywhere (except legal documents)! I am 14 years old. I have a somewhat strong Southern accent and am 6' tall and weigh 180. I live in Augusta, Georgia, home of the Masters Golf Tournament. Currently, I'm stuck in 8th grade, but am heading to high school after summer. I am interested in mechanical engineer and want to further my knowledge in that broad range of topics. I plan on attending the Georgia Institute of Technology and hopefully interning at Instructables HQ.

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Brennn10

12 years ago

Nick, 14 years old and a high schooler in Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. USA I plan on going to college that is decent for Computer sciences, electrical engineering, programming, etc etc. I also wish to play lacrosse at one of these schools. I get good grades, the occasional B. I am an identical twin, etc etc etc.

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BranBrennn10

Reply 11 years ago

Does your twin have an account here?

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Brennn10Bran

Reply 11 years ago

No, but he occasionally visits. He is not really in to the DIY mindset type of thing.

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IlluminatedAntichrist

12 years ago

I'm Nino , but some people in my school call me the weirdo for some reason. Anyway,I just turned 16 this Monday. I am a freshman highschool student.I'm your "normal" honor student. I'm a member of the "Technology Student Association" (TSA) I like building machines, robots,....and out of my school life, guns,and weapons. I really don't talk much in real life.I'm hoping to be involved in politics,and government in the future. There are some things in society I'm hoping to change. I also USED to be a magician, but not anymore.

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westfwIlluminatedAntichrist

Reply 12 years ago

I used to do some magic. Then I learned that a magic show is more about performance (which is not so much fun, for me) than making the technical bits work (which is what I liked.) Sigh.

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Kitemanwestfw

Reply 12 years ago

If you like the tech and not the performance, find a wannabe magician with good presence but run-of-the-mill tricks and work with him to do new stuff. You could be the next Penn and Teller...