« on: October 12, 2009, 04:16:40 PM »
Oct. 15 update:
I gave all your suggestions some thought, added some new content, and made a new addendum. If there is new feedback, please do share! Thanks all for your help.
- Computer Engineering, GPAs: 2.57, 2.45, 2.21, 3.90 --> cGPA 2.76
When I first entered university, my academic performance differed sharply from my expectations. I attribute this partly to the attitude that I had brought along from my high school days. Back in high school, I was relatively advantaged, often attaining desirable grades with comparatively little studying. This attitude was immature, and while it may have worked in high school, it certainly did not for university. My scores plummeted. The traumatizing effect of this downfall was especially felt for someone who previously had an unblemished academic record.
I made attempts to recover from this fall, but they were ultimately not very successful. For one, I upgraded the compulsory computer introduction courses into advanced ones because I wanted to push myself harder. The brave endeavour turned disastrous when I was putting in most of my efforts towards passing the advanced courses, leaving me little time for other courses.
Another course that significantly impacted my other courses was the yearlong design project course. A group of 3 members were tasked with the responsibility of creating an electromechanical robot for packing eggs. Without being too specific, I found myself working on many things outside my responsibilities. I was very excited about the project and did not mind completing some of my teammates' tasks, but this inevitably cut deeply into the time I had for other work.
The first, important change came after third year when I enrolled in the engineering co-op program. Working in IBM, I was given a fresh start to prove myself. I worked hard and ultimately made good friends, satisfied colleagues, and improved the team’s operations even after my departure. The reference letter from my IBM mentor—XXXXXX—describes some of my experiences at IBM.
The internship was a transformative experience that restored my motivation and confidence. I brought these qualities back to school when I went back for my fourth and final year. Working hard paid off, and my grades went up substantially. I wish I had encountered such a maturing experience earlier, but I am grateful that at least it occurred early enough to give me a chance for proving myself in the final year.