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Natural Environment

By gaffabutt Jun 26, 2013 1435 Words
outlook: IB Environmental Science and Society. In this class, we focused on the ways that society affects our environment and vice versa. It opened my eyes to the fact that we can be environmentally conscious while utilizing our natural resources. I became determined to become involved with the oil and gas industry that provides so much support for Alaska’s economy, while considering the unique environment around us.

I have been accepted to and intend to attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks to study Petroleum Engineering, with a minor in Environmental Politics. This particular program focuses on Alaska’s unique petroleum resources and environment. My Environmental Politics education will be a beneficial supplement and balance to my study of petroleum engineering, as I will learn the necessary precautions that must be taken when handling natural resources, and also because I will be exposed to the political issues surrounding natural resource extraction on a local and global scale. I have been accepted into the UAF Honor’s College, which I intend to become a part of, in an effort to get the most out of my education and surround myself with other students that are as focused as I am. UAF also appeals to me given the opportunities for summer internships with oil companies that operate in Alaska, many of which lead to long-term jobs after graduation.

I wholeheartedly intend to stay in Alaska, but I am also interested in the international programs offered by several large oil companies as a chance to see the way other parts of the world extract and utilize their natural resources. Though it still seems far off, I am also strongly considering going for a Master’s degree at UAF in Engineering Management to be competitive and more prepared to become a leader in my field.

In my career, I am most interested in increasing the efficiency of oil extraction and transportation through technology, in order to maximize the productivity and environmental safety while minimizing cost and time. Outside of my employment, I also look forward to encouraging young people, especially girls, to pursue math and science related fields, as my mother and aunt have done for me, and it has made all the difference in my decision to pursue a challenging, male-dominated field with confidence. I am confident that I will be a strong addition to the team working in Alaska to utilize our resources and improve our economy, while protecting our environment.

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ESSAY REVIEW

Here's a sketch of topics in your essay by paragraph.

1. Alaska

2. Alaska, family influence, native talent, career opportunities, the challenge, contributing to technological development

3. career opportunities

4. the challenge

5. contributing to technology

6. passion for the environment

7. University of Alaska Fairbanks (Major, Minor, Honors P.)

8. Intend to stay in Alaska, international programs, Master's

9. Efficiency of oil extraction; promoting education; strong addition

Organizationally, that's a trainwreck. You seem to have two introductions, with paragraph 2 anticipating 3, 4, and 5, but not 6 through 9. 6 ends up looking like an afterthought, and 7 appears where it does because there's nowhere else to put. 8, like 2, deals with too many topics. And 9 introduces more new, and pretty banal, assertions. It's not so much an essay as it is a list (in fact, it resembles a list written on three or four different scraps of paper that were then carelessly taped together!).

So you need to work on the organization and the coherence of this material. You can solve both problems at once if you can incorporate some kind of overarching narrative; that is, if you can tell a story (as you seem to start out by wanting to do) rather than make a list. I don't mean, however, that you should narrate some seminal event in your life; you don't need to tell us of how you happened upon an oil-drenched penguin on the shores of Alaska and vowed from that moment to become a petroleum engineer with an environmental conscience. No one believes such stories, and not just because the penguin is lost. What you need is a kind of logical story (a story with a "because" in the middle of it): "I want to be an Engineer because I love Alaska." "I want to be an Engineer with an environmental conscience because I recognize both the good and bad that can come from oil exploration." You can put these together into one story. It might look something like this: "I want to be a petroleum engineer with an environmental conscience because I recognize both the good and bad that can come from oil exploration, and Alaska has the kind of environment that really deserves protecting and the kind of economy that depends on the exploitation of natural resources."

What you cannot do is put several different stories together into one story; then you just end up with a list again. That means you need to treat different elements of your story differently; use them to accomplish different goals in your essay. One goal should be to complete the following sentence in a reasonably compelling way: "I want to be petroleum engineer because ..." But another goal might well be to communicate the fact that you know what you are getting into and you're up for the challenge. So instead of saying "I want to be an engineer because I like challenges," or "I want to be an engineer because I'm good at math" (i.e., instead of using the topic of ‘challenges’ or your native talent to accomplish your first purpose) say something like "I know that Engineering is a challenging field. [Specify in what way it is challenging]. But I work hard, I'm good at math, and I'm inspired by challenges" (You can probably leave your supportive family out of the discussion). This sentence now accomplishes something other than answering "why engineering?" It communicates that your answer to the question "why engineering" is not a naive one; you recognize the challenge and are prepared to meet it.

So you've now accomplished two things in your essay.

"I want to be a petroleum engineer with an environmental conscience because I recognize both the good and bad that can come from oil exploration, and Alaska has the kind of environment that really deserves protection and the kind of economy that depends on the exploitation of natural resources. Of course, I recognize that petroleum engineering is a difficult subject, but I work hard, I am good at math, and I'm inspired by challenges."

If you start with your version of that first sentence, you'll be able to dump all of your prefatory remarks about Alaska (which seem like a slightly banal introduction to your introduction, if you see what I mean) as well as the probably unhelpful utilitarian considerations (the great job prospects). If you are applying for a Go Alaska! tourism scholarship or something, then maybe you need to say something about your love of the place, but I would still in that case recommend incorporating it later in the essay.

Now you also have a section about your immediate educational plans: major in Petrol. Eng., minor in Environmental Politics, Masters in Eng. Management, because you want to be a leader in the field. And perhaps you want to be a leader in your field because you want to be in a position to influence something or other that you care about, which you might also want to mention. So, that's fine. That's all one topic. Put it all in one paragraph. But don't stick other stuff in there (you intend to stay in Alaska; you’re interested in international programs) unless you can explicitly connect it to the one topic that the paragraph is about. So now the sketch of your essay looks like this:

"I want to be a petroleum engineer with an environmental conscience because I recognize both the good and bad that can come from oil exploration, and Alaska has the kind of environment that really deserves protect and the kind of economy that depends on the exploitation of natural resources. Of course, I recognize that petroleum engineering is a difficult subject, but I work hard, I am good at math, and I'm inspired by challenges. I've met the first of these challenges by being accepted into UAF, where I intend to major in PEng, and minor in EP, before pursuing a Masters in etc. I intend to pursue the Masters because I want to be a leader in X and I want to be a leader because I want to influence etc."

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