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Would it hurt me to write about something non-STEM for my HMC essay?

awesomekidawesomekid Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
edited November 2014 in Harvey Mudd College
Title says it all.

Replies to: Would it hurt me to write about something non-STEM for my HMC essay?

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 34,959 Senior Member
    What is the essay topic? Not sure what they are this year, I remember my kid had a few choices.
  • Mom2kidsMom2kids Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    As a parent of two HMC students - I have to say I can't remember what they wrote their essays about, but I don't imagine they were entirely about STEM topics. (I think one had to do with the time we lived in NZ.)

    I would recommend that you write what is important to you, what speaks to who you are as a person, and shows how you believe you will add to the HMC community.

    I would be careful to make sure that you answer actually address whatever the topic question is about. Don't ignore what is being asked - if the question is "Tell us about your favorite science class" don't answer about your English class. Unless you can really do it in a way that still answer's the question (your English class was about science related topics and made you love science more... maybe..).

    Have someone proof read the essay, and give them the prompt so they can see if you've done a good job addressing it. And, scrub all your essays for grammar and spelling.

    Good luck! There are lots of excellent schools out there, give yourself lots of choices.
  • awesomekidawesomekid Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    Thank you for the help and suggestions. I ended up writing about a science topic for the background prompt... but I did not talk about my family or anything for "background" (kind of chose an unconventional subject to call my background... is that okay?) Also, does the "problem" I'm trying to solve have to be some specific elaborate plan? I was really general...

    I'm super scared about this whole process.
  • awesomekidawesomekid Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 34,959 Senior Member
    Again... you need to clarify exactly what the prompt was that you wrote about. And honestly, you are not being specific enough that anyone could give you advice. My kid got in, and I am familiar with her essays, but I also know there are several prompts to choose from and am not sure what this year's prompts were. More info would help people respond.
  • awesomekidawesomekid Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    Sorry about that. I wrote on:

    “Scientific research is a human endeavor. The choices of topics that we research are based on our biases, our beliefs, and what we bring: our cultures and our families. The kinds of problems that people put their talents to solving depends on their values.” -Dr. Clifton Poodry. How has your own background influenced the types of problems you want to solve?

    Since it says "cultures and our families" did I have to write about family... cause I didn't do that so I hope not...
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 34,959 Senior Member
    I don't think you "have" to write about anything as long as you answer the question. My kid DID write about her family when she wrote on this prompt, but I don't think it is necessary as long as you answered the prompt. I just looked back at her essay. Her approach was to cover early activities (with her family and without) that pushed her toward science, the impact of her education on her interest in science and how it might be applied in the world, and a discussion of traits that are valued in our family and also in her school that affected her approach to science. So she did use a more traditional approach to the concept of "background". But you could make a different interpretation.

    Is your application already in? If not, be sure you read the Mudd mission statement and think about it in terms of this question. It is:
    Harvey Mudd College seeks to educate engineers, scientists, and mathematicians well versed in all of these areas and in the humanities and the social sciences so that they may assume leadership in their fields with a clear understanding of the impact of their work on society.

    I think it informs the question somewhat. Mudd wants to find students who aren't just focused on STEM, but are thinking more broadly about society as well.
This discussion has been closed.