Beky Stiles '12 is an Assistant Director of Admissions focusing on engineering recruitment.
What comes to mind when I say engineering?
Creating? Programming? Tinkering? Collaborating?
How about writing?
Digging into your application, some of the best nuggets of your engineering-ness (making up words is my fave hobby) come through in the supplemental essays. Engineering at Tufts takes grit, passion, creativity, playfulness, intellectual curiosity, kindness, and so much more. We’re pulling out and piecing together those embedded traits from all parts of your application to assess your “fit” for Tufts engineering, but the narrative you craft in your supplement gives us the much needed context of your voice and how your mind works.
Whether you have been on a special STEM track at school and have tried to take over the world with your homemade robot or you simply have a knack for math and science with a good (ish) understanding of what engineering actually is - that’s okay (honestly). Diverse thinkers from different backgrounds often come together in the most creative and unexpected ways to solve tough problems, and Jumbo engineers usually have a little bit of fun along the way. How you will “do” engineering is not the same as your friend sitting next to you in physics or the student in Washington composting in her kitchen or the person staying up way too late watching Solidworks tutorials. Your voice is yours alone, and I really do want to hear it when I read your supplement. For some, that may mean showcasing experiences that are more explicitly engineering, but for others, that means not touching directly upon engineering in their essays. And (again) that’s okay.
So write away. Be unabashedly you. Write about topics and show us things that make your brain buzz and your fingers fly across the keyboard. Trust us to find the engineering gold buried in your words. You might even be a little surprised at what we learn. I might peg you for the group member who keeps morale up at 3am during an especially difficult thermodynamics problem set. I may picture you sitting quietly in the back of the classroom who reinvigorates a stunted discussion with one incredibly insightful question. You might dazzle me with your epic collaboration skills through your desire to compete on a varsity team and work in a Biomedical Engineering research lab. I could possibly see you hunched over your desk as a COMP11 TA writing thank you notes to your students at the end of a semester. I may imagine you running from your theatre rehearsal to a Makerspace to take on a self-directed project with some Raspberry Pis. No matter your chosen writing topics, we’ll be drawing out instances of those vital engineering soft skills (persistence, positive ‘tude, teamwork - whatever we find!) to stitch together a vivid image of you as a Jumbo engineer.