I just finished re-re-reviewing an essay for an application to school. The essay seems to be flowing nicely, but as always I feel it is not succinct or crisp enough.
I do not want this to be a proof-reading question, what I am looking for is to start identifying common phrases or structures that I poorly structure, and to find better ways to structure them by using a more methodical approach -- something like trying to avoid passive voice or weak verbs such as "is".
If you find a better way to describe a sentence in the paragraph, it would be great that you suggest the improvement for the sentence and point out the judgement you used for your selection -- any external references would also be of great help.
If you feel there are extenuating circumstances of which the Committee should be aware, please explain them here (e.g., choice of recommenders). (250 words)
In this brief essay, I explain why I chose Prof. X as a recommender.
Before my last semester at Columbia University, I was disappointed with the entrepreneurial programs offered in the Engineering school. I felt that New York City, and particularly Wall Street, was strongly influencing the culture in the school, undermining the needed attention for entrepreneurial events.
Out of this disappointment, I contacted two friends and together we founded the Society for Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation (SETI @ CU), whose purpose was to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in the Engineering school.
We started by interviewing 30 engineering students and chatting with 12 faculty professors, and soon enough formed a student executive board and a faculty advisory board, which played a fundamental role in all future activities.
Over the next six months, SETI created a constitution and a website, organized six entrepreneurial activities with an average attendance of 70 students, and coordinated Pitchfest 2009, the first university-wide entrepreneurial event, which was a highlight of the semester with a total of 41 idea-pitchers and almost 200 listeners -- truly a phenomenal event.
Prof. X played a key role behind the success of the Pitchfest. He showed us the purpose and logistics behind the event, he got us in touch with the right people in the Columbia Business School and Columbia Technology Ventures, and finally he encouraged us to work through any rivalry between schools in search of a higher common purpose.
Of all the board advisers, I believe that Prof. X was the one with the most unbiased and sound guidance. So much so that after my program finished, I have got back to him for career advice.
I decided to ask Prof. X for a recommendation letter because of two reasons: First, he saw me execute and lead a vision I was really passionate about, allowing him to comment on my management and leadership style; and second, he showed me the importance of having a good mentor who provides an impartial perspective when the circumstance arrives. Given this, I trust that a recommendation letter from Prof. X will provide valuable and fair information to my application.