Today, Let’s Hear about Jenny’s Experience and Achievements in CIS Research Project.
1 Attracted by the "Character" of Two Admitting Schools
UCB and IC are both universities that I am particularly fond of. Both institutions place a strong emphasis on academic excellence, and their campus environments and learning atmospheres are a perfect fit for me. Receiving admission offers from both universities brought me great joy and a sense of destiny. The interview process for Imperial College London went smoothly, and with regards to the UC system applications in the United States, apart from being waitlisted by UCSD, I was admitted to all the other UC schools.
To enhance my academic background in scientific research, I learned about the CIS research project through my teachers’ recommendations. Here, I had the privilege of interacting with lifelong professors from top universities around the world.
2 Experiencing the Teaching Atmosphere of Top Universities
When I first learned about the CIS research project, I discovered that the professors here come from world-renowned universities. Having the opportunity to interact deeply with these professors and experience the learning atmosphere of top universities would lay a solid foundation for my future study abroad.
As I have a personal interest in organic chemistry, I was thrilled to find a project led by Professor Brain Stoltz from the Chemistry Department at the California Institute of Technology that aligned with my passion. The project’s content and timeline were also perfectly suited to my needs, so I decided to sign up.
Professor Stoltz’s lecture pace was excellent. Even though there were some topics I hadn’t studied before, I didn’t find it difficult to comprehend. The professor was highly efficient, addressing students’ questions while delivering new knowledge in the classroom. He was always ready to provide encouragement and assistance during the process of writing research papers.
Compared to the teachers at my school, Professor Brian Stoltz rarely relied on website materials or PowerPoint slides during his lectures. He spoke spontaneously while writing on the board, which I personally found very appealing. This teaching style allowed me to experience the instructional approach of top universities in advance.
3 First Experience of Research Based on Personal Interest
The research project I undertook at CIS was my first time conducting research on a topic that genuinely interested me. Completing this research project allowed me to delve into numerous literature sources and hone my skills in writing extensive papers, including literature reviews. I believe that developing these skills has greatly prepared me for my future university studies.
Throughout the course of this research project, I encountered some challenges. There were moments during lectures where I had questions, and I faced difficulties while writing my research paper. However, I took the initiative to seek help from the professor and teaching assistants (TAs). Their guidance provided me with valuable insights beyond mere answers, opening new avenues of thought and understanding.
When it comes to the TA instructors and class advisors, they have been prompt in responding to my messages and inquiries. The TAs provide comprehensive courses, both in terms of duration and content, which greatly aids us in digesting the knowledge from the professor’s lectures. The class advisor is also exceptionally enthusiastic and responsible. Even after the research project concluded, she actively responds to my questions and inquiries.
Furthermore, what is worth mentioning is that at CIS, I have encountered a group of like-minded peers who share a passion for chemistry and possess remarkable ideas. They come from different academic levels, ranging from sophomore year in high school to undergraduate studies. Although we are at different stages of education, what unites us is our shared love for the field of chemistry, as well as our curiosity and determination to explore scientific research.
4 Reaping Recommendations and Publishing Success
After several weeks of intensive learning, I have earned the professor’s recognition and obtained a commendation letter from them. What’s even more pride-inducing is that I achieved a high score on my final paper, and it was successfully published. It truly gives me a sense of accomplishment!
I have included my project experience and achievements in my personal statement, particularly dedicating a section to highlight my involvement in the CIS research program. Similarly, among the four application essays for UC system universities, one is specifically dedicated to showcasing my CIS research experience. I believe that these standout experiences mentioned in my essays, combined with the endorsement of Professor Brian Stoltz’s recommendation letter, will ultimately lead to successful admission offers from these prestigious universities.
5 Insights for Application Season
First and foremost, if you, like me, aim to enhance your academic background before the application season arrives, engaging in a research project is undoubtedly a fantastic option. If you’re interested in the CIS research program, I recommend reaching out to your class supervisor, TA, or even emailing professors whenever you have questions or need assistance. The teachers are always willing to provide guidance and feedback. Additionally, it’s crucial to manage your time effectively and ensure you complete the weekly tasks as required.
Next, when selecting universities, it’s not just about considering the application difficulty and rankings; you should also ponder other factors such as public or private institutions, curriculum offerings, and research interests of the professors.
Lastly, I hope that everyone can discover their passion and persevere in their chosen field!