Page 36 - Engineering Career Guide for UT Austin
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    getting in strategies
Let’s say you’ve decided to apply to engineering schools. engineering element, such as pre-engineering courses. The
Here’s your checklist: A strong academic record and
good SAT scores. Heartfelt letters of recommendation from teachers. A well-written essay. But how can you set yourself apart from other students?
We spoke with one of the gatekeepers to find out. Marian M. Nicoletti, senior associate director of Transfer Admissions at the Rochester Institute of Technology, told us that top engineering schools look at extracurricular activities to determine which students have the right stuff. “We want students to be more than one-dimensional, to show that they’re interested in things other than academics.”
Clearly it’s wise to check out what’s available with an
nonprofit group Project Lead the Way designs and makes available to K-12 schools across the country project-based STEM courses. If you have an opportunity to take one, do so, Nicoletti urges. Taking part in robotics competitions via organi- zations such as FIRST or Vex is another natural, so look for an extracurricular or after-school club that offers one of these.
Don’t overlook Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The scouts who achieve the highest ranks — Eagle Scout or Gold Award — will have worked on a substantial community service proj- ect, which Nicoletti says, is “looked at very favorably.”
But any kind of community service is a plus. Examples in- clude: volunteering as a Big Brother or Big Sister, tutoring other

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