How to Design a Space Mission

My passion for STEM began in sixth grade when I competed in my school’s first science fair, and I carried this interest into college, where I planned to further explore this passion and narrow my focus towards a specific discipline. My objective is to identify my potential interest among various STEM disciplines, and expose myself to research opportunities and an entrepreneurial environment to support my country in becoming the industrial powerhouse of the Middle East. Unfortunately, Cal’s chemical engineering program offers limited opportunities to develop breadth in and probe other engineering disciplines as it is offered by the secluded College of Chemistry rather than the College of Engineering. Furthermore, the chemical engineering degree plan requires an extensive core course structure that restricts academic breadth and hinders interdisciplinary exposure. I find this system restraining to my desire to further explore and experience other subjects. As I enjoy challenging the status-quo, developing new concepts, and exploring beyond the curriculum, Stanford’s WAYS system would fulfill this intellectual curiosity by offering exposure to various subjects of study with courses such as “AA 118N:

How to Design a Space Mission: From Concept to Execution.” In addition, Stanford’s quarter system and flexible curriculum enable greater subject exposure and avail multidisciplinary engagement, as Stanford’s engineering supports students to shape experiences tailored to individual needs. This approach will help me build a solid academic foundation while discovering my potential. Furthermore, the availability of numerous engineering labs and collaboration with research institutes fosters creativity to address pressing social issues. I am particularly intrigued by the Neuroscience Institute’s research on the neurological effects of plant-derived compounds. I will seek to participate in this field of research as it is complementary to the botany research I previously conducted. Indeed, Stanford prepares its students for leadership in a rapidly changing world. Hoping to contribute to my country’s Vision 2030 plan that focuses on investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship, I seek to engage in management science and engineering courses to develop the strategic side of leadership. Also, Stanford provides support for students interested in startups through professional mentors, entrepreneurship classes, and partnerships with local firms. I am looking for the opportunity to leverage the inter-departmental collaboration at Stanford to explore beyond theory and delve into entrepreneurship. As such, I hope to leverage these resources and use enablers such as StartX to advance entrepreneurial notions. My inquisitive approach, passion for research, and active extracurricular involvement are large parts of my high aspirations and desire to make a positive impact. While I am grateful for my experiences at Cal, I do not believe that it can offer me what I seek. Attending events at Stanford, such as the MENA forum this month, have taught me even more about the Cardinal culture and reaffirmed that Stanford is the best place for me to pursue my goals. As I seek a more flexible curriculum, a stronger extracurricular environment, and a closer relationship with the faculty, I am convinced that Stanford’s curriculum, culture, and community are the best fit for me

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