Winner’s Home Town
San Diego, CA
College or University Attending
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Utopia Scholarship Essay
Education is one of the single biggest indicators in predicting a person’s quality of life. In short, the more educated a person is, the better their life, and on the aggregate, the more educated a society, the better off the country. Pursuing higher education leads to a more intelligent and ideally free thinking population. A more educated individual not only provides more for themselves, but also to society through their profession (i.e. doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.) than they would otherwise. Furthermore, a free thinking population plays a significant role in preventing tyranny.
I seek to improve the world around me and MIT is the perfect institution to nurture and grow this desire. When I first joined MIT, I was certain that I would be an aerospace engineer, and my goal was to involve myself in space exploration. My thesis was that if a significant amount of resource extraction were to take place off planet, that environmental degradation could be avoided and quality of life would increase across the globe. For a student interested in space exploration, there are few better schools than MIT. More recently, I am not as certain that I will practice aerospace engineering professionally. In my current internship as a management consultant, I have learned a lot, and seen the potential for positive change that I can have with on planet solutions. The effects are much more immediate and tangible working on solutions for Earth rather than looking to space. The firm I work for is involved in several pro-bono cases, and these cases move people closer to utopian societies in a variety of ways from expanding internet access to working with large corporations on carbon recapture strategies. Something as seemingly small as working with a state government to improve their DMV’s goes a long way towards bettering the world, and this is the type of work that I love to do. I want to see the effects my work has on people as it will drive me towards further progress
Life as a whole is just a large optimization problem with a near infinite number of parameters, and success just means maximizing the value along some set of constraints to try to achieve a perfect, or utopian life. Whether I choose to pursue aerospace engineering or consulting full time, the nature of my education will go a long way towards creating a more utopian world. At MIT, life revolves around problem solving. In my time there, I have learned to apply the same principles I use in engineering classes to life. Simple, yet underutilized ways of thinking, from simplification to checking second and third order consequences, have profound effects on final products. The world has a lot of problems and obstacles in the path towards utopia, but after completing my degree I feel I will be more than ready to tackle them within my chosen profession, optimizing my problems to maximize utopian value.
My long term goal has always been to start my own company, yet I never had a clear idea of what I wanted to do, until I came to MIT. A friend of mine decided to start a company that focuses on clean hydrogen creation after graduating and he has enjoyed success both for himself and the planet. His energy solution outperforms conventional energy sources in efficiency and carbon mitigation. Hearing of his solution, and the vast entrepreneurial network that my university has to offer, has given me ideas that have potential to change the world for the better. If it were not for my education, I would have never thought about entering the field of renewables, particularly wave and tidal power. I strongly believe that there are available solutions that, if harnessed, could provide power to the entire globe, and I want to dedicate a large part of my life to finding them.
My education has provided me with ways to create a more utopian world both in the short term, through management consulting, as well as the long term, through a potential start up. Higher education not only teaches you, but just as importantly, surrounds you with people all striving for something. This competitive pressure brings everyone up, and out of it come ideas, inventions, and discoveries that move us closer to utopia.