madisonf
madisonf,
Brown ‘21
B.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
"Biochemistry and film... wait what?" -everyone's reaction to me. Int'l actor, science geek, filmmaker and public speaker combining science and storytelling at Brown.
Features Included
18
Essays
9
Schools
10
Scores
15
Advice
6
ECs
0
Sports

Background

Hometown Bangkok, Illinois, Thailand
GenderFemale
EthnicityAsian, White Non-Hispanic
First Gen College StudentNo
English First Language Yes
Other Language(s) Spoken Mandarin

Results, Essays, and Advice

Accepted
Waitlisted or Withdrew
Denied
  • Brown University (Providence, RI)
  • Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  • Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Brown University (Providence, RI)

Applied for a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

Six cities and seven schools haven’t just changed the languages I speak or the foods I eat. They have changed the color of my skin. Perhaps I’m a chameleon, employing chromatophores to transform pigment and travel a multitude of backdrops, adjusting myself as I experiment around the lab, leap across the theatre stage and ascend the MUN debate floor. Agarose gel, glycerol, supplanting water with urea. My mind whirls with the influx of chemical protocols in the lab...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
143 Words
Brown appeals to me the way improvisational theatre does – with every scene or semester, one devises different characters or delves into new disciplines. Similarly, in Open Curriculum, I’ll return to the academic freedom I experienced as a Montessori student in Montréal, Canada – scouring book catalogues to design my reading curriculum, and a homeschooler in Kobe, Japan – spending free time choreographing musicals with my neighbors. Not only will I gain depth in Biochemistry through a year of hands-on research...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
169 Words
Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated? “Convey superhydrophobicity without language" was my first assignment at California Nanoscience Institute this past summer. Scrambling for ideas, my first thought was of my IB biology teacher, who once assured me the secret to this science was learning its language. Hidden in such complex terms were snippets of Latin. I should break terms down and decipher the meaning. But how was I to explain a concept without using...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
136 Words
Tell us where you have lived - and for how long - since you were born; whether you've always lived in the same place, or perhaps in a variety of places. Taang duan zai na’er? Moving from Singapore to Thailand means stumbling over intonations and rolled consonants, unintentionally switching between Mandarin and Thai in the same sentence. Before that, the challenge was navigating a labyrinth of monotonous skyscrapers while living in Tokyo or conquering steep inclines leading to rural...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
110 Words
Communities or groups: pick one and tell us why it is important to you, and how it has shaped you. Octopus and wasabi in Japan, ice cream bread sandwiches in Singapore and fried tarantulas in Thailand. My family and I make a habit of trying the unexpected for the sake of adventure, so it’s not uncommon to find us catching baby eels barehanded at a Japanese fishing festival or befriending local schoolboys to hunt for stag beetles in bamboo...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
166 Words
Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. The days of smoothing straw from my hair had long since passed. I smudged dirt contours across my face and dug my feet until they squelched in the mud. The transition from seventeen-year-old girl to tyrannical pig was underway on the set of Animal Farm. But the real challenge wasn’t finding affinity between myself and the murderous antagonist. It was assimilating my character within the ensemble. Storytelling...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
367 Words
"Why Northwestern" Statement: When people ask me the highly anticipated question “so what do you want to study in college?”, I answer “biochemistry and film”. Although met with either confusion or surprise, my response becomes clearer when I share my equal passion for ‘why’ things work (biochemistry) and ‘how’ information is conveyed (film). Providing a platform to study both interests is the reason Northwestern appeals most to me. To deepen my scientific knowledge, Weinberg’s model of learning based on...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
257 Words
Describe something outside of your intended academic focus about which you are interested in learning. The days of pulling straw from my hair and wiping soil from my cheeks had long since passed. Now, I embraced the dirt contours across my face and dug my feet until they squelched in the mud. The transition from seventeen- year-old girl to tyrannical pig was well underway on the set of Animal Farm. But the real challenge wasn’t finding affinity between myself...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
244 Words
Academic Interest: Whether presenting avant-garde topics at academic conferences, convincing businesses to invest in my lab, or gaining consumer trust in novel medicines, science and storytelling go hand in hand. USC is the ideal place to pursue my interests in both biochemistry and film. To immerse myself in biochemistry beyond the classroom, I will continue gaining hands-on experience in the lab. Perhaps I can support professors in their research through a Rose Hills fellowship, secure internships through USC’s biotechnology...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
120 Words
Describe yourself in three words: Tenacious. Spontaneous. Empathetic. What is your favorite snack? Mango - fresh mango, dried mango, or green mango. Favorite app/website: www.schaechter.asmblog.org Best movie of all time: Ferris Bueller's Day Off Hashtag to describe yourself: #SelfEmployedFoodTaster Dream job: Part-time founder of a biotech company, part-time actress/filmmaker. What is your theme song? Oceans by Hillsong Dream trip: Cycling and photography the Long Math route in China. What TV show will you binge watch...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
300 Words
Why Davidson? Biology was once a distant subject filled with a wealth of information I could not grasp. Then, Ms. Thew, my IB Higher Biology instructor, changed everything. She jumped around class, portraying an energized electron and brought in a homemade life-sized model of the alimentary canal. She also never once complained about the numerous questions I raised in class or the multiple visits to her office to gather advice for my independent research project on plasma membrane permeability. At...
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Supplemental Essay: Other
118 Words
List the books you have read in the past year for school or leisure. Place an asterisk by those books required for classes you have taken. On China (Henry Kissinger) Everything I Never Told You (Celeste Ng) The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand) Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (Travis Bradberry) Smarter Faster Better (Charles Duhigg) Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan) The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath) Elon Musk (Ashlee Vance) The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka) * Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Gabriel García M...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
648 Words
Please describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University (optional). Planning to pursue a career in biomedical science while honing my communication and storytelling skills, Tulane appeals to me because of its health-related research focus and capacity for theatre and film experience. Beginning my Tulane journey in the Newcomb-Tulane College will allow me time to explore interdisciplinary connections between my fields of interests before gaining depth in science and communication. Perhaps I’ll combine my cultural curiosity with interest...
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Supplemental Essay: Scholarship application
697 Words
Write one paragraph describing your most meaningful community service activity, either past or present. Focus on how your motivations for volunteering with this speci c organization exemplify your broader interests and aspirations in community engagement. If relevant for you, also describe how your identities motivate your service work or community engagement. The first documentary short-film I created was at the last-minute request of World Food Project, a community service organization dedicated to alleviating hunger in local Thai communities. Although I...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
101 Words
Why Yale: “Stop writing philosophically; follow the Theory of Knowledge framework!” my teacher declared. Unsatisfied by the potentially confining framework of essay writing in TOK, I turned to Yale’s Open Courses, clicked on ‘Philosophy’, and was immediately struck by Professor Kagan’s – or rather Shelly’s – down-to-earth, interactive teaching style. His pertinent lectures opened my eyes to a caliber of education both satiating my curiosity and answering questions I grappled with in class that my teacher once proclaimed “too...
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Supplemental Essay: Unique question posed by school
601 Words
SHORT ESSAYS 1. The elevator shuddered to a halt. I turned to the only other girl on our travelling MUN debate team, the most shaken by the incident. After calming her down, I assured her we would live to see our resolutions pass the next day. Minutes ticked by, our clothes sticky with sweat, so I recounted the day, cracking (cringe-inducing) jokes to take our minds off the uncomfortable situation. As our usual friendly banter and conversation resumed, I smiled at...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
596 Words
Agriculture and Life Sciences Response I have always been fascinated with the invisible. Moving between countries exposed me to a wealth of biodiversity - stag beetles in Kobe bamboo forests and monitor lizards in Thailand - but what really sparked my curiosity was the seemingly mythical realm of biochemistry and microbiology. As a young homeschooler growing up in Japan, I wondered what enabled my tomato plants’ growth. This enticed me into the world of micro science and the ‘why’ behind...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
271 Words
In 150 to 250 words, please write about why you are interested in applying to and attending Swarthmore. In history class, my peers and I often sidetrack into other discussions. Some days we’ll debate the role of geographical determinism in wars, and on others, we’ll question whether history is controlled by public ideology or the “big man”. At Swarthmore, I see myself continuing these discussions, challenged by differing viewpoints from passionate students. I can already envision myself chatting to peers...
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School Specific Advice

Additional material sent in after waitlisted or deferred
752 Words
PERSONAL LETTERS - if you only read one section of my advice, read this bit: After being deferred from Brown, I immediately sent a FIRST update in the form of a handwritten letter to the Dean of Admissions, telling him (in an upbeat tone) why l still loved Brown (the warm, welcoming student body towards a random high school student sitting in on classes & the amazing faculty I encountered during my visit) why Brown was a good fit for me (Open Curriculum, various organizations I would join, college atmosphere), and that I would commit if accepted RD. I got an...
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List of schools I interviewed with and my interview experience
1274 Words
Bottom line – every interview is different and it’s impossible to rehearse. With that being said, here are 10 do’s and don’ts I gathered from my experience. Take everything with a grain of salt. 1. The best way to prepare is to re-read your Commonapp essays, extracurricular list and resume and think about personality traits or aspects of your life not highlighted in your application, needing explanation or re-emphasis that you’d like to showcase in the interview. 2. De-stress beforehand and show up relaxed and confident. My interview with Brown was in the evening, so I gymmed and showered after...
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Reaching out to professors and coaches at schools I applied to
702 Words
COLLEGE VISIT ADVICE Who should I bring with me? Parents? Sure. But save your second cousins for the family reunion. Sometimes extended family get overly excited and insist on accompanying you, but you want to have time to be quiet and really envision yourself on the college campus; see if you can honestly call this place home for four years (often overlooked in the frenzy of college rankings and prestige). Plus, having too many family members will oversaturate your advice stream and you might end up subconsciously liking a university because your great aunt enjoyed the merchandise store. What should...
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How to increase chances at my school
64 Words
This applies to Northwestern, Tulane, and any school with an optional prompt: answer it. Be detailed. Don't use a ...
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How to increase chances at my school
68 Words
When writing your "why us" essay, talk about your "fit". You'll notice that I cited my non-traditional homeschooling & montessori school...
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5 adjectives that describe a typical student at my school (Feel free to elaborate!)
63 Words
Passionate - every student has something they love here. Open-minded - the majority of students are curious and...
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How I chose schools to apply to
152 Words
If you can only tour colleges during the preliminary stages of your college search and you still don’t know whether you want a rural or city campus, it’s a good idea to hit a range of university “types”. That means visiting a range of...
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Most popular extracurricular activities at my college
85 Words
The arts are huge at Brown. You find more people showing up to watch an a cappella group perform under the arch in the evening than...
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What I like about my school’s location and culture
349 Words
Brown's culture is so open that professors in fields you have no experience in actually encourage you to take their classes! This is unlike any other school I visited, where they created barriers in the form of discrete colleges (ie. college of arts and sciences vs. college of engineering), prerequisites and requirements to get into classes/majors, professors that only wanted students with experience in their field. Brown is quite the opposite, they love "non-concentrators" aka students that aren't thinking of majoring in their field! This means in any given class, you'll find such a mix of students bringing their...
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Why I ultimately chose my school
205 Words
Brown was my one true love because I applied ED. I didn't expect to get in through RD, but in the end, this is what won me over: 1. Emphasis on undergraduate teaching. Unlike many other top schools, Brown is very focused on undergrad and not distracted by their graduate program. Professors are amazing, research opportunities are in plenty, and...
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More Essays

These essays haven't been tagged by school. Click school logos above to see tagged essays.

General Admissions Advice

My advice about getting recommenders
294 Words
4 rules for getting letters of recommendation: 1. Check the requirements of your field. If you're STEM/Engineering, you university will require (or recommend which is basically the same thing) you to get at least one Math/Sci teacher to recommend you. Same applies for any other niche field and scholarships! For example, I applied for a community service fellowship that required a letter from a community service supervisor. 2. Make sure they actually like you for starters. Decide who you want to ask a few months before hand...
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Recommended summer activities during high school and college
280 Words
Do activities that interest you, but also can help create a "theme" to your application. My first summer was spent doing things I genuinely loved, but that happened to intertwine into my bio-communication themed application. These included getting culinary certified, SSI open water diver, NSSA Gold Sailing, etc. The past few summers were more focused on my career ambitions. At one point I wanted to pursue pre-med. I shadowed several of doctors/scientists/engineers in USA, Singapore and Thailand. (If you're INTERNATIONAL take...
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What I’d change about my application process
115 Words
Stress less! After getting deferred from Brown, my hopes were dashed. I can't count the number of stress rashes or sleepless nights I had, worrying if I would be accepted into any university at all!...
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What set me apart from other applicants
113 Words
1. Because I have so many diverse interests, my high school college counselor said I needed a "theme" to tie in the most prominent strands of interest together, so I didn't look like I...
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Whether I took out loans or applied for scholarships, and my advice
76 Words
I applied for as many scholarships as I could. Unfortunately, I started preparing for many of them way too late, and was therefore...
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High School Performance

Weighted GPA
4.33
 
Rank
Top 1%
 
High School TypeInternational
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest ACT
34
 
ACT Score Details
 
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep
SAT IIs
Other Standardized Tests

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details6 classes and scores

Sports

Extracurriculars

ActivitiesStudent Council / Government, Habitat for Humanity, Model Congress / Model UN, School Theater/Plays, Culinary, Help Save Our Environment
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

How Spent Summers
Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received
Application Additional Materials

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