joshpurtell
joshpurtell,
Yale ‘21
B.S., Chemical Engineering
Maths and Physics buff who enjoys political and philosophical debate.
Features Included
14
Essays
8
Schools
20
Scores
3
Advice
6
ECs
2
Sports

Background

Hometown Beaver, Pennsylvania
GenderMale
EthnicityWhite Non-Hispanic
First Gen College StudentNo

Results, Essays, and Advice

Accepted
Waitlisted or Withdrew
Denied
  • Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
  • Minerva Schools at KGI (San Francisco, CA)
  • Colby College (Waterville, ME)
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)
Tap/click a school logo above to view essays and advice specific to that school.

Yale University (New Haven, CT)

Applied for a B.S. in Chemical Engineering

Accepted and Enrolled Legacy: No

School Specific Essays

On January 14th, in the winter of my sophomore year, Foster the People — my favorite band — released a single named "Coming of Age". The lead singer later described how his time in the Czech Republic, my second home, influenced the song. I could never have foreseen the preternatural accuracy with which the song would narrate my life that year. Earlier that winter, just as the cold winds began to bear soft, delicate snowflakes, my father was diagnosed with cancer of...
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Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
A metronomic roar of iron and oak suddenly comes to a clamoring halt: the two armies are now within stone's throw, within arrow's touch. They stare one another down, impatiently; their ranks ripple with unease. The generals rein in their mounts and exchange glances. Grey, wrinkled eyes look curiously into fiery orbs of brown: their flame flickers. The young commander knows: he charges first. Indecision leadens his legs. Should he first send in his infantry? That's the safe move — the...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
588 Words
public class Hello { public static void main(String[] args) { System.out.println("Hello Carnegie Mellon!"); } } Early last spring I received a thick letter from Carnegie Mellon: "Congratulations, you've been accepted to the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences." To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement; spending five weeks at CMU, learning from some of the best professors in the world, and doing lab work in state of the art laboratories —a far cry from the bunsen burners we...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
672 Words
The University of Pennsylvania was designed to be, in Benjamin Franklin’s words, a university that would put knowledge to use in the service of Mankind. As technology now advances at blistering pace, it takes a profound foundational technical education, complemented by a strong humanities background and channeled through excellent research opportunities, to make an engineer knowledgeable, flexible, and experienced enough to have a meaningful impact on the world. It takes a Penn education. In my experience, the inspiration for...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
150 Words
Scientific exploration begins with theory, but it certainly doesn't end there; the real fun begins when you apply that understanding to create. During my time applying quantum physics to develop novel superconductors at Carnegie Mellon, I experienced this first hand. Duke is the perfect place to take my engineering to the next level: not only is Pratt highly regarded, but it's on the rise. No other school has so much momentum; Duke is quickly becoming the premier engineering institution, and...
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Supplemental Essay: Extracurricular activity
453 Words
Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.
Someone's set my legs on fire. I ignore the screams of pain coursing up from my calves through my back and into my arms, and set my eyes on the prize: the telephone pole at the top of the hill. My legs are moving on their own; I started this workout running in perfect form, but now it seems as if my entire body is in a mad scramble to make it up the hill as fast as possible — at...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
106 Words
As of this moment, what academic areas seem to fit your interests or goals most comfortably? Please indicate up to three and explain why these areas appeal to you.
Philosophy: I often ponder whether I'm living life to its fullest, living in good faith. Reading intellectually varied perspectives on what's truly important gives me a greater appreciation for the crucial role seemingly commonplace aspects of life - friendship, humor, distrust - can play. Linguistics: I've always had an affinity for languages, beginning with Czech, and I find exploring the relationships between them, analyzing structural differences, and appreciating dialectal diversity very rewarding. Chemical Engineering: The theory behind why substances exhibit...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
99 Words
Why Yale
Yale stands out in her commitment to providing a shamelessly liberal arts undergraduate education. It's clear that while she has grown a strong engineering program, it's Yale's liberal arts foundation that has guided its sciences. It's not good enough to master theory, one must apply it to better the human condition. Yale's focus on the context, provided by an unparalleled humanities regimen, is exactly what I look for in a college. I'm certain that a humanities-heavy engineering education will serve...
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
38 Words
1.Who or what is a source of inspiration for you?
I find it crazy that we've developed means to create limbs and organs out of flesh and steel that are able to be controlled by the mind. My future in this revolution, transcending nature, inspires me.
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
36 Words
If you could live for a day as another person, past or present, who would it be? Why?
Ed Leedskalnin made Coral Castle out of huge stone slabs, without any machinery. He spoke of using a "perpetual motion holder" and witnesses claim they saw slabs floating. I'd like to know his secret.
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
31 Words
You are teaching a Yale course. What is it called?
Archeological Linguistics. Many civilizations have left few traces, save their impact on modern language; this course would examine how to use these linguistic features to understand how they lived.
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Supplemental Essay: Intellectual interest
36 Words
Most Yale freshmen live in suites of four to six students. What would you contribute to the dynamic of your suite?
I do my best to enjoy the unexpected - midnight soccer, I've learned, is an absolute blast - so I see myself mixing things up, being quirky and adding a little spunk to the mix.
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Supplemental Essay: Amusing anecdote
213 Words
What is something you do for fun?
"Krystof, come on, I found one." He promptly turns away from the blueberry patch from which he'd been nimbly picking, and runs over. "Just what I'm looking for." I flick-out my knife blade and take my quarry by surprise. I sink my blade into its flesh, and with a flick of the wrist, wrest the prize clean, all in one swoop. "Wow, Josh, way to mess up its cap." "Okay, I'm not perfect, and at least I wasn't busy stuffing...
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Supplemental Essay: Amusing anecdote
213 Words
Tell us about a time when you were intellectually curious.
Adam and I entered the lab break room and sat down. Our research mentor sat over coffee, digesting some chemical periodical. I took a risk and broke the silence. "Dr. Butera, before we start, what exactly are superconductors, anyway?" Adam looked at me, unsure. He looks up from his paper. "Well, I'm glad you asked. You see, when lattices are cooled to -270 degrees Celsius..." The risk paid off, and the excitement with which he spoke indicated that it'd be...
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Supplemental Essay: “Why us” school essay
518 Words
Why do you want to be a Yale Engineer?
Humans need water. As demand grows and water tables shrink, ensuring water access has become a defining challenge of our time. Already, dire problems have begun to emerge: heavy municipal and agricultural use has caused water shortages in arid areas around the world, notably in the Sahel and California. A future increase in demand, coupled with climate change-exacerbated desertification, shows that these problems will only grow with time. Fortunately, water is present in some form in most of the world,...
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School Specific Advice

More Essays

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

General Admissions Advice

What set me apart from other applicants
47 Words
Begin with a strong base - good grades and test scores. Next, build a...
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My advice about getting recommenders
67 Words
Choose teachers who know you best - I applied either for chemistry or physics to every university, and yet I...
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What I’d change about my application process
48 Words
Apply to a single-choice early action school in the early round, such as Princeton...
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High School Performance

Weighted GPA
4.50
(equivalent to 4.00 unweighted)
Rank
Top 1%
 
College Classes In High School
Academic Performance in High School Steady

Test Scores

Highest ACT
36
 
ACT Score Details
 
Other ACT Scores
ACT Prep
Highest SAT
1540
 
SAT Score Details
 
Other SAT Scores
SAT Prep
SAT IIs
PSAT Scores

AP / IB Classes and Scores

Details18 classes and scores

Sports

SportsCross Country, Other Sport

Extracurriculars

ActivitiesForeign Language, Other Club/Activity, Academic, Academic, Foreign Language, Religious
Elaborate on Extracurriculars or Work

Experience & Awards

Volunteer Experiences
Awards Received

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