Writing Center Success Stories: MIT Exchange Program Acceptance


By: Liu Zirui and Matthew Jellick

Throughout the semester, the Writing Center at the CLE has continued to make itself available to help students on a variety of different tasks, the most common of which is Personal Statements.  Often, Writing Center teachers, Liu Zirui and Matthew Jellick encounter students, whom, at the last minute, ask for help with this particular aspect of their applications, seeking assistances with “polishing” their short essays before submitting them to various top-tier universities around the globe.

Earlier this month, two SUSTech students approached both Ms. Liu and Mr. Jellick, each asking for help with their applications to the MIT Summer Program.  Due on a Monday morning, both teachers met with their respective students, Ai Qian and Oscar Zheng, on Sunday, understanding the importance of this opportunity, and the subsequent doors it would open both professionally and academically.

Adjusting grammar, syntax, and tense issues, revisions were treated as a learning opportunity, teaching through review, much the same way a partner would help within the classroom.  Good writing is a complex mixture of personal expression and learned knowledge, and to be able to translate that into a coherent, well-written Personal Statement, speaks to the hard work and determination of our students.

After submitting their applications and Personal Statements, both students were accepted into the MIT Program where they will each spend a year living and learning, expanding their worldview while at the same time gaining unparalleled access to knowledge at perhaps the world’s leading research university.  From our humble Writing Center at the CLE, we are honored to have been a part of this process, and look forward to helping others achieve their academic dreams.