Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

Architects have the ability to transform the world and bring speculative futures into tangible realities. With the ever-growing need for sustainable design and green construction methods, architecture is more important now than ever. It’s this holistic and synergistic approach to ecology and design that has attracted me to the field and what has driven me in my pursuit of a graduate degree, although the path has not been easy.

I began my interest in pursuing my master's in architecture three years ago. At that time several of the admissions offices I visited, told me that I was not cut out for architecture, I should find another profession and that I did not possess the academic standards of those schools required. At that time, they were right. I was not ready, nor did I have any academic evidence from my undergraduate program to prove otherwise. Though the experience was humbling, it filled me with a fire that would drive me to work harder than I ever have. It inspired me to not only make up for my past mistakes but to prove, I am not only worthy of these programs but that I’ll excel beyond all expectations when accepted.

For the past three years that has been my mission, I have sacrificed everything in hopes of moving myself into a position to one day become an architect. I left my successful job at a tech start-up and devoted every ounce of energy I had into that dream. Determined to right the wrongs of my undergraduate performance, I enrolled in school and started two part-time jobs to make ends meet for my family. I threw myself into learning everything associated with the field and have developed a deep passion for my work.

This spring I was admitted into all of those prestigious schools who had rejected me three years prior and will be attending UCLA's school of architecture in the fall. With this degree, I plan on developing ecologically conscious buildings, helping to preserve the our environment, and leaving a lasting impact on future generations.

Chris from California