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- When I was seven years old, I saw my uncle doing his homework. He was a student at the University of New Orleans studying to be an engineer. I asked him what his homework was, he said it was calculus. I said, "Well, what do you need that for?" He said, "Oh, I'm studying to be an engineer." And I remember this conversation vividly, he remembers none of it. I then asked him, "Well, what does an engineer do?" And he says, "Well, an engineer builds things, "anywhere from cars, to planes, to boats, "to computers, and whatever else." I said, "Well, that's what I love doing." "I want to be an engineer." And it just got in my head, well, that's what I should be doing. He immediately said, "Well, if you want "to be an engineer, you should go to MIT." And then, I remember literally saying, "Well, then I will go to MIT." Not knowing what MIT was, where it was, what it stood for, anything. But it was just in the back of my mind, and by the time I got to high school, it was still there, and at this point, I knew that it was a good engineering school up in Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But then, the more that I asked around and realized this is going to be a pretty competitive thing, but I did buckle down more with my studies. But my junior year when I sat down with my guidance counselor he said, "Where are you going to apply?" I said, "I'm going to apply to MIT." And he said, "Where else are you going to apply?" And I said, "No, I think I'm just going to apply to MIT." My guidance counselor said, "Well, do you realize that no one "from our high school has ever gotten in to MIT." That "There's about five people in our state," I was in Louisiana, "who get in every year." "Maybe you should, you know "you have a shot, but maybe you should "apply to a few other places." At first, I was a little dismissive. "Oh, no. If I don't get in, "I'll just wait a year and apply again." And he's like, "No. You really should apply "to more places." So my process was pretty imperfect. I said, "Okay, well let's see." Locally, I grew up in New Orleans. There's Tulane, very good school in New Orleans. Let me apply there. My sister was at Brown, another excellent school. I said, "Let me apply there. That's where my sister is." And then, several of the really good students from my high school, the last several years, have gone to Rice in Houston, which also was a very good engineering school. So I said, "I'll apply to Rice, as well." You know, lucky for me, with this kind of ad hoc process, just knowing who I knew, it did work out. Obviously, I did get into MIT eventually... or I got into MIT, so that worked out. But I think in hindsight I would've done it a little bit differently. I probably would've broadened the number of applications I put out there. I probably would've put... done more research on... What were all, not just basing on what my uncle happen to have told me or what one or two friends happened to tell me. I probably should've done more research on what are all of the top engineering schools. I would've discovered that Standford has an excellent engineering department. Princeton has an excellent engineering department. Cornell, Georgia Tech, I could go on, and on, and on. So it would probably make sense for me to apply to more schools, and also to have more kind of diversity, in terms of, how hard it might have been to get into the different schools. You know, if I was redoing it today, I probably would apply to maybe at least seven or eight schools especially because it's gotten even more competitive now. But yeah. That's how I had thought about it at the time.