Why Mudd? with the Senior Interns

About 4,000 of you are out there, thinking about that “why Mudd?” question on our application. For those of you who are applying ED, your thoughts are due in just a week from today! In the spirit of collaboration and peer tutoring, we’ve asked the senior interns why they chose Mudd and what’s surprised them about their experience here.

Djassi Julien

Headshot of Djassi Julien, Admission Senior Intern, Class of 2020Hometown: New York, NY
High school: High School for Math Science and Engineering at City College of New York
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics Joint Major
Why Mudd?: I chose Mudd because I wanted to attend a school with a strong STEM curriculum where I wouldn’t have to give up my interests in humanities and the arts (but also: the weather).
What surprised you about Mudd?: I was really surprised by how welcoming everyone was from the moment I arrived on campus!

Holly Frank

Headshot of Holly Frank, Admission Senior Intern, Class of 2020Hometown: McLean, VA
High school: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Major: Physics (Astrophysics option)
Why Mudd?: I chose Mudd largely because of the small community – I felt like I could be an engaged member of the student body and impact the school for the better. Also, I wanted to be surrounded by scientifically-minded peers who still understood the value of a strong background in humanities.
What surprised you about Mudd?: I was surprised by how friendly everyone was, and how much my peers and professors wanted to see me succeed here. Even though I heard that this would be the case when I was first looking at Mudd, it wasn’t until I started meeting the people here that it really sunk in for me!

Hannah Larson

Headshot of Hannah Larson, Admission Senior Intern, Class of 2020Hometown: Seattle, WA
High school: Lakeside School
Major: Mathematical and Computational Biology and Theater
Why Mudd?: I was first drawn to Mudd because of the academic opportunities. I loved the fact that I could study STEM without giving up all of the humanities classes I wanted to take in college. I also think it is awesome that the school cares so much about teaching students about the impact of their work on society! Once I visited Mudd, met some of the students, and saw the awesome community, I knew I really wanted to come here!
What surprised you about Mudd?: I was surprised by just how kind and supportive Mudders truly are! Every time I’ve been stuck on homework or had a question about something going on at Mudd, I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who offered to help when I ask. Although I already knew before coming to Mudd how awesome the people were going to be, I was still surprised by the extent to which people look out for and care about each other.

Isaac Zinda

Headshot of Isaac Zinda, Admission Senior Intern, Class of 2020Hometown: Seattle, WA
High school: Seattle Academy
Major: Computer Science
Why Mudd?: In the “Why Mudd” essay I sent to Harvey Mudd four years ago, I wrote: “Mudders are quirky and interesting but still shake your hand with confidence. They are passionate engineers who also enjoy spending time out and about, away from their dimly lit rooms and computer screens.” Although I wish I’d reined in some of my imagery, I still very much believe in these words. Mudd’s strength is its student body, and the strength of the student body stems from our passion for the sciences AND the humanities AND life in general.
What surprised you about Mudd?: I expected Mudd to be hard. I did not expect Mudd to challenge me in the excruciating way that it has, in a way which has made me more thoughtful and permanently shifted my worldview.

Jenna Kahn

Headshot of Jenna Kahn, Admission Senior Intern, Class of 2020Hometown: Marietta, GA
High school: Walton High School
Major: Mathematical and Computational Biology
Why Mudd?: I wanted to push myself in a place where my professors believed in my intellectual capabilities and trusted me, and I wanted a community where everyone loved science, but not just science, as much as I did.
What surprised you about Mudd?: I was surprised by how quickly and intensely friendships form here!

Kira Favakeh

Headshot of Kira Favakeh, Admission Senior Intern, Class of 2020Hometown: Evanston, IL
High school: Evanston Township High School
Major: Engineering
Why Mudd?: I chose Mudd because it is a liberal arts college and part of the consortium. I love that along side my STEM education I’m also getting to take humanities courses and utilize the resources that the other colleges have to offer. By the end of sophomore year I had already taken a class at each of the 5 colleges.
What surprised you about Mudd?: I was definitely surprised at how outgoing so many Mudders are and I really appreciate that. I didn’t have a sense for what the student body would be like before coming here but I was really happy that so many people are unapologetically themselves and that everyone is so supportive of each other embracing their individuality.

Sidd Chandra

Headshot of Sidd Chandra, Admission Senior Intern, Class of 2020Hometown: Shanghai, China
High school: Shanghai American School
Major: Engineering
Why Mudd?: I chose Mudd because I wanted a small tight knit community that would support my passion for biomedical engineering while also pushing me to grow and explore the humanities
What surprised you about Mudd?: I was surprised by committed everyone was to upholding the honor code. It amazed me how everyone wanted to support each other in keeping ourselves accountable.

Sol Cruz

Headshot of Sol Cruz, Admission Senior Intern, Class of 2020Hometown: Forest Hill, TX
High school: Robert L Paschal High School
Major: Computer Science
Why Mudd?: I come from a low-income background and wanted to go to a school where I felt I could learn a lot for the career I was going as well as have decent financial aid so that I wouldn’t have to be stressed about paying for my higher education.
What surprised you about Mudd?: I was a surprised by how difficult the classes were, it was much more difficult than anything I had ever experienced in high school, but I’m thankful because they allowed me to learn and grow quite a bit.