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Microbot

Members
  • Content Count

    12
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About Microbot

  • Rank
    Decaf

Contact Methods

  • Yahoo
    ihsanpramanda@gmail.com
  • Skype
    ihsanpramanda

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Man
  • Location
    Bandung
  • Interests
    Synthetic Biology, Metabolic Engineering
  • Application Season
    2019 Fall
  • Program
    Microbiology/Biotechnology
  1. Microbot

    2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Anyone got replies from Dartmouth MCB or UIUC MCB? I've seen on the results survey, some people have got invitations from Dartmouth since Dec 8, but in my application, it says nothing but "Submitted"
  2. Hi, I have similar issues too. I have plenty of stuff I wanna put in because I think they are all necessary. But I would rather try to stick to that limit. I guess one or two lines off would be okay, but if its almost a paragraph extra, unless the SoP is very moving, I'm afraid it would bore the adcomm.
  3. Microbot

    SOP Review

    Hi, sorry for intruding. If you have time, I would like your help to criticize my SoP too. Can I also PM you?
  4. Do the program you are applying to explicitly mentioned that GRE is required? I learned that many biology/biomed program started to phase out GRE requirements. In that case, I believe you don't need to submit your score. Also, if your research experience amount to some meaningful outputs (posters, pubs), I believe you can emphasize that. In any case, it's better to email the program and ask whether they have a GRE cutoff. Another options is to look for programs which have a much later deadline. That way you can have time to retake the GRE hopefully improve your score. Hope this helps.
  5. Dear all, I am an international student applying to several Microbiology programs for Fall 2019 in the US. I got my masters in the US in 2016, but for several reasons I could only start my application for PhD this year. I am starting to freak out because the deadline is approaching. I have plenty of stuff I want to put in (I have 9 years gap between undergrad and PhD application) which hopefully tell my key experiences and reasoning of wanting to do a PhD, yet this makes my draft almost 3 pages long. I would like any help to comment and criticize my SoP (rip it off if necessary) especially to cut them down but still conveying a complete and sustained narrative. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance. ? SoP - Microbiology - Microbot (Gradcafe).docx
  6. Dear everyone, I'm an international student applying for MS in Biotech in US for Fall 2014. I will have my interview tomorrow via Skype. I have browsed many resources on the web regarding the sample questions, tips, etc. But I still can't come up with how to answer these questions. I would like to hear your suggestion, perhaps your sample answer if you have been asked with these question during your interview. 1. In what ways have your previous experience prepared you for graduate study in our program? I'm confused of how to answer this question since I decided to apply to the MS program to gain more experience for applying to a PhD. 2. What skills do you bring to the program? How will you help your mentor in his or her research? This question is similar with No.1. I don't have much skills during my undergrad except some standard lab skills and techniques. I apply to the MS program to learn new skills. What should I mention during the interview to really differentiate myself from the crowd? 3. How would your professors describe you? How to answer this question without looking conceited or exaggerating? Is this question similar with "What are you greatest strength and weakness?" 4. Why should we take you and not someone else? What aspect of myself should I brainstorm to answer this question? Please give me some insight about these questions. Thank you so much!
  7. Dear Fuzzylogician I see your points. For PhD, I will continue studying synthetic biology. My reason for taking masters is because most research groups in synthetic biology are placed within chem eng or bioeng department. I never took any advanced math or engineering courses during my undergrad so I think taking masters will fulfil my need and prepare me for PhD in this field. However, my head is almost explode due for tinkering with the letters since the morning. LoL The deadline has been passed, so here's my final and submitted version. ------------------------------------------------- To solve the world's most pressing problems, we must be able to think about them from multiple perspectives. This idea became clear to me in 2010, when I first learned about synthetic biology through articles about J. Craig Venter, who together with his team successfully created the first synthetic genomes that worked in a living organism. In this intriguing breakthrough I saw the opportunity for gene mixing between species using the minimal genome as a chassis, raising prospect of building a "super-cell" with a pre-designed genome capable to perform any programmed task, from producing useful chemicals to detecting toxic substances in the environment. I found its interdisciplinary approach of molecular biology and engineering so exciting. Other accomplishment like synthesis of malaria drug artemisinin in yeast convinced me that this field has tremendous potential for research and applications. Since that moment, I decided my career goals are to be a lecturer and researcher in synthetic biology. My interest lies in particular in the interface between the Life Sciences and sustainable development. For this reason, I decided to study oyster mushroom growth under five different magnetic field doses for my undergraduate final project at [XXX]. My data suggested that magnetic field of 0.8 mT increases fruiting body production by 17%, whereas 1.6 mT and 2.0 mT delay the mushroom harvest by 18 days. These results allowed for a deeper understanding of fungal physiology and could be applied to increase mushroom production. I also became familiar with a different field of research during my internship at [XXX], studying effects of manual and slow-freezing on growth of vero cell lines for polio vaccine production. I was responsible in regular passaging of the cell lines and estimating the confluency. I gained new lab skills in animal cell culture and also my first experience working in industrial environment. I further solidified my interest in synthetic biology by joining [XXX] iGEM team in 2013, designing and constructing [XXX] biosensor in E. coli to quickly detect poisoning in grains and legumes. Limited time and resources while coping with the rigor of the competition taught me that to achieve a common goal, persistence and strong multidisciplinary teamwork is a must. My extracurricular activities as a group leader in a biogas reactor installation and as a volunteer in a vermicompost application on farming villages near [XXX] allowed me to apply my knowledge to actual community problems. I acquired valuable skills in project development, resource management, and working with people from diverse backgrounds, from agriculture to mechanical engineering. In addition, my work as an instructor at [XXX] nurtured my passion in teaching. These activities improved my time management skills which in turn helped me to overcome my bad grades at the end of my sophomore year. Since a solid understanding of engineering principles is required for synthetic biology, I believe that studying in a Masters program that can connect my Life Sciences background with Engineering is a logical step before advancing to do a PhD. For this reason, I am applying to the [XXX] University Master of Biotechnology Program. The comprehensive curriculum offered by the program will give me a well-rounded preparation for a doctoral program and I believe that [XXX] University’s good reputation will assist me in starting my career. The strong interdisciplinary faculty will bring me the expertise I need in pursuing synthetic biology. The study of metabolic engineering in Dr. [XXX] lab and cell-free synthetic biology in Dr. [XXX] lab are of particular interest to me. I believe their approaches could be expanded to design better cell factories or pathways for biofuel production and help tackle global energy problems. I plan to obtain the certificate in [XXX] so I can apply what I've learned in the class and labs in disadvantaged areas of the world. I also plan to take industrial internships, particularly in renewable fuels-related companies. Within ten years, I plan to start my career to develop a bio-based economy in Indonesia through synthetic biology research and train new generation of synthetic biologists. The experience I hope to gain in Master of Biotechnology Program will allow me to build a strong relationship with industry that in turn will enhance my future career. I truly hope that [XXX] University will give me the chance to join the Master of Biotechnology Program. The program will help me to make great impacts in people's lives while still being true to my passion and interests. ------------------------------------------------- That's all I got. I still have two or three schools to go for May deadline. You are welcome if you still have any suggestions since my next letters might be based on this one. Truthfully, this one is my top choice. So if I do get admitted, I will stop sending applications. All I can do for now is hope and pray. There will be an interview session for all the applicants though. So you might want to tell me what points of the letter I should expand during my interview.
  8. Dear Fuzzylogician. Thank you for your feedback and your edit. I do feel better now to submit the letter. As for vague description, yeah, I acknowledge it as my other weakness in writing. I tend to describe things without giving clear details. However, your feedback made it clear for me what to do next. For the conclusion, could you give me one epic yet effective example? Maybe from other fields or career goals? Should I restate my goals to be lecturer and researcher in the end?
  9. Dear Fuzzylogician, Thank you so much for the advice. It still helps. I have at least 11 hours before the bell rings. Turns out, the recommended max length is 750 words. I tried to reorganize the letter as you recommend and I come to this: ----------------------------- To solve the world's most pressing problems, we must be able to think about them from multiple perspectives. This idea became clear to me in 2010, when I first learned about synthetic biology through articles about J. Craig Venter and his team successfully created the first synthetic genomes that worked in a living organism. In this intriguing breakthrough I saw the opportunity for gene mixing between species using the minimal genome as a chassis, raising prospect of building a "super-cell" with a pre-designed genome capable to perform any programmed task, from producing useful chemicals to detecting toxic substances in the environment. I found its interdisciplinary approach of molecular biology and engineering so exciting. Other accomplishment like synthesis of malaria drug artemisinin in yeast convinced me that this field has tremendous potential for research and applications. Since that moment, I decided my career goals are to be a lecturer and researcher in synthetic biology. My interest lies in particular in the interface between the Life Sciences and sustainable development. Therefore, I decided to study oyster mushroom growth under five different magnetic field doses for my undergraduate final project at [XXX]. This allowed for a deeper understanding of fungal physiology while applying the results to increase mushroom production. I also became familiar with a different field of research during my internship at [XXX], studying growth of vero cell lines for polio vaccine production. I gained new lab skills in animal cell culture and also my first experience working in industrial environment. I further solidified my interest in synthetic biology by joining [XXX] iGEM team in 2013, designing and constructing [XXX] biosensor in E. coli to quickly detect poisoning in grains and legumes. Limited time and resources while coping with the rigor of the competition taught me that to achieve a common goal, persistence and strong multidisciplinary teamwork is a must. My extracurricular activities as a group leader in biogas reactor installation and volunteer in vermicompost application on farming villages near [XXX] allowed me to apply my knowledge to actual community problems. I acquired valuable skills in project development, resource management, and working with people from diverse backgrounds, from agriculture to mechanical engineering. In addition, my work as an instructor at [XXX] nurtured my passion in teaching. These activities improved my time management skills which in turn helped me to overcome my bad grades at the end of my sophomore year. Since a solid understanding of engineering principles is required for synthetic biology, taking master program that bridge my life sciences background with engineering will be a logical step before advancing to do a PhD. For this reason, I want to continue my study at [XXX] Master of Biotechnology Program. The comprehensive curriculum offered by the program will give me a well-rounded preparation for doctoral program while [XXX] University high reputation will give me a lead in starting my career. The strong interdisciplinary faculty will bring me the expertise I need in pursuing synthetic biology. Study of metabolic engineering in Dr. [XXX] lab and cell-free synthetic biology in Dr. [XXX] lab are of particular interest to me. I believe their approaches could be expanded to design better cell factories for biofuel production and help tackle global energy problems. I plan to take the certificate in [XXX] to apply what I've learned in the class and labs in disadvantaged areas of the world. I also plan to take industrial internships, particularly in renewable fuels-related companies. The experience gained will allow me to build a strong relationship with industry that in turn will enhance my future career. I truly hope that [XXX] University will give me the chance to join [XXX]. The program will be my stepping stone to make great impacts in people's lives while still being true to my passion and interests. ----------------------------- It goes to around 650 words. Still have 100 words if I need to expand some points or give more details, What do you think of this revision? Could you give more suggestion to improve it?
  10. Hi Krishna99, I'm also posting my SoP in another thread to get some critique. I'm from life sciences so maybe my commentary will give you some outsider perspective. For the organization: I think it's better to start with the content from your third paragraph since it will chronologically explains how you become interested in civil engineering. You should cut the second paragraph. It's the same with the beginning of your fifth paragraph so it's better to explain your reason for attending XXXX university here. For the content: You only mention two points here: the courses you've taken and your experience at Srinidhi Projects. It's way too few. I personally think you should include any other projects or experiences in your life that lead you to the decision of pursuing advanced studies in the particular field and at the particular university. You should explain more on what you did in Structural Engineering during your undergrad other than just taking the relevant courses. Perhaps you did some project or join a competition. You might also relate it with your undergrad final project. You should also expand on what you've learned or achieved on "the various tasks" given to you during your time in Srinidhi. There's not much detail there. You should explain more why do you interested in the XXXX university, why not in somewhere else. What aspects of the school does attract you? Is it the reputation, the professors, the available research projects, other features such as internship? You said XXXX is a dream and ideal place but you don't explain why. Overall, I find your SoP too generic, unconvincing, and lacking in details. It will be hard to convince the adcoms to admit you if you don't explain clearly about yourself, your experiences, and your reason on choosing their school. I suggest you do more brainstorming, consult your peers or supervisors, and rewrite the outline of your SoP. I hope it helps.
  11. Dear fuzzylogician and SciencePerson101 Thank you so much for your constructivre criticism. I know I should have done it earlier. The silly thing is I have sent this version to two schools. I personally think uncomfortable with the version, as it emphasizes too much on my background but not on my goals and how the university could help me reaching them. I have shown this version to one of my lecturer whom I think is very critical and meticuluos. However, that's all he could suggest me. The deadline was approaching so I was left with no choice. I did get inspired by Craig Venter's work, that's the turning point for my interest. My previous projects are more related to applied microbiology, without much molecular biology. I thought I should did something to prepare myself and to show that I'm really interested in synthetic biology as it would gave me a strong reason for applying to the program. So I later joined iGEM team at my home university as a collaborator. About the odd language choices, it's purely due to my fair English. I'm not good in writing so I couldn't think of proper words to express myself for a certain condition. I only rely on English Thesaurus. Thank you for pointing out the mistakes and showing the better word choices. My theme for the second paragraph is more like my whole undergrad experience. It's like I was doing good at first, but then got bad grades in one semester. I realized that my problem was in time management skills which could be related to my lack of extracurricular activities. So I decided to join several activities in the next semester and thankfully, it did help improve my GPA. Besides, those activities taught me many skills that I described in the paragraph and led me to think that I'm interested in using my knowledge for a good use in society. I know it might seem out-of-focused. Could you suggest me how to better manage these details? About the bad grades, I think I should explain it since it's in molecular biology and microbial genetics. The SoP is the only place for doing it. How could they believe that I'm ready for synthetic biology if I had bad grades on some key courses? Could you give suggestion for this? I will try to revise my SoP based on your suggestion. There is much time difference between here and the USA so I could use my time. Thank you so much.
  12. Dear all, I'm an international student wishing to apply for Master of Biotechnology in the US for Fall 2014 to study synthetic biology. The prompt said something like this: "Briefly describe your career goals and the role our program will play in helping you achieve those goals." The admission staff suggest me to write no more than 700 words. However, I'm switching my interest so I feel the need to describe my background and how I come to this new interest. I should also explain my bad grades during my sophomore since no other place to do it. Here's my draft. Growing up in the rural town of [XXX], truly nurtured my fascination for nature and my interest in biology. Tinkering with flowers and collecting insects' specimen from lush farms surrounding my house have taught me the power of keen observation and analysis, which was the beginning of my scientific life. During high school, I brought along these childhood experiences to excel in science subjects that eventually culminated in me representing my country in [XXX], awarded with Silver Medal in 200[X]. It was during the [XXX] training I learned about molecular biology and biotechnology, knowing that organisms could be genetically engineered for useful purposes. Since that moment, I decided I want to study biotechnology and pursue my career in this field. I obtained the basics during my undergraduate study at [XXX] through courses like Microbial Genetic Engineering and Industrial Biotechnology. My grades were slightly marred during the end of my sophomore year in several courses. I acknowledge that my lack of good study management hindered my development. However, I managed to overcome this problem in the next semester, improved my GPA, and started my life as a productive student, showed by my activities as a group leader in biogas reactor installation and volunteer in vermicompost application on farming villages near [XXX]. These activities allowed me to apply my knowledge to actual community problems while improving my skills in project development, resource management, and working with people from diverse backgrounds, from agriculture to mechanical engineering. In addition, my work as a [XXX] instructor at [XXX] spawned my passion in teaching. Through all of those activities, I finally reached my maturity. These experiences imprinted in me the power of thinking from many perspectives, leading to one theme that I carry out throughout my academic and professional life: interdisciplinarity. To solve the world problems, we need interdisciplinary approach. My interest particularly lies in the interface between life sciences and sustainable development. That's the main reason I chose to do my undergraduate final project investigating oyster mushroom growth under five different magnetic field doses; gaining a deeper understanding of fungal physiology while applying the results to increase mushroom production. I also challenged myself to try different field of research during my internship at [XXX], studying growth of vero cell lines for polio vaccine production. I gained new lab skills in animal cell culture while also having a direct involvement in management of a biotechnology company through regular meetings and writing reports. Having had various experiences in biotechnology, I decided my career goals are to be a lecturer and researcher in synthetic biology. My pivotal point came in 2010 when I read articles about J. Craig Venter and his team successfully created the first synthetic genomes that worked in a living organism. This intriguing breakthrough sparked the idea of gene mixing between species using the minimal genome as a chassis, raising prospect of building a "super-cell" with a pre-designed genome capable to perform any programmed task, from producing useful chemicals to detecting toxic substances in the environment. Other accomplishments like synthesis of malaria drug artemisinin in yeast convinced me that this field has tremendous potential for research and applications. This unique interdisciplinary approach of molecular biology and engineering is so exciting. I further solidified my new interest by joining [XXX] iGEM team in 2013, designing and constructing [XXX] biosensor in E. coli to quickly detect poisoning in grains and legumes. Limited time and resources while coping with the rigor of the competition taught me that to achieve a common goal, persistence and strong multidisciplinary teamwork is a must. Since a solid understanding of engineering principles is required for synthetic biology, taking master program that bridge my life sciences background with engineering will be a logical step before advancing to do a PhD. I want to continue my study at [XXX] University Master of Biotechnology program. [XXX] reputation and high ranking as proofs of excellence will give me a lead in starting my career. The strong interdisciplinary faculty will bring me the expertise I need in pursuing synthetic biology. Study of metabolic engineering in [XXX] lab and cell-free synthetic biology in [XXX] lab are of particular interest to me. I believe their approaches could be expanded to produce better biofuels and help tackle global energy problem. I will bring my experience as a person from a tropical region and world's [XXX] most populous nation to the class to raise more discussions of what problem biotechnology could solve. I also plan to apply what I've learned in the class and labs at industrial environment through internships, particularly in renewable fuels-related companies. The experience gained will allow me to build a strong relationship with industry that in turn will enhance my future career. I hope that [XXX] University will give me the chance to join the Masters of Biotechnology program. [XXX] will be my stepping stone to make great impacts in people's lives, while still being true to my passion and interests. Could you comment my SoP and give some advice on how to improve it? What should I trim and what should I expand? Also how to adequately explain the important things without too much exceeding the limit? Thank you so much for your help.
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