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Really need help guys!! Applying to UCLA! Is this SOP good enough??


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Hi guys, I am trying to apply for grad school. i am an international student currently a senior at University of south Alabama. Please leav a comment on my statement of Purpose and hopefully help me get admitted. Also let me know if the school im applying for fit my profile. My detail profile is shown below:

BS Civil Engineering

CGPA: 3.98

Member of Tau Beta Pi

Active in extra curricular activities.

1 summer internship

Applying for:

UC berkeley

UCLA

Rice

Virginia Tech

U of Michigan

SOP:

Statement of Purpose

I am a senior civil engineering student at University of South Alabama and am expecting to graduate in May 2013 with Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. As an undergraduate, I was given the chance to explore several numbers of different fields in civil engineering such as structural, geotechnical, coastal, environmental and water resources engineering. Having to take the courses from each of these fields, I realize that I have a very strong interest in structural engineering.

Structural engineering is the branch of civil engineering that I find most interesting, challenging and practically satisfying which combines engineering principles, math and physics. To satisfy my urge in exploring deeper into structural engineering, I chose to take all of the available design courses related to this area, such as reinforced concrete design, steel design and timber design, for my undergraduate study. I had worked diligently these past four years to fully understand, and master the concept of these subjects. Having to take all of these courses, I found myself left wanting more and wanting to go deeper into some specific area of structural engineering.

Over the summer of 2012, I was hired by Penang Second Bridge Sdn Bhd (PSB), a construction management company in Malaysia, as an engineering intern. This company was specially established to manage the project of constructing a 16 miles bridge connecting two states in Malaysia. As an engineering intern, I was assigned under the design department where I was exposed to the detailed design of the cable stayed marine bridge. During my time at PSB, I learned a lot about the design of the specific part of the bridge including the design of pre-stressed concrete beam, segmental box girder, seismic load isolation system and the structural design of the deep pile foundation. At the same time, I was given various tasks including site investigation, resources estimation, and scheduling with Primavera Project Management software.

Over the duration of three months working as an engineering intern at PSB, I develop a substantial amount of interest in bridge engineering. I intend to enroll for the thesis option for my graduate study so that I will be able to do a research related to bridge engineering. This includes some specific topics such as structural health monitoring system, the structural behavior under seismic load, and mitigation strategies for bridge cracking. As United States of America is facing a lot of problems with its infrastructures, I believe those specific areas of research that I chose will be practical and beneficial. I found that faculty members specializing in structural engineering in your school had done numbers of excellent researches and projects related to the area that I mentioned. Therefore, with the knowledge and experience that your faculty members have, I believe I can use it as guidance to achieve my goals in my graduate study. It is also an honor if I were given the opportunity to be involved in one of those great research projects as a research assistant. Learning and working besides the faculty members will be a remarkable experience for me.

After earning my master’s degree, I intend to work with any consultancy firms that are involve with structural designing for infrastructures and buildings. I wish to work under a Professional Engineer which will guide me in pursuing my career goal of being a Professional Engineer (PE). This way, I believe I will be able to apply everything I learned from my undergraduate and graduate studies, and finally be able to contribute to the society.

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It sounds like you have some great experience!

Do you submit a resume (CV) as part of the application? If so, then I wouldn't spend so much time going into the details of your internship in your SoP.

See what other people have to say, but I think I would move the stuff from your last paragraph up toward the top, and then use the other information as proof that you have already begun positioning yourself to achieve these goals.

Also, there are a few grammatical things that seemed awkward, if not actually incorrect. For instance, I would say, "graduate with *A* bachelor of science degree in civil engineering", and "As THE United States is facing many problems with its infrastructure [<-no s]. So, after you've completed your last draft, have someone read it over that can help it to sound a little more natural. (These little things shouldn't be distracting, but they are.)

Good luck!

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Actually, I disagree. I think talking about your experiences is a great use of your SoP; but, I would go even more in depth. It's great that you learned about these things and you enjoyed it! Now... how have those opportunities prepared your for a graduate career? What would you like to focus on in your thesis? It's great that you have all this experience, but if you can bring it to the next level... show that you and your unique experiences have shaped you into a graduate candidate that they want to accept. Don't just focus on what you have done; now show them that you are enthusiastic about what you WILL do... and that they should be excited too.

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Thanks guys for the feedback! really appreciated it! One question, do you think i need to add anything about my personal things? some of the school i intend to apply told to include some things about my hardship through my undergraduate life and maybe reason why some of my grades is low or my GRE. Any opinion?

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Thenerdypenguin makes a good point -- it's not that the details about the internship are bad, you just don't want to leave them saying, "so what", so you have to show how that ties into future plans.

If there's a "blemish" on your record that you think would concern them, what I've heard is that you can explain it but do so briefly and with a positive spin. Things like, "A difficult family situation kept me from devoting as much time to coursework my third year, but through the experience I learned to take challenges as they come and continue to do my best," or, "While I found the transition to the U.S. education system challenging, after my first year my hard work began to be more accurately reflected in my transcript."

That's what I've heard recommended, anyway. If there's nothing that you think will stand out as a concern, I wouldn't worry about it.

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Guys this is my updated SOP! please review it if u dont mind! thanks guys!

Statement of Purpose

I am a senior civil engineering student at University of South Alabama and am expecting to graduate in May 2013 with Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. As an undergraduate, I was given the chance to explore several different civil engineering sub disciplines such as structural, geotechnical, coastal, environmental and water resources engineering. Having taken courses from each of these fields, I realize that I have a very strong interest in structural engineering.

Structural engineering is the branch of civil engineering that I find most interesting, challenging and practically satisfying because it combines engineering principles, math and physics. To satisfy an urge to explore deeper into structural engineering, I chose to enroll in all of the available undergraduate design courses related to this area, such as reinforced concrete design, steel design and timber design. I had worked diligently these past four years to fully understand the basic concept of these subjects and my achievement of 4.0 GPA on all structural related courses that I have taken proven my strong interest and dedication towards structural engineering. Having to take all of these courses, I found myself left wanting more and wanting to go deeper into some specific area of structural engineering such as advance steel and concrete design, pre-stressed concrete design and bridge engineering.

Over the summer of 2012, I was hired by Penang Second Bridge Sdn Bhd (PSB), a construction management company in Malaysia, as an engineering intern. This company was specially established to manage the project of constructing a 16 miles bridge connecting two states in Malaysia. As an engineering intern, I was assigned to the design department where I was exposed to the detailed design of the cable stayed marine bridge. During my time at PSB, I gained valuable experience the design of the specific part of the bridge including the design of pre-stressed concrete beams, segmental box girders, seismic load isolation systems and the structural design of the deep pile foundations. At the same time, I was given various tasks including the site investigation, resource estimation, and scheduling with Primavera Project Management software.

For my graduate study, I am interested in pursuing research in structural health monitoring system, and infrastructures engineering which includes the design, analysis, behavior under seismic load and cracking mitigation strategies. As United States of America is facing ever growing infrastructure deterioration, I believe those specific areas of research that I chose will be practical and beneficial.

My research indicates that your department and faculty research achievements are closely aligned to my research goal. I personally admire the work of your faculty members, Professor John Wallace, who had done an exceptional job in a seismic structural health monitoring system research project, called “A Novel Framework for The Seismic Structural Health Monitoring of Tall Building”. I found this research project to be very interesting and challenging especially in making the laboratory as the true build environment in order to obtain critical data in improving modeling capabilities of wind event, low to medium level earthquake, and a high level earthquake. It is also a huge achievement that Professor Wallace and other research members were able to come out with special requirements for tall building instrumentations and it was included in a consensus document “An Alternative Procedure for Seismic Analysis and Design of Tall Buildings Located in Los Angeles Region” published by Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council (2008). Therefore, with the knowledge and experience of faculty members, I believe I can achieve my educational goals in structural engineering. I would also like to be considered a graduate research position. Learning and working besides the faculty members will be a remarkable experience for me.

After earning my master’s degree, I intend to work for engineering consultancy firms that focus on structural design. I intend on becoming a professional engineer and to apply my knowledge toward more cost efficient and sustainable infrastructure for society. Again, please consider my application for a graduate structural engineering program at University of California, Los Angeles.

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