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Hi there. I'm applying to PhD in industrial engineering and decided to start my SoP with a story that shows how I started my interest in industrial engineering. I think it's too long and weak. Therefore I would appreciate if you can review that for me. in the meanwhile I'll be writing the remaining parts about my master degree, conducted research and future plans.

I have always had a keen desire to be an influential person with a significant impact and contribution to my family, society, country and even the entire world. Throughout my high school years I have learnt and enjoyed the application of logical scientific thinking and knowledge of natural laws in analyses and solving problems. Evoking that in my narrow-mindedness as a kid, I thought being a doctor whose cures and heals others’ pain is the best impact I would do. After completing my high school in Saudi Arabia and due to the regulations there, I had to pursue my undergraduate study at my home country, Sudan. Yet again due to the Sudanese regulation, since I have a non-Sudanese high school certificate they crossed credit my certificate from 99% to 88% only. Accordingly, I could not attend the school of medicine at University of Khartoum, instead I admitted in the Faculty of Mathematical Science (FMS) at the same university. Although I took dual major in statistics and computer science, but I thought that I’m going to have an ordinary future with no distinction as I planned beforehand. That frustration even affected my grades in the first couple of years at FMS. When matured I broadened my view to the future and realized that I still can achieve my dream and be the person I wanted to be without being a doctor. I read vest array of work in computer programming, database system, applied probability and others. Afterward I started fascinated with the industrial engineering and the as a way of representing, analyzing, predicting and optimizing the systems around us. I had a substantial amount of reading in linear programming, operations management, production planning and scheduling, quality control and supply chain management. I used to formulate the linear programming problem without even get to know how to solve such problems. Then I took courses in operation research, reliability theory and stochastic process that solidified my interest in industrial engineering and intensified my desire to pursue my study through in that disciplinary. Moreover, FMS do not offer senior project on that area, nevertheless I came up with my own proposal for two projects in simulation and queuing model and on land use and planning.

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I'm no expert but personally I don't think 80% of this information is necessary. You can talk a bit about your research background / courses you took and then move straight into you proposal and future plans. You can do a lot to shorten this. For example, "Moreover, FMS do not offer senior project on that area, nevertheless I came up with my own proposal for two projects in simulation and queuing model and on land use and planning." can just be, "I proposed two research projects in simulation and queuing model(s?) and also on land use and planning."

I would avoid criticizing yourself, e.g. "Evoking that in my narrow-mindedness as a kid, I thought being a doctor whose cures and heals others’ pain is the best impact I would do."

"As a child, I thought being a doctor would allow me to achieve the greatest possible positive impact on humankind." Although personally.. I would just avoid talking about the doctor thing all together and focus on your current passion. I understand you had societal struggles in realizing your dream, but still it might be best not to mention that what you are applying for now is your second choice in life.

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I don't know anything about engineering, but I'm pretty decent at English, so I figured I would give you some suggestions for cleaning up the language a bit (i.e. make your essay sound more 'natural' in English).

I have always had a keen desire wanted to be an influential person with who makes a significant impact and contribution to my family, society, country and even the entire world. Throughout my high school years, I have learnt and enjoyed the application of logical scientific thinking and knowledge of natural laws in analyses and solving problems-solving. Evoking that in my narrow-mindedness as a kid, I thought being a doctor whose cures and heals others’ pain is the best impact I would do. After completing my high school in Saudi Arabia and due to the regulations there, I had to pursue my undergraduate study at my home country, Sudan. I graduated from high school in Saudi Arabia, and due to government restrictions, I returned to the Sudan, my native country, for my undergraduate education. Yet again due to the Sudanese regulation, since I have a non-Sudanese high school certificate they crossed credit my certificate from 99% to 88% only. Accordingly, I could not attend the school of medicine at University of Khartoum, instead I admitted in I then went on to attend the Faculty of Mathematical Science (FMS) at the University of Khartoumsame university. , where Although I took dual completed a double major in statistics and computer science., but I thought that I’m going to have an ordinary future with no distinction as I planned beforehand. That frustration even affected my grades in the first couple of years at FMS. When matured I broadened my view to the future and realized that I still can achieve my dream and be the person I wanted to be without being a doctor. I read a vest vast array of work in on computer programming, database system, and applied probability and others. Afterwards I started became fascinated with the industrial engineering and the as a way of representing, analyzing, predicting and optimizing the systems around us. I had did a substantial amount of reading in on linear programming, operations management, production planning and scheduling, quality control and supply chain management. I used to would formulate the linear programming problems without even get to know how to solve such problems any prior knowledge***. Then I took courses in operation research, reliability theory and stochastic process that solidified my interest in industrial engineering and intensified my desire to pursue my study through in that disciplinarydiscipline. Moreover, While FMS does not offer senior projects on in that area, nevertheless I came up with my own proposal for two projects in simulation and queuing model and on land use and planning.

***To be honest, I did not entirely understand what you meant by this sentence. I rewrote it to suggest that you would take on projects involving linear programming, even though you had no background in the field, just based on interest/fascination. If you were trying to convey something different, then ignore my suggestion completely!

Edited by ridofme
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I'm no expert but personally I don't think 80% of this information is necessary. You can talk a bit about your research background / courses you took and then move straight into you proposal and future plans. You can do a lot to shorten this. For example, "Moreover, FMS do not offer senior project on that area, nevertheless I came up with my own proposal for two projects in simulation and queuing model and on land use and planning." can just be, "I proposed two research projects in simulation and queuing model(s?) and also on land use and planning."

I would avoid criticizing yourself, e.g. "Evoking that in my narrow-mindedness as a kid, I thought being a doctor whose cures and heals others’ pain is the best impact I would do."

"As a child, I thought being a doctor would allow me to achieve the greatest possible positive impact on humankind." Although personally.. I would just avoid talking about the doctor thing all together and focus on your current passion. I understand you had societal struggles in realizing your dream, but still it might be best not to mention that what you are applying for now is your second choice in life.

Thank you ay761 for the response. actually I'm uncertain about this too if this medicine thing is a good thing or not. I thought it shows how I've developed my current passion. I'll try to cut it off

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I don't know anything about engineering, but I'm pretty decent at English, so I figured I would give you some suggestions for cleaning up the language a bit (i.e. make your essay sound more 'natural' in English).

I have always had a keen desire wanted to be an influential person with who makes a significant impact and contribution to my family, society, country and even the entire world. Throughout my high school years, I have learnt and enjoyed the application of logical scientific thinking and knowledge of natural laws in analyses and solving problems-solving. Evoking that in my narrow-mindedness as a kid, I thought being a doctor whose cures and heals others’ pain is the best impact I would do. After completing my high school in Saudi Arabia and due to the regulations there, I had to pursue my undergraduate study at my home country, Sudan. I graduated from high school in Saudi Arabia, and due to government restrictions, I returned to the Sudan, my native country, for my undergraduate education. Yet again due to the Sudanese regulation, since I have a non-Sudanese high school certificate they crossed credit my certificate from 99% to 88% only. Accordingly, I could not attend the school of medicine at University of Khartoum, instead I admitted in I then went on to attend the Faculty of Mathematical Science (FMS) at the University of Khartoumsame university. , where Although I took dual completed a double major in statistics and computer science., but I thought that I’m going to have an ordinary future with no distinction as I planned beforehand. That frustration even affected my grades in the first couple of years at FMS. When matured I broadened my view to the future and realized that I still can achieve my dream and be the person I wanted to be without being a doctor. I read a vest vast array of work in on computer programming, database system, and applied probability and others. Afterwards I started became fascinated with the industrial engineering and the as a way of representing, analyzing, predicting and optimizing the systems around us. I had did a substantial amount of reading in on linear programming, operations management, production planning and scheduling, quality control and supply chain management. I used to would formulate the linear programming problems without even get to know how to solve such problems any prior knowledge***. Then I took courses in operation research, reliability theory and stochastic process that solidified my interest in industrial engineering and intensified my desire to pursue my study through in that disciplinarydiscipline. Moreover, While FMS does not offer senior projects on in that area, nevertheless I came up with my own proposal for two projects in simulation and queuing model and on land use and planning.

***To be honest, I did not entirely understand what you meant by this sentence. I rewrote it to suggest that you would take on projects involving linear programming, even though you had no background in the field, just based on interest/fascination. If you were trying to convey something different, then ignore my suggestion completely!

ridofme I appreciate your response. actually I didn't proposed those project because of interest/fascination I had when I started reading about the IE stuff but the idea of these projects based on the courses I took after that which I mentioned. the queuing models are stochastic processes and the land use planning problem is formulated and optimized using the operation research techniques, epecially linear programming ones.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A 370 word intro is too long to spend on the question: "Why this field" assuming your total word count will be about 1,000-1,200 words.  I agree with an earlier post which suggests there are too many superfluous details that don't belong in an SOP. My rule is that if its in your resume don't use up valuable real estate repeating it in the SOP (i.e. "After H.S....I had to pursue..."). Rather than asking for feedback on your intro I suggest a template that you might consider for the entire SOP. It is difficult to make suggestions when only shown an intro. While some of the other responders were kind enough to offer their skilled editing advice (likely more skilled than mine), this intro is not at the point where editing is required. Its content still needs to be developed. 

Suggested template:

1. Opening story: This should be a set up, create some tension or drama, get the reader to want to read more (i.e. "Deforestation and land use policy in Sudan has vexed farmers, government, and industrialists for centuries. When I spoke with a eucolyptus farmer in central Sudan as part of my research project about...")

2. Back story: How you arrived at this point (short version of your current intro).

3. Your current research interests: The greater clarity here the better able the dept chair or admissions committee will be to assess your readiness for a doctoral program.

4. Your interest in a particular school, its course offerings, research of faculty you are interested in following, partnerships, etc: This will show you have some investment in time and thought into their program beyond just what is on their website.

5. Your career focus (academic path, commercial/public sector consulting, combination of these, etc)be: The more clear your career vision, the easier it will be for the program chair to take the risk of admitting you. Clarity of your future will be a key differentiator for your application.

6. Closing: tie back into the opening example of Sudanese land use, and the lives of farmers, or the job creation you are capable of impacting in pursuing this field. 

 

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

 

Some basic rules:

-Do not make a claim without a supporting example (i.e. "I would formulate linear programming problems without...")

-Avoid superlatives (i.e. "vast array," "fascinated," "substantial amount of work.")

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