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Personal Statement for Electronic and Electrical (MSc) [University of Strathclyde]

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Hi everyone,


My name is Ilham, and I'm new here. Currently I'm in my last semester of my degree study in Universiti Malaysia Perlis. I already submit an application to University of Strathclyde today for MSc program but I'm still not sure regarding my personal statement. I'm not native english speaker, so I really need your help to check on my personal statement (statement of purpose)! :)








I am currently in the last semester of my degree study in University Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) and I am planning to undertake graduate studies in Electronic and Electrical Engineering (MSc) at the University of Strathclyde. Through this mean, I sincerely hope to fulfil my lifelong dream which is to become an electronic entrepreneur in my native country, Indonesia, - one day.


The reason that I want to become an electronic entrepreneur in Indonesia is because the current technology development in Indonesia that seems to be growing fast, I’m urged to participate in this emerging field particularly in my native country. As a simple example, currently there is no Internet Service Provider in Indonesia that can provide consumers a good Internet service at a reasonable price. The recent market research report has shown that the electronic market share in Indonesia is very high. The population of Indonesia is almost reached 250 million people, reaching a double digit volume growth in the year 2011 which is a good indication for me.

My interest in electronic and computer engineering can be dated back to my childhood. It was when I got my first Nintendo gaming console for the first time. At that time, I was thinking how nice it is was that the console has other functions such as playing music like a walkman, playing movie like television, and of course multiplayer with people from another part of the world, basically integrated entertainment centre. Since that, my ambition is to further my study in the field of Electronic and Computer Engineering so that I can design all these functions in one console.


At the undergraduate level, my interest in Electronic and Computer Engineering becomes more apparent. Although my major is in Computer Network Engineering, I realize that I also enjoy learning Electronic Instrumentation and Embedded System. In the third year of study at UniMAP, I have done Green House system prototyping project using National Instruments LabVIEW graphical programming. The use of graphical programming in prototyping has several advantages over common programming language such as C and Java. LabVIEW is easier to learn and troubleshoot the error. During the third year semester break, I joined an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) company, PT. Rekayasa Engineering in Jakarta as an intern for three months. I was assigned to Instrument division and had chance to participate in Dayung Gas Compression Project with Conoco Phillips as the owner of the project. During that time, I learned a lot about Piping and Instrument Diagram (PID), Cause and Effect system, and the importance of project handling, management, and documentation.


Based on the knowledge on Computer Network that I gathered during my undergraduate study and my experience during internship period, I came out with the idea of developing prototype of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for oil and gas pipeline using NI LabVIEW Embedded Module for ARM Microcontroller for my final year project. During the development of the prototype, I had a chance to learn from Professor Dr. R. Badlishah Ahmad and Professor Dr. Farid Ghani who have a lot of experiences in Computer Network and Embedded System. One of the most challenging tasks in developing the prototype
is working with other students, since doing prototyping alone is near to impossible and teamwork plays an important role here.


My university life is not only going to classes, labs, and taking exams, but also social activities. I am one of the members of Student Representative Council executive committee, and I have been holding the post for three semesters. Working in Community, Industry, and International Relation division gives me a lot of opportunities to travel to various places such as attending students’ events and seminars, and meet a lot of people from various countries. I am also awarded with Tuition Waiver by UniMAP for my academic achievement and involvement in Student Representative Council. In 2010, I had chance to join International Exposure Educational Trip sponsored by UniMAP to Australia for eight days. When I was there, I visited few universities in Adelaide and Melbourne such as Flinders University, University of Melbourne, RMIT University, and University of South Australia. In 2011, I joined School of Computer and Communication Engineering Club and held position as vice president for two semesters. The Club made few big activities for students such as Internal Sports Carnival, Open Source Day which is held to introduce Linux and Open Source software to the students, and Annual Grand Meeting for School of Computer and Communication.


During the semester break prior to my fifth semester, I joined student exchange program to Maejo University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The duration of student exchange program is four months. Unexpected thing happened during the student exchange program. I had chance to become teaching assistant during the exchange program. I was assigned to teach the freshmen basic of computer programming and Linux Operating System in English language. It really was an amazing and unforgettable experience for me.


After 4 years of university studies, I often ask myself as to why I don’t prefer employment after graduation. The answer is that I have very strong incentive to advance in the field of Electronic and Computer Engineering as far as possible before entering the working world. In this way, I feel I have a better edge in the fast growing industry of electronics particularly true in Indonesia. One of the main reasons for selecting the University of Strathclyde is because the recommendation from my dean, Prof. Dr. R. Badlishah Ahmad who graduated from the University of Strathclyde. I’m looking forward particularly to join the course.


Applicant: Ilham Nandana
Tuesday, 9th April 2013


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I think your SOP is too long.


I suggest taking out the part about Nintendo motivating you to go into EE. Tons of people probably did that and plus you didn't put it in a very mature way.


You're repeating your CV in paragraphs 4, 5, and 6. Currently, it just says, I did A, I did B, I did C. Try this format: "I'm a good fit for this program"/"I want to do MSc in EE" because "<qualities> I gained from doing <stuff>".


Specifically in paragraph 6, it's good that you do stuff outside of school but you've got to relate it back to why that makes you a good electrical engineer or a Master's candidate.


I would avoid words like amazing and unforgettable, they say nothing to the admissions committee. Also, that paragraph has nothing to do with EE or grad school except the fact that it makes you a well rounded person that can work with diverse groups of people halfway around the globe. So say it! Just in a more mature way.


I think you should definitely include your vision. What you want to do after graduation, be specific, make sure you research what's in and what's out, and pick a niche that jives well with your CV and also increases your chances of admission.

Edited by wsc215
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I believe you Should find A way to MaKe introduction more interesting .

Try to find Something About yourself that can make you standout.

LOSE the Nintendo part for sure . Childhood games and hobbies with no real link to your Career are a NO NO when it comes to SOP .

Be more sp about what your research interest is and what your future plan are.

Add a paragraph as to why School X an excellent fit for you (including Classes, staff, location , research opportunities... ) and what you could bring to the Schools in terms of experience, background, diversity ...-

Length can vary so long you adhere to the Schools' rules and repitition.

You English skills seem okay but you may want to use Some conjunctions and have someone editing skills look it over

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