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Hi All, 

I did a Masters in Berkeley in Statistics, fell in love with it, and am now applying for a PhD in Statistics. Would anyone be willing to read over my statement of purpose? 

What follows is my first draft, and I'm really not sure how to feel about it, so any comments are appreciated.

Notes / Questions are in italic font.

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Since I can remember people told me that the only people that amount to something are “practical” people: engineers and the likes. I did not, and still do not, want to accept that premise. Because I am about as clumsy as a Panda bear. And because my passion lies in Statistics.

As the first of my family to go to College I felt bad for the financial burden I put on us, so I gave in to the pressure. I studied Industrial Engineering and had my life cut out for me: Finish my Bachelors, start working in a Consultancy. Luckily things changed last year. The Fulbright Commission enabled me to spend a year finding and pursuing my passions, free from financial worries and far away from pressure from my family.

Do you feel like I should delete these 2 paragraphs or put them in a personal history statement? Any other comments here?

 

Because I worked for three semesters at the Statistics Department in city ABC during my Undergraduate I knew I liked the subject, and after my Masters I now know I am passionate about it. The project work at Berkeley has shown me the joy, and frankly also a sense of pride, in coming up with ideas no one had before. It has also shown me the frustration that every researcher has to suffer at some point, and the fact that I not only finished the project, but finished it successfully strengthened my resolve to do a Ph.D.

Should I be more specific about the project work? We are trying to get it published, but I'm not sure if we will in time. So include specifics?

 

Throughout my Undergraduate career I found myself studying the same things again and again. Worse even, I still forgot much of what I studied. [DC1] The Causal Inference reading group with Prof. XYZ during my masters showed me how to best retain and cope with a huge amount of new knowledge.  There I also learnt how to approach new subject matter independently. While there have been academically more rewarding classes, the reading Group has given me a taste of what a Ph.D. would be like, and shown me that I would enjoy doing one.

The aim here is to tell them that during my masters I already got a taste of a PhD and decided that I'd like to do it. Because the masters is a "Professional Degree" the commission commitee might ask itself what changed that I wanna do a PhD now, so I'm trying to adress that point here. Do you think I should adress it more explicitly?


The reading group and the causal inference class I took in Berkeley showed me the relevance of applied statistics for their respective fields and taught me how important proper statistical education is for most researchers.  I thoroughly enjoyed both courses and would love to work in this area. Professor XYZ and ABC have been inspiring teachers and conduct research in areas that I would love to immerse myself in. A unique thing about statistics is that it gives us methods to draw conclusions about data. Especially if we are able to draw causal conclusions those conclusions can change lives.

Here I wanna talk about causal inference, that I liked and would love to do more about it. Do you think that's not explicit enough?

 

I am wary about committing myself prematurely to a specific topic of research, but am very excited about Causal Inference and would love to make my own small contribution to the advancement of the field. What makes Causal Inference special is that advancements  have immediate and real impact on a wealth of studies and their results The cross-section and cooperation between Statistics, Biostatistics and Public Health in DOTDOTDOT (don't worry, it's not a generic statment) make it an ideal environment for me to develop my interests and foster fruitful discussions.

There's also a last sentence, that's too personal for me to post. I can PM it to anyone interested.

Also, feel free to correct any spelling mistakes, I'm not from the states so a couple of them might have gotten in there.

Thanks, 
Dario

 

Edited by Dario
Put the questions after their respective paragraphs instead of before

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