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This is an essay for admission to an American university for masters in construction management.


RATAN LAL-Application for MS in CIVIL Engineering - Construction Engineering & Research Management



Having grown up in one of the most poverty stricken parts of India, I have been seeing many being pauperized and homeless since a very young age. The gross inadequacy or absence of essential facilities, amenities and an unhygienic and unsafe environment had initially triggered empathy only towards my nation but later changed into social responsibility ,when I realized that these were universal problems. The gradual hike in housing investments has made the affordability of a decent abode for an average man extremely difficult. I find the improper construction methods used lack advancement. Poor technology and unskilled labour can be cited as factors responsible. Thus, my desire to eliminate these shortcomings and also my natural urge to help people, specifically to get a decent residence has vastly increased my inclination towards construction in general.

When I pursued my under graduation, I found civil engineering to be the only course that could amplify my interests. So I chose the same, despite many cautioning me against it since it is not as sought after as Electronics or Computer Science Engineering in India. The Civil Engineering program at the prestigious PES Institute of Technology was a perfect match to my interests with the right mix of theoretical and practical courses. The college ensured that the fundamentals along with the knowledge of the latest software were spot on. I have the memberships of ASCE, ACI and ICI to keep myself abreast with the latest information in civil engineering with their journals and seminars. During my bachelor's, I always had an interest in Project Management as it could satisfy my thirst to learn and improvise the construction process more than any other subject. It was only after leaning this subject that I realised, so much thought and planning goes into completing a Construction project.

Yet, the mere theoretical knowledge was not enough for me to understand what the actual scenario was. So I interned at two different firms during the summer breaks, where I learnt the tricks and trades of a project manager while working during the construction and excavation for the basement of a residential building. I was amazed to experience the pragmatic approach, that was taken, when working on the site. To get a deeper insight, I took up a job as a Junior Engineer after the completion of my UG program. This helped me discover the major problems in construction process to be the poor quality control, project delays and improper contract management. Moreover, I found that proper safety measures are not taken into consideration because contractors wanted to cut short the whole cost resulting in a lot of mishaps. These aspects of construction are pushing me to research and economise the whole process with improved efficiency. I also completed courses pertaining to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and also learnt to use a few Project Management software like Primavera and MS Project. But to quench my thirst for wisdom, I strongly believe pursuing masters in construction engineering management would be the best for me, which would enable me to keep in pace with the advancements in this field and also contribute to it in a suitable manner.

While going through the subject of building materials I realized that use of wood in construction should be minimized as wood is a finite source. This was something that I could put my focus on. As an alternative, I found Wood-Plastic composites to be most condign option. It served the purpose of recycling plastic and was very efficient both cost and strength wise but had a very sporadic use in India. So, I decided to carry out a research based project on Wood Plastic Composites (WPC) which has a larger usage in the US and other developed countries comparatively. My project was amongst the best and I was called to lecture a large audience on WPC. During my undergraduate course, I carried out an extensive survey project that included surveying and proposing plans of aligning a highway, restoring an old tank and designing a water supply and sanitation system. The method taught was too conventional and trivial. It was then I realized how below par our country was in this field of advancement. This instigated in me the need for a global degree and made me realize US to be the obvious choice.

I soon found VIRGINIA TECH to be a well renowned university which provides quality education and is supported by its excellent staff and research facilities, thus making it an obvious choice to me. My research lies in the field of occupational hazards and safety measures and project control & estimation and it would be an honour for me to work with Prof. Jesus M. de la Garza and Prof. Deborah E. Dickerson, whose research interests mirror mine. Moreover I am mesmerised to learn about the facilities provided by the FOAL, RAAMAC, CHAMPS & OCHRE laboratories and just the very thought of working in them excites and inspires me.

I am hardworking, dedicated and keen on turning every obstacle that comes my way into a chance to learn something new. As the saying goes, "smooth oceans do not make skilful sailors"- I believe that with the help of the elite faculty at VIRGINIA TECH, I would be able to pitch in to my field of interest and also delve in the direction of advancement and economization of conventional construction, turning my dreams to actuality.

@ratan251294
of India, I have been seeing many being... [i dont think we use word see for continue, u may find another synonym, I just want u

to make a good flow for the first sentence]

the overall essay structure is well connected.
I wish you achieve ur scholarship.
Jan 12, 2017   #3
Ratan, this is an extremely long essay for admission. So I guess the question that should be asked based upon the length of your essay is, are you trying to write a statement of purpose, personal statement, or letter of motivation? Please be specific about the kind of essay that you are trying to develop because each of the essay types I mentioned has a different set of prompt response expectations that cannot be combined into one essay. Kindly clarify the essay type as soon as you can. In general though, you will be happy to know that the essay you wrote is so complete in information that you can actually just take specific paragraphs out of this essay in order to create a new essay based upon each one of the 3 essay types I previously indicated. So revising this essay in order to make it fall into the proper requirements for your essay will be easier than you think. Maybe some additional information will be required but you should not be scared to do that because you have all the information you need outlined for you already.
@Holt sir this is a statement of purpose for admission to a us university. please help me know asap wat to add and wat to remove in order to make it perfect . the deadlines are 14th jan . n thank u for ur review i really appreciate that.
Jan 12, 2017   #5
Okay, this all makes more sense now. Thanks for giving me the clarification regarding the kind of essay that you need to develop. Upon reading your essay again, this time keeping in mind that you are developing a statement of purpose, I came to the conclusion that paragraphs 2 - 5 will create the best foundation for this discussion. It contains your academic background, the problem that you wish to resolve, the solution that you wish to pursue (which creates your purpose), and the reason why you opted to apply for admission to Virginia Tech. Separate those paragraphs from the others and try to develop the discussion further if you can. Focus on the presentation of your possible thesis statement as the reason that you hope to pursue masters studies in construction management. Explain how you hope to have Virginia Tech assist you in developing the possible solution to the problem you have presented. Discuss the internship programs offered by the university in relation to the practical skills that you hope to develop during this course of study. Let's start from there and improve upon the essay depending upon the type of statement of purpose you are able to develop. You have more than enough basis for the SOP within the essay you developed to properly address its requirements. I'll be here to guide you as best as I can till you finalize the content of the essay. We can get this done within the remaining time frame. Don't worry about it.
@Holt
See wat i understood from ur review is that i have to add the thing how virginia tech will enable me to overcome the problem i will definitely do that but the thing i feel is i need to cut short the whole thing by around 100 words and wat i should write for the first para since you said i should go ahead only with 2-5 para. please give your opinion on this asap,
Jan 12, 2017   #7
Use paragraphs 2-5 from your old essay to write the new essay. Specifically, develop your new paragraph one using the information in paragraph 2 of the old essay. Just write the revised essay for now and do not think about the word count. You know what the maximum word requirement is right? So this is what you have to do. Write the new essay and make sure that you are satisfied with the content. Then, using the guidelines I set out for you, practice self-editing on the essay. That means, review your essay content and remove the portions that you feel are not really important to the message of your paper. That will help to immediately bring your word count down. Now, if you still have a few words left to remove and cannot figure out how to do that, post the essay here so I can review it and help you try to figure out which sentences can be reworked in order to meet the maximum word count or less.
@Holt
sorry to annoy u a bit but see i cant seriously think of anything else other than what i have written for my first para as it shows how my interest grows seeing the people around and later i found the problem to be global and there only i connected it to construction things which lay the foundation for my essays as the essay developed into how while chasing my responsibility/passion i found some problem in india and how virginia tech is gonna cure that. if u give me sum other way of development of these things or write sum similar things i would be very grateful
Jan 13, 2017   #9
Summarize the first paragraph in a manner that will allow you to merge it with the content of the second paragraph as I advised above. You are the only person who knows which parts of your essay you can actually take from various parts so that it can create a new paragraph which embodies the requirements of the statement of purpose. Do not use the story telling routing here. Be factual in your presentation. The reviewer does not have the time to read such a long narrative. Summarize in every portion that you can. If you can merge specific information into the paragraphs I indicated, then the essay should become more impressive and informative. Don't focus on what you have done, focus on what you have to do. That means, figuring out how you can merge the information you have presented throughout the essay into a shortened version that is more purpose than general statement driven.
@Holt
updated first para plzz give ur suggestion on this
Having grown up in a poverty-stricken part of the world, the homeless people and others lacking essential facilities around me had initially triggered empathy only towards people around me but later changed into social responsibility, when I realized that these problems exists everywhere in some extent. The gradual hike in housing investments has made the affordability of a decent abode for an average man extremely difficult and almost impossible for the poor ones. Thus, my natural urge to help people in getting a decent residence by overcoming the related problems has vastly increased my inclination towards study in the field of construction in general.
Jan 13, 2017   #11
Ratan, the more that I read the essay that you revised, the more I am convinced that you are applying for the wrong masters degree course. Everything that you are talking about in this essay leads me to believe that your interests lie more in Sustainable Architecture instead of Construction Management. Have you really decided on the latter for your masters degree course? All of the information that you have shared aligns more with Sustainable Architecture. Please consider changing your masters course if you still can do that. I am not convinced that you will make a good construction management masters student because your interests seem to lie in a different line of construction.

You have combined 2 different fields of architecture into one essay. That is why this essay lacks focus and direction. You need to realize that there are clear sections, such as the opening statement and paragraph 4 which relate to Sustainable Architecture. Since that is not the focus of your masters application, you have to remove those sections in order to better focus the presentation on construction management instead. I realize that while you do not need to write a replacement paragraph for paragraph 4, you will need to write a fresh opening statement to take the place of the current one. The new opening paragraph should focus more on the construction management field in the discussion rather than a reference to Sustainable Architecture.
Jan 14, 2017   #12
Ratan, the purpose of your enrollment in the masters degree in Construction Management course is still not clear in this essay. I want you to ask yourself one question. "What do kind of contribution do you want to make in the field of construction management?" think of something serious. Something that will help address a clear problem in construction management that you feel is hindering the development of construction projects overall. The focus of your studies, the reason you want to complete this course, is pivotal to the statement of purpose.

The reviewer is looking for evidence that this course of study will have a contribution to your future career. He doesn't need to know your college data, that is what your transcript of records is supposed to be submitted for. The statement of purpose is more concerned with your relevant work experience. Build that portion of your essay some more. Talk about your relevant internship experience and make sure to name the company and years of your internship with them so that your claim will have credibility in the eyes of the reviewer. Focus on construction management problems and experience.

It is not enough that you want to have your own construction firm in the future. If you do not have the work experience to relate to construction management, no amount of theoretical study will help you in developing the proper mindset, skills, and opportunities to properly develop your construction firm. What will set your construction firm apart from the others? What specific kind of construction firm do you want to have in the future? How does construction management studies help you achieve those dreams?

Create a more solid idea for your thesis statement and present the problem you have developed for research as part of the purpose for your interest in this masters degree. If you can present your concern in the form of research, then your purpose will have a stronger foundation and also create the idea that you are capable of finishing this course within the allotted time frame.
@Holt
this is my sop for ms in construction enegineering aand management at tamu.

During my bachelor's, I realized subjects like project management, cost & estimation enticed my interests of building a construction firm in future. Since I was more interested in finding the solution of problems prevailing in construction industry. I took the subject of Failure Criteria in structures where learnings of the subject were the different predictable and undesignable risks associated with construction projects. These theories became more clear when I learnt about project management in next semester. I also completed OSHA training courses to get accustomed with the general safety measures to be taken while working on a site, which I used later while working as a junior engineer.

(...)

please give your suggestions asap
Feb 17, 2017   #14
Ratan, this essay is ready to use. It has a clear purpose, a comprehensive and very intricate explanation as to how your academic learning turned into an internship which in turn, resulted in a job. That is a very impressive accomplishment on your part. The essay delivers all of the necessary points for a statement of purpose. While the reasons why you chose TAMU seem to be a bit vague, the fact that you have actual plans for your studies while a student there more than makes up for it. Your study path is something that truly relates to your purpose. One last point for suggestion. Are you required to write a post study plan for your application? If you are not required, then, as a final addition, you should include a short term plan for your career upon graduation. The length of time you wish to represent is up to you. The usual range though is anywhere between 5-10 years. Even without the short term plan, this is the best version of your SOP so far. Good work. You can use this essay as is or add the information I mentioned. Either way, the essay is really well developed. Developed enough to use actually.
@Holt
can u please elaborate how the choice of tamu is vague. the major focus of cem program is risk management and i have written accordingly . morethan that I have In the first line only shown my intention of building a construction firm in future do i need to write more about short term goals or long term goals. after graduation I have decided to work in the field for about 5-7 years and start a firm what should i write please suggest me accordingly.
@Holt
mam this is the guideline give by the college for writiong sop
The admissions committee would like to see a discussion of the following issues:

Why do you want to pursue graduate studies in CSE?
Why are you interested in Texas A&M?
For Ph.D. and MS thesis (Most important) What are your research interests and why do they interest you? What is your background for working in this area? Describe your research plans (if any).

MS (non-thesis) -- What are your career goals?
You should not recall your earliest remembrances of exposure to a computer or some other life story about why you are interested in Computer Science or Computer Engineering. Talk about research interests.

please advice me
mam moreover i have not written any professor name with whom i want to work with should i add that does it has an impression on professor or admission committee
Feb 17, 2017   #17
Ratan, thank you for providing me with the actual prompt requirements for the SOP. This will help me better direct your essay to become more responsive and to deliver on the expected answers. Let me go question by question with you so that you can better draft your response.

1. Why do you want to pursue graduate studies in CSE?
- For this, you have to state one of two things. Either the problems that you have with your job because you lack adequate training in the field or, a problem that you have recently become aware of in this line of work that you feel a need to address. I think that you response about the ambiguous clause in a contract that you discovered will make the best response for this question.

2. Why are you interested in Texas A&M?
- This is where the vague response that I mentioned comes in. Write a new paragraph based upon the following sentences in response to the question:

- Soon I found out CEM ...
- elite faculty and facilities ... ( be specific.)

As for questions 3 and 4, I first need to know if you are applying to the thesis or non-thesis track so that I can direct you towards the proper response.
@Holt
i am going for the thesis thing and please elaborate on the future goals i need to write as u said earlier. i have written about my intention of starting a firm in future in the first line does that suffice or i need to write more if more then give me some examples which i can write.
Feb 17, 2017   #19
You don't have to present your career goals anymore in this essay because the university only requires the career goal for the non-thesis students. Since you are a thesis student, the focus of the university is more on how you will be able to utilize the university in doing cutting edge research for your chosen field. That is why the prompt for you is more research based rather than career based.

The prompt makes that very clear. If you are following a thesis program, be as explicit as you can about the basis of your research. While they ask for a number of research topics that you are interested in, I believe that you should present no more than 2 research areas so that you do not become too wordy in your essay. It is also easier to create a relationship between the two interests as far as your desire to learn about the topics are concerned. You seem to have adequate background in the WPC area so your research plans should be more detailed that the current presentation. So in paragraph 5, remove the reference to TAMU and instead, expand the discussion of your research plans based upon the prompt requirements that you listed for that portion.

Work on revising the essay to address the prompt question and instructions directly. That will be the best way to present your essay. Do not beat around the bush or fill it with too much backstory. Just get to the point as soon as you can within all your paragraph responses. Your essay will be better received by the reviewer because of it.
yes mam i will show you the final thing

mam in case i chose for non thesis option how and where i need to change my sop after grad i wanna take upa job for 5-7 years and start a firm after that help me to tailor my sop in that way
Feb 18, 2017   #21
Ratan, then you will have to respond to the number 4 question in the list that you gave me. To be specific, that is the following question:

MS (non-thesis) -- What are your career goals?

Basically, you have to respond clearly to number 3, in relation to the detailed explanation of your research goals. This time though, your research goals must relate directly to your career goals. So, first, explain your research question. Explain the importance of the research to your field. This should reflect how your background is related to the question you have posed and the importance of the thesis statement.

Detail how you plan to complete the research. Explain the results you hope to achieve. Then finally, explain how this research relates to your short term career goals. Say something like "Based upon these results, I will then plot my five year career plan." Start a new paragraph that says:

"For my short term plan, I plan to build upon my work experience covering a period of 5 years. During this time I see myself becoming a ....."

That should work to help you draft your non-thesis response.
@Holt for thesis course plzz review this
During my bachelor's, I realized subjects like project management, cost & estimation enticed my interests of building a construction firm in future.Since I was more interested in finding the solution of problems prevailing in construction industry. I took the subject of Failure Criteria in structures which focused on the modes of failure due to design inefficiency. These theories became more clear when I learnt about project management in next semester. I also completed OSHA training courses to get accustomed with the general safety measures to be taken while working on a site, which I used later while working as a junior engineer.

To put my knowledge into practice, I took a research based project on Wood Plastic Composites. There I learnt about the aspects of quality control while manufacturing wpc for different purposes and inspected its durabilityas compared to wood by different tests such as Water Soaking and Terrestrial Microcosm Test. I also compared the initial cost, residual cost, maintenance cost of wood used in our campus to the same amount of wpc to prove cost efficiency of wpc which honed my estimation skills on actual scenarios. On concluding, I found out wpc is comparatively better than wood wrt to whole life cost and life expectancy.

Working in the direction further, I interned at two different firms where I worked on the basement of a residential and a multi storey building. Impressed by my dedication, my internship was converted to a job where I have been working as a Junior Engineer in AnshNirmaanPvt Ltd. My roles are to prepare BOQs for contractors, inspect the site engineers and workers for compliance of safety requirements, supervise the quality of materials used, analyze and understand insurable contractual risks and potential risk mitigation opportunities, interact with operational groups to ensure coordination between project activities, exposures, and appropriate insurance coverage. I have been reading about different Contracts of my firm and aspects of Contract Management. There was an incident where the work was put on suspension for few months because of an ambiguous clause in the contract. Moreover sometimes project got delayed due to unpredictable weather which is a global issue in the construction industry.However, after having worked here for 8 months now, I discover the major problems in the construction process to be the improper contract management, disobediency of safety measures and other unpredictable issues, or in a nutshell, different aspects of risk management.

Northern India, from where I belong, is known for its fluctuating climate which takes a toll on any project. So, my research interests lies on quantifying and analyzing the different unpredictable climatic risks by improvising the methods of stochastic simulation and tackling the contractual risk by assigning it to those who in best position to control them. This will help measuring the probability of completion within specified time. I would also like to research and improve the existing life cycle cost estimation technique by involving the different unaccounted factors. I believe that with relevant major focus of the course at tamu, I would be able to pitch in this direction.
Feb 20, 2017   #23
Ratan, is there a way that you can connect your masters thesis project with your college thesis? Normally, the masters thesis is a continuation of the college thesis due to the pre-existing research of the student that he wishes to continue or define even further as a form of study. Based upon what I have read, it seems like there is a way you can connect the two research topics. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

The reason that I want you to connect the two topics for your masters research is because the previous research allows you the room to create an easily measurable or visible conclusion to the masters research project. It allows you more wiggle room in terms of research and experimentation that you would not have it you did not have any previous research results to base your new hypothesis or thesis statement on. If you do a continuing project, the reviewer will be impressed because you have the potential to actually make an impression on the practitioners in the field of construction management, which in turn will create a high profile for the university that supported your masters thesis research. In other words, it could increase your chances of admission.
@Holt
I am trying that mam other than that how is everyhting else. please clear my doubt if the research which i wanna do in master has been done by some one else in other part of the world does that decrese my chances of admission.
Feb 20, 2017   #25
Unfortunately, I am not an expert when it comes to the research side of your master thesis project. That is why I was suggesting that you connect it with your college thesis. You will have to do the research yourself when it comes to figuring out if someone else is already doing a similar research. If you want to play safe with this part, you can always look into the current research being done at the university in the line of construction management and align your thesis project with the current work being done by their professors. That way your research becomes an extension of current work and gains an importance of its own as a supporting paper to the work being done by the professors. In the meantime, you can either do the research regarding other research similar to what you want to do or, you can wait till you are accepted and you get a thesis adviser. That person is the one who would best know if your research is already or has already been done.

Include information about the existing research in the field being done at the university. Connect it with the research you hope to do. Make sure that it is clear that you want to work with the existing group of researchers so you can compare notes, collaborate, and assist one another in the completion of your research projects. Whenever possible, make sure that the reviewer knows that you hope to integrate your research with their own work. Possibly changing the slant of your own research if need be in order to create a breakthrough project or research in this field. Since there is ongoing research, you will benefit from the work others have done at the university as you will have a basis for the continued improvement of your thesis statement. If you can find someone, a professor, whose work will tie in with yours, indicate that you would appreciate being mentored by that person because you feel you can learn additional information from him to further improve your own research based upon his previous research work.
@Holt
mam the research going on is not exactly on the same line because it is going on architecture department and not on the civil engineering department moreover the only information about researches of the tamu civil engineering department available on internet is what i have given you. I feel the major focus of construction engineering is risk management and all my research interest are related to that

actually they dont have a portal that shows their current research they only have shown their research specialities.

should i finalise this ??
Feb 21, 2017   #27
Yes. Go ahead and finalize it. It is even better if the university does not have any ongoing research similar to yours in the specific department. This could gain the interest of the reviewer and also, offer you a better chance at acceptance because of the unique thesis that you plan on working on as a student at TAMU. Make sure to highlight the importance of this research in opening up a new field of important research in order to develop a new area of interest in the Construction Management field. When you finalize this, just make sure to proof read for typographical errors such as grammar and spelling. Since we have already finalized the content, there is no need to get my approval for the final version anymore. Just finalize this paper and submit it.
@Holt
mam a lot depens on my sop how well is that can you comment upon that. I have seen guys with not so good academics got in because of their sops so how much help i will be getting from this sop in my admit. final comments please
Feb 21, 2017   #29
Like I said, this essay is good enough to submit. You have done your best to represent your intentions and purpose for higher studies. Don't be afraid to submit your statement of purpose. Provided you have done your best, the essay will work to your benefit. While your classmates may not have had the best grades, do not be fooled into thinking that they got into the university based solely upon their statement of purpose. There adcom has more considerations than just the grades and SOP for the admission of a student. None of which we are privy to. You stand a good a chance as any of the other applicants to get into TAMU. Don't be defeated, you have not received your letter of rejection yet. There is always a good possibility that you will get in. Don't fret about it now. Just focus on finalizing your essay and submitting all of the requirements for now.


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