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Graduate Degree - opinions on Transfer Master's Student Personal Statement


darrydallen 1 / -  
Aug 7, 2017   #1
Hi everyone
I am a grad student in Chem. Engineering. I am in a very difficult situation now. I got dismissed from my grad program. I am trying to apply to other Chem. Eng. grad schools and I need to submit "special" Personal Statement that should:

·give details on what is unique and distinctive about the applicant;
·provide information on overcoming personal obstacles or hardships (financial, physical, or familial);
·identify and address gaps or discrepancies in the application;
·articulate how a graduate degree will help to achieve future personal, professional, and career goals.


I would be grateful if you could help me to fix my typo , grammar , or correct my mistakes
Thanks

A graduate degree equals great opportunities



If you hang around the barbershop long enough sooner or later you are going to get a haircut. That old saying which is also part of famous Denzel Washington commencement speech reminds me of what my parent used to say. My mother raised me to believe I could achieve the difficult things if I set my mind to it. She makes me believe in the power of passion, patience, and perseverance but she also reminded me that a belief will be tested with a lot of trials.

Further, into the middle of my college year, I encountered a situation that I never thought before. My mother told me that she suffered cancer. I was shocked. My family and I spent hours upon hours in the hospital during the chemotherapy treatments, as well as during the surgery in which most of her cancers were removed. While my mother was in recovery I did the domestic tasks and taking care of our house. Although I used to live in a dorm, I had to commute to ride and pick up my little sister from school. Ever since, I have spent more and more time with my mother, learning how she feels, what she wants, and most importantly, how much she really loves me.

It was not easy to concentrate on my academic with that situation. I could not maintain my academic performance and because of that, I lost my scholarship which covers more than half of my tuition. I told my family about my situation. My father told me to focus on my study and he convinced me that had enough money for my education. But several months later I found out that he had to take a loan to pay my tuition. At that moment I felt I was a failure. Self-blame and regret haunted me most of the time until I realized that I needed to get out of unnecessary guilt and move on. To get higher GPA I decided to retake some classes. Consequently, I took more classes than most of my peers at the same time. It taught me how to manage my time wisely.I asked students who got perfect grade tips and prepared exams weeks before the day.

After graduation, I started to draw my life. I remember I have won some journalism competition when I was in college so I became a freelance writer. I wrote articles about clean energy, science, and several other topics. One of my best articles is about geothermal in Indonesia to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Everything seemed to feel just fine until another unexpected thing happened. I suffered appendicitis and doctor told me that I needed appendix surgery soon. It took several months of recovery before I was capable doing normal activity. After I fully recovered I started working as a melting engineer for XXX Company. It was so challenging to manage people who were mostly much older than me. I learn how to select raw materials and chemicals and how to mix them properly. Controlling operation condition such as temperature, pressure, air intake to get a high-quality product was also my responsibility.

The transition of developing country to developed country is where I want to involve in. For decades my country has been exporting so much of its natural resources just as raw material. Advanced materials will play a significant role in order to create a product with added value and creating jobs in my country. By becoming a researcher in advanced materials especially energy storage, I want to contribute to our national electric car and home battery project. In order to do that I need to learn how to conduct academic research that links with industrial and market orientation.

A graduate degree offers the opportunity to explore and better understand my field continue so I decided to continue my education in the United States with ZZZ scholarship. During my academic training as a Chemical Engineering Master's student at the University of NNN I was facing difficulties I did not expect. The health issue made me difficult to study effectively, along with shock that I faced as a person who came from the very different area and culture. To overcome those obstacles I have been working with my doctor, nutritionist, and counselor. I was struggling to cope with those hardships and I realized I did not fit in at NNN. From that experiences, I learn about graduate student problems and how to prevent it and now I have more preparation to adapt and perform better than before.

Hiddengrace 6 / 118 68  
Aug 7, 2017   #2
Hey Darry! I really like your essay. It sounds like you have gone through a lot of struggles in your life but continue to work hard to overcome them, and your essay really conveys that. However, I think you're trying to fit too much of your life history into this one essay. You have your undergraduate study, your mom's cancer and taking care of the house/ your family, freelance writing, appendix surgery, the engineering job, research/advanced materials, and other health issues during graduate school. That's a lot! I know the prompt is asking for a few things, especially difficulties you have overcome, but you really don't need everything you have included. You are using a lot of room to tell these mini stories- the problem is you have too many of them, they're all really small and short and you don't describe them each in depth, and it jumps around a lot and reads very incoherently. I can tell that you want to focus on the hardships you have overcome, but using one of your examples here is enough. And, if you use one, you can really tell the story in depth and talk about what you learned from it and how it affected you. Try to tell the story in two or three paragraphs instead of just a few sentences.

If it were my paper I think I would talk the most about what happened to get you dismissed from your graduate program. That's kind of a big deal and I think they are going to want to know what happened, why, and how you have dealt with it. They want to know what happened then, and how you have learned and grown from it that it's going to make you successful this time and not happen again.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,301 3344  
Aug 7, 2017   #3
@darrydallen your failure to keep your scholarship is something that you must take ownership of in this essay. Don't play the blame game and point to your mother's cancer diagnosis. She had the cancer, you did not. Your focus should have been on your studies since you were not the one undergoing cancer treatment. Sure you were distracted but that is not an excuse to let your academics fall to the wayside. Unless you take ownership of that failure in your essay as a gap or discrepancy in your application, the reviewers will not be impressed by your story. This is a problem that you caused, not your mother, not her cancer. Once you take ownership of that, at the very beginning of the essay, you will not only have created an excellent "hook" for the reader, but you will have appealed to the sense of justness in the reviewer as well. You are asking for a second chance here so don't blow it by pointing to other circumstances for your failure. Ownership is the most important part of this essay at this point.

The obstacle that you should discuss is how your father had to take out that loan to help you stay in school but you still failed just the same. The personal hardship for you would have to be how you helped your father pay off that debt even after you lost the scholarship. From the way I read the instructions, you have to show character development in the essay. Show how you would be a fit for the program by being a person of good, strong, and persevering character. This is an international scholarship so they won't just take anyone. You need to make those aspects of your application shine.

Unfortunately, there is nothing distinct about your application. Nothing stands out. No awards, no recognition, no accolades. So it is not really very strong presentation-wise. However, if you build up the start of the essay using my advice, you might at least be able to get the reviewer to consider other aspects of your application even with its shortcomings.
Ashkan123 12 / 33 2  
Aug 7, 2017   #4
@darrydallen
I have read your P.S ,and I'm sorry you had to go through all this difficulties.However, I think you sheard too much of your personal life. I wouldn't go to every detail like "my father had to take loan to pay my situation" and etc. Instead ,I think you should focus on your achievement, how you earned them. I also would mention what your failure was ,how did you fix them ,and what did you learn from them. I think you should change your strategy. They should think you are a good opportunities for them not you are a person that need help. I also think you did not explain enough why you need this degree. how it could help you in future and what is your plan for future.

As you can see my writing skill is not as good as yours,but I though I should share my opinion about your essay with you. Please help me with my essay too.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
My mother told me that she suffered cancer. I was shocked. => may be you should change it,I don't exactly know how.but it feels weird.

At that moment(,) I felt I was a failure.

Thanks


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