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'I was encouraged by my professors' - SOP for Master in Engineering


Rocketeer 1 / 3  
Jan 7, 2009   #1
I am applying for Master of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering. However, my background is in Electrical Engineering. I spent too much time writing this 500 words limited essay. I need your opinion as the deadline for receiving applications is coming soon. I did my best to cut out words and now it is 499 words! Any help is appreciated either in the language or the content.

University Directions:

Please attach a statement of no more than 500 words discussing why you have chosen to do graduate work in the program to which you have applied.

Dear the admissions committee members,

I have the pleasure to write this letter to express my intent to join the Master of Aerospace Engineering program. I have a bachelor of Engineering from XX University and a postgraduate diploma from the XX Institute in XX(Country).

My undergraduate studies included many subjects from the mechanical engineering department. I enjoyed these subjects and I had good grades in them. I also read many Aerospace textbooks as a personal interest. Some of the books I read are "Introduction to Flight" by John D. Anderson and "Aerodynamics for Engineering Students" by EL Houghton.

I was encouraged by my professors to continue with further studies during my postgraduate diploma in which I had excellent grades. Meanwhile, I read about the Aerospace industry in XX(City) and the M.Eng. programs given by the universities there. The Industrial Stage is one of the best features in these programs as it gives a good experience in one of the leading participating companies. After going through all the programs' courses and specializations, I believe that the program given at XX University is the most suitable for me. The excellent reputation of XX(university name) in the engineering field has encouraged me more.

During my current job at XX(company), I gained a very good experience in the CAD Tools industry. XX is a multinational company that provides tools and services for universities and industrial organizations conducting research in the field of Micro-Electromechanical Systems. MEMS and Aerospace are similar in many ways. Engineers in both fields study similar subjects and they use the same tools. I have gained a long experience in many CAD and FEM tools like AutoCAD and ANSYS. Among the various research-based projects I worked on, I was interested mainly in two fields, namely, Model Order Reduction and Meshing. I had the opportunity of reading several technical papers in both domains. I hope in the future that I do more research in subjects like adaptive mesh generation and CFD.

During my four years of working experience, the best skill I gained is to gather information needed under lack of resources. I had once a project with poor official documentation in which I had to do a lot of experimental work and contact other professionals to be able to finish this task accurately and on time. I also had the opportunity of dealing with customers from all over the world, especially during my course in XX(Country) in 2008. I met many professors and researchers. I also visited XX University and I believe that studying there and living in XX(City) will develop my quantitative skills.

My future plans after finishing this program is to gain a good experience in the Aerospace industry in one of the leading companies. I would like to work in an R&D department where I can work in a research-based project. Part of my ambition is gaining a PhD.

Thank you for your time and for considering my request. I am looking forward to hearing back from you positively regarding my application.

}

Many thanks in Advance,
Sameh
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 7, 2009   #2
In terms of content and grammar you seem on fairly solid ground with this essay. The style is a bit weak, though. You tend to use sentences of the same length and structure, which makes the reading dull. You also tend to use more words than are strictly necessary to get your point across. Combining sentences is one technique you can use to address both of these problems. So, for example

"I also read many Aerospace textbooks as a personal interest. Some of the books I read are "Introduction to Flight" by John D. Anderson and "Aerodynamics for Engineering Students" by EL Houghton."

could become

"I also read many Aerospace textbooks, including "Introduction to Flight" by John D. Anderson and "Aerodynamics for Engineering Students" by EL Houghton"

If you were to go through and revise the entire essay to fix these stylistic problems, you would end up with a very strong application.
OP Rocketeer 1 / 3  
Jan 8, 2009   #3
Dear EF_Sean,

Thank you a lot for your comment, I would not see it without it. I used joining sentences before but for cutting out few words to keep the essay within 500 words.

I have done some more changes to the essay. I hope it is now less dull.

Please tell me also what you think of addressing the letter to "The Admissions Committee Members"? I did not see it before but I think it is precise.

{
Dear the admissions committee members,

I have the pleasure to write this letter to express my intent to join the Master of Aerospace Engineering program. I have a bachelor of Engineering from XX University and a postgraduate diploma from the XX Institute in XX(Country).

My undergraduate studies included many subjects from the mechanical engineering department which I enjoyed and achieved good grades. I also read many Aerospace textbooks, including "Introduction to Flight" by John D. Anderson and "Aerodynamics for Engineering Students" by EL Houghton.

I was encouraged by my professors to continue with further studies during my postgraduate diploma in which I had excellent grades. Meanwhile, I read about the Aerospace industry in XX(City) and the M.Eng. programs given by the universities there. The Industrial Stage is one of the best features in these programs as it gives a practical experience in one of the leading participating companies. After going through all the programs' courses and specializations, I believe that the program given at XX University is the most suitable for me. The excellent reputation of XX(university name) in the engineering field has encouraged me more.

During my current job at XX(company), I gained a very good experience in the CAD Tools industry. XX is a multinational company that provides tools and services for universities and industrial organizations conducting research in the field of Micro-Electromechanical Systems. MEMS and Aerospace are similar in many ways. Engineers in both fields study similar subjects and they use the same tools. I have gained a long experience in many CAD and FEM tools like AutoCAD and ANSYS. Among the various research-based projects I worked on, I was interested mainly in Model Order Reduction and Meshing domains, in which I had the opportunity of reading several technical papers. I hope in the future that I do more research in similar subjects, like adaptive mesh generation and CFD.

During my four years of working experience, the best skill I gained is to gather information needed under lack of resources. I had once a project with poor official documentation in which I had to do a lot of experimental work and contact other professionals to be able to finish this task accurately and on time. I also gained experience in dealing with customers from all over the world, especially during my course in XX(Country) in 2008. I met many professors and researchers. I also visited XX University and I believe that studying there and living in XX(City) will develop my quantitative skills.

My future plans after finishing this program is to gain a good experience in one of the leading companies in the Aerospace industry. Working in an R&D department where I can create new ideas will suit me the best. Part of my ambition is gaining a PhD.

Thank you for your time and for considering my request. I am looking forward to hearing back from you positively regarding my application.
}

Thanks again and best regards,
Sameh
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 8, 2009   #4
Some more tips:

"Dear the admissions committee members" -- you don't really need the "the" here.

"I gained a very good experience in the CAD Tools industry" This is a bit awkward. What exactly was the nature of the experience?

"I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience ." This is a bit more concise, and doesn't make any assumptions about the nature of the reply, which is more diplomatic.
OP Rocketeer 1 / 3  
Jan 9, 2009   #5
Thank you Sean and Constance for your contributions. I could merge all your comments and I think I am ready now for the application.

The only thing that confused me however, Constance, is that I should remove the "in" preposition from all the "in which" statements. I tried to find some resources online, but I could not find a good explanation.

As I understand, when I want to link the two sentences:
I was encouraged by my professors during my diploma.
and
I had excellent grades (in) my diploma.

Then I have to use "(in) which", instead of just "which". Because "which" referes directly to the diploma, and will not describe the "in" word feeling in the second phrase.

I know that my explanation is not grammar-wise, but I would appreciate it if you could explain to me why shoud I remove "in" in my case as it would help me in the future.

Thank you all again for your time.

Best Regards,
Sameh
EF_Constance - / 143  
Jan 9, 2009   #6
Rocketeer:
Of course, I can explain why I suggested that. It is not necessarily a stylistic or grammatical issue; however, when I read the sentences both to myself and aloud the 'in' just did not seem to sound right to me. That is just a suggestion of course. This is your 'baby'. Ultimately, if you like the way it sounds, go with it!

Good luck!
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Jan 9, 2009   #7
I have to agree with Rocketeer on this one -- the "in" is in fact necessary, or at least some sort of preposition is. ("for" would work too). If you wanted to write the sentence to avoid the preposition for some reason, you could do so. For instance, "I once worked on a project that had poor official documentation, which forced me to do a lot of experimental work and to contact other professionals in order to be able to finish this task accurately and on time." would also be correct, and remove the "which" issue.
OP Rocketeer 1 / 3  
Jan 10, 2009   #8
Thanks Constance for the explanation, I agree with you that it might sound different for different people. As I don't know how it would sound to the audience, I tried to minimize using it when I can the way Sean suggested, Thanks Sean.

Now I have to send the application as soon as I can.

Thanks again for all your help,
Sameh


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