Unanswered [14] | Urgent [0]
  

Home / Graduate % width Posts: 3

GKS-G Global Korean Scolarship | Personal Statement | Ph.D. in Cybersecurity


researcher182 1 / 1  
Mar 25, 2021   #1

Personal Statement



Hello, my name is Oscar Llerena. I am the older son of a family made up of my mother and two sisters. We are a modest family with not many luxuries in life, and I have always thought that education is the best way to have an opportunity to prosper in life. My mother was a school teacher and, since I was a kid, she always managed to bring me books and magazines so I can spend time reading. I clearly remember an article that recounted the famous hacker Kevin Mitnick's capture by FBI agent Tsumoto Shimomura for the crimes related to call interception and computer fraud. I was amazed by the story. I wanted to understand the details of Mitnick's attacks and how Shimomura managed to ambush and capture him. Therefore, after high school, I entered the Telecom School at UNI to study communications protocols.

Unfortunately, some events happened in my family and, from the early years of my studies, I had to divide my time between classes and work schedules. Then, in 2007, I got a job at the airport as a security agent for American Airlines (AA). They sent me for a month for training at the AA Headquarters in Dallas, USA. That job gave me an inside approach to the security protocols involved in the dispatch of a flight and it was my first approach to a security system. However, I needed to pursue jobs more related to my telecom carrier. Then, in 2009, I got a job at the TIWS network operation center. TIWS is the operator of the SAm-1 submarine fiber optic system. It was my first approach inside a big-scale telecommunications network. I learned about communications protocols, networking, and security systems. Then, in 2012, I won a Brazilian scholarship to do an M.Sc. degree in Telecommunications and Telematic at UNICAMP. It is at this stage that I became very interested in academic research. I made up my mind to obtain a research position in the R&D department of a telecom operator after obtaining the M.Sc. Degree.

Then, in 2015, I returned to Peru and joined AT&T DirecTV Peru as a KPI supervisor for a 4G-LTE network that was starting a deployment from scratch. It was a great chance to develop a carrier inside an international company. In the same year, I obtained the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEHv9) certification to regain my interest in cybersecurity issues. Everything seemed to be stable for me until the end of 2016 when AT&T USA ordered to stop the network deployment in Peru. In consequence, I lost my job because there was no more network to deploy. I took that lapse of time to re-evaluate my professional career. It had always been linked to operations jobs to produce telecom services but not entirely inside research areas. I did not feel comfortable with that and far from reinserting myself again into any job, I took the opportunity to rethink my objectives. Then, I decided to support my research in cybersecurity threats starting from what I knew most: mobile networks. I acquired expensive software-defined radio (SDR) equipment. I taught myself into Linux OS from scratch and managed to implement short-range cellular base stations to replicate different attacks referenced in academic articles. It took me a while but in 2018, as a result of that work, I entered as a researcher to the Embedded Systems Lab at the INICTEL-UNI institute. I was in charge of the communications protocols and system security for the IoT applications that we implement at the lab. Also, I became a professor of the Wireless Communication Systems postgraduation course at the Telecommunications School at UNI. Furthermore, in November 2019, I won a grant to attend the "Leaders in Innovation 2019" program in London-UK, organized by The Royal Academy of Engineering and The Newton Fund. Then, I published a paper at the "Software-Defined Systems 2020" international congress. In retrospect, changing my career direction towards research and encouraging my desire to delve into cybersecurity issues was the best decision I took. Today, my motivation is to study the methods to ensure information exchange in IoT environments. I am very interested in researching potential vulnerabilities and exploits of decentralized ledge technologies such Blockchain and IOTA, which are currently emerging. However, at some point, they probably will be extensively used. My goal is to become an academic researcher that can provide well-founded advice regarding cybersecurity and telecommunications issues. If the committee allows me to study for a Ph.D. in cybersecurity at SeoulTech, I will take advantage of this opportunity. I will effort to produce high-quality academic articles in Q1 cybersecurity journals each year and to successfully defend my Ph.D. thesis dissertation. Thus, once I return to Peru, I will use my position as a UNI professor to promote innovative proposals in the cybersecurity and telecommunications sector by winning local and international funds. Those funds will finance solutions implementations to overcome current trust-issues on information exchange in my country. Thanks for the opportunity.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,535 3447  
Mar 26, 2021   #2
The last paragraph is too long. You need to break that into 3 more parts based on the discussion topics. Additionally, the motivation / goals by which you apply for the course is not very solid. It is too simple a discussion and does not reflect the focal point of your career as an academic researcher for this profession. Why is your research important? How does Korea fit into the picture? Why should the reviewer believe that your motivation can only be served by a Korean education in that field? How do you justify your credentials as being one that makes you a solid contender for the scholarship?

The presentation sounds more like you are applying for a job in a casual manner rather than a serious academic application focused on professional development and contribution to the field. It is important that you reflect on your motivation for the course and create a stronger, more convincing professional application for it. As of now, you have a better chance at getting a job, than convincing the scholarship reviewer that you have the potential to be an excellent student based on your professional goals. It isn't just about research and writing articles, it is about the application of what you will be learning in the actual field. What will you be focusing on and why?
OP researcher182 1 / 1  
Mar 29, 2021   #3
Thanks for your feedback. I rewrote the personal statement:

Hello, my name is Oscar Llerena. I am the older son of a family made up of my mother and two sisters. We are a modest family with not many luxuries in life. My mother was a school teacher, and she worked hard to support us. Since I was a kid, she always brought me books to read because she believes that education is the best chance to prosper in life. She is the person I admire the most and all my actions aim to exalt her.

My education and work experience are tight together as I started to work in the early stage of college to support my family. I entered the Telecom School at UNI in 2003 and also I was a part-time math teacher. In 2007, I got a part-time job as a security agent for American Airlines at Lima airport. In 2009, I got my first approach inside a big-scale telecom network as a technical analyst at the TIWS network operation center for the night shifts. TIWS is the operator of the submarine fiber system called SAm-1. There, I learned about network protocols and systems. Then, in 2010, I finished Telecom school and obtained a B.Sc. Degree. In 2012, I went to Brazil on a scholarship at UNICAMP to study for an M.Sc. degree in Telecommunications and Telematic. In those three years, my guidance professor got me an internship as an RF-designer at EMBRAER, a company dedicated to designing radio-communications for military applications. In February 2015, after obtaining the M.Sc. degree, I returned to Peru to join AT&T DirecTV Peru as a KPI supervisor for a 4G-LTE network that was starting its deployment from scratch. However, in November 2016, AT&T US ordered local AT&T to stop the network deployment, and by consequence, I ended up losing my job.

So, far from reinserting myself into any new job, I took some time to think about my passion, and afterward, I decided to move to research jobs. I always had a thing for hacking research, and that motivation led me to buy expensive radio equipment. Rapidly, I learned how to implement short-range cellular base stations to replicate different attacks referenced in academic articles and started to research mobile network vulnerabilities. Then, in 2018, after two difficult years unemployed, I entered as a researcher to the "Embedded Systems" Lab at the INICTEL-UNI. Up today, I am in charge of the communications protocols and system security for the IoT applications we implement. Also, I became a professor at the Telecom School postgraduation program at UNI. In November 2019, I won a grant to attend the "Leaders in Innovation 2019" (LIF 2019) program in London-UK, organized by The Royal Academy of Engineering and The Newton Fund. LIF is a program where they teach how to commercialize the products obtained through research. Then, I published a paper at the "Software-Defined Systems 2020" international congress.

Regarding my motivations, the world is on the way to implement a great variety of cyber-physical systems such as IoT applications in different industries including digital audit platforms for the administrative processes of the public or private sector. These emerging systems will boost dynamism in the industry but at the same time will bring with them a significant increase in the number of cyberattacks. What's worse, Peru still does not have a national cybersecurity plan. In this context, the university that I represent, UNI, has signed an agreement with SeoulTech to create a cybersecurity education program and curriculum. The Republic of Korea is a world leader in ICT innovation and has a solid National Cybersecurity Strategy. I intend to study for a Ph.D. in cybersecurity at SeoulTech and to learn the most from your country's cybersecurity strategies. Then, when I return to Peru, I will be able to issue proposals and initiatives concerning the preparation of a National Cybersecurity Plan.

Regarding my line of research, as I mentioned earlier, we know that the IoT is going to expand to all sectors as part of the digital revolution. From the pre-research that I have carried out, I believe it is possible to mitigate the problems of corruption of functionaries and government bureaucracy by developing audit platforms for the administrative processes based on distributed-trust technologies such IOTA, Blockchain, or others. These systems have already begun in countries like Ghana, Georgia, and Sweden. In year 1, my plan is to make state-of-the-art research that compares the robustness of these technologies and then, in year 2, study the potential vulnerabilities of each of them to evaluate which is the most convenient in the design of the platform. Finally, in year 3, the defense of my doctoral thesis will be linked to the demonstration of the effectiveness of these technologies as auditing platforms for administrative processes. I want to help my country to eradicate the main cause of our poor development: corruption.


Home / Graduate / GKS-G Global Korean Scolarship | Personal Statement | Ph.D. in Cybersecurity