I would appreciate any comments and advice on the following letter of motivation draft for the EMIMEO program. From the website, there are no specific prompts apart from "writing a personal essay to demonstrate the applicant's motivation and his/her ability to write clearly and concisely". The coordinating university is in France, which is why I discuss French in the third paragraph.
personal essay for the EMIMEO program
My name is [First Last], and I am writing to apply for the Erasmus Master on Innovative Microwave Electronics and Optics. In December 2018 I graduated with a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in the United States. During my studies I developed a keen interest in applied electromagnetism, particularly in radio frequency engineering and the simple premise of conveying information over great distances. I took undergraduate electives in antennas and microwave engineering, and in the process found myself interested in studying these topics more deeply, as well as branching out into optics. While I considered continuing my education directly after my bachelors, a work opportunity to combine the knowledge I had with my passion for aerospace led me to postpone that - if anything, I told myself that industry experience would help refine that interest further; indeed, that has turned out to be the case.
Professionally, my experience in the aerospace industry has exposed me to not only how extensively safety is engineered into an aircraft's design, but also the many ways in which electromagnetism plays a part in that - Maxwell's equations are just as relevant as the laws of aerodynamics for an aircraft. This was clearly underscored when I took flight lessons in the summer of 2018, when I worked as an intern in an RF environmental test lab at [X Company]. The exhilaration, and occasionally moments of terror, of sitting in the pilot's seat, showed me the importance of electromagnetism - radio communication in particular - to safety of flight, and is a mindset I have taken into my full-time role as an electromagnetic compatibility engineer at [Y Company]. Nonetheless, I have come to realize that postgraduate education is necessary to broaden my knowledge of technologies vital to the next generation of aircraft. That, coupled with the lingering desire to gain a deeper theoretical understanding of the premise which first attracted me to studying electromagnetism, is what draws me to the EMIMEO program.
My interest in Europe began with playing classical music on the piano during childhood (and still to this day), but has gradually evolved into a versatile passion for history and geopolitics, language, and travel. I started learning French on my own in early 2018, and my continued self-study of the language remains a source of great personal fulfillment. In addition, my past visits to Europe as a tourist have long inspired the idea of living there for an extended period to gain a deeper exposure to some of its many cultures. The EMIMEO program provides an excellent opportunity for that, and I would be happy to not only assist my fellow students with the French language when necessary, but also to learn the other languages of the consortium through immersion. To that point, studying in Europe offers the chance to interact with students from all over the world, whose unique backgrounds and perspectives are invaluable to working together to solve the multifaceted challenges faced by global industries such as aerospace.
Certainly, I will be able to apply the experiences provided by the EMIMEO program to the continued development of the aerospace industry, whether back in the United States or in Europe. Advanced RF and optical systems will play a major role in enhancing next-generation aircraft capabilities and safety, such as conformal antennas embedded into an airframe to improve aerodynamic performance and distributed infrared sensor systems that vastly improve pilot situational awareness. Furthermore, expanding my knowledge into other regions of the electromagnetic spectrum would allow me to place the RF part which I studied during my bachelors into a broader perspective. While my primary interest is aerospace, there is an increasing demand for engineers with a wide understanding of applied electromagnetism in other industries as well, and each will have its own set of challenges. The EMIMEO program will enable me to acquire a world-class education in these areas and simultaneously foster an unparalleled degree of cross-cultural collaboration. This well-roundedness is what I seek the most, since it is the human factor, and not only the technology behind modern flight and communications, that brings the world closer together.
As someone who immigrated to the United States from China at a young age, I know the challenges of adapting to a new environment. However, from my own travels abroad I have come to appreciate that it is through these life experiences that we grow the most. I am fully aware of how competitive the EMIMEO selection process is, but I am confident that my academic background, industry experience, and self-motivation for language learning make me well-suited for this program. Indeed, receiving admission constitutes a great responsibility and duty to work hard, and it would be an honor to commit myself to this opportunity.