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Post grad: Biotechnology Personal statement

jiva 2 / 5 1  
Dec 11, 2012   #1
Please help me review this personal statement. Actually this is the first that I have ever made in my life. I would be glad for all your constructive criticisms. Thanks.

Question Prompt: Describe in not more than 1000words, your reasons for applying for the course(Biotechnology) you wish to follow and explain how it will help you with the work you expect to do on your return to your country.

You should include an outline of your intended profession, your ambitions and your career plan. Describe also, your most outstanding non-academic achievement involving other people where you demonstrated leadership potential(you may describe an extra curricular/sport/community/professional activity or an assignment).


It was pitch-black on the horizon; the gloomy atmosphere left in the wake of man's blinded quest for 'the black gold'(crude oil). The documentary I watched some years ago couldn't have portrayed the horrific environmental degradation I saw on my visit to the Ogoni land oil spill in the Niger-delta area of Nigeria. This deplorable situation has greatly deprived these communities of arable land for agriculture, water for fishing and other domestic use; as crude oil has brought death to all life forms in its path.

Recently, the United Nations(UN) forecasted an estimate of $1billion and a time frame of 30years for a complete remediation of the Niger-delta oil spill; thus emphasizing the extent of this environmental degradation. Consequently, I have always pondered over these questions: are there alternative energy sources without devastating environmental impact?, are there posssible means of applying bio-friendly materials in the remediation of the oil spills? An introductory course in Biotechnology during my undergraduate study in Biochemistry subsequently answered these questions. Perhaps, I can contribute a lot in the amelioration of the plight of these distressed communities, thus my interest in Biotechnology blossomed.

In my early teens, I had my first encounter with biogas. Although at that time, I was yet to to grasp the significance of my observations in a poultry farm; I found it strange seeing hot fumes of gas originating from decaying poultry wastes. It was not untill several years later did I learn that the gas was a major component of biogas-methane. Ever since my discovery, I have sought out ways to harness this biogas for energy production. However,despite significant advances in biofuel production, Nigeria is yet to pay heed to this wonderful technological breakthrough; being solely dependent on hydro-elctricity and crude oil for her energy needs. The advent of biofuel production will go a long way to boost the overall energy generation in my country as evidenced in most developed societies of the world.

In this regard, undertaking an MSc.in Biotechnology will consolidate my intellectual capabilities in proposing a suitable energy generation plan via sewage management. I have come to appreciate the benefits derived from Biotechnolgy through articles describing the different products derived from sewage sludge. Imagine the implications of channelling the sewage sludge from all the houses in a residential estate into a bioreactor capable of generating bioproducts such as electricity,fertilizer,biogas and biodiesel as well as waste water treatment; this is my mega plan for Nigeria. Also, going down to the grass roots; I plan to design simple and affordable bioreactors for farmers to ease the economic burden posed by high energy cost and fertilizer acquisition.Moreover, there is a great challenge of food security all over the world. As a livestock farmer,I have witnessed the poor yields associated with poor breeds of animals and disease outbreaks in a farm. Again, Biotechnolgy offers me a solution to this menace with the prospects of vaccine production and genetically modified organisms.

Furthermore, the ubiquitous nature of micro-organisms have made them desirable as tools in biotechnology research. Since my research focus is on production efficiency of biofuels using micro-organisms; it will afford me with the opportunity of working extensively in the identification and isolation of micro-organisms capable of degrading hydro carbons. Hence, keeping me in line with my quest for the remidiation of oil spills in Nigeria.

Over the years, I have headed several group projects in my class as a result of my metuculous approach to research work. In response to the poor academic performance of my class, I organised my class into study groups. The successful outcome of this made our class to emerge as the best graduating class in my department. Besides my academic inclinations, I have served in different capacities as an executive officer in some pious societies in the church, especially in the Board of Lectors as a president in 2010.

Overall, Biotechnology is still in its infancy in Nigeria, hence the need for a solid foundation in Biotechnology which this Chevening scholarship will offer me. It will definitely prepare me for the great task ahead.

kethsaxena 2 / 5  
Dec 16, 2012   #2
Overall I am very impressed with your skillful use of vocabulary, the flow of the essay, and the specifics you have included; to put forward your case. But there are certain areas where you are just trying too hard.

For ex

"Perhaps, I can contribute a lot in the amelioration of the plight of these distressed communities, thus my interest in Biotechnology blossomed."

I would just prune it down to-" I can help ameliorate the plight of these communities.

"Although at that time, I was yet to to grasp the significance of my observations in a poultry farm" the "to" thats occurring twice. i guess proofreading is important! and since in this sentence you verb is in "to be" mode you would want to maintain flow. so instead of "I found it strange seeing hot fumes of gas originating from decaying poultry wastes" just correct i to "I found it strange to.."

"my mega plan for Nigeria" my ambition would be more elegant.

The conclusion is very important. So please get rid of the "overall" try to knit it all together so that the conclusion restates your ideas which btw you have done with your last line. But little more elaborate summary wouldn't hurt!

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