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'reaching new heights in my career' - SOP For Masters in Engineering from Victoria University


dilawar1 1 / 1  
Dec 8, 2015   #1
Hello there and thanks for making this wonderful website to help everyone.

Here is my SOP draft which I think should work it out but I need your guidance to improve it.

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"I buried him with my own hands" was the last time I heard a contractor safety officer in meeting room with tears in his eyes. That whole week left very deep feelings on me at PetroRabigh Total Shutdown project when due to negligence in fire safety measures by a contractor lead to death of a young worker.

Every year on an average, 200 workers die in Australia due to occupational risks and more than $60 billion is spent as a result of injuries and diseases which is almost 5% of Australian GDP as reported by Safe Work Australia in their 2015 report. There are no statistics available for developing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan where I have worked in the capacity of Safety Engineer since 2011.

As an industrial engineering graduate, I studied how organizations are set up, progress, succeed and, sometimes, fail. I remember it was year 2011 when my first employer engaged me in different operations including project management, maintenance and safety which helped me finding my best potential.

Transfer to safety department wasn't major change in my professional life but it did help me realizing things we often neglect in our lives such as home fires, road accidents, electric shocks, injuries due to slippery floor to name a few. The major change came when I was hired in Middle East as Safety Engineer position for world's giant petroleum corporate. There I saw billions of dollars dependent on very little safety measures and learned new methods to save a human life.

Safety, in my opinion, should not be considered as an occupation because it eliminates, prevents and controls unforeseen yet unwanted risks and provides a safe environment that is basic right of human beings. Despite, it isn't that easy for a safety professional without competence to achieve above goal. 'It's very simple. You can have all the education in the world but if you have never been to site, safety will fail. Likewise 10 years in the field with no education means you have been repeating mistakes for 10 years' said Matt Cox, former chairman of International Institute of Risk & Safety Management, United Kingdom.

I have been working in this field for almost 5 years and undertook many programs from international bodies such as OSHA USA, IOSH and NEBOSH UK, which helped me in getting the 'almost' perfect sense in safety but still I feel I must learn further.

Being an engineering graduate, I simply google'd safety programs under engineering discipline. Thanks to founders of Google Larry and Sergey, who helped me finding Victoria University website where I read more about Master of Engineering (Building Fire Safety & Risk Engineering) that includes designing and modeling of fire system units, which is very new to my knowledge. Despite, I was curious about Victoria University's standing.

Well, thanks to one of my LinkedIn connections, who is working in same domain and a previous graduate of VU, told me it's a century old public university with recognized qualifications so I shouldn't be uncertain. Considering a place where every year more than 50,000 multi-national students come to study wasn't tough decision as well. Besides, Australian Department of Education & Training provides the easiest way to verify selected programs through CRICOS making it even easier for professional students like me to proceed without hesitation.

This program, as I have assessed, would help me reaching new heights in my career after returning to my home country or in Middle East.

Nevertheless, I must state here that it is not easy to spend most of capital you have earned over years within couple of months and I positively took a deep breath before taking this decision which more than just an interest.

justivy03 - / 2,367 607  
Dec 8, 2015   #2
Dilawar, I'd like to help you out in your essay.
Here's what I found after proof reading.

Paragraph and overall essay presentation is quiet messy, merge a few of your small paragraphs and turn
it into full paragraphs

The flow of the ideas are all over the place, you still have to fine tune it.

I must say, your essay has the making of a good essay and all you have to do is to structure it properly and
know when and where to insert your ideas.

I hope my review helped and should you be ready for your next and hopefully final draft,
post it back here on EF so we can assist you further.
OP dilawar1 1 / 1  
Dec 13, 2015   #3
Bundle of thanks dear. I have tried my best to tune it. Check out:

"I buried him with my own hands" said a safety officer with tears in his eyes during weekly meeting. That whole week left very deep feelings on us at Total Shutdown project when due to carelessness in fire safety measures lead to death of a young worker.

On an average, 200 workers die every year in Australia due to occupational risks. More than $60 billion is spent as a result of injuries and diseases which is almost 5% of GDP as reported by Safe Work Australia in their latest report. No statistics available for developing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan where I have been working as Safety Engineer since 2011.

As an industrial engineering student, I learned how organizations are set up, progress, succeed and, sometimes, fail. It was 2011 when my first employer engaged me in different operations including project management, maintenance and safety that helped me finding my best potential. On the other hand, transfer to safety department wasn't major change in my initial career but gradually I realized risks we often neglect in our daily routine such as virus led illness, road accidents, injuries due to slippery floor to name a few. Major change came when I was hired in Saudi Arabia as Safety Engineer for world's giant oil corporate. I saw billions of dollars dependent on very little safety measures there and learned new methods to save human life.

Safety comes to second as per Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Therefore it is very basic element of life because it provides a safe environment to human beings. Providing safe environment isn't that easy for safety professionals without competence as said by Matt Cox, former chairman of International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM) that "It's very simple. You can have all the education in the world but if you have never been to site, safety will fail. Likewise 10 years in the field with no education means you have been repeating mistakes for 10 years".

For almost 5 years I have being engaged in this profession and undertook various programs from international bodies such as OSHA USA, IOSH and NEBOSH UK, which provided the 'almost' competence but I still lack a lot of theories and methods, especially in fire safety.

I simply google'd safety programs under engineering discipline. Thanks to Larry and Sergey of Google, I found Victoria University website where I read more about Master of Engineering (Building Fire Safety & Risk Engineering). This is very special program with specific units focusing fire safety. It includes designing and modeling of fire system units, which is very new to my knowledge. Now I was curious about Victoria University's position but thanks to one of my LinkedIn connections, who works in same profession and a previous graduate of VU, told me it's a century old public university with recognized qualifications. On the other hand, considering a place where every year more than 50,000 multi-national students study wasn't tough decision as well. Besides, Australian Department of Education & Training provides database of programs via CRICOS making it even easier for professional students like me to proceed without hesitation.

After studying this wonderful program, I strongly believe that my career in Middle East would reform from its current position. Nevertheless, it is not easy to spend most of capital I have earned over years but I positively look forward on this decision which is more than just an interest.
Joe F - / 2 1  
Dec 14, 2015   #4
Hi dilwar1,

Your second draft is a significant improvement. There are still a few sentences and phrases that seem awkward to my American sensibilities but that might be down to cultural differences. I do have a some substantial comments though.

The program's admissions committee probably don't know what the Total Shutdown project is. You should eliminate this specific reference or elaborate more on it.

The reference to Maslow is out of place. His hierarchy of needs is fascinating and you might be right but what do a bunch of engineering professors know about Maslow?

". . . undertook various programs from international bodies such as OSHA USA, IOSH and NEBOSH UK, which provided the 'almost' competence but I still lack a lot of theories and methods, especially in fire safety." This is both vague and negative. For example, did you complete the OSHA 30-hour training or similar formal programs by IOSH or NEBOSH UK? "'Almost' competence" could be interpreted as incompetence. Perhaps try 'well-rounded basic competency" or something similar. Instead of saying what you lack, say these are areas in which you would like to strengthen your knowledge.

Saying that you "simply google'd" isn't saying much at all. Presumably the school does not like to think of itself as just another search result. The reference to "Larry and Sergey" is too familiar and in any case irrelevant. It's the same with "LinkedIn connections". Repeating historical facts and current statistics back to the admissions committee probably doesn't gain you much unless you relate it more strongly to your personal or professional goals. Rather than saying that it was an easy decision or that you could proceed without hesitation, talk about how you carefully considered the school's reputation for academic excellence, the specific aspects of the program that will make you a better engineer or something similar.

It's obvious that you have an excellent international background in safety engineering. That's a tremendous personal and professional achievement and the desire to further your education indicates a commitment to improving your professional credentials. These are all facets of your background that should come through much more clearly because they all work in your favor. Your SoP has many of the basic building blocks but it needs strengthening and elaboration. I hope my comments are helpful in that endeavor.

Best of luck and cheers!


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