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SOP - Ms Analytics at Georgia Institute of Technology


Please clearly indicate the reasons you wish to study in your chosen program at Georgia Tech as opposed to some other program or university. The biography should describe the applicant's academic background, training and experience and should mention honors, memberships, and extracurricular activities. Special areas of research or interest should be discussed. Please be concise and specific in your response. Your space is limited to 4000 characters.

Bachelor's program in Electronics and Communication Engineering



After graduation I was living two lives. One working as a software engineer and another as an aspiring data scientist completing online analytics courses/competitions after office hours and on weekends. After a year of living this double-life I was finally able to start my journey into analytics. Now, I believe - after successfully working in this field for about 3 years - that an advanced degree in analytics will help to strengthen my foundation and prepare me for more challenging data science roles.

My specific interest in Mathematics and Science propelled me towards a Bachelor's program in Electronics and Communication Engineering. Building a wirelessly controlled humanoid prototype that could converse with humans introduced me to the power of AI. Implementing a business model called "Holiday on Wheels" - which allowed people to enjoy vacations on a mobile vehicle - gave me an experience of building projects using in-depth data analysis.

I secured a campus placement and started working with XXX as a Software Engineer but continued to explore the field of analytics which had intrigued me during my college days. I designed a curriculum to cover basic aspects of data science and soon transitioned into the analytics vertical within XXX. From here I moved into a role of a Junior Data Scientist for an e-commerce automobile portal called YYY and was promoted within 6 months. I developed, deployed and evaluated various data-driven products. Price evaluation tool estimated prices of cars, SEO algorithm optimized positioning of listings and recommendation engine provided personalized recommendations. Being inexperienced, I often jumped to building a statistical solution only to realize that I neither had the correct data nor enough of it to proceed. This exposed me to the less fancier yet important side of data science of collecting and cleaning data. I also learnt that efficiency of predictive model is often more important than its accuracy. A simple algorithm with medium accuracy deployed on our website decreases its load time significantly and hence more desirable. With these learnings I shifted to world's leading customer science company ZZZ as a Senior Analyst. I helped Brazil's largest retailer to grow, acquire and reward customers using marketing campaigns and statistically explain their impact. I developed various algorithms like ascertaining customer's loyalty towards the retailer and their propensity to buy products. I also self-learnt various technical tools, migrated standard codes to open source platforms and provided training sessions on Python, R, SQL and machine learning theorems. I received an excellence award for my efforts and an outstanding rating (top 20%). Working in a niche analytics firm helped me in understanding how a scalable end-to-end data science solution is delivered specific to a client's business needs.

Outside work, I have been a part of an NGO called XYZ for 3 years providing academic support and career counselling to under privileged children. I have also been actively involved in sports playing Sepak Takraw at national level and representing school and college football teams. My analytics blog which has over 50,000 views from 113 countries has positively impacted a large number of aspiring data scientists. Moreover after reading over 50 books in the last year, I would believe that reading is an inseparable part of my life.

Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the few universities offering 3 distinct specializations in analytics enabling me to choose a course specifically designed for my needs. Presence of world-class research facilities and innovative teaching methodologies will allow for my holistic professional and personal development. The university's excellent repute, distinguished faculty, diverse students body and state-of-the-art facilities shall also provide me with an appropriate environment to chisel my vision into a concrete purpose.

Oct 9, 2017   #2
Akshay, you need to limit the exposure of your educational background to only the most recent one. So that means it would be better for you to open the essay with a summary of your college studies and any recognition you may received during that time. The story about you living a double life is unnecessary and takes away from the valuable character count that needs to be used for another part of the essay. Summarize your early career as well and just go into details for your current profession. The reason that I am asking you to do this is because the other half of the essay that should deal with the reason why you chose to study at Georgia Tech became a mere afterthought when that should be the second point of discussion in the essay. The prompt is asking you to explain why you chose Georgia Tech over the other universities so that needs greater details than just one paragraph. You need to discuss the course curriculum, laboratory experience, internships, and potential training opportunities as the reasons as to why you chose Georgia Tech over the other universities. While you don't need to go into a side by side comparison, you need to justify your choice by discussing your learning needs and how your choice of university tunes into it. That is what is lacking in your essay and that is one of the most important information that the reviewer will be looking for. Therefore, you must revise the content of your essay in order to balance the discussion among the required points.
@Holt
First of all, thank you for your response. It's absolutely right and I am working on molding my SOP as per your suggestions. I have a few queries:-

As you mentioned "you need to limit the exposure of your educational background to only the most recent one"
I have only completed under-graduation (Engineering) and that is what I have mentioned in my essay. When you say the most recent one, were you trying to talk about my work-experience ?

As you mentioned "The story about you living a double life is unnecessary"
Can I do away with the whole of Paragraph 1 and start with Paragraph 2 instead? Gives me extra 15% to cover other aspects.

As you mentioned "The reason that I am asking you to do this is because the other half of the essay that should deal with the reason why you chose to study at Georgia Tech became a mere afterthought when that should be the second point of discussion in the essay. The prompt is asking you to explain why you chose Georgia Tech over the other universities so that needs greater details than just one paragraph." Do you think I should devote 50% to Why Analytics, Why Georgia Tech and my specific research interests? What percentage should I devote to work-ex, academic, extra-curricular and opening statement?

Thanks again, looking forward to your reply !


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