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SOP for MS Human Computer-Interaction/ Changing Direction

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Feb 23, 2021   #1
Hello! I'm struggling with my SOP for a master's program in HCI.
The statement is expected to explain the candidate's motivation for attending the Master's program;
list of relevant experiences, and any extracurricular activities which may be of interest.

I believe my education is not very relevant, so I decided to focus on my motivation and self-learning. I will appreciate any feedback. Thank you!


My path to Human-Computer Interaction might seem unorthodox but it was inevitable. Growing up in Russia and reaching my teenage years I was expected like any other teenager to choose once and for all a career path that I'll be pursuing. I was fascinated by psychology, but I've also been studying fine arts and painting since I was a kid, and gravitated towards visual arts in general. So choosing to pursue a career in design seemed like a natural solution.

I chose to specialize in video production and animation. Honing my skill in visual storytelling I've discovered that visual storytellers need to constantly develop new ways to capture audience's attention, which pushes to study and deepen understanding of human nature. Working in the film and tv industry gave me an opportunity to explore and deepen my understanding of the psychology of perception, the connection between film experience, and its underlying mechanisms.

After graduating I began my path as a visual storyteller working in an animation studio, and later on television and documentary production. While being a video designer and computer graphics specialist I found myself more and more interested in the technical aspects of the craft. I started to work for ComplanyName, a global industry leader in multimedia. Working as a product specialist and QA engineer gave me the opportunity to learn many aspects of product development. These 2 years became pivotal as I've found a new interest in computer science and software design. I noticed something in common between cinema and technological innovations - both are based on the mechanisms of human consciousness, and as they develop, they change our perception and behavior.

I've enrolled and completed multiple courses, including C and JavaScript. I've also maintained my passion for psychology by furthering my education in this sphere reading avidly on a multitude of subdisciplines and auditing various open courses offered by MIT and other universities. Subsequently, I took a course in User Experience Design from NameOFtheSchool, and it became a defining moment for my career because it opened my eyes to the fact that there are fields that combine the 3 disciplines I love the most: design, psychology, and computer science.

Despite the fact that this course has given me core knowledge and overall concepts of HCI, in order to become a successful UX professional, I need to acquire a more comprehensive education to acquire a deeper understanding and better structured knowledge. Master in Human-Computer interaction is the missing piece to finally step into a perfect career. I am certain that the master's degree will give me tools to understand how digital products should be developed to work effectively and resolve people's problems.

My primary interest lies in exploring decision-making processes and the role of emotions in HCI. I also have a particular interest in design ethics and relationships between technological innovations and society. The last few years have shown how rapidly developing technology clashes with human nature disrupting our societies. For example, unscrupulous use of information and communication technologies have a dangerous ability to endanger mental wellbeing of individuals within various age groups, hitting youth particularly hard, while increasing loneliness and disconnection within the society, compromise public health and safety.

However, those risks are manageable while the advantages and gifts of technology to mankind overall are immeasurable and outweigh the risks. Another important aspect to mention is that progress cannot be stopped. We simply must get better at containing the risks.

The world is changing faster than ever, and some will have the opportunity to guide this process. My goal is to play an active role in these changes. I aspire to one day be able to create high impact digital products that will empower people with education, increase transparency and access to information, and help people to make better decisions. I understand the gravity of the task at hand, and I am fully committed to it.

I am positive that the knowledge and practical skills that I will gain during graduate studies will help me reach my goals; I am specifically interested in courses in Affective computing and Design epistemology and ethics. I am very conscious about the level of dedication and commitment required to achieve the best result and I have full confidence I can succeed.

Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,325 3355  
Feb 24, 2021   #2
Your approach to presenting your relevant education is acceptable. Since the educational background does not seem to be a major requirement for this particular statement of purpose. Since you graduated with a different degree, presenting how you prepared on your own will work since you attended formal classes. Had you done everything via self-study, then you would have had a problem with the presentation.

The theoretical aspect of your purpose fills the essay 100 %. You should balance that with a forward thinking career path as well. How does your current occupation require you to advance your studies as well? Based on the current presentation, you are focusing only on your personal interests and theoretical interests. The actual application of the masters course skills, techniques, and theories, based on a professional purpose is required.

You may also wish to address the extra curricular activities in this essay that somehow relate to your interest. Maybe you are training others who are self-studying just as you did. Maybe you have published YT videos on your channel that can help interest the reviewer in your HCI passion. The idea is to show the reviewer how you pursue your interests both formally and informally.

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