Prompt: Please outline your reasons for applying to this program. In what ways will you contribute to the subject matter of the program? You should include a thoughtful description of your background, tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in the field as you now envision it, your professional goals, and how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. If you have not been enrolled as a student in the past five years, please address anticipated opportunities and challenges in pursuing the degree, and future career expectations upon completion of the program. (500-750-word limit)
Statement of Purpose:
I am writing to express my interest in the Master of Professional Studies in Communication Design at Parsons School of Design. With my unique background in both marketing and software engineering, I believe I will be an invaluable candidate to the program and bring diverse thoughts and ideas to both the classroom and my future colleagues.
Before becoming a product designer and software engineer, I graduated from SUNY Buffalo with a Business Administration degree in 2018. By that fall, I was a Marketing Analyst at OMD USA, helping to strategize and monitor digital campaigns for Hasbro and JCPenney. There, I learned the importance of client needs and how impactful a marketing campaign is to the success of a product. Although this might seem like a fulfilling job, it was everything but that. By 2019, I made the decision to switch to software engineering to more closely align with my creative passion, and graduated from a computer science program in 2021. With my new programming skills, I got a position as a frontend developer at JPMorgan Chase where I worked on a building out the consumer loans feature alongside our design team. There, I was first introduced to UX/UI design and that began my curiosity with the field. Unfortunately I was laid off in late 2022, and while on the job hunt I saw an opportunity to expand my skill set so I enrolled in a UX/UI Design program with DesignLab. During those 6 months, I fell in love with the design thinking process, especially testing with users and iterating on designs.
As for my user experience design skills, I have designed products/features in multiple areas of digital products, including learning, travel, and pet care. These projects have taught me valuable lessons such as pivoting to user needs and utilizing established design patterns to minimize cognitive load. Currently, I am working with a non-profit organization called Resolve Parkinson's to redesign their website to raise awareness of Parkinson's non-motor symptoms, which can lead to earlier diagnoses and hopefully save more lives. Through this project, I have been able to collaborate directly with the founders to develop a brand identity, site goals, and content layout.
While DesignLab taught me user experience design fundamentals, the Communication Design program will allow me to dive deeper into digital product design. Some courses I am really excited about are Designing for Usability and Playful Prototypes. Learning the newest functionalities of mobile/web interfaces and developing rapid prototypes are essential skills for today's designers. In this program, I will utilize my programming skills, digital marketing acumen, and UX/UI design knowledge to build useful and usable products that positively impact people's lives, specifically within the financial technology sector.
I am also extremely excited about the opportunity to be learning from Clara Bunker and Eric Li. Having worked directly with product designers at a large financial institution, Clara's experiences at American Express and Capital One would be instrumental in teaching me about their design best practices and workflow. As many financial institution's main revenue sources are consumer based, I would love to learn more about their design thinking process when it comes to new customer features. Also, as another product designer with extensive coding experience, I am excited to learn from Eric on how the two disciplines have shaped his career.
After graduating from Parsons School of Design, I plan on becoming a product designer within the financial technology sector. I truly believe in JPMorgan Chase's mission statement of empowering people to take control of their finances and I wish to help them design future features and products. Ultimately, my overarching goal is to design a mobile-first investment app that transcends generational barriers-accessible to the elderly and non-native English speakers. Having immigrant parents that struggle with today's complex technologies, I want to make it easier for them to invest and save for their future, without all the clutter of unnecessary information.
In conclusion, the reputation of Parsons, the amazing professors, small class size, and the curriculum's focus on UX/UI design within the digital product space has led me to apply to the M.P.S in Communication Design at Parsons School of Design. This program is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between my business administration degree, my hands-on experience in programming, and recent foray in UX/UI design, which will allow me to acquire the specialized skills necessary to be a successful product designer in today's technology driven world.
Character Count: 745
Holt Educational Consultant - / 14,430 4691
There is too much focus on your past experiences in this essay. While I am not negating the need to discuss your background in this situation, you should consider that the essay is asking you to think towards your future career in relation to your previous experiences. That is why you are being asked to discuss your professional goals and how the program can help you. There should always be a pivot from the past career to your future career. How you plan to apply these experiences as a student, and how it will help you achieve future success. Think of how you will connect these in order to convince the reviewer that you actually have the qualities that they are looking for in their potential student. Do not forget that you are focusing on a future career path for yourself and how the school can help you achieve that. The last 2 paragraphs clearly help you establish that so you should bring it up to the beginning instead of saving it for the end.
Hi Holt, thanks so much for the feedback! I have revised my SoP to more align with the prompt and your comments.
I am writing to express my interest in the Master of Professional Studies in Communication Design at Parsons School of Design. Growing up in an immigrant household and having a non-traditional design background, I aim to utilize Parsons vast resources to gain expertise in digital product design, specifically in accessibility and inclusive design. Having experienced first-hand how difficult it is for elderly immigrant users to operate mobile devices, I want to mitigate the frustrations they face in their everyday lives. Building accessible and inclusive digital products will not only increase the number of users, but is also the ethical design practice that will contribute to the public good and future proof our products.
During DesignLab's curriculum, I have been able to design digital products and features in the finance, education, travel, and pet care space. These projects have taught me valuable skills such as color theory, content hierarchy, and the importance of reusable components. Currently, I am working with a non-profit organization called Resolve Parkinson's, redesigning their website to raise awareness of Parkinson's non-motor symptoms, which can lead to earlier diagnoses and save more lives. In this project, I have collaborated directly with the founders to develop a brand identity, website goals, and optimal content layout.
Even with my current knowledge of user experience, I'm extremely eager to dive deeper into digital product design with Parsons. My engineering background, experience in the digital product space and eagerness to learn from world-class professors in a more intimate setting aligns with Parsons's mission, vision, and education approach. With this program, I intend to use Parsons's resources to build digital products that positively impact people's lives, specifically within the financial technology sector.
I am also extremely excited about the opportunity to learn from Professor Clara Bunker and Eric Li. Having worked directly with product designers at large financial institutions, Professor Bunker's experiences at American Express and Capital One would be instrumental in teaching me about their design practices and workflow. As many revenue sources within the financial service space are consumer-based, I would love to learn more about how these companies design new processes when it comes to customer features. Also, as another product designer with extensive coding experience, I am excited to learn from Professor Li on how the two disciplines have shaped his career.
After graduating from Parsons, I plan on becoming a product designer within the financial technology sector. I truly believe in helping companies empower everyday people to take control of their finances and I strive to design features and products aligned with that mission. Ultimately, my overarching goal is to design a mobile-first investment app that transcends generational barriers-accessible to the elderly and non-native English speakers. Having grown up with immigrant parents with disabilities who struggle with today's complex mobile technologies, I want to make it easier for them to invest and save for their future, without all the clutter of unnecessary information. To achieve this goal, I will need Parsons' support in teaching me the necessary skills in web accessibility and inclusion.
Parson's reputation, outstanding professors, intimate class size, and the curriculum's focus on digital product design have led me to apply to the M.P.S. in Communication Design. This program is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between my business administration degree, background in programming, and recent experience in UX/UI design, which will allow me to acquire the specialized skills necessary to be a successful product designer in today's technology-driven world.