I'm getting incredibly frustrated trying to write a concluding statement, and I'm unsure if I lose focus from what is asked of me. Any help/criticism is appreciated in advance!In approximately 500 words, discuss the reasons you wish to pursue the MS in Bioinformatics program. Focus on your long term goals and how this academic program will complement those goals, as well as any additional comments that will assist in evaluating your application materials. Please submit a typed essay on a separate sheet of paper.
The first years of my undergraduate career were a mess - I had no idea what I wanted to do in life, and the burden of a family financial crisis back home didn't help. As the eldest son and without enough financial aid from the university, I withdrew from my studies to go back home and help support the family. Despite the situation, I took this time to really assess what I wanted to do with my life, and through self-help books and experimenting, I discovered that I was more interested in computer science and programming than biology.
It was an easy decision to transfer to Loyola University at Chicago - I could be closer to home while pursuing something I was truly interested in. In Putonti's lab, I've developed algorithms and scripts for raw data handling of experimental results and manipulating data from existing databases, and I've recently began this summer learning molecular biology lab techniques i.e. DNA extractions, PCR. The genomics course from last semester has also sparked a newfound interest in genome analysis.
The main reason I'd like to pursue a Master of Science degree in bioinformatics at Johns Hopkins is because of the courses and electives offered - just browsing through the course catalog encourages my curiosity. Another reason I'd like to pursue a M.S. at JHU is because of the flexibility the program offers without compromising the quality of education. I will not have a bachelor's degree at the start of the spring semester, but I will only have two classes (6 credit hours) to complete my degree. I know the flexibility JHU's online program would be a great benefit for me, since I can finish my last two classes and invest the extra time toward a couple core courses at the same time. Also, when I met with Dr. Obom in January, she explained to me that it would be possible to waive core courses so that I can invest my education in more "concentration classes" and electives. At the bottom, I have listed the remaining courses left in my undergraduate career.
My long term goal is to pursue a career at J. Craig Venter Institute and/or the Institute for Genomic Research. Ever since I read about him in TIME Magazine as the forefront competitor in the Human Genome Project, I've been interested in understanding the genomic data but also interested in the ambition to eventually use it for improving healthcare. I plan on applying to their summer internship in 2011, and I hope to use the research experience and apply it at JHU. In terms of relocating, I'm planning to move to the Baltimore area following the summer internship, but I would still like to have the flexibility of JHU's online program since I can't foretell what my employment/living situation will be.
- Proteomics (3 hrs)
- Introduction to Bioinformatics (3 hrs)
- Quantitative Methods in Bioinformatics (4 hrs)
- Molecular Biology Lab (3 hrs)
- Computational Biology (3 hrs)
- Design and Analysis of Algorithms (3 hrs)