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Personal statement - Master in Analytics - Descriptive analytic to improve businesses' efficiency


Hi there, I'm applying for a MS in business analytics and here is my statement of purpose. I've working on this essay for a while and the things that I am concern about is:

1. Clarity and word choices (as I'm not a English native speaker)
2. Content (as I'm not sure if my passion and eager to participate in the program is shown clearly. Thus, if you think I should elaborate on any part, please let me know)

Thank you very much for helping out

Prompt 4: Maximum 2 to 3 pages Statement of Purpose discussing your strengths and weaknesses, and reason(s) for pursuing this degree

My strengths, weaknesses and goals for the future



My goal is to help businesses improve their demand forecasts, making them more sustainable and profitable. Growing up in and now working in Vietnam where pollution is among the ten worst countries in the world, I have witnessed the dreadful consequences of industrial waste and pollution. I want to focus on improving forecasts because it can help businesses form better strategies to cut waste on their supply chains - in the interest of both businesses and the environment. Meanwhile, this field allows me to exercise my passion and aptitude for quantitative reasoning as evidenced by the perfect grades I received for every quantitative analysis course in my undergraduate study. After graduate school, I plan to become a solution architect who is the front end to businesses and designs predictive solutions. I hope to later grow into a data scientist who oversees not only business solution design but also implementation.

Accurate demand forecasts are needed in almost every company and unexpected demands can disrupt operations which produce large amounts of waste. I observed, at the packaging manufacturer where I worked as a production assistant, that more than twenty percent of production waste resulted from production chasing after unexpected demands. Inaccurate prediction can also enlarge the costs and wastes from inventory management, transportation, and other supply chain stages. Besides constructing or improving companies' predictive systems, I am also interest in unfolding the forecasts' implications. As I possess background knowledge related to optimization and simulation, I intend to incorporate these skills to assist businesses to make better decisions based on predictions.

On one hand, my strengths as an analyst are my quantitative aptitude and independent learning ability. My fascination for extracting predictive information from raw data and passion for sustainability motivated me to achieve excellent academics. Since I was eager to learn about this topic, I plowed through the knowledge inside and outside of classrooms. As the results, I graduated with a degree labeled Summa Cum Laude. More importantly, I excel in all analytic related courses, from statistics, calculus, to programming. To satisfy my thirst for knowledge, I have self taught several skills including R and VBA programming. I have designed various VBA programs at work. One successful program assists the Human Resource Department manage all hiring information. The program includes a user-friendly interface and a structured database, allowing users to consolidate information from four different locations in Asia and produce graphical reports automatically. These traits allow me to keep abreast with the latest news in the field and better myself continuously.

Another strength of mine is my knowledge in business operations, which makes me a better analytic professional. As I have worked for several different companies, I can comprehend businesses' needs and common practices, especially global business practices. Moreover, since I have observed how companies turn analytics results to practices, I understand that analytic models have many shortfalls when applied. Therefore, I am more keen design solutions that are most practical and compelling to businesses. With my knowledge, I believe that I will bring interesting insights to the classrooms at Oklahoma State University.

On the other hand, the weakness that has hindered my professional progress is the lack of knowledge and skills needed for advanced predictive and prescriptive analytics. Although proficient in many programming languages, I have not learned to how to operate many different analytical software other than R and Microsoft Excel. Therefore, I have only been able to build not so complicated predictive models during both college and work. Moreover, I lack the skills to analyze unstructured data, which has prevented me from taking advantage of the emerging field of predictive analysis from big data.

As the Analytics and Data Mining program at Oklahoma State University offers various core courses on predictive analysis using different software and tools, I intend to complete this program to improve upon my weakness. Also, as the program offers SAS Predictive Analytics Certificate, I believe that I will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to advance my career toward the goal of helping companies save both environmental and financial costs upon finishing the program.

Jan 7, 2017   #2
Thu, you are submitting your college transcript of records along with this application. Therefore, there is no need to repeat the information in that file. Congratulations on graduating as a Summa Cum Laude, however, that is not necessary to include in this essay. When you discuss your strengths, you should stick to the academic overview of the discussion. Focus on your strong subjects and abilities, without mentioning the graduation honor you received because the reviewer will be analyzing your transcript of records regarding that and will not give any weight to its mention coming from you.

Your discussion as to how the university caught your interest and offers academic programs relevant to your masters degree, along with any relevant training information is not really complete. The overview that you presented is simply too short and uninformed to convince the reviewer that you know exactly what you will be doing and what is expected of you as a student of this MS course in the university. Try to reduce the discussion of your strengths to only the most important strengths that you have. No more than 3, in order to allow for a better developed university choice discussion in the conclusion.
@Holt
Hi, thank you very much for your feedback. I have alter the essay as following. As it is a statement of purpose, I am not sure how much of relevant training and work experiences I should include (as they are listed on my transcripts and resume as well.) So, please let me know if this amount is enough or should I add more. I have elaborated on the school analysis so please let me know if this is relevant enough.

I don't understand your previous comments very well so I'm not sure if this edition is exactly what you suggest. If not, please elaborate on your comment a little more.

Once again, thank you very much for you help.

MY STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES AND GOALS FOR THE FUTURE

My goal is to help businesses improve their forecasts, making them more sustainable and profitable. Growing up in and now working in Vietnam where pollution is among the ten worst countries in the world, I have witnessed the dreadful consequences of industrial waste and pollution. I want to focus on improving forecasts because it can help businesses form better strategies to cut waste on their supply chains - in the interest of both businesses and the environment. Meanwhile, this field allows me to exercise my passion and aptitude for quantitative reasoning. After graduate school, I plan to become a solution architect who is the front end to businesses and designs predictive solutions. I hope to later grow into a data scientist who oversees not only business solution design but also implementation.

I wish to work in designing (...)
Jan 8, 2017   #4
Thu, when you write a statement of purpose, you need not indicate what you feel your academic or theoretical weaknesses are. That is because your weaknesses are unrelated to the purpose of your masters degree studies. The reason you want to focus on a masters degree is for further career advancement. Therefore, it is best to only discuss your strengths, in relation to your future career plans or purpose of your higher studies. The masters classes are meant to help you enhance your skills in the academic, theoretical, and practical scheme of things, so there is an automatic assumption that you will be able to strengthen all aspects of your profession related needs in the process. Replace the discussion of your weaknesses with a summary of your most notable professional achievements and all your work related experience. This will include the names of the companies that you worked for and years of service, along with descriptions of your duties and responsibilities. I suggest that we start with these simple but relevant corrections to your essay. As you progress with the editing, the other irrelevant portions will be deleted. At the moment, I want to see which parts might connect to the next revision you will be making. So this essay will be an editing work in progress. Please be patient as I try to help you finalize your paper ok? I swear, it will be worth it.
@Holt
Thank you very very much for your feedback. Below is the discussion on my relevant work experiences. This is rather lengthy because I included almost everything. Please feel free to tell me which part to trim.

I also have two questions as following. As I don't have much experience in writing, please kindly ignore their silliness.

1. As the prompt specifically requires me to discuss my weakness. Would it be alright to leave this topic out entirely?

2. If I am applying for another university that requires only 1 page double space (about 300 words) of my academic and professional goals. Can I use the first 3 paragraphs of my essay above (after we finish editing) along with the analysis of how that school's program matches my interests?

Thank you very much for your help.

My work experiences

I have worked in assisting management control and decision making for two years. After college, I worked at Nhon Trach Packaging JSC - a plastic bags manufacturer as the production director's assistant. During my time at this company, I cleaned and analyzed production output and quality data to provide managers an informative view on daily production processes. I Drilled down on the data to identify which production stage caused the most defects and traced the improvements on such stage. I also implemented statistical tools, such as control charts, to spot unusual output volumes and defective parts to issue warnings, which was a new and effective quality control method that the company had not used before.

Although Nhon Track Packaging was a decent employer, their plastic products directly contrast my passion for sustainability. Thus, I then start working as Project Administrator at Hella Vietnam Co. Ltd., a subsidy of the Hella Global - a German automotive company. My main responsibilities were to forecast the engineering department's future capacity which is measured by the unit of working hours and control the costs of all customer projects in Vietnam. I built a regression forecasting model to predict future working hours from analyzing historical data. The model's results were used to plan for future months' resources. I successfully established a new early warning system, which issues warning 4 to 5 weeks before a project's budget exhausts. Besides my main responsibilities, I took on inter-department projects which I consult other departments on their issues and needs for data processing. Then, I would build VBA solutions to assist them with their needs. Some solutions result up to 70% decrease in data processing time and 50% increase in data accuracy. For instances, I built a program to help the Human Resource department consolidate, analyze, and report hiring information from four different locations in both China and Vietnam in a few minutes. This task could have taken hours to complete manually.
Jan 9, 2017   #6
Thu, I am more than happy to respond to your questions. I'll respond to you in the same numerical outline so I won't have to repeat the questions below. I will offer you my review of your new essay immediately after that.

1. Since the weaknesses are a required discussion in the essay, I suggest that you do not totally leave it out, but you don't discuss it in too great a detail either. Instead, discuss the weakness as a possible strength for you if it is honed properly through the academic training that you are about to receive. Say something about how these are not real weaknesses but rather strengths, that were under developed during your college study. It is important to spin the weaknesses that you have into a positive note because if you admit that these weaknesses cannot be fixed by academic enlightenment, then there is no sense in your going to masters school.

2. While you actually combine the first three paragraphs of this essay with some new content, I do not really advice that students do that because colleges are wise to application plagiarism among students. The universities really want to see new and focused essays based upon their university prompt requirements. I suggest that you do self-plagiarism instead by rewording the first 3 paragraphs to become more applicable to the new university. Rather than risk your essay being flagged should the reviewer wish to run your work through a plagiarism checker.

Your statement of purpose contains a logical career development path but does not contain the other elements that I indicated you need to include in your statement of purpose. Please keep in mind that you are being allowed anywhere between 2 - 3 pages for this full essay discussion. So make sure to include all pertinent information. Aim for at least 500 words in your essay. That should be sufficient enough to get you through this,
@Holt
Hi, thank you very much for your answer. I will keep it in mind.

I am not sure if I understand your review. When you say

Your statement of purpose contains a logical career development path but does not contain the other elements that I indicated you need to include in your statement of purpose.

do you mean that I have not included a complete discussion about relevant training information or that I know exactly what I will be doing and what is expected of me as a student of this MS course in the university? If so, would you please kindly give an example on what you mean by a sufficient discussion (bullet points are enough.)

Thank you very much for your help. I apologize for my slow understanding.

Best,
TN.
Jan 9, 2017   #8
Thu, you have to include a complete discussion of the statement of purpose in the essay. Remember the instructions I gave you for developing the essay in thread numbers 2 and 4? If you follow those instructions to the letter, you will be able to properly develop the essay in terms of relevant information. The requirements that I pointed out are require elements of this sort of essay, with the addition of your strengths and weaknesses discussion as those portions are add on, specific information required by the university you are applying for admission to. If I am going to use bullet points to guide you in the development of this essay, I need you to first provide me with the newest version so that I can figure out which parts still need to be represented or improved upon. Can you do that for me?
@Holt
Oh dear, I feel incredibly dumb. I'm still not sure what you meant but I give it a try anyway. Please let me know if the essay at the end of this thread is in the direction of your suggestions. Please notice that it is now quite lengthy with lots of run-on sentences. Please check the content first. If it's alright, I'll clean it up.

I summarize your suggestions as following only to make sure that I understand you right. Please let me know if I'm totally off. Your suggestions are:

+ When discuss strengths, stick to the academic overview of the discussion. Focus on strong subjects and abilities : I try this at paragraph 4

+ How university caught your interest and offers academic programs relevant to your masters degree: my last paragraph and second to last

+ Relevant training information: paragraph 2, 3, 4

+ Descriptions of your duties and responsibilities: paragraph 2, 3, 4

+ Discuss the weakness as a possible strength: I cannot think of one but I indicate my weakness as something that can be fixed by the graduate program

Thank you very much. You are a great help as always.

My Goals, Strengths, and Weakness As an Analytic Professional

My goal is to help businesses improve their forecasts...

I wish to work on improving predictive models after seeing the impact of forecast accuracy on businesses' waste. After college, I worked at Nhon Trach Packaging JSC - a plastic bags manufacturer - as the production director's assistant. My main responsibility was to clean, analyze, and apply statistical tools on production data to provide managers an informative view on daily production outputs and defective part amounts. I traced each production stage to determine which produces the most defects and detect improvement on each stage's result. I observed that more than twenty percent of production waste resulted from unexpected demands disrupting operations. This twenty percent translates to approximately 300 tons of plastic that could have been saved. The potential financial and environmental benefits are enormous. Therefore, I have been very interested in designing predictive models to help businesses better prepare for the future. This way, production will no longer has to chase after demands. I am also interested in unfolding forecasts' implications to help businesses use forecasts to solve problems. As I possess background knowledge related to optimization and simulation, I intend to incorporate these skills to assist businesses to make better decisions based on predictions.

I decide to pursue a Master of Science in Analytics to further develop my skills and learn the advanced knowledge I could not obtain through work or undergraduate studies. After leaving Nhon Trach Packaging as its products contrast my passion for sustainability, I worked as a Project Administrator at Hella Vietnam Co. Ltd., a member of the Hella Group - a German automotive company. My main responsibilities were to forecast the engineering department's future capacity which is measured by the unit of working hours. I built a regression forecasting model to predict future working hours from analyzing historical data. The model results were used to plan for future months' resources. Although I succeeded at creating simple forecasting models, I have not learned to model complex problems such as building market demand forecasts. This is when I recognize the need for higher education.

My strengths are my interdisciplinary knowledge. Besides analytical knowledge, I excel in the topics of computer programming, optimization, simulation, and business. The skills that are deemed to be most important for analytic professionals. I possess strong foundations in statistics. In fact, I was one of the two tutors chosen by my department to tutor statistic and operation research because of my academic excellence. While working at Hella Vietnam, I further improve my programming participated in inter-department projects to consult and develop VBA programs to answer their needs for data analysis and management. I am experienced in dealing with businesses' needs from working in the management office of several different companies. Therefore, I am more keen on designing solutions that are both practical and compelling to businesses. With my knowledge, I believe that I will bring interesting insights regarding global business to the classrooms at Oklahoma State University. Furthermore, I am fascinated with extracting information from raw data.

My greatest weakness is the lack of knowledge about propriety statistical software. Despite being proficient in many programming languages, I have not had the opportunity to learn about many different statistical software, especially the proprietary ones. I am aware of the seriousness of this lacking so I am more focus and diligent on learning about them. Moreover, as this MS program is focused on proprietary software like SAS, I believe that I will posses the knowledge to overcome this weakness.

The Analytics and Data Mining program at Oklahoma State University is particularly relevant to my interests because the program offers core courses that focus on predictive and prescriptive analytic tools and software. Thus, I will be able to deepen my knowledge in the statistical software R and learn how to employ other statistical tools. Moreover, the program contains several projects which will allow me to employ my independent learning skills to explore applications of the knowledge learnt in class. The program also offers the opportunity to complete SAS and OSU Certificates, which will provide me an advantage to land my desired job upon graduation.
Jan 10, 2017   #10
Thu, where is the overview of your college education? How does your college education relate or how did it prepare you for these masters studies? If your college course is not related to this particular course of study, you should still mention it in reference to why you decided that you should change your career path. You do imply a change in your career path towards the end of the essay so it just might work to strengthen the essay content.

Read the second paragraph of your current essay. Doesn't it fit better if you use it as an introduction to the reasons why you have chosen to study in this particular university? It is my belief that your concluding statement will become stronger if you move the second paragraph to above the current closing statement and then place the information about your college background in the second paragraph instead. There is still a missing link in this essay and I believe that the college information is that missing piece.
@Holt

Thank you so much for for your help during the last few days. As the deadline is approaching, I am no longer able to push back submitting the essay. Thus, any final feedback on the content ? (sentences, grammar and word choice will be refined a bit more)

Once again, thank you very very much.

My Goals, Strengths, and Weakness as an Analytic Professional

My goal is to assist businesses to improve their forecasts, making them more sustainable and profitable. Growing up in and now living in Vietnam where pollution is among the ten worst countries in the world, I have witnessed the devastating aftermath of industrial waste and pollution. I want to focus on forecast improvement because it can help businesses form better strategies to cut operation waste, which benefits both businesses and the environment. Meanwhile, this discipline allows me to utilize my passion and aptitude for quantitative reasoning. After graduate school, I plan to become a solution architect who is the front end to businesses and designs predictive solutions. I hope to later grow into a data scientist who oversees not only business solution design but also implementation.

During my undergraduate studies, I learned to use a wide set of skills to assist decision making. As the results, I possess strong foundations in statistics, data analysis, and data management. The Decision Sciences department hired me as one of the two tutors for the courses of statistics and operation research based on my academic merits. Although my undergraduate studies cover lots of subjects, I was particularly interested in the subject of data analytics. However, my interest on forecasting only crystallized a few years later from my post-graduate experiences.

When I perceived the impact of forecast accuracy on businesses' waste, I knew that I would like to pursue a career in forecasting. My main responsibility when working at Nhon Trach Packaging JSC was to clean and analyze production records. As I observed, more than twenty percent of production waste, which translates to about 300 tons of plastics annually, is produced when unexpected demands disrupt operations. Thus, I intend to make forecasting models that help businesses better prepare for the future. Also, I am interested in unfolding forecasts' implications to help businesses use forecasts to solve operational or supply chain problems. I intend to incorporate my background knowledge in optimization and simulation to help businesses make better decisions from predictions.

As an analyst, my greatest strength is my interdisciplinary knowledge. Besides analytical skills, I excel in the topics of optimization, computer programming, and business. This knowledge helps me form complete views on businesses' problems and design comprehensive solutions. During college, I built several optimization model including at work, I employ my programming skills by participating in inter-department projects to consult and develop VBA programs to response to data analysis and data management requirements. I am experienced in dealing with businesses' needs from working in the management office of several different companies. With my knowledge, I believe that I will bring interesting insights regarding global business to the classrooms at Oklahoma State University.

Nonetheless, the lack of knowledge about statistical software is my greatest weakness. Despite being proficient in many programming languages, I have not had to opportunity to learn to operate analytical software other than R and Microsoft Excel. This lack of knowledge makes me incapable of analyzing unstructured data and taking advantage of the emerging field of predictive analysis from big data. As I am aware of my lacking, I tend to put more effort in learning.

I decide to pursue a Master of Science in Analytics to further develop my skills and learn the advanced knowledge I could not obtain through undergraduate studies or work. I possess strong foundations in statistics, programming, and data management from my undergraduate studies. I was one of the two tutors chosen by the department based on my academic excellence. While working for the Program Management Office at Hella Vietnam Co. Ltd., I successfully built a model to forecast the engineering department's capacity. Although I succeeded at creating simple forecasting models, I have not learned to model complex problems such as market demand forecasts. This is when I recognize the need for higher education.

The Analytics and Data Mining program at Oklahoma State University is particularly relevant to my interests because the program offers core courses that focus on predictive and prescriptive analytic tools and software. Thus, I will be able learn how to employ other statistical tools, such as SAS, to improve upon my weakness. Moreover, the program contains several projects which will allow me to employ my independent learning skills to explore applications of the knowledge learnt in class. The program also offers the opportunity to complete SAS and OSU Certificates, which will provide me an advantage to land a position in the field of forecasting as I desire upon graduation.
Jan 10, 2017   #12
Thu, the way I see it, there is only one more thing that you have to do in order to create the best version of this essay thus far. Take the current opening statement and insert it between the current paragraphs 2 and 3. That would be the best way to position it as an effective transition sentence from your college academic experience leading into your professional career, plans for your future, then steadily into your strengths and weaknesses. That adjustment to the position of the paragraphs will create a more cohesive discussion of the prompt requirements and create a logical discussion process that should help make it easier for the reviewer to take note of certain highlights in your essay. I believe that this will make this version the strongest version of the essay that you have developed. Good luck with your application. We are all rooting for you!
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