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Statement of Purpose - Master's in Cognitive and Decision Sciences, UCL, UK

clawdiia 1 / -  
Sep 21, 2022   #1

Statement of Purpose

why you want to study Cognitive and Decision Sciences at graduate level
why you want to study Cognitive and Decision Sciences at UCL
what particularly attracts you to this programme
how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Brain Games, 100 Humans, The Mind: Explained. Those are the kind of titles that you will see on my Netflix 'Watch It Again' section. Unconsciously, I've always been highly fascinated by the human mind. Many why's and how's running in my mind every day, questioning why people think and behave the way they do. Those everyday questions connect to my belief that we cannot name a single societal problem in the world that does not involve human cognition and decision-making.

Following my undergraduate degree in marketing communications, I've worked professionally for three years as a marketer at fast-moving consumer goods companies. I delve into market insight and consumer behaviour, figuring out ways to win a space in customers' minds. After logging off from work, I instantly switch my identity from a Brand Manager to a Volunteer. For the past three years, social activities focusing primarily on education have taken up most of my weekends and after-office hours. My volunteering experiences have also contributed to growing my interest in maximising the learning environment for Indonesians, tackling the challenges from a cognitive approach.

Cognitive Science fits perfectly to both my professional and personal aspirations; to better understand consumers in business and maximise people's learning process in education. That is why I am excited to pursue the MSc Cognitive and Decision Sciences at UCL. Continuing education to a higher level will provide me with valuable knowledge to widen my understanding of human behavior. Other than being 1st in the UK for its research in Psychology, UCL offers courses suitable to my learning needs, which but are not limited to, Consumer Behaviour, Judgment and Decision-Making, and Behaviour Change. Moreover, the unique Behavioural Insights Exchange program will equip me with on-the-job experience and learn directly from the professionals, since awareness and open positions in this field are still low in my home country.

I am also eager to participate in Nudgeathon to test my ability amongst other students in the same field, combining my work experience and knowledge in class to practice. The United Kingdom, where UCL is located, is undoubtedly one of the best places to study decision-making and behavioural science, as it established the world's first government-embedded applied-behavioural science team.

For my dissertation, I want to focus on marketing for education, which is the connecting line of my work experience, interest, and learned courses. With rigorous computational programming skills from the study, such as the Bayesian hypothesis testing, I wish to understand how people process learning materials and predict decisions they will make when triggered by different marketing messages. The diverse resources from UCL will allow me to find cross-department professors from the Institute of Education such as Dr Mutlu Cukurova, whose research focuses on computational and statistical models of collaboration and regulation of learning behaviours of humans with multimodal learning analytics. My work requires me to combine art and science, where we craft and experiment new campaigns based on historical data. To boost my capability in data processing, I have taken online data analytics courses and have done several projects in creating a dashboard from scratch. Thus, I believe I would be able to catch up with the intense computational core modules.

After obtaining my Master's degree, I will advance in my professional career by having solid quantitative skills and a better understanding of the human mind through research and cognitive science principles. With the added value I can bring, I aspire to secure a spot in education technology companies such as GovTech Edu, an Indonesian public-owned education startup with a mission to create irreversible transformation to improve student learning outcomes, supporting the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology. Besides, I also want to implement my learnings with "Here to Share", a non-profit organisation I co-founded 1.5 years ago. Since we focus on social services, I would like to understand how humans can empathise with others and replicate the learnings to many people. We have done four social projects that touch upon various causes, including education, health, inclusion, and disability. With strong shared values by our 21 and counting project volunteers all across the world, I firmly believe the organisation still has a long future in sharing kindness with the world, especially with the help of understanding the human decision-making processes.

All in all, I am ecstatic to acquire knowledge regarding cognitive and decision sciences at UCL. Given my diverse experiences in marketing, business, non-profit education, as well as my sincere passion for the field, I believe I would be able to contribute to the class by sharing ideas and thoughts, representing Indonesia in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, London.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,249 4651  
Sep 22, 2022   #2
Remove the first paragraph. The mention of Netflix made the professional application amateurish and worthy only of an undergraduate application consideration. Reviewers are not impressed by, nor are they interested in knowing what you watch on Netflix. That is irrelevant to the discussion. Stick to the professional facts for your statement of purpose. Do not insert irrelevant points into the discussion that could turn off the reviewer. Open with the second paragraph instead.

Expand the discussion points by threshing out the professional and personal purpose for the studies. Do not use the term aspirational. It makes the application sound like a dream or ambition rather than a quest you are already undertaking. Be more positive and use a driven tone in your writing.

The diverse resources from UCL will allow me ... with multimodal learning analytics

This entry does not make any sense. What do you plan to do with this opportunity? Why this professor? How do these relate to say, continuing your college paper as a masters dissertation? Why would this professor be interested to work with you?

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