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Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. RISD, MFA Graphic Design SOP

Ramanbhandari 1 / -  
Jan 10, 2017   #1
Hey guys, Im applying to MFA in Design and wanted honest opinions. Im not a very good writer, never have been. Would love some quick suggestions, feedback.

Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.


"We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far."

As a visual thinker and communicator, these words of Swami Vivekananda have guided me for the past ten years. I cannot resist seeking inspiration in anything that has been beautifully designed, be it a product or a tune. Thus, I have become a collector of fashion, films, music, and products and love sharing this passion with the world through separate music and film community discussions on Facebook.

With an undergraduate degree in fashion design, I began my journey in the industry. Fish Fry' is the Indian way of saying 'Fried Fish'. It is also a brand made famous by the leading Indian fashion designer, Manish Arora, who hired me as a fashion and graphic designer two days after my graduation. I worked with Manish to create prints and embroidery patterns for his London and Paris fashion week collections.

One year into the job, I decided to explore further and started freelancing as a fashion stylist and digital illustrator for Men's Health and Business Today magazine. Out on a sourcing day for a shoot for Men's Health, I reached the design studio of Lecoanet Hemant, an Indo-French brand based in Delhi whose workspace and culture fascinated me. I applied for the position of Graphic Designer, and by the end of an amazing four years, I was leading the LH graphic department with a team of six designers. Lecoanet Hemant really groomed me as a digital designer, team leader, project manager, and creative problem solver.

By my mid-twenties, when I decided to freelance, my professional portfolio as a graphic designer had become strong enough to work with international brands and online stores including Sennheiser, Fitbit, Marks & Spencer, Jack Daniels, Honor, Amex, Mahindra, Harley-Davidson, Myntra and so on. I recruited and trained teams, for their digital and social platforms, website, apps, and digital illustrations. I also initiated a Rise India empowerment campaign with Mahindra.

Design, art, and technology excite me, and the challenge of novelty has led me to diversify my skills in the areas of logo design as well as app design. Works of Armin Hofmann, Wucius Wong, and contemporary designer George Bokhua composed of simple marks with intelligent use of geometry and compositions have inspired me and my personal style emulates similar clean and minimal designs. I have created ethical and identity designs for NGOs and health start-ups, as well as led teams and build iOS apps and websites for Meal Me, Yummefy, Palm Leaf by Mahindra Comviva, among others.

My own initiative, Metallurgy, which was in partnership, was a learning experience in entrepreneurship. An accessories brand, it drew inspiration from industrial design using brass as its main material. It also introduced me firsthand to sustainable ethical sourcing. Today, my focus is to complement and buttress my vast range of professional experience with a formal education in Graphic Design, as I believe it will give me the edge over my competitors who have had access to the same.

I believe communication, especially visual, is a powerful tool that shapes society today, and RISD promises to mold me into a critical evaluator of social, psychological, and market developments that will help me be at the forefront of change. The state of the art studios, cutting-edge curricula, and faculty will equip me with the strategic and leadership skills I need to found my own branding agency. Finally, with its inspiring campus of doers and makers, RISD indeed is my ideal graduate school.
Streetwalker 9 / 39 14  
Jan 10, 2017   #2

Hi Raman, IMHO, your essay is focusing about your career advancement from zero to hero and how in the process of it you gained leadership skills and experience. However in the essay I think you can tell more of your purposes for studying than just having a title. If possible you can also explain the positive impacts of pursuing education to your society.

Hope it helps.

Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,797 4780  
Jan 11, 2017   #3
Raman, in all actuality, you have said a lot in your essay without saying anything of substance at all. The first part of the essay sounds like a collection of inspiring words and action from other people. I can understand that these are people who inspired you to evolve in your career interests, but aside from that, their existence in your essay does not serve a purpose. The later part of your essay speaks volumes as to how you developed your own skills, but doesn't tell me why you needed to do that. Basically, you wrote an essay that does not have a purpose. You just wrote it for the sake of writing something, without considering the actual requirements of a statement of purpose.

It would be in your best interests to revise the essay in its totality. That means, you only use a few parts of this current essay in line with a new presentation of your statement of purpose. As a seasoned reviewer, the first thing I would want to see in your statement is the foundation of your interests in graphic design leading up to the presentation of the masters degree course that you wish to enroll in.

Come the second paragraph, my interest would then divert to academic foundation that you might have in this field. Tell me about your college achievements that will tell me how great you did during that time. Then, within the same paragraph, represent your professional immersion in this field and professional achievements, additional training, or seminars that you attended. Refer to these as the reasons why you realized that there was more to learn and do in the field of Graphic Design and that your abilities were limited by your lack of advanced lessons in the field.

Your third paragraph, must convince me that you have a pretty solid career plan for yourself should you complete your studies in this course. Where do you see your career headed after graduation? Will this be a career change for you? Or is this course of study a part of a normal career progression on your part?

As for the fourth paragraph, this will be your chance to plead your case. Convince me that you have the abilities to succeed in completing this masters course within the proper time frame. Discuss any research or technical achievements you hope to complete within the specified period of study. Make me believe that you will be an asset or ground breaking designer in the field of Graphic Arts. Set yourself apart from the others in your words.

Finally, I want to know why you think my university can help you achieve all of these plans of yours. What made you decide to choose my university over the others? At this point, I want to know which of the training programs or classes related to your masters course at my university caught your eye and why. End your essay by thanking me for the chance to be considered for admission to my university.

As you develop your new essay, you will have the opportunity to use the preloaded information from this essay. You should be the only person who will know when and where to best use the information that you have here. I hope you will find it easier to revise your essay this way.

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