/ Choosing between two Polymer Engineering (PE) departments - academic statement of MSU
Dear Louisa, thank you so much for your time and consideration :)I want to apply for MSE program at MSU which has two statements, and it was really difficult for me to make a clear boundary between these two statements :( :1- personal statement( I found the below questions in the guideline of the prompt of personal statement for many other programs of MSU. However, except the prompt these questions wasn't directly stated for the the MSE program website, but I suppose the same questions applies for MSE program as well, so I tried to answer them in my essay) :
Your Personal Statement should concisely describe how your background and life experiences - including social, economic, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges - motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree.
When preparing your Personal Statement, please address the following questions:
1. If applicable, please describe any barriers or obstacles that you have overcome in pursuit of your educational or personal goals. Examples might include economic, social or health challenges, being the first in your family to attend college, family obligations, etc.
2. How have you demonstrated your leadership skills, or your potential as a leader? For example, you might share specific examples of how you made contributions as an officer in a student organization or how you assumed a leadership role within a team or during a professional internship. You could also discuss your potential for leadership in graduate school and afterwards by sharing your career goals
3. How well do your personal goals for education and research fit with the interests of our faculty and the research activities within our department? Briefly describe research areas or questions that you find interesting and identify any specific faculty, labs or research projects at MSU that are of particular interest to you.
4. discussing your capacity to make a distinctive professional or scholarly contribution in your field.
5. How have you contributed to a diverse educational community, or how will you do so as a graduate student? How have you promoted understanding among persons of different backgrounds and ideas, or how will you do so as a graduate student? Examples might include service activities, leadership roles, study abroad, language study, etc
6. If applicable, please describe aspects of your personal background that will enhance the diversity of MSU's graduate student body.2- academic statement
( I really tried two separate the contents of my personal statement with academic statement, but I don't know how much I was successful ! , As you see, some of the questions of personal statement like motivation for graduate studies overlap with academic statement and even I refereed to my personal statement at the end of my academic statement)
Please provide a concise academic statement of your plans for graduate study, your career goals, and how MSU's graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
1. Briefly describe key experiences that led you to graduate studies. Examples might include research experiences, internships, coursework or extracurricular activities.
2. Share specific, relevant examples of how these experiences helped you develop skills for success as a graduate student. For instance, you might demonstrate ways that you have synthesized knowledge from the classroom, developed research skills, communicated effectively, acted as a leader, or gained skills and responsibility over time.
3. Explain how your goals for graduate study relate to your longer-term career plans, including the pursuit of additional degrees or certifications if applicable.Here is my academic statement:
Two main themes have emerged in my academic life that I believe make me well-suited to continue to pursue graduate studies: an aspiration for research and a passion for applied research jobs.
Achieving the know-how of PVC pilot plant production during summer internship was my first practical experience through which I applied polymerization methods I learned in Polymer Engineering (PE) program. During my second career, understanding the key principals of my courses like "Plastic Engineering" gave me a very strong grounding to troubleshoot extrusion problems in processing of PVC Compounds in vehicle's exterior parts.
As a top-ranked student, my outstanding performance and diligent attitude towards my studies drew the attention of one of the tier 1 professors in UT, Prof. N. I took the opportunity to cooperate with him in order to strengthen my laboratory skills prior to graduate school. I developed my passion for research on structure-property relationships of polymers by optimizing the melt flow of polycarbonate/Organoclay nanocomposites during this time.
Considered as an exceptionally talented student, I had an offer from our department to continue my graduate studies as an M.Sc. student, without taking the qualifying national university entrance exam. In my next research, one of the major challenges I encountered in the laboratory setting of Prof. N. was the prevention of the prefoaming of polylactic acid (PLA)/Organoclay during mixing with chemical foaming agents (CFA). Our laboratory extruder was not equipped with scCO2 injector, so I had to use CFA. I explored a number of factors that contributed to the decomposition of CFA, but all of them failed. However, instead of setting a new deadline, I tried to ignite my curiosity and thinking for a new material design.
Finally, adding Epoxidized Soybean Oil (ESO) as a bio-sourced plasticizer prevented the prefoaming of my samples and also opened up new research directions for me. ESO, in combination with Organoclay resulted in a considerable enhancement in toughness of nanocomposite samples. Based on these results, I awarded a scholarship for development of bio-based packaging materials from ISIOP which is also led to a patentable research.
The three years of enjoyable researches in prof. N's laboratory put me in a very strong position in the R&D center of Isfahan Technology Town, where my experiences of familiarity with PLA hone my ability to integrate the same engineering techniques into our blends of commercial Starch masterbatch with polypropylene: The low impact strength of our masterbaches was a major downside of them being used in packaging applications which has been overcome by adding ESO.
Having such experiences, I strongly believe my academic participation in an industry-related project has a positive effect on my career. Therefore, as a student playing a leading role in the development of innovative materials for nano-enabled applications with special emphasis in packaging and automotive applications makes me more determined to pursue (MSE) program at (MSU). I believe industrial problems will be addressed more effectively by participating in the multidisciplinary environment of Composite Materials and Structures Center at MSU. In addition, as I stated in my personal statement, the scholarly orientation of MSE program is broadly compatible with my own, which makes MSU my top choice. Given my strong academic background and my serious intention for research, now I am confident enough to claim that I can fully be engaged in MSE program at MSU where I can embrace the challenges and opportunities it will bring to me.