Motivation Letter for ERASMUS MUNDUS Scholarship
Hi everyone, would appreciate your comments and advice on below motivation letter for Erasmus Mundus Scholarship
I am writing to apply for the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for the International Masters in Industrial Management program. I graduated from Kazakh British Technical University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from which I received a BSc degree in Petroleum Engineering in 2010. I was a diligent student, and I never really faced any difficulties during the studies. My academic performance is well represented by my high marks and favourable recommendation. Thus here I would like to shed more light on my professional career and future aspirations.
During my final year at the university I passed many interviews and was offered a position in several reputable local oil & gas companies, and was also accepted to Bechtel International Ltd. I chose to start my career at Bechtel because it was a great opportunity for me to gain international work experience early in life, and I also viewed its' graduate program as a good chance to develop myself both professionally and personally. There was not a moment when I regretted this decision.
The big advantage of the graduate program in Bechtel is that it is very flexible. It has given me opportunities to try myself in different departments and different roles. Shortly after completing the technical training, I requested to be sent to construction site to one of our on-going projects in order to be able to get hands-on experience and deeply understand the challenges of the construction industry. Eventually I was sent for a long-term assignment to our biggest project as of that date in Turkmenistan. All other members of our team and also all subcontractor personnel that I was working with were much elder than me (I was 22 at that time), and in addition to that, I didn't have any construction experience at all. It was one the most challenging situations I had ever been in my life before. But instead of despair I responded to that challenge with perseverance and dedication, which gradually earned me good reputation and respect of the team. The amount of trust and belief I had received from the management helped me to unleash my leadership potential and greatly boosted my self-confidence.
Upon completion of that project I continued working in the main office in Supply Chain and Project Engineering departments receiving completely different insights on the overall project execution. Talking about the Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) industry, I can confidently say that I have been on both sides of the fence. Now I feel that I have reached a perfect time in my career for closing the knowledge gaps and sharpening my skills in management related areas. Master's degree in Industrial Management is well suited to my background, it will be a valuable addition to the professional experience I already possess, and together they will form a very strong foundation for a successful career. Considering the industrial development program recently endorsed by the government and increasing investors' interest, Kazakhstan's economy will soon be in demand for highly qualified professionals, and my international experience and top class education that IMIM is providing will help me to fulfill my potential and make a meaningful contribution to the development of my home country's oil and gas industry.
Besides, I perceive studying in Europe as an extraordinary opportunity to interact with students and scholars from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds coming from all around the world. This type of networking is very important for integration of different ideas and perspectives pertaining to diverse global issues. Thus it would greatly broaden the multicultural experience I have already received while living and working in the Middle East, and would also give me a unique opportunity to share and spread these positive experiences when I return back to my home country.
In conclusion I want to make clear that I would regard my admission to the International Masters in Industrial Management not only as a great honour but also as a great responsibility and an obligation to work hard. I am sure that I will match all the credentials and will be able to maintain high standards set by your program, which I will be proud to represent in our country.
Serik, most of the information that you have placed in this letter is actually meant for your statement of purpose essay. That is the essay that you submit to the university for the consideration of your masters degree application. Since this is an application for a scholarship, the committee is actually looking for some other information from you that you should be presenting instead of the narrative that you now have.
In place of the purpose, you should be discussing your motivation for wishing to apply to masters degree school. Talk more about the problems that your country is actually facing, or a specific problem that you wish to address by attending masters degree school. Talk about, to a lesser degree, the college preparation and training that you have which might guarantee that you will be able to successfully complete the masters program. Give an example of the kind of solution that you think can be applied to the problem in order to defend your motivation for applying. Connect your solution with your current training and work experience. Then indicate that making that solution a reality is the motivation for your desire to pursue higher studies. Make this short but informative.
Your essay is really running very long at this moment and needs to be reviewed for content. The reviewer will consider all of the documents that you will be submitting with the application anyway so you don't have to be overly informative in this letter. Over views or summaries of the information will be sufficient enough. Just to let the reviewer know to keep an eye out for more details of that particular aspect within the rest of your application requirements submitted.
Basically, you should keep this cover letter between 3-5 paragraphs. Six paragraphs is just way too long. Review the essay again and try to find the parts that you can either delete or shorten the content of so that the letter will serve its actual purpose of simply introducing you to the reviewer in an overview format.
Towards the end of the essay, explain how the scholarship can help you achieve your plans by helping you offset your academic fees for the next year. Explain the relevance of the scholarship to the problem you are trying to solve, if such a relationship exists. The motivation for your desire to win this scholarship has to also reflect the fact that you are willing to work with the scholarship in the future, should they decide to award you this financial aid you are seeking.
Mary, thanks for the review and your comments, it seemed to me from the beginning that my letter needs improvement. Unfortunately I didn't really have time to work on it till today. I also forgot to include the guidelines for the letter in my first post, so here they are:
Write an essay describing previous studies, motivation for international mobility, professional project. If you are applying for the Erasmus Mundus scholarships, talk about your interest towards the European culture and studying in the EU.
I tried to get rid of the excessive details and elaborate a bit more on the situation in my country, hope this draft is better now. [..]
Serik, in the first paragraph, just offer a quick discussion of your college degree completed. There is no need to tell the reviewer that you got another scholarship because of high marks in your first year of study. That is irrelevant and does not mean anything to your current application. What matters at this point, is how you have performed at your current job in relation to your masters degree pursuit. Additionally, a highlight should be added to explain the problem or work situation in your country that you wish to resolve through the use of international mobility. This means that you have to explain how and why you believe that studying abroad, in this field will help you better help your mother country. It is not about international exposure to the society but rather, international exposure in the field. In the final part of the essay, as a concluding statement, you can explain how you are familiar with Europe and its culture, as well as its social norms and how you hope to build upon that experience as a student by getting a well rounded education that balances the academic, with the social learning that one may obtain only though overseas educational exposure. The middle part of the essay is acceptable as a part of the work, for now. We may need to adjust it depending upon how your revision turns out.
Mary, thanks again for your review, I tried to cover the points you had raised in the last comment. Have some doubts about "Additionally, a highlight should be added to explain the problem or work situation in your country that you wish to resolve through the use of international mobility." - already have a paragraph on that subject. Also it was a bit hard to link the "familiarity with Europe and its culture", tried to add a couple of sentences on that at the end.
I am writing to apply for the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for the International Masters in Industrial Management program. I graduated from Kazakh British Technical University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from which I received a BSc degree in Petroleum Engineering in 2010. This program covered both upstream and downstream operations of the oil and gas industry with more emphasis on the upstream sector, such as drilling, oil extraction, etc. Nevertheless, throughout the studying process I found myself more interested in the downstream operations...
P.S. Merry Christmas :D
Merry Christmas to you too Sekbar! I hope you have a great holiday season. Now, the essay really works much better now, the only problem that I see with it at the moment is the fact that the prompt specifically asks you to justify your familiarity with the European culture, traditions, social norms, etc. as an applicant for the scholarship. You already represent the academic side very well. The problem lies in the cultural side at this point. If it were not a requirement of the essay, I would have already asked you to skip it. But since it is an expected subject for discussion, we have to somehow present a paragraph or two about it in your final essay.
I believe that this situation was caused by the intense academic relationship that you will be having with the other students in the program. The reviewer needs to understand how well you will blend in with the group and how you will handle being away from home. You need to prove some sort of background or understanding of the European culture aside from what you think and expect from them once you become a student representing the scholarship.
I don't get a sense of how you will be able to socially immerse yourself into the European culture and community at this point. All I have is an understanding of what you expect from the semester abroad not what the semester abroad can also give you in terms of personal and character development. That is usually seen once you present your familiarity with the culture you are looking to join. Perhaps a better reference to the scholarship in light of its connection to Europe would be one of the best ways to start creating that European
Mary, thanks for the wishes. I have thought quite a lot about how I can introduce my familiarity with the European culture, most ideas that I am getting are related to my interests in European literature, history, sports, etc., however I don't see how I can project these on my aspirations in Industrial Engineering or my scholarship application. I tried to combine the "culture part" with the "international mobility", and took them out into a separate paragraph, seems that it settled in just fine into the overall essay. Looking forward to your comments.
I am writing to apply for the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for the International Masters in Industrial Management program. I graduated from Kazakh British Technical University in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from which I received a BSc degree in Petroleum Engineering in 2010. This program covered both upstream and downstream operations of the oil and gas industry with more emphasis on the upstream sector, such as drilling, oil extraction, etc. Nevertheless, throughout the studying process I found myself more interested in the downstream operations, i.e. processing of the oil and gas, and was even considering to continue my education in this field immediately after graduation. However, being offered employment by a leading service provider to the oil and gas production and processing industry, I decided to postpone it. And now I am glad that I chose to join Bechtel's graduate program because its flexibility brings great advantages with it.
Throughout my six years in the company I had a chance to try myself in different departments and roles, both in Construction and Head Office. This gave me very comprehensive understanding of the overall EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) projects execution. However over the last year I started feeling that additional education is required in order to sharpen my management skills and broaden my knowledge base in this area. Even after securing the PMP certification from the Project Management Institute I still felt that postgraduate education would serve as an invaluable addition to my professional experience, and together they would form a very strong foundation for a successful career. After coming across the IMIM program and going through its curriculum I realised that it ideally suits my requirements, and also my engineering education and substantial industry experience make me a perfect candidate for this program.
Besides, I perceive studying in Europe as an extraordinary opportunity to interact with students and scholars from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds coming from all around the world. After visiting Europe for couple of times as a tourist I have long nurtured the idea of living there for an extended period that will allow deeper immersion into European culture. The IMIM program provides a flawless opportunity for that, especially because it is conducted in three different European countries. This type of networking is very important for integration of different ideas and perspectives pertaining to diverse issues our industry faces worldwide. Moreover, I will get to know various challenges that other scholars have been through in their industries, and will have a chance to learn some novel solutions they have successfully applied to overcome them.
Certainly I will be able to apply some of these experiences once I come back to my country, whose economy is now going through difficult times. After the oil price downturn of 2014 and overall slump in commodities prices our economy faces big challenges. In response to this and in order to reduce the dependency on extractive sectors the government initiated a new development strategy, Kazakhstan-2050, with focus on innovation and processing sectors. In addition to that, next year our country is hosting the EXPO-2017 International Exhibition, bringing lots of foreign investors to our country which will potentially trigger many new projects. As a result our economy will soon face high demand for qualified professionals capable of leading the transformation of the economy and efficiently managing complex international projects. The Erasmus Mundus scholarship will enable me to acquire the world class education that IMIM program is providing, and adding it to my professional experience will help me to fulfil my potential and make a meaningful contribution to the development of Kazakhstan's oil and gas industry.
Knowing that the selection process is very competitive, I am sure that I will match all the credentials and will be able to maintain high standards set by the IMIM program. I want to make it clear that I would regard the scholarship award not only as a great honour but also as a great responsibility and an obligation to work hard. I will also be proud to represent and promote the Erasmus Mundus community in my country, and really hope that I will be given a chance to do so.
Serik, your interest in European culture as represented by your exposure to literature, sports, history, and other aspects that you know is the social aspect that the essay actually requires. Your interest in the European culture does not need to be directly tied in with your interest in Engineering. The essay prompt is very specific about the openness of the European culture aspect in your essay. Remember that the prompt requires you to:
... talk about your interest towards the European culture and studying in the EU.
The scholarship committee wants to be sure that you are familiar with the culture that you will be immersing yourself in for at least one year and that you are capable of finding happiness and stability in your European life. The idea, is to show that you will be able to adapt socially to the highly different European culture you will be immersed in because you have some idea of the culture and traditions of the European community. Go ahead and discuss your exposure to those specific European aspects. The essay will be much stronger and completely respond to the prompt requirements once you include that presentation in the discussion. Don't be afraid to do it. It belongs in the essay.
Mary, I have developed the middle paragraph adding some cultural aspects discussed above. That's what I have got:
. . .
My keen interest in the European culture began in the childhood with reading the history of ancient Greece and Rome, and gradually evolved into versatile enthusiasm, which included medieval and modern history, literature, and passion for English football. After visiting Europe for couple of times as a tourist I have long nurtured the idea of living there for an extended period that will allow deeper immersion into European culture. The IMIM program provides a flawless opportunity for that, especially because it is conducted in three different European countries. Besides, I perceive studying in Europe as an brilliant chance to interact with students and scholars from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds coming from all around the world. This type of networking is very important for integration of different ideas and perspectives pertaining to diverse issues our industry faces worldwide. Moreover, I will get to know various challenges that other scholars have been through in their industries, and will have a chance to learn some novel solutions they have successfully applied to overcome them.
. . .
That is exactly the kind of information that your essay was lacking before. The addition of the data has allowed the paragraph to become more prompt compliant and shows that you have the background to be able to adjust to the way of life in Europe. the fact that you have traveled in the area shows that you have already lived a somewhat European lifestyle as a tourist and works well with the prompt expectations. There is just one more thing that you have to do. The line about studying in Europe should be presented as a separate paragraph below the presentation of your exposure to European culture. The academic side of the discussion is a totally separate topic because it discusses a different area of your European experience. Therefore, it just be presented in an independent paragraph. After you do that, the essay can already be used as part of your application packet.
Thanks, Mary, I think that the current version of the essay is way better than the initial draft that I had. Your constructive comments and guidance helped me a lot to improve it.