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Letter of Motivation - explaining some bad fate

prc 1 / 5  
Apr 11, 2012   #1
Dear all,

I've written a letter of motivation for an Msc program.
I did an Engineering degree I never wanted to do (at the best uni in my home country) and finished it on time but with barely passable marks (about 2.3 out of 4.0)

After that I enroled in a Bachelor in my intended career field, but due to some unfortunate incidents I'm currently on a leave and working (full time) in an unrelated field.

I did very well in the beginning of this degree but had to deal with something afterwards.
I am still eligible to go back to complete this degree but I really don't want to. It brings back some painful memories and I'm fairly alienated from my experience.

I'm applying for a Master program in this field in another country. I really want to get back to the field ASAP. Being frozen out here is just painful.

Below is my attempt at a letter of motivation. There is no specific point required to address, and the maximum is 2 pages. (below is one and a bit)

I adopted a concise and largely understated approach. I wonder if it's ok to not mention how my passion in a field developed. It's a field of study I've already committed much of my life to anyway. I also didn't mention research experience in the field, simply because I don't have (my degree is incomplete).

I also wonder if the essay sounds ok to people who never went through a similar experience. I can't make much change in terms of content anyway since this is already painfully real, but I wonder if I can still improve on how I present it.


ps. the () are substitutions to conceal some information.
The (()) are actually () in a real version of the statement.

Dear Master in (discipline) selection committee,

I'm writing this letter to signify my motivation for application to your Msc program. I believe that with my drive and goal, I can learn and contribute to research in the field. We might even become future colleagues.

Earning a place in the Msc in (discipline) at (uni) means to me not just a pathway to my career goal, but also joy of fulfillment of identity and pride, excitement in anticipation of immersion in an admired (culture group) culture, and most importantly, it could spell the difference between a life with dignity and a life of imprisonment. This survival drive is what drives me, the to come sense of fulfillment is what keeps me positive, and I intend to channel this drive to success at (uni).

I made the mistake of thinking one could do a job one hates and find fulfillment elsewhere, and of conforming to societal pressure, in so doing having studied (an engineering discipline). I somehow completed it on time though, and at least it was my first experience of challenge, something I never had in school and in earlier life.

Soon after that realization, I started a (bachelor degree related to one being applied to) in (country). I enjoyed learning what I had interest and passion in again, and even took some social science courses to improve my language and writing skills, with the possibility of wrapping up loose ends in my knowledge along the way.

Ironically, I learned more about (home country), my home country, while in (country of study). I got to know some academics, writers, activists, and people in various careers, at first online, and later some in person. This was not possible in (home country) where sites are blocked and such people cannot reveal themselves in fear of harassment, and worse yet, imprisonment. In the process, I was lost. I lost a place to go back to. Even if the situation somehow changes in the future, I know I wouldn't forget the alienation. That troubled me for a whole year, but eventually, it has turned into a drive it is now.

In 2010, perhaps because of that newfound vulnerability, I was targetted and harassed by a bully who lived in the same college. I learned later that the university counselor's main job was to cover up such actions ((this does not mean to generalize)). That destroyed much of my life, my grades, and the social circles I had built up. Nonetheless, after tricking the counselor into giving a statement and then by pointing to the information ((not))written between the lines, I was able make the university clear up most of the records in 2010. The bully is still around though, and I don't want to go back there. Right now the more practical choice is leave and secure my future elsewhere. 2010 and 2011 were the most difficult years of my life. I just lost a place to go back to, then I lost my network and a career, but I fought to earn it back. This is an even more incentive for me to succeed. I do not want to lose out (in life) to such people.

I've targetted (countries) as my potential new home as (it is possible). I also would seriously consider settling in (country applying to) should that option opens up after graduation from (uni applying to)

I'm choosing (uni applying to) in particular because (uni applying to) seems to have the most established research in (discipline) around, and because I've seen that (uni applying to) have Math research group in (subdisciplines in Math) which are relevant to (discipline) and are pertaining to my interest. I'm aiming for a long career in academic, and to combine both proficiency in (discipline) knowledge with solid foundation in mathematics in the long run.

Another reason is that (city) is closer to the sea than most of (country), and I can't live without seafood.

I believe I've outlined the basis and extent of my drive as well as the reasons, both professional and down-to-earth contributing reasons for choosing (uni applying to). If you need further information on what was written or on aspects not yet included, please let me know. I shall look forward to your response.

Yours Sincerely,

The seafood part was meant to show that I've considered all the aspects of studying in the intended program, though I wonder if it is unappropriate?
EF_Susan - / 2,364 12  
Apr 11, 2012   #2
Alright first of all, I think the letter sounds great. You have accurately and meaningfully illustrated your intents, purposes, that your past wasn't easy, and hopes for the future. I believe that your honesty and passion about the field of your choosing will get you where you want to be.

To answer your questions: It is ok not to mention how your passion developed. The point is that it's there. And your wonder of whether people who had never been in your predicament could still respect it? I would hope so, it's called humanity. Lastly, the seafood comment should stay; it adds a lighthearted touch to a somewhat intense and possibly stressful set of circumstances right? I think you've dome a great job and should stop second-guessing yourself.

Hopefully this has been helpful :)
allierein 1 / 1  
Apr 11, 2012   #3
The letter is very professionally written and explains your interest in the new field of study.

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