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Motivation letter for Master's application to the Graduate Insisute of Geneva


Zoi 1 / 1  
Jan 1, 2022   #1

letter of motivation



This is your chance to tell us why this particular programme, at this particular school, in this particular location, at this particular time, is right for you. Here are our top tips for what makes a great letter of motivation:

Tell your story - or, rather, the relevant points about your story. Be selective. Take the reader by the hand and lead them across your trajectory. How did you come to consider our programme? What key development and growth events have led you here? How did your previous academic and personal experiences fuse together in a unique formula that produced the student you are about to become

Demonstrate your understanding of what makes our offer unique. The Graduate Institute is a distinctive learning environment; it may not be right for everyone. How can we be reassured that it is right for you - and that you are right for us? When you read our web pages, talked to current students, alumni or faculty, or participated in our events, what is it about us that sparked your interest?

How will your studies here help you continue your trajectory successfully? We do not expect every young applicant to have a precise career path mapped out. Rather, we would like to know that you have given some thought to what may be in store for you after our programme and that our offer can meet those expectations, realistically. We would like to be the next chapter in your story; show us that you have outlined some kind of plot.


The rapidly accelerating interconnectedness of our world has given local issues of war and security, human rights and state-building, global dimensions, rendering them impossible to resolve without a comprehensive understanding of global challenges, their systemic dynamics and the policies that address them. I believe that the Master in International and Development Studies at the Graduate Institute of Geneva is academically and professionally the ideal opportunity to attain this understanding and operationalise it to create material change.

My first encounter with the complexity of national struggles was witnessing the Syrian crisis unravel and overhearing living room conversations in my childhood home, attempting to grasp the interactions between a plethora of state and non-state actors. Although the exposure to an inspiring social movement turning into a bloody proxy war has given me priceless insight into the on-ground impacts of political disorder, my outlook remained limited to the competing ethnic and state nationalisms that increasingly engulfed every aspect of my social life.

While I became more resilient and adaptable to new academic and living circumstances by migrating to Russia a year following the crisis, my pre-existing biases persisted. Nonetheless, upon encountering a wide range of political and cultural perspectives at the United World College in Armenia, I discovered that despite the uniqueness of the Syrian case, possibilities of solidarity and intrinsic similarities exist beyond the Middle Eastern region and into the Global South as a whole. The more knowledge I gained, the more passionate I became about issues of global social inequality. Thus, I decided to become a facilitator in a United World Colleges Short Course, "Building a Sustainable Future", aimed at introducing international youth to concepts including sustainable development and intersectionality as a mechanism to enact long term social change.

In light of this fostered interest, I opted to pursue an undergraduate degree in the interdisciplinary, international relations program at the University of British Columbia. Being a Syrian woman in a North American academic context, I continuously felt as my identities prevented me from making logical, neutral and well-informed arguments. However, by engaging in classes such as comparative politics, world history and international politics through research papers and class discussions, I fostered the necessary skills to turn my identity markers from perceived disadvantages to valuable assets. From shifting between a multiplicity of perspectives to zooming in and out on social justice issues and their dynamics to inferring how history informs current affairs, such skills affirmed that I could benefit from my personal struggles while keeping my biases at bay.

In the decolonial political thought course, I employed those skills to produce a rigorous analysis of post-colonial theories in the context of the neo-colonialist contemporary reality. The course solidified my theoretical understanding of the multifaceted systems of oppression and their direct and inconspicuous effects necessary to tackle social inequality issues. By learning how to distil complex concepts into concisely written policy briefs and reports on development issues, including climate migration and female genital mutilation, I effectively applied this theoretical analysis in my seminar courses on development. Although I partly owe my context-dependent communication skills and my perspective flexibility to the interdisciplinary nature of my undergraduate degree, I am drawn to a more holistic approach that transcends academic boundaries in the face of the world's complexity. Thus, I am confident that the transdisciplinary character of the courses offered in the MINT program and the collaboration with professional experts makes this opportunity the natural next step to advance my career.

Despite studying on a faraway continent and my father's sudden death in April 2021, my connection to my homeland and my personal resiliency never waned. On the contrary, it made me more determined to take advantage of every educational opportunity to pursue a career in social development policy implementation in Syria. I believe that the location of the Graduate Institute in Geneva Internationale, at the core of international organisations network, will allow me to develop such a career. Meanwhile, the MINT program's comprehensive, flexible but specialised structure and the capstone project will provide me with the skills needed to succeed in it.

Additionally, by harmonising the content I produced for my job as a coordinator in the Intercultural Development Program at UBC with my undergraduate studies, I learned the value of analysing and explaining the same information in different settings, which enriched my overall professional and academic development. The testimonials of the MINT program student and alumni, as well as panel events that link field experts and academic scholars, prove that this opportunity offers all of that and more.

I hope to study at the Graduate Institute's MINT program to develop a constructivist approach to social development issues in the context of post-conflict state-building in order to pursue a career in policy implementation in Syria. I am confident that my personal, academic and professional experience make me well-prepared to make the most out of this unique opportunity.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,051 4255  
Jan 2, 2022   #2
the MINT program's comprehensive

You are just repeating what you read on the website. There is no clear evidence that you have considered the course requirements nor, understand what the course is all about and why you will be truly successful in the field considering your text based knowledge and lack of proper international relations exposure.

The testimonials of the MINT program student and alumni,

Did you talk to current students, alumni, or participate in online events? Who were these people? Name names. What were the events? When did you participate? The part about your personal assessment as a reassurance that you will succeed in this program is highly questionable due to the vague responses you provide in relation to this aspect of candidate consideration.
nguyenyenchi 1 / 2  
Jan 2, 2022   #3
@Zoi
In my opinion, "The Graduate Institute is a distinctive learning environment; it may not be right for everyone" should be "Though the Graduate Institute is a distinctive learning environment, it may not be right for everyone".
OP Zoi 1 / 1  
Jan 2, 2022   #4
@Holt
Although I have read the requirements of the course, I did not want to go into specific detail and use jargon, as no everyone on the addition committee is familiar with all of that. Would you suggest I go into more detail about the requirements and then keep the part where I talk about my academic courses? Could you please also highlight some strengths in the letter or some parts that have potential so that when I am rewriting I have a clearer idea of what I can salvage?


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