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Challenge plus Creativity (my personal statement for Korean Government Scholarship Undergraduate)

kgsp_aspirant 1 / -  
Sep 24, 2017   #1
Hello, everybody. I'm applying for Korean Government Scholarship Program 2018 for undergraduate study. The given instructions to write the personal statement were as follows:

Your essay should contain the following things:
- Motivations with which you apply for this program
- Family and Education background
- Significant experiences you have had; risks you have taken and achievements you have made, persons or events that have had a significant influence on you

- Extracurricular activities such as club activities, community service activities or work experiences
- If applicable, describe awards you have received, publications you have made, or skills you have acquired, etc.



Challenges. Creativity. Both words start with the letter 'C' and have completely different meanings. But for me, between those words, there should be the word 'plus'. I think both of them should always coexist. We do need creativity to face challenges. Meanwhile, it is also challenging to be creative.

When I was 11, I started selling snacks to other kids in the playground during recess. That was my very first experience doing business. However, the challenge came when more and more children started selling snacks as well. Upon increased competition, I figured out different thing to sell. Thanks to my creativity and artistic hands, I could make more pocket money by selling handmade wool keychains not only to the kids but also to the teachers. That time, I realized that I need creativity when challenges come to me.

I was the Head of Classroom Decorations for every single year throughout the entire 5 years' period in my secondary school. After I finished brainstorming the design, color theme, and decorating materials, I would ask for my classmates' agreements and additional ideas if they had any. Next, I would do the budgeting, purchasing and eventually, directing my classmates throughout the decorating processes. The fact that the classroom decorations required to be changed twice a year were actually challenging because that meant added workload, different planning, and new creative ideas were needed. However, with creativity, that challenge transformed into a fun work. We were happy that our classroom was awarded 'The Most Beautiful Classroom of The Year' for the five consecutive years. I learned that both leadership and teamwork should work in synergy in order to achieve the meaningful success that we desire. Besides, I believe that behind a strong teamwork, there is a person who leads the team in a creative manner, no matter what challenges are facing them.

After SPM result was out, the Malaysian government offered me a scholarship to do my A Level and continue my bachelor's degree overseas in one of the world's top universities. I was really excited because since I was 15, it had always been my dream to study abroad. My dad was happy too as he also wished the same. Some small reasons why I want to study abroad simply because, in my entire life, I have never experienced boarding an airplane, traveling overseas, or having a passport. I also want to know how it feels being in such a place where Malaysian language could not be understood at all and how it feels living in other countries' cultures. However, on top of that, the biggest reason is that I want to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone, and hence face the upcoming challenges creatively.

The earliest few months of doing A Level were really new and unfamiliar to me because the whole syllabuses were taught in English, which were completely opposite from my previous SPM. All four subjects were academically challenging, but for me, Business was the most rewarding subject. It was a subject where I can apply my creativity, particularly through essay writings and presentations. Even for only one Business essay question, there were so many contents in the syllabus which I can use freely in order to solve the given problem. This encouraged me to choose and write my points creatively, but still appropriately. In addition, preparing for my presentations was challenging because I definitely have to deliver it creatively, unless if I wanted everyone to get bored. On top of that, I was glad that my institution awarded me as the best student in Business both in 2016 and 2017.

For the Teacher's Day celebration in 2016, our class was required to do a multimedia performance, thus we decided to film and produce a short drama. Recording the footage was not a big deal but our problem was none of us ever done any video editing before. So, I took that challenge as an opportunity for me to try and start editing video, even though the fact that it was for a big event overwhelmed me a little too much. It took me the whole weekend to search for a free yet quality video editor software, explore its features, learn how to use it, and finally finish the whole video. Nothing made me happier than hearing the big applause from the audience when our video performance was ended. I was also proud when I heard people's whispers, asking among themselves, "Wow, who made this video? It's so fun!" Since then, I started editing videos for an even bigger event, like the Graduation Ceremony. What I learned was that I will never know my true creative potential if I never challenge myself.

Just a halfway towards finishing my A Level, I was challenged when being informed that the government scholarship for my bachelor's degree abroad got canceled due to several economic circumstances. My heart broke, but I can never let my longtime dream and my dad's wish got canceled too. That was when I started searching for another scholarship opportunity, and found out about the Korean Government Scholarship Program for Undergraduates 2017 (KGSP-U 2017). Got to learn Korean language and have the language certificate, being able to explore the beautiful South Korea and its cultures while earning their degrees, and becoming bond-free upon graduation; all are the benefits for KGSP scholars that made me very motivated to apply for it. Having a deep knowledge of Korean culture and language will definitely give me a competitive advantage. Learning a brand new thing, of course, would be challenging, but I am sure that I can utilize that knowledge in many beneficial and creative ways.

"No, Ida! I don't want you to apply for it. Just study here." Exactly a year ago, that was my mom's response when I told her that I was applying for KGSP-U 2017. She insisted me to study in local university because she never wanted me to stay far apart from her. We got into a huge argument that day long. I kept crying and asking to myself, "Why won't she support my dream?" Due to that reason, I did not submit my KGSP application last year. But, that was a past story. This year, instead of crying again, I choose to try again. My mom's opposition was a big challenge for me. But again, creativity is important in such situation. I need to think of any possible way to keep my application this year a secret. That was why I decided to enter International Islamic University Malaysia during the last September intake, not in the next February intake. Rather than being at home, I would stay at the university hostel; a place where I can prepare my application smoothly, without my mom knowing.

As the saying goes, "The fact that you aren't where you want to be yet, should be enough motivation!" No matter how big the obstacles are, I will fight them, so that my dream to study abroad becomes a reality. I will keep trying because I believe that my dream has not died, it was just deferred.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,028 4247  
Sep 24, 2017   #2
Norshahida, it seems that you only read the last 3 requirements for the essay and that is what you responded to in your writing. There is no true motivation for the major that you wish to enroll in aside from you wanting to study abroad so fervently that when your local scholarship fell through, you sought out another scholarship, any scholarship for that matter and you settled for the KGSP scholarship. The motivation needs to be stronger than that. You need to show that your motivation to study (a business degree?) is tied in with something uniquely Korean. Perhaps you want to learn what makes Korean businessmen successful where ever in the world that they set up their business. Perhaps you would like to experience a Korean education because you have had an interest in Korean society since the emergence of the Korean Wave, or anything similar to that which will tie in your educational interests with an interest in Korea as well.

You are not properly referring to your family background either aside from the mere mention that you have a father and mother. There needs to be a presentation of how your parents inspired your educational interests or professional desires Who else aside from your parents have served as a role model to you in this line of work? Why haven't you mentioned these people in greater detail? There is a whole section of the prompt dedicated to just those people and you neglected to discuss them as well. You must definitely correct that error.

There is a clear and highly impressive reference in your essay to your extra curricular activities, awards, and educational background. In fact, the presentation of those portions are so long and detailed that it made the paper boring at times. You need to balance the presentation by accurately representing all the required information and keeping the other aspects, such as those in this existing version of your essay, short but informative. You should remove the reference as to why you delayed your application because that is not required information and your essay is already running massively long as it is.

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