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A chance to become a physician-scientist in cancer biology program. KGSP (Personal Statement)

rolanda 1 / 2 1  
Jan 19, 2019   #1
Hello everyone, I am applying for the Graduate Program of The Korean Government Scholarship (KGSP) and this is my first time writing a personal statement.

I'd really appreciate every review I could receive to strengthen my case.

inspired to become a doctor

Being born into a third-generation Chinese family in Indonesia, I am exposed to various culture and language. Therefore, I speak fluent Indonesian and Chinese since I was born and learning a new language always fascinates me. My family consists of seven persons. I am the first child of five siblings. When I was a high-school student, my mother was diagnosed with hypothyroid. I was told that my mom has to take the medicines for her whole life. I remember it was the moment I was inspired to be a doctor. I want to be able to take care of my family's health. In 2015, my aunt was diagnosed with a malignant type of breast cancer. Seeing her suffering from chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a couple of surgeries throughout these years become a turning point in my life. It triggered my desire to contribute to the effort of cancer research and studies.

My parents always taught me to never be afraid to try new things and also have the perseverance and the determination to make it to the end. The first year into medical school was a challenging year for me. The most challenging part is to manage time and achieve a balanced lifestyle. The excessive workloads and sleep-deprived could easily lead to burnout and I was able to overcome it all and graduate medical school in 6 years because of the support that my family and teachers gave me.

During my clerkship, I had the opportunities to learn to practice my medical knowledge and interact directly with patients in several hospitals across Indonesia. In every 3 months, I had to move to another city to do my clinical rotation, and that increases my ability to adapt to a new environment in a short period.

The environment I studied and practiced medicine was a unique environment from socioeconomic and cultural perspectives, there are significant regional disparities in terms of health status in the quality, availability, and capacity of health services. Growing up in a society where healthcare is a relatively low priority, and the government investment in the health system has been limited, leading to insufficient research facilities, inspired me to apply to the KGSP scholarship. I had the pleasure of visiting South Korea twice, and since then I'm fascinated by Korean's hardworking attitude and also the advanced technology.

Korea had the reputation of having a world-class cancer research program, experience and excellent experts, innovative systems to improve the cancer treatment outcome and also the immense amount of research output. The fact that age-standardized cancer incidence rates in Korea have decreased since 2012 and the mortality rates have also declined since 2002, however, the 5-year survival rates have improved remarkably shows the advancement of the research and practice of cancer science in Korea. The KGSP scholarships will give me the opportunity to continue my advanced studies in one of the leading global research nations. I believe joining the Master in Cancer Biology program in Korea will be an important step towards my dream to contribute to cancer research and practice as a physician-scientist. Being trained by the leading experts in cancer biology research and equipped with advanced technology will be a turning point in my life.

Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,107 3258  
Jan 20, 2019   #2
Rolanda, you have approached this essay from the point of view of a college applicant, rather than the point of view of a graduate student applicant. It is too simplistic in approach and tends to merely pay lip service to the prompt requirements instead of offering an in-depth discussion that could properly inform and influence the reviewer regarding your application. There are no strong points in your presentation. The overall discussion is weak and barely responds to the prompt requirements.

While your family reasons for the motivation is acceptable. It is a bit confusing since your mother and aunt have 2 unrelated illnesses. It would be best to focus the motivation less on your family and more on your aunt since she is the one who is a cancer survivor and is the main reason for your interest in studying an oncology related masters in Korea.

You do not highlight your college studies in an impressive manner. There are no academic accomplishments and no reference to a weakness of your study area which you hope to strengthen as a KGSP masters scholar. You have to highlight your college studies in relation to the KGSP scholarship. That is not optional. That should not be merely implied. It must be fully discussed in relation to academic accomplishments, accolades, or inspiration regarding your desire to seek a masters degree in Korea. The focal point is to prove that your medical degree will be amply supported and strengthened by the masters course you are interested in.

Try to discuss your college thesis in the essay. This should serve as your opportunity to prove that you have a strong research background and that your path towards academic advancement follows a related path of learning. Don't overdo the presentation because you the serious discussion should be in the Goal of Study/ Study plan essay. A simple overview of the college thesis and potential masters thesis should prove an interest in a particular topic and showcase the foundation of your research skills.

Your reason for studying in Korea is acceptable. It is focused on an actual reason for your academic interest. The accomplishments of Korea in this field are truly notable and worthy of emulation. However, it would be better if you can relate these accomplishments and interests towards a career plan for yourself as well. Right now, you seem to be academically interested, but lacking in professional desire to implement what you learn once you return home or improve upon existing cancer treatment technology. You might want to consider improving that part of your presentation also.

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