Hi! I would really love some comments or editing. Please help! Thanks so much in advance!
o Your course of life, your view of life, study background, your hopes & wishes, etc
o Your education and work experience, etc., in relation to the KGSP program
o Your motivations for applying for this program
o Reason for study in Korea
I was born and raised in a relatively middle class family in the Philippines. My father was always in between jobs since I was a child and decided to leave us for his mistress when I was in high school. Nevertheless, my mother persevered to give me and brother the education that we need to succeed in life. My mother always said that, as a child, I loved reading books and could memorize things easily. The love of reading books has followed me through adulthood, cultivating my desire for knowledge. Despite the hardships our family has experienced, she pushed and encouraged me to give my best in my studies, and thus, I was able to study in XX High School, a well-known high school in Manila and one of the top secondary schools in the Philippines. After, I was able to pass the college entrance exam and study in the most prestigious university in our country, the University of XX.
I studied Biochemistry for four years in the University of XX and graduated last April 2011 with a GPA of --- (converted from GWA). During my university years, I was more involved in my studies than extracurricular activities since our degree does not only help us specialize in Biochemistry but in Chemistry as well. However, I was a member of the Biochemistry Society and Philippine Association of Chemistry Students all throughout my undergraduate years. The hardest part of my university years, aside from the heavy subject load, was the undergraduate thesis, which we were required to accomplish individually. A Biochemistry thesis requires experimentation and testing, which usually entails a large amount of money to purchase chemicals, test kits, and animal models. As I know that my mother cannot provide ample financial support, I tried to look for existing research projects with funding within the university that can take me in as a thesis student. Fortunately, I was accepted as a thesis student in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in University of XX College of Medicine. However, I was warned that the thesis topic was Master's level since I was required to develop a test kit for the diagnosis of tuberculosis using Immunoglobulin Y generated from immunized chicken eggs. Knowing this, I started preparing for my thesis a year early. In spite of diligently doing my thesis, in the end, the funding of the research did not push through and the College of Medicine could not support my research. I had to look for other options so that I could graduate on time. I only had a few months left before graduation, but instead of being discouraged and depressed, the challenge only made me work harder to achieve my goal. Though not exactly a computer geek or expert, I have a knack for figuring out computer software. With this in mind, I asked permission from my thesis adviser to allow me to do a molecular drug screening research against tuberculosis, which I finished right in time to graduate.
The amount of Chemistry units required for Biochemistry students in XX allowed me and my classmates to take the Chemistry Licensure Exam in the Philippines. So, after earning my Bachelor's Degree and months of preparation, I was able to pass the board exam and became a Licensed/Registered Chemist.
Fresh from passing the licensure exam, I was hired by a pharmaceutical manufacturing company as a Chemical Analyst doing qualitative analysis of raw materials, in-process samples, and finished products of intravenous fluids. Though the work paid well, I felt like there was no personal and intellectual growth in that line of work and I tried to look for other career options. Cleanway Technology Corporation hired me as a Chemist doing qualitative analysis of incoming, in-process, and treated industrial and domestic wastes. Working as a chemist in this company provided me with opportunities for trainings in both different chemical analyses and social skills. Though I believed that I found a niche in the company, the regular work schedule still did not allow me to pursue graduate studies, and so, when news of a Research Associate position in my Alma Mater was brought to my attention, I sent in my application in the hopes of becoming a full-fledged researcher or scientist. Luckily, the research program that I applied to was handled by my undergraduate research adviser and is involved in molecular drug discovery against tuberculosis, the same as my undergraduate thesis, and I was accepted in my current job as the Computational Research Associate. As a Research Associate in this program, I handle virtual screening of millions of compounds against viable tuberculosis protein targets to identify leads and optimize them for bioassay testing in the laboratory. Currently, I have intermediate skills in the use of Accelrys Discovery Studio and other computational software pertinent to drug discovery research. To date, I have screened over 6 million of compounds against 3 enzyme targets and have identified leads that are due for synthesis and cytotoxicity testing in the laboratory.
Together with my professors and other colleagues, we had a recent publication entitled "XX," published in the Oriental Journal of Chemistry. Two other publications will be submitted for publishing in the next month or so, highlighting the computer-aided drug discovery efforts against tuberculosis.
Since working as a Research Associate, I found the time to return to school to pursue graduate studies. I am currently taking MS in Molecular Medicine in XX College of Medicine and just finished my first year as a part-time student. The professors and the subjects are all excellent; however, I find that the course subjects are not connected to my research interest, which is computer-aided drug discovery. Thus, this prompted me to look for other schools wherein my interest in computational drug discovery can be developed fully, which lead me to universities in South Korea.
For several years now, South Korea has become one of the world leaders in technology, earning millions through development of cellphones, computers, and other advanced gadgets. As my research interest lies mostly in computers and computer software, I feel that it is only right that I apply to a university in South Korea, more specifically to Ewha Womans University, to hone my research skills and interest in the field of Computer-aided Drug Design and Discovery. Despite the recent advances in technology, South Korea has still managed to maintain its core cultures and traditions, which I often see when I watch documentaries about the country. This fact made me curious to learn all about South Korea's culture, tradition, and even language, which triggered my interest to learn Korean in the coming months when the summer vacation in the Philippines has arrived. Also, from my research, universities in South Korea has the most graduate programs focused on computer-aided drug discovery compared to other countries wherein their drug discovery research is more concentrated on the synthesis and later development of the lead drugs.
In the future, after hopefully finishing the Combined Master's and Doctoral degree in Ewha Womans University, I wish to become a researcher and professor in my own country to help train and inspire more Filipino researchers in the hopes of strengthening scientific research in the Philippines and the world. However, I do not want to stop my learning after earning my PhD. I plan to apply for a post-graduate position abroad to further broaden my knowledge and research skills in computer-aided drug discovery, and in turn, help students develop their knowledge in the same field so one day, drug discovery may flourish in a well-developed research environment lead by computational and pharmaceutical scientists such as myself.