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Erasmus Mundus - Excellence in Analytical Chemistry (EACH) Motivation Letter

kuronoma_sawako 1 / -  
Nov 13, 2022   #1

I'm currently writing a motivation letter as a requirement for the said program I'm applying for. See below for the guidelines for the paper:

Motivation letter

(of maximum 5000 characters, with spaces) addressing the following:

(1) Why are you interested in enrolling in the EACH programme, for example, how the EACH programme will help you in achieving your professional goals?
(2) Why do you think that you are a strong candidate for the EACH programme?
(3) Please describe briefly your previous study and work experience (if you worked in a team, please highlight what were your responsibilities), as well as your personality.

(4) Give your first and second preference for study track, together with short argumentation of your choice.

See below for the letter. I did my best on this one. All feedback is much appreciated. Let me know if you have any concerns. Thank you!

I am { insert name }, a cum laude graduate of BS Chemical Engineering from the { insert college name }. I've been a process engineer at the { insert company 1 name } and an operations manager at { insert company 2 name }. I've always been curious about the field of analytical chemistry and its applications, looking for ways to improve or discover processes.

My goals are to provide realistic solutions that benefit society, at an international level, through research and development and to gain more expertise in the field of analytical chemistry through higher education, along with my industry knowledge.

In college, I led a research team in the development of a pilot plant for the production of polylactide bioplastics via lactic acid polymerization using banana waste. This is an attempt to provide a solution for farmers to find uses for rejected banana products from quality assurance tests. In my undergraduate thesis, I was looking for more ways in which people can check the quality of food to prevent spoilage, which is a recurring issue in my country. This resulted in a thesis titled { insert thesis title }, which was published in the ASEAN Journal on Chemical Engineering and presented internationally at the 24th Regional Symposium in Chemical Engineering. This showed promising results upon evaluation with UV-Vis spectroscopy, and it also showed how involved analytical chemistry is in solving existing issues. Since then, I want to gain more knowledge and enable more solutions with a much larger impact.

To further gain holistic knowledge, during my process engineering stint in the industry, I've had extensive experience in handling refinery units that utilize separation processes, such as the Sulfur Recovery Unit (SRU) and Benzene Toluene Extraction Unit (BTX), to name a few. I was able to initiate many projects that involve research and development of process improvement methods for said units. For example, The SRU (Claus Process has a stoichiometric feedstock requirement of 2:1 acid gas-to-air molar ratio. Failure to fulfill this will cause a forced plant shutdown. However, the required ratio may vary due to factors such as gas analyzer inaccuracy (using UV Spectroscopy for analyzing SO2 and H2S concentration. Used for unit process control), which are caused by certain conditions, such as sample gas having impurities that affect the analyzer. After research and evaluation, in which I led a team of refinery technicians to test and implement my recommendation, I was able to determine the appropriate ratio and analyzer configuration, ensuring continuous operation. It also made me more curious to further dive into the details behind the principles in analysis because of their criticality to the refinery. This is one of the many projects I've led, which attests to my interests and expertise, making it fit for the EACH program.

During my work as an Operations Manager, I also led a team focused on process improvement projects and worked with an international community of multicultural backgrounds. I always do my best to be enthusiastic and empathetic toward the whole team and always encourage collaboration and continuous improvement. I believe that this approach helps instill synergy while also making everyone in the team closer together. This inspired me to pursue higher education programs that enable students to work in a similar setting and explore different cultures.

Another reason for my interest in EACH are the publications by some of the professors associated with the program. For example, the { insert thesis } co-authored by { insert professor name associated with the program }. The refinery is reliant on FID's (Flame Ionization Detectors) gas chromatographs for process control and monitoring, and so there are risks of operational delays during instrument issues, which are indeed encountered. This is especially true for processes involving complex and heavy hydrocarbon samples (C10+). These papers show possibilities for alternative detection methods, and can help the industry by providing more solutions. These kinds of topics are something I'm really excited to work with.

The EACH program can satiate my interests and goals to study analytical chemistry and its applications further and do research to solve problems. The study topics are something I'd like to be involved in, while my current industry expertise can further enrich my study and research there. With this, the first track that I want to pursue is the UCBL track, as it seems to be a perfect fit with my industry expertise, especially in industry analysis, process control, and monitoring. My second choice is the UU track, as it focuses on the analysis of organic compounds, which I'm already very familiar with because of my refinery experience.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,410 4391  
Nov 13, 2022   #2
Try to develop the research team participation in the essay since that is an essential part of the discussion. In fact, it is advised that this be extended and highlighted in the discussion. Give it a total paragraph explanation, reaching the results of the team activity and how you functioned as a leader. I feel that should be given more of a highlight than the thesis paper since the activity will show the reviewer exactly how you will function within the team setting of the masters course.

The published thesis should be one of the highlighted accomplishments of the applicant. Unfortunately, the presentation ends with an open ended evaluation and promise. Being something of value and importance to the industry, this should have been fully developed by the applicant. From the way these 2 paragraphs were merged in the presentation, along with other participation presentations in other paragraphs, it would appear that the applicant is fond of starting, but never finishing important activities. Something that is frowned upon in masters course participants of this caliber.

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