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Explain how past experiences have prepared you for participation in the master in DCLead

lamiasalim 1 / 1  
Nov 15, 2017   #1
Hi! I need some help with my motivation letter for the Erasmus Mundus program on DCLead. It would be great if you could provide some feedback. The instructions provided in the site are given below along with my first draft.(It would be really helpful if I could get a response within 3 days)

In the letter, the candidate should explain how past experiences have prepared him/her for participation in the master in digital communication leadership, how this programme is likely to improve his or her own career perspectives, and why the candidate is interested in the topic of digital communication leadership. The motivation letter should be:

Typed using a word processing software before saved as a PDF file
6,000-10,000 characters long, including spaces

Motivation Letter by Lamia Salim

I am applying for the Erasmus Mundus Master in Digital Communication Leadership (DCLead) Programme at the Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg

I won't lie. I have not always wanted to become a digital communications specialist. In fact I did not even know that it could be a desirable career choice. But as time progressed and I immersed in the technological revolution that engulfed the world, it dawned upon me that this trail would lead to truly creating a difference

I grew up in an overly religious and conservative society. And in a developing Muslim nation like Bangladesh, that basically meant being accustomed to pursuing ritualistic patriarchal beliefs than flowing with the winds of change. For me, this boiled down to harnessing the idea of not being "allowed" to normalize certain social aspects like having friends of the opposite gender, entertainment, extracurricular activities, and ambitions; that were acceptable for men. But I did it all anyway, and I did it well. I was a rebel. A girl of 13, fighting for freedom in a land that did not believe women required any. A place where even the most educated of families believed in the submissiveness of wives to their husbands, domestic violence, and opposing female travelers. I was a deviant and I had digital communication technologies to thank for that.

An introduction to computers and mobile phones as a reward for attaining 9A's in my O'Level examinations, while they introduced me to chatrooms, cartoons, gaming, paint and Microsoft Office, it also paved way to notions such as "freedom", "feminism" & "human rights"; concepts previously alien to me. It liberated me from the thought that I had to seek permission to follow my passions and it fostered an urge within me to educate and inspire others to do the same through effective communication messages.

Every exceptional communication message is at its core a story soundly articulated & presented to a specifically targeted audience. And similar to many good stories, even mine had numerous twists and turns. I used to be an overly shy introvert; a drawback I needed to change in order to create better understanding, and communication. So I gradually engaged in conversations, participated in sports, debate, drama and community service and tried to hone those skills. Debate taught me articulation of opinions and emotions, aspects to manifest in social settings as well. Even though I was one of the top 10 debaters in the intra-IBA program, one of the largest in my regions, I was never a master storyteller. I wish to be able to master that art in my first semester organized at the Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg through the Storytelling course & furthermore apply the knowledge from Social Science Research Methods courses to identify the consumers and their behaviors I must focus upon when telling these stories, traits that I previously gained during my undergraduate tenure focused on marketing.

After I graduated high school, I wanted to study medicine, but later realized it was neither my aspiration nor would it stimulate a global reach or accomplish my entrepreneurial passions. So I joined NSU on a 50% entry scholarship to pursue a BBA degree, where I graduated with a Magna cum Laude in Marketing.

After graduation, Rocket Internet's Kaymu was my first step into professionalism and the digital world in depth. Working there provided me with a deep insight into the world of startups and digital marketing since Kaymu was the pioneer of ecommerce business in Bangladesh, with a 4 member team witnessing its development. I had to be a part of all functional departments, since Kaymu was a multinational daughter company just starting out & following the e-bay model. I was able to gain skills in database management, Facebook page maintenance, the then new Facebook audience targeting mechanisms, & decipher unique business propositions towards customers and sellers from an ecommerce business perspective. I was astounded to discover a probable reach of 16,000 females aged 18 to 35, at only $4 for an advertisement of clothing category within a week. The price was minuscule for the probable revenue generation increase of up to 200%. Sales had increased 4 times, and so did active interest in the company. My tenure at Kaymu further stimulated my love for digital communication and led to me to pursue an MBA degree.

I got accepted into the best public university in Bangladesh, IBA-DU to pursue my MBA and that introduced me to diverse communities from the cultures of my very own nation. I volunteered & travelled multiple districts on the government run "Digital Bangladesh Program" under a2i organization in collaboration with my university. This project was undertaken by the Prime Minister as vision 2021 to alleviate poverty, promote digital services and entrepreneurship. Through these experiences I fostered a desire of tying together the power of digital communications and entrepreneurship with the various cultures my country has to offer. Development of Media and ICT Services & Entrepreneurship, Innovation and business modeling taught at the Digital Technology and Management at Aalborg University (AAU, Denmark) are 2 courses that can assist me in this regard. Furthermore, I believe that my peers in the program, from various cultures and societies, will be able to stimulate new ideas of this form of integration within me as well. In my final year of MBA, I undertook a research as part of my curriculum where I had to globally brand a local company. We closely worked with "Deshi Dosh"-a collaborative brand space. I learnt SPSS & Google AdWords for the research since we had to monitor foreign demand. While our research concluded that it wasn't a good idea for the brand to operate on a global scale right then, I discovered a lot about Digital Marketing and Communications Strategies. This was extremely identical to the Problem Based Learning mechanism followed by the DCLead program at Aalborg University, and it proved to be an extensive learning procedure due to the nature of involving real life solutions and problem solving, which I carried onto my later professional tenures.

After attaining my MBA degree, I joined Bitopi Advertising Ltd. as the Senior Accounts Executive in the Digital Department where my primary role has been the development of marketing and communication plans and the use of digital media for bKash and Airtel from its inception to implementation. I believed a Multinational Advertising agency, which is at the forefront of using technology to market a variety of products, could also help me overcome my fear of confrontation. bKash is a Mobile Financial Service company partly owned by Bill Gates that ranked 23rd on Fortune's 'Change the World' list in 2017 & Airtel is a telecommunication company that focuses on branding to the youth. For Airtel, Airtell Buzz was the product I worked on and in the time I have been aboard the team focusing on consumer research, digital storytelling and content creation, we have generated 360k+ views within 3 weeks in the "Airtel Sylhet song" and over 5.6k+ views in 3 days in their "Firey Ay TVC" using multiple promotional tools.

While I lack the technological expertise, my background in BA & technical experiences in the E-commerce and Information Technology sector I trust compensates adequately. I believe in order to become a leader in the field of communications; I require the technological knowledge and hence I am pursuing a Masters in Digital Communications under the highly prestigious DCLead Program. Digital Marketing & Management sides are my forte, and additional courses such as Interaction Design, Strategy, Organization and Market Creation, media, policy and software would help in cultivating my perception of the entire digital landscape to fulfill my ambitions of empowering & educating people globally through technology. Hence I opted to apply for Track B for my 2nd semester of the program, which would also help me fulfill other entrepreneurial desires.

My second wish is to empower females through tourism & entrepreneurship. I am a traveler at heart and I aspire to pursue becoming a travelling freelancer, the first in our country. My nation requires a female spokesperson to come forward and tell them it is possible to pursue a vision while making a career out of it and I want to be an initiator of that movement. I want to free women from the grasps of patriarchy and that will never happen until women can unshackle themselves from the mindset that they require permission to be mobile. A role model will in that regard, inspire females to conquer their fear of travelling alone. In turn it will develop the mental strength to face the regular challenges of rape, harassment & violence, and encourage women to come forward in the event any unlawful act takes place without fear of being victimized. To that end, I believe my peers from different cultures will help cultivate ideas within me to help women in my country through innovative means. Furthermore, I believe there is a severe lack of women who are willing to pursue a career in IT, as in my country it is usually a male-dominated sector. The world is changing, and the people with it. Digitalization is taking the world by storm and everyone needs to get on board this train. Traditional practices will soon be rendered useless and I want to educate those who are unfortunate enough to understand this yet. I want to tell those unlucky beings to raise their voices and pursue their dreams whether it is from home or outside, because it boils down to being their choices and no one else's just like I had been told all those years ago.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,956 4810  
Nov 15, 2017   #2
Lamia, this is not a motivation letter, this is an autobiography. You have thrown in way too much information into this letter so that you are not leaving any information for the statement of purpose anymore. Which is where most of this content should be placed. By the way, a word of advice, do not politicize your motivation. Keep it professional in perspective because the politics of your country should not have anything to do with the academics that you wish to pursue. Keep that out of the discussion. That is not a motivation, that is a distraction. The motivation letter you wrote is not appropriate for the scholarship application at all because of the personal, political, and social discussions you included in it. This should be solely a 5 paragraph academic and professional motivation letter. Like the prompt indicates, the focus of this motivation letter must be solely on why you are interested in pursuing a higher career in digital communication (regardless of whether you thought of this as your career before or not. That is irrelevant because you are already pursuing a career in this field.) and how prepared you are for the PhD course.

As a msters applicant, you should focus on presenting the accomplishments you had during your previous MS studies and what career goals you have achieved since then. These will all combine to prove that you have amply prepared for the demands that this next MS course will be making of you. Present your next 5 year career plan based upon how you feel this particular program, at this particular university will help you achieve that.

In all honesty, I did not even finish reading your essay anymore. That is because it is severely long and doesn't really present the specific discussion points that the prompt indicated. Imagine how the reviewer, who has to read hundreds of application letters per day will stop reading your essay sooner than I did. I reached the 4th paragraph before I gave up. He will only read the first paragraph before moving on. That is, unless you can catch and hold his attention from the first paragraph onward. That is why you have to immediately respond to the prompt requirement. Look at what topics are assigned for discussion. Make sure to provide only that information and nothing more. That way you are sure to keep the attention of the reviewer and also help you get to the point of your presentation as soon as you can.

Do not aim to use the complete character requirement of the essay. Just use as many as necessary in order to tell your story. A reviewer appreciates reading an essay that says more using less characters / words. It helps make your essay easier to remember and scan, if necessary, as well.
OP lamiasalim 1 / 1  
Nov 15, 2017   #3
statement of purpose

Thankyou for your feedback. I thought I'd give the letter a personal touch hence i wrote it in the format i did. The program does not require a statement of purpose. I have tried to link my previous experiences with the university requirements later on in the paragraphs, but i suppose that needs to come in from the beginning. I will get to working on it right away thanks :)

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