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Fighter family - KGSP Scholarship - Personal Statemente International Relations

gloriacabral 1 / -  
Feb 22, 2021   #1
Hello everyone!
I'd like some comments on my personal statement for Korean Global Scholarship. I'll be applying for an IR Master's Program.

I hope I covered everything in the list! If there are any comments on structure, how to make it more impactful, those will be greatly appreciated!

Have a great day!

gks personal statement

My essay:

It is said you always go back to the places you were the happiest. The opportunity to participate as a Global Korean Scholar would make this true for me. Ever since my early childhood, I developed a deep interest for the Asian continent, and this interest only grew with my academic and personal experiences, leading me to major in International Relations.

I must admit, I come from a family of fighters. My dad has fought for his life twice, and my mom is the greatest woman and human being I have known. I cannot exclude them from any of my accomplishments in life, as they have inspired me every day and have always supported my most adventurous ideas. Even as I am writing this statement, I cannot say for sure who is more excited about this new experience, them or me.

The first experiences I had towards cultural exchange, expansion of knowledge, and debating current issues were the Models of the United Nations. An eight-year-old might not show a lot of interest in the middle of observing a MUN, and neither did I. In fact, the only thing I remember from my very first experience in the world of modeled diplomacy is my handbook filled with drawings of the flags hanging from the ceiling in the General Assembly. However, shortly after that, you could only say my entire world became MUN. From participating as a complete beginner delegate at the age of 11 at the United Nations Headquarters, to collaborating with Harvard University to carry out the largest MUN in Latin America (HNMUNLA 2020) as Host Team Vice-President, MUN was the foundation for my trajectory as an internationalist. HNMUNLA represented a big milestone in my life and in my professional training, since the event was entirely planned remotely, having the Harvard team working from Boston, and us the Host Team working from Puebla. After nine months worth of arrangements, we finally welcomed over 800 participants from all over Latin America, as well as different countries world-wide (such as Pakistan, Italy, and Russia). According to the participant's comments, we did not let them down, and the quality of our Latin American model was up to the standards of the WorldMUN.

Even if I seem to be all about academia, I also believe in magic. I had the incredible opportunity to participate in three Cultural Exchange Programs at the world's largest entertainment group, The Walt Disney Company, in their theme parks of Walt Disney World. Thousands of applicants submit their documents every year, and in Mexico over 1,000 people apply to this program; nonetheless, I was selected among these applicants to be part of the program 4 times. From cooking burgers at Restarauntosaurus to finding the perfect plushie for a 5-year-old to finally hanging out with everyone's favorite mouse, Disney World gave me the opportunity not only to meet and befriend people from all over the world, but also to experience a multicultural working environment, which is exactly what an internationalist (and citizen of the world) should do.

My professional experience was enriched by my participation in the Ambassadors Program at Tecnológico de Monterrey. This highly competitive, one-year program rewarded elite students with the best qualifications -such as high GPA, extracurricular activities, professional experience, international experiences, and social service- with a part-time on-campus job to promote the values of the institution, aimed toward prospective students. The student life, especially in a high-rank institution, is already quite restless on itself but due to my self-discipline I managed to balance my responsibilities as an Ambassador, while maintaining my grades over the 90%, and being part of the university's Hip Hop dance team and Leadership Student Groups. My performance during the first year I participated granted me a fully-funded Leadership program at Laspau, Harvard and gave me the opportunity to carry on to a second program.

People usually think I majored in International Relations to "escape" my country, but my reasons are completely contrary. I want to make a change for Mexico; I want to be able to contribute to the improvement of people's lives, and I want to do this from abroad, with international cooperation and learning from others. During my journey through university, I collaborated with different organizations and projects to address some of the social issues within our community. I worked along Special Olympics, an association committed to promoting physical activity and healthy competition for children with disabilities. I also worked with Las Patronas, a group of women dedicated to protecting and aiding migrants on their way to the U.S. border. Finally, I took part in a project dedicated to promote citizenship and social responsibility among children between the ages of 6-8 through the creation of the "Manual of the Good Citizen", an interactive and dynamic magazine which taught children about the topic and was later presented to the National Electoral Institute.

Many people like myself are found to have different passions. While some of mine were academia, studying, participating in Models of the U.N., I also took part in an activity that has driven me all my life: dancing. After I entered university, I stopped studying and practicing ballet to focus on my academic studies, but this did not prevent me from following my most liberating interest. In university, I became part of the representative team of Hip-Hop, and this gave me the opportunity to compete not only nationally, but also internationally, taking us all the way to Argentina to compete in a global dancing encounter where we placed 1st. My constant involvement in extracurricular activities granted me the award to the Career and Leadership Award for Student Training, class of 2020, given to the student most involved in extracurricular activities for that graduating class.

It is not a coincidence that I'm applying to continue studies in Korea, since I spent a semester abroad during university at Konkuk University, from August to December 2018. Korea was by far one of the best experiences I've had in my life; I remember every detail of it: the culture, the people, the food, the chances I had to dress in a Hanbok, and the feeling of a country welcoming me -a foreigner- into their history and heritage as one of them with arms wide open. This semester was not the first time I spent away from my family and my home, but it did become the longest. However, Korea casted a spell on me and I spent the next few years searching for an opportunity to come back. I'm certain Korea is an example to be followed by many countries, and I'm aware of the great potential it represents to countries such as Mexico through cooperation and International Relations.

I consider myself one of the best candidates for this scholarship, due to my experience, adaptability, and focus; and I can only hope you share the same feeling. As I mentioned, I come from a family of fighters. My dad fought with a birth malfunction and was miraculously saved to later in life face a stroke and overcome a 10% chance of survival. My mother has shown me that hard work will always take you where you want to go and further, while she taught me only the sky's the limit for my dreams.

My wish in life is not to become rich and famous, but to leave a legacy, to become an example and a role model just like the people that have inspired me all my life. I've experienced the rewards of leaving an impact on someone's life through my projects in the past, but now I want to become a role model on a greater scale. I want to open a new chapter for Korea, a new chapter for Mexico, and a new chapter for International Relations. A new chapter for Gloria.

Thank you.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 11,174 3639  
Feb 22, 2021   #2
There is a key component missing in this discussion. While you can be considered to have an immensely strong academic background and have relevant non-professional work experience, there is a lack of reference to your actual IR related job at the present. While these information show that you have the background for IR, there is a disconnection with how your current work experience or position has influenced your decision to pursue an IR masters course. The reference to your 8 year old self is irrelevant because that section should have been occupied by the reference to your relevant work experience that would have made you an ideal professional candidate for the course. Where is the professional motivation? I see the personal motivation represented by your desire to see Mexico improve, but you do not want to live in Mexico to do it, which will probably be a negative since your IR motivation is selfish and not in reference to helping your country by fighting for its IR from within. You are actually using this scholarship to escape Mexico, regardless of how you frame the escape and the reviewer will understand that quite clearly since you even specifically mention it in one of the paragraphs.

This essay does not show you on a professional career path towards international relations. There is no relevant professional work experience that would indicate that you would actually be helping Mexico to improve once you complete the course. Mostly because there is no professional / work foundation for your International Relations job at the moment. This sounds more like you are really just trying to get out of Mexico, without actually having the proper professional references to qualify you to do so.
grant_Oliver 3 / 8  
Feb 22, 2021   #3
Hi gloriacabral,
I think you have a good background for application, but you need to shorten your essay. You are mentioning several experience seems not relevant to IR, and the experiences regarding IR are not clearly described.

You may need to delete some of the descriptions since GKS only allows a PS in one page. For the important and useful experience in this PS, you need to specifically state what task you have encountered, what action you have taken and what was the result. Describe a few significant events in detail instead of many brief introductions.

You really don't need to mention the term "escape," causing unnecessary alerting.
In summary, shorten the essay and give more details on specific experiences. Good luck

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