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[GKS-G/KGSP-G] Biological Sciences Personal Statement - Motivations, education, work, study reasons

MikaLee98 1 / -  
Nov 12, 2020   #1
Hi! I would appreciate it if somebody can evaluate my personal statement and also suggest help/pointers in any areas that seems lacking.

Biological Sciences Personal Statement

o Motivations with which you apply for this program
o Your education and work experience in relation to GKS.
o Reason for studying in Korea
o Any other aspects of your background and interests which may help us evaluate your aptitude and passion for graduate study or research

South Korea. A place where the traditional and modern meets. It is the balance of these qualities that makes South Korea the economic powerhouse it is today. People around the world will immediately recognise South Korean brands such as Samsung, Hyundai, LG, and Innisfree, and this largely due the superior research and development teams available. In Malaysia, the R&D sector especially in Biological Sciences, is lagging behind as technology changes rapidly and the industry demands tend to not be met in terms of skills. This programme allows me to hone my skills and fully utilise the high-end apparatus and laboratories that are synonymous with South Korean universities. GKS will also allow me opportunities to forge new connections and work with the professors that are responsible for the articles published by the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB). The papers published by KRIBB has truly helped me in completing my thesis on the antimicrobial behaviour of Lactic Acid bacteria.

In primary school, a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. At that moment, I was still in the dark regarding health-related topics and wrongly assumed that all cancer patients have no chance of surviving. After a few embarrassing talks with my mother and some independent reading, I realised that there is more to biology than meets the eye. The field of biology is more complex and is integral to an individual's health and medicine which inspires me to continue research deeper in this field. With this, I had found the answers to some of my questions. But with answers, comes more complex questions, and this fuels my desire to understand the background of issues that biology formulates on a molecular level, such as genetic disorders, diseases, and cancer. I believe that by pursuing a master's degree in South Korea will help me further deepen my knowledge and satisfy my thirst for knowledge.

Throughout my studies, I have been active in partaking extra-curricular activities. I had volunteered to do humanitarian activities at Cambodia. Whilst volunteering, I realised that access to education is a privilege and learnt that I should always strive to gain knowledge and be thankful. Furthermore, I was also part of the Student Council in my university days. As part of the student council, it was my job to ensure the voices of my fellow friends are heard and addressed properly. My interpersonal communication skills also developed. Hence in 2019 I took the opportunity to participate in a partnership program at a university in Indonesia. We held an inter-university symposium in Indonesia exchanging our findings in relation to Biology. There, I also had the opportunity to teach orphaned children from less developed areas the wonders of Science. Teaching them was a challenge at first due to their low exposure, however by applying scientific concepts to their daily life the children became eager and wanted to learn more. Here, the quote "If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself" rings true. The accumulated experiences I had taught me the values of responsibility, creativity and critical thinking.

During university, I also had interned at a multinational pathology lab for 2 months in order to understand better how biology can transfer from the classroom into the real world. Within the departments, I was able to do some administrative works as well as observe trained pathologists collect and test samples. There, I managed to learn how to use the equipment and witnessed the true complexity and precision the experiments were carried out.

In preparation for the GKS scholarship, I had planned to sit in the IELTS and TOPIK test. While I did not take the TOPIK test due to the current situation, I managed to score an 8.0 in my IELTS. To compensate, I enrolled into a Korean Language programme to improve my Korean skills and prepare for the next TOPIK test. Furthermore, I can also converse in Malay, Arabic and Japanese. This is due to the fact that I took Japanese and Arabic in secondary school and university respectively.

Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,301 3343  
Nov 12, 2020   #2
For starters, if the focus of your college major will be Biological Studies, then you should be focusing your motivation to study in Korea on that interest. While it is nice that you have knowledge of the technological companies that help in developing scientific technology, the focus of your study will be on scientific / medical developments. So you should be focusing on the advancements made by the KRIBB instead. That is the main focus of masters course and as such, should be the reason for your desire to study there. Revise the paragraph. Make the technology work hand in hand with the scientific research. That is how you should be framing your motivational aspect.

Do not use a primary school reference for this essay. You are aspiring to gain entry into a masters course. Therefore, your story should be about your work experience in relation to the chosen course. Primary school goes too far back and isn't really applicable in a graduate school personal statement. Rather, use your professional exposure to reveal your academic and professional interest in this major.

This is not a college personal statement. So remove the unnecessary references in the essay. You should remove the part about your extra curricular activities that do not relate to an acumen for research. A teacher is different from a researcher, the latter being the position you will have as a graduate student. That reference to the student council days does not show an ability to research or a passion for research. It does not respond to any required discussion point in the essay.

The symposium you attended would be helpful in showing your aptitude and passion for research so you should expand on that discussion as best as you can. That is the only part of that paragraph that truly relates to the prompt requirement. You should also consider better presenting the paragraph about the internship you did for 2 months. That experience clearly shows you have the relevant research background and topic exposure that can help you succeed as a masters study candidate in this course.

The last part, remove the reference to IELTS. It would be more beneficial to you if you focus on the study of Hangul instead as part of the prep work. That will show that you are trying to gain relevant language skills prior to attending classes in Korea. It is sad that you decided to not take the TOPIK test at this point. While your IELTS score is impressive, an impressive TOPIK test score would have catapulted you to the front of the pack, along with other students who have successfully taken the TOPIK test. The successful TOPIK passers get priority consideration at all times as you have already shown language proficiency in Hangul, which is a priority for the reviewer and admissions committee.

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