Hello! I would appreciate any help to improve my personal statement with the following as instruction:
Statement of Purpose
Attending one of our department's expert insight series last year was a turning point in my career outlook. May Al-Karooni, Forbes 100 Top Environmentalists of 2020, shared how a business with its foundation structured on the principle of being commercial with a conscience can grow to become a global company - just like how her company is today. She created Globechain, a growing reuse marketplace connecting enterprises with non-profit organizations, small businesses, and people to redistribute unneeded items, on this value. I was drawn to her story as a woman of color, who led an innovative business and platform in support of the circular economy. She has inspired me to walk in the same path someday and do something meaningful, not only for myself but to the world I live in.
In a quest to understand more, I read articles and listened to podcasts on meaningful businesses. As I read and listen, I developed a deeper interest to be part of a venture that engages in solving environmental problems and acts as a genuine vehicle to drive real change. Michael Braungart's words in his book "Cradle to Cradle" left a strong impression on me. He emphasized to "strive for 'good growth', not just economic growth" and it sparked this question in me, "How do businesses keep being purpose-driven in the long-run and stay globally competitive?". To answer this seemingly simple but complex question, I need to fully understand the process, impact, and responses to globalization of businesses and organizations. With a solid grounding on these subjects, I know that I can be a material part of a healthy business, where profits serve purpose and benefit stakeholders and not just its shareholders. The learning objectives of the Erasmus Mundus' International Master in Global Markets, Local Creativities (GLOCAL) highlights this principle. This reason strengthens my resolve to apply for the GLOCAL program and pursue my aspirations for higher education.
Seeing the multidisciplinary format of the GLOCAL program, which not only covers the field of social sciences, but also on sustainability excites me a lot. The course structure is unique, as it covers different insights on the globalized economy and addresses the effect of globalization to contemporary issues on economic development, entrepreneurship, and innovation. I find the courses offered in Study Track G - Sustainability: Institutions & Management such as the Sustainability of Economic Thought and Management for Circular Economy to be very pertinent to my interest of study. To supplement my current knowledge, I enrolled in free online courses i.e. 'Business Opportunities and Risks in a Globalized Economy' and 'Concepts in Sustainable Development' where I started to realize how well the future looks when businesses and sustainability go hand in hand.
Working in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) field for the past three years has deepened my understanding of global companies and corporate sustainability. Meanwhile, my undergraduate degree has provided me not only with theoretical knowledge on how the local market works, but also given me the chance to meet local players of the market - the farmers, vendors, and consumers. I never would have thought that there is a program that could possibly merge my professional experience, my background in agricultural economics, with my interest in arts and culture. I see the GLOCAL program as an opportunity to fulfill my academic interests by revisiting topics from my undergraduate degree and exploring them further at a higher level.
I consider my undergraduate course on Agriculture and International Trade as my first formal introduction to the link between globalization and the local market. I have learned how trade distortions prompted countries to seek agreements with each other. More so, on how to decide on what farm produce to either export or exit to international trade and focus on domestic consumption. I expect to dive deeper into the topic of globalization and learn more on its impacts from a GLOCAL perspective.
My work as an ESG analyst gave me a front-row seat to see how companies, from conglomerates to SMEs, regard sustainability and what matters to them the most as an enterprise. I witnessed how companies want to generate strong financial returns whilst trying to be sustainable with forward-looking practices. This role became a training ground for me to learn, be mentored, and work alongside sustainability pioneers. I learned that a firm's business activities and its view on climate change greatly affects the movement of investments that promote positive societal and environmental impact to the world. It became evident to me that ESG play a big role in influencing the decisions of institutional investors towards sustainable investments. However, I acknowledge the need to deepen my knowledge on institutions, management, and sustainability in emerging markets which led me to apply for Track G.
My dissertation topic would discuss sustainable fashion, particularly on the secondhand imported garments industry in the Philippines. This topic was inspired by my hobby of visiting ukay-ukay (the Philippines' version of a thrift shop) and my introduction to sustainable business innovation like Globechain. It will discuss how amidst the importation of secondhand clothes is illegal in the country, the prevalence of the industry in the local markets continues to flourish. I am interested to explore how this industry started and became a huge part of the modern Philippine culture. My educational background, professional experience, and genuine interest in the subject matter will provide guidance on this thesis topic with the hope that I can utilize this study to help local actors maximize the benefits of the thriving industry.
I enjoy learning new things and I constantly seek opportunities to find my sense of purpose. Earlier on, I developed an interest in graphic designing which I honed through the posters and social media campaign materials I designed for the student organizations I was part of back in college. I had the opportunity to continue this as I head the Publications Team of our company's Sustainability Committee from 2019. I find it rewarding that I was able to express my passion for sustainability in a creative way and raise social and environmental awareness through my skills. To name a few, I made campaign materials for Earth Day Celebration, Pride Month Commemoration, Global Climate Strike, and HIV/AIDS Awareness. With these, I received the "Star of the Quarter" award for my contribution to achieve the sustainable goals of the company.
Outside of my corporate journey, I volunteered at the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in which the Philippines was the host country. This historical event helped me meet and connect with a lot of people from different ASEAN countries. My role as a venue protocol assistant taught me to present myself with confidence in front of dignitaries and have grace under pressure. It was a joy to cheer from the sidelines of the games and represent my country.
Fueled with my goal to challenge myself, I worked as a Cultural Language Tutor in our university as I finished my undergraduate thesis in 2017. I had the opportunity to help Japanese students get used to living in the Philippines and guide them of the local culture in the university. Not only was I able to showcase Filipino culture to my Japanese students, I also learned a lot of things from them. My experience led me to realize that amidst a sea of differences between cultures, there is always a common ground to build a relationship.
This is what I envision myself as a Filipino youth that is taking the challenge of meeting the GLOCAL program's utmost standard of education - to help create a thriving community with other GLOCAL students and contribute to strengthening the relationship between EU and the Philippines. To study in a consortium of three excellent education institutions is both a privilege and a responsibility, a responsibility that I accept to represent the Philippines amongst a global cohort and contribute to the program with the best of my skills and ability.
Holt Educational Consultant - / 13,051 4255
The applicant should not open the essay by discussing the accomplishment of someone else. Rather, the opening statement should come in strong and informative based on a success the person has experienced first hand. It does not help when the applicant portrays the image of someone who is heavily influenced by someone else's success. It comes across as that person being weak and only wanting to be a carbon copy of the other person. Where the applicant sees inspiration, the reviewer may only see a person who does not trust in the strength of personal accomplishments.
Referring to the reading material is fine, but should not be so heavily focused as well. These people are not the applicants yet they take up a significant part of the first half of the presentation. Something that only people who are unsure of their own credentials as being acceptable and notable will do. Try to reduce or remove the reference to these people at the start. These may be blended into a later part of the essay as mentions in relation or as relevant to the undertaking or success of the applicant.