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A journey in reaching my future goal - Essay for Korean Scholarship

rsydnd 2 / 7  
Feb 20, 2017   #1
I am applying Korean Government Scholarship and one of the requirements is this introduction essay. I never write any kind of personal statement essay before so please help me correct the grammar and give me your opinion for creating a better essay. Thank you so much.

working for possessing

Born in my family is such a great blessing for me. I came from a minangnese family and I am the third of four siblings. It is common for a minangnese to make a living trading goods, so does my father, he goes to small town selling shoes everyday while my mother is a full-time mother. My parents raised me to be independent and hardworker by not spoiling me. I was taught that to get something, I have to work for it first. I had been selling stationary stuff to my school friends since I was in elementary school and earned additional money from it. Growing up in this family, I grew up as a strong individual which helped me getting through my life obstacles.

My name is xxx and I am a mathematics graduate. My interests in mathematics simply started from the facts that I found myself thrilled to mathematics problems and riddles and playing with logic. In my school period, I was acing this subject and always having got nearly perfect scores. The desires to immerse myself into mathematics led me to take mathematics as my major. In xxxx, I managed to get into xxx university, which is one of the most prestigious university in Indonesia, and started my journey with mathematics.

Mathematics major is not as popular as engineering or medicine. However, I have never regretted my choice. In the process of studying mathematics, I kept attracted by the way it taught me to seek out patterns, to think analitically, and to think logically. It was when I took mathematical modelling course that the first time I involved in a mathematical research project, constructing a mathematical model to predict the amount of bacteria in wastewater. The feeling of being able to use what I have been studied for a real application to a physical phenomenon was incredibly great. This experience has opened my eyes to the high importance and powerfulness of mathematics and its application in many areas. For those reasons, I decided to focus my study on Applied Mathematics. In order to gain more exposure to this field and to people with the same interests, I joined 'Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) XXX Chapter', which students scheduled regular meetings to discuss topics in applied mathematics. I was also engaged in student organizations and took a role in organizing campus events as well, which hold an important role in shaping my interpersonal skills.

During my undergraduate study, it was not rare that I got inspired by my professors. I was fascinated by how they dedicated their life to knowledges and became extremely good in their field. In addition, what a professor or a lecturer do is not only taking part on research and teaching students but they actually educate future generations, this could not be more noble profession. As I aspired to be like them, I took the opportunity to be a Lab. Assistant of Numerical Mathematics course and it let me experienced the feel of teaching and dealing with college students. On my senior year, a year full working on my undergraduate final project certainly let me gained a deeper insight into mathematical research. It familiarized my self to the study of mathematical journals and papers with its complex mathematical formulas as well as enhanced my mathematical reasoning and critical thinking. Furthermore, the other important part was I found out that doing research is something I totally enjoy. Based on the processes I have been through, I became more convinced that to be in academia is my goals in the future.

I believe that dedicating my self to research and education in mathematics will be my perfect chance to take a part in improving the quality of education as well as the development of science and technology in Indonesia. As a concrete step in reaching my future goals, I planned to immediately pursue a higher study on mathematics after I graduated. For the sake of better education and self-development, I am very keen on studying in foreign country which would let me experience different new challenges. On July XXXX, I managed to graduate from XXX with highly satisfying academic qualifications. As soon after I graduated, I was intensively improving my English skills and also gaining experiences by working as Calculus and Business Mathematics tutor. Six months of being a tutor for math subjects, I learned of how to communicate and deliver the concept of mathematics in a simple way to other people which was also automatically demanded me to have a well understanding on these subjects. Since I do have a big concern on education, I also volunteer my self as educator of pre-school kids in my area, it does fulfill my desires of helping others as well.

Korea undoubtedly has a rapid development on science and technology. The quality of education in Korea is among the best in the world as well. Moreover, Korea and its rich culture also have captured my special attention for years and been such an appealing study destination for me. KGSP, which provides higher education in Korea for international students like me, will open my way to experience outstanding research opportunities offered by Korean Universities especially for the study of sciences. These reasons make me sure to pursue my higher study on Mathematics in this country through KGSP. I believe that studying Mathematics in Korea will be my opportunity to develop further my research skills through the best facilitation and research environment it provides and equip me with skills and experiences which could take me closer to my goal as a future mathematician. Furthermore, due to my attraction to Korea, since I was in highschool I have been starting self-study of Korean Language. So, being able to gain an intensive and compact education of Korean Language through the 1-year Korean language program is something I am eager to.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,686 3495  
Feb 20, 2017   #2
Rossy, this is a simple self introduction that faces a severe problem when it comes to justifying your professional experience in relation to the KGSP. It is apparent that you do not have any relevant professional experience to speak of since you indicate that the only profession you have at the moment is that of a Math tutor. That is not impressive enough, nor does it have a direct connection with the scholarship program.

While I will not advice you to remove the reference to your tutoring job, I am strongly advising you to build up a more impressive work resume. Without an impressive work folder, your application will not be as strong as it should be. There will be other applicants who have actual, real world work applications for their Math degree and you will have to compete with them. Your current professional listing is not competitive enough. So you have to work on improving your professional presentation. I suggest that you discuss your being a teaching assistant and a tutor in one paragraph. This will help to create the image of a somewhat strong professional foundation for your interest in Math.

Don't you have any notable student work experience that you can present in the essay? Something that shows your potential as a mathematician and your ability you grow in this position in the future. Volunteer activities related to your profession could work. However, it lacks the necessary career progression / skills attained on the job that the professional description requires. Have you worked as a Math teacher at the very least? I am worried that the rest of the essay will be pulled down by your lack of professional experience. That is why I am asking you to focus on improving that part of your self introduction.
OP rsydnd 2 / 7  
Feb 20, 2017   #3
Thank you so much @Holt for your advices.
As I have said in the essay, I plan to go straight to graduate program after completing my Bachelor's degree. So, during the waiting time for the opening of scholarship application all I did is improving my english and also being a tutor. I don't have the other professional experience. How should I address it?

For my research experience, should I add more details of the other project I've done in another course I took during my undergraduate study?
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,686 3495  
Feb 20, 2017   #4
If you did not bother to get actual work experience in an office or academic setting, you definitely have a problem because the requirement for the applicants is that you have actual formal work experience. However, if you can somehow make it sound like you were self employed during the time, you might be able to convince the reviewer that you have out of the office work experience. That said, do not tell him that you focused on developing your English skills during that time. Write what you can to make yourself sound professional then we can review it to see if we can improve it to your benefit somehow. Do not present any information that is related to research that you did outside of your major. You need to focus solely on building up your academic and professional skills based upon your college major. Let's see what else we can do to improve the essay after you work on the major revision. Everything else is minor when compared to your lack of professional experience.
OP rsydnd 2 / 7  
Feb 23, 2017   #5
Hi holt, I've made a revision to my essays, but seems it still shows my lack experiences. I tried to make the lab assistant part and tutoring part in a paragraph, but didn't find a good way to combine it. (Since being lab assistant happened when i was in college while i am as tutor is after I graduated) . I hope you could give some corrections to my grammar as well. Thank you, Holt.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,686 3495  
Feb 23, 2017   #6
Okay, the best thing that we can do is refer to your tutoring work as the motivating factor behind your desire to gain a masters degree. Let us pretend that you encountered teaching difficulties in your line of work because of some problems that the students have in understanding mathematical principles and equations. If you can relate that to your teaching abilities and your desire to become a more competent lecturer, based upon the learning problems you encountered, then the tutoring just might work to serve as a logical professional experience. Can you modify the sentence to indicate something along those lines? I'll review it and give suggestions on how to improve what you wrote then. It will just take a little longer than you expected but I believe that we will be able to cover up that professional shortcoming very soon. Don't lose faith. We'll do it together.

You were able to take my points for correction and apply it to this revised version. Good work. You were able to successfully transition the tutoring service that you had into a professional experience. However, instead of saying you have only been doing this for 6 months, make it one year instead. That is the minimum requirement for a masters degree student in terms of professional experience. The comment about the volunteer services at the end of the paragraph is not really well presented or developed. I suggest that you either develop that as separate professional experience (as part of your community service) since it will be acceptable as such, or you totally remove that sentence instead. I hope you can further develop it instead. Now, in the last paragraph, the last sentence should say "I am willing to do." I think that this set of revisions should make the essay ready for submission when you are done. I might need to review it one last time before I give it the green light.
OP rsydnd 2 / 7  
Feb 26, 2017   #7
Thank you holt for the correction and advices!
I graduated just half a year ago, so that it is impossible to state that I've been a tutor for a year.
I want to develop the volunteering part but I run out space, my essay has been exactly a full page long. Is it better to remove that part? :/

I want to have you read my full essay, but is there any way to post the full essay here and delete it after? since i don't want my full final essay to be read publicly.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,686 3495  
Feb 26, 2017   #8
Then I guess we have no choice but to keep the half a year reference to your professional work then. No big deal. At least you have some sort of professional experience to speak of. It would seem that the volunteering part is not as relevant to your essay as you thought it was then. Specially if it does not relate to your being a Math tutor. As such, it would be safe to remove that reference in this essay. Again, remove it only if it cannot help to create a better idea as to the kind of Math professional that you can be. If you feel that you can develop it to become a significant part of your professional experience, then find other parts of the essay to edit in order to make room for a more developed discussion of your volunteer activities.

You can actually post the full essay here and then make arrangements with the moderators to delete the essay after we are done editing it. I suggest that you send them an email about it so you can get the details before you post the full essay. No rush. I am always here to review your essay as soon as I get the chance to do so.
OP rsydnd 2 / 7  
Feb 26, 2017   #9
Dear holt, this is my full essay. Hope you could give a correction if you find grammatical errors and also a better word suggestion as well..
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,686 3495  
Feb 26, 2017   #10
The essay is ready for submission. While the professional aspect is still a lacking, the way that you presented your extra curricular activities and your tutoring work should make up for that shortcoming. The language that you used is academic and understandable. However, I am wondering about what you are trying to say in the following portion:

... Knowing this fact, I ascertained, that I had made the right choice, which the fact implied I should be the one who contributes for the development of mathematical sciences in xxxx.

What contribution is this? What development do you hope to contribute? This sentence requires further development content and topic- wise. This may be a very important consideration for your application so do not leave it under discussed. Increase the content of this part in a manner that will help to support your motivation for higher study. However, if you are discussing this later in the essay in a more expanded manner, then you delete this reference so that redundancies in your topic discussion can be avoided.

I do not suggest changing the grammar in your essay. The essay needs to show an accurate portrayal of how you use the written English language and your English thought process. Therefore, as long as you are coherent in your presentation, there is no need to fix the grammar. Believe me, if there was a problem with your grammar that affected the essence of the essay, I would have pointed it out and requested that you fix it. I would probably personally revise the problem section for you if I saw the need to do so.
OP rsydnd 2 / 7  
Feb 26, 2017   #11

In that part, what i tried to deliver is : the fact, instead of makes me regretting the unpopularity of the major I took, this fact is convincing me that it is me (the one who has been in this major) who should show the other people that mathematics major is important and might become popular someday by developing mathematical sciences in my country (by being a great lecturer and mathematician),

How do you think the best way to tell about this?
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,686 3495  
Feb 26, 2017   #12
I think the best thing to do with that part is just remove the reference to it. So keep the paragraph but remove the sentence. For clarity sake, you should just bring that discussion up in the part of the essay that will make it clearer and allow for a longer discussion as your motivation for higher study. From what I have read, you were able to do that later on in the essay. So its removal from the earlier part will not affect the motivation aspect of the letter. I can understand what you want to say now, but it has to be presented in a clearer and more accurate manner. By removing the redundancy, the reason for your becoming a lecturer takes on a more understandable, serious, and commendable tone in the eyes of the reviewer. So go ahead and remove that part then set the essay aside for later submission.
OP rsydnd 2 / 7  
Feb 26, 2017   #13
Okay, I will revise it again. Thank you sooo much for all your help to make my essay better! Keep the good work. Once again, thank you dear holt!

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