Letter of Self-Introduction - KGSP
Hello everyone, I'm planning on applying to the KGSP Graduate. However, I'm not so sure about my letter of self-introduction. English is not my first language, so my grammar tends to be off, so I would like so advice on that.
And this is what I have written so far:
When I was in the 6th grade, my school took us on a visiting trip to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Center here in Panama. Our guide, who was a chemist, talked about the different research conducted in their facilities with such energy, that even as a kid, I still could acknowledge how passionate this man was for his profession. After that lecture, I became highly interested in Chemistry, even asking my mom for a chemistry book that was definitely too advanced for me at that time. However, what probably ultimately helped me choose a career path was a conversation I held with my Chemistry teacher when I was in 11th grade. I told her that I was interested in health-related issues research but because of the lack of opportunities (work and academic wise) offered in Panama, I was feeling discouraged. She revealed to me that she was a Pharmacist with a master degree in Medicinal Chemistry and that when she was my age she was also felt doubtful about studying something like that due Panama being a service sector focus country, with R&D field not too developed. However, she encouraged me to not give up my passion for science so easily and that I could always create my own opportunities and how I could also help expand Panama scientific field.
That day, after hearing her wise words of advice, I went home and did an intensive research about what exactly was Medicinal Chemistry and I fell in love instantly. My research, however, also taught me that if I wanted to study Medicinal Chemistry, I would have to do it abroad as that program is currently not offered anywhere in Panama, however that didn't discourage me and instead motivated to do my best at school.
In 2013, I enrolled at the Universidad de Panama, and firstly I was planning on going to the College of Chemistry, I decided to go to the College of Pharmacy because, as a health major, I found it more appealing to my interest. Pharmacy School was hard and intense, any pharmacy student can agree with me on that, but I had a set goal that helped me push forward even through stressful days and sleepless nights. I was truly happy there and not for a moment I thought I had made the wrong decision. My high school chemistry teacher was really proud of me too and she guided and helped me a lot during my freshman year. Unfortunately, I lost contact with her after she moved to Canada in 2015, however, I'll always consider her my role model and I aspire to be a great teacher and professional as she was.
The reason why I chose to South Korea to continue my higher education goes back to 2008. When I was in middle school, I became interested in South Korea as a country after watching a series of documentaries about Korean culture that were broadcasted on a national channel. After I finish my freshman year in university, I had saved enough money so that I was able to enroll in Yonsei University's KLI program for a period of three months. Going to South Korea was an experience that I would never forget as it was my first time leaving my home country. It was January 2014 when I landed at the Incheon Airport, and right away I could how excitingly different South Korea was from Panama; from the cold weather to the efficient transportation system to how people were always so willing to help me anytime I needed.
During my stay in Seoul, I also decided to visit several universities and ask about their master's degree programs. I visited Ewha Woman's University, Chung-Ang University, Seoul National University (which had the Center for New Drug Development being built at the time), and after a dedicated trip to Suwon, Sungkyunkwan University. With each visit, I became aware of how most of this schools have a heavy focus on R&D, as you can tell from their facilities, opposed to my home university which mainly focuses on patient care rather than diving deep into investigations subjects.
After coming back from my trip to South Korea, I shared with my parents my wishes to pursue my master's degree in a Korean university, for which they were supportive and excited for me. They were well aware of how interested I was in working in a laboratory, being part of a research team, trying to make a difference and help others with their finding. Especially my father, who help me research for different scholarship options and ways to help finance my studies once I finished my undergraduate, for which I will be always thankful.
To finish my introduction, I must confess that I have been looking forward to applying to this scholarship for a long time, especially since it plays a big part of my plan to reach my goal in life which is to become a Medical Chemist and hopefully promote a more scientific point-of-view of Pharmacy here in Panama, applying what I will be taught with this program. I truly hope, that despite the language barriers, as English is not my first language, my passion for science and importance of this scholarship for me were being well plaster in this essay.
I tried to keep it focused on my major rather than my life in general, tho not making it too detached from myself neither.
PD: I wrote this at 3am so typos might be everywhere.
If you ask me, I think you can reduce your sentence and make it simple to say the reason behind your application. You have to the point, remember that the reviewer get much application and we can't tell all stories behind it. Tell which make your application strong. despite to say "despite the language barriers, as English is not my first language" maybe you can state your further action to overcome this problem.
Karina, aside from your reason for wanting to study in Korea, a major part of the essay is non-prompt compliant. Here is a tip, never write a prompt specific essay when you should be sleeping. The tendency will be for you to write in a cloudy state of mind and, you will also be more prone to just go on and on in your writing, completely forgetting that there are specific questions to be responded to in the essay that you are developing. That is what happened in this essay and that is the reason why you have to write a new essay. This time, write the essay when you have a clear head and are able to fully comprehend the information that the prompts require you to discuss in the essay. That way you don't focus on just the one question your cloudy brain remembers. At this point, the essay that you wrote is not usable because of the immense amount of missing information. Read the prompts, make sure you respond in paragraph form to each one, then connect the paragraphs into a seamless essay. Hopefully you will find that you stayed on topic this time and discussed only the relevant information as required by the prompts given to you.