Hey guys, I wrote an initial draft of the 1000 word SOP for the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship on Strategic Project Management. I feel like I need improvements like mentioning more about the program and maybe less about myself. But I would really appreciate some assistance, please try to help me find places where I could be less verbose, thanks.
My grandfather always used to mention how our legacies should never end with our death, our legacy should be a dynasty that defines an entire era. Many firms in Bangladesh can't prosper due to lack of efficient management, they lack the formulation of proper strategies that could help them prosper on the international stage. Investing money is not directly proportional to prosperity, you need to know how to strategize your investment as well as capacity management. Only a smart and efficient combination and culmination of hard work and proper strategy could result in proper project management. For me the process of learning strategic project management means to learn not only how to formulate efficient strategies to manage projects but also how to implement those strategies through competent methods. Although I have tried to follow such ideologies through various phases of my life, primarily through scheduling, understanding and proper management, learning on an academic and practical level would prove to be a step towards my ultimate goal of restructuring the way Asian countries look at project management in general.
During high school, I engaged myself in a multitude of activities from debate to being editor of the school newspaper as well as maintaining commendable grades in my studies which could be done only through proper scheduling. I scheduled all my tasks properly and followed through accordingly. Whenever I missed the completion of a task, I would make up for it by providing extra hours for it's completion. This led to successful stints as a National Television Debating Champion, the Editor-in-Chief of the School Newspaper and even commendable results during my O levels. I realized the importance of an efficient strategy when I failed to schedule my tasks accordingly during my A levels which led to rather mediocre results. I have since stringently tried to adhere to my schedules however I also found out during my college years how vital proper understanding of circumstances is.
From the very beginning of my Freshman Year, I realized how vital it was to understand and assess a situation properly. From understanding the subject to the students and their capabilities as well as the teacher and his method of teaching and assessment, all were essential in understanding a course and attaining a commendable grade and would require adept research. Unfortunately sometimes my research was not comprehensive enough and my grades faltered. Assessing a given project and finding it's main components, aligning those with my own strengths and solving the project's main problems through this alignment has always been my forte. To this end I was able to graduate with a well-deserved cumulative grade point average, which was among the top 10% of my graduating class of 35 students with a Computing Science and Engineering degree. And although proper research is required to get good grades, I realized hard work is an evident and vital factor.
No amount of understanding and scheduling involving a project could surmount to any final product in the absence of hard work. Hard work is essential to progress in studies as well as professional life and I realized that when I became an undergraduate teaching assistant during my Junior Year. Accompanied by scheduling and a proper understanding of the courses I was assigned to, I had to work twice as hard to be an efficient teaching assistant and a credible student. Working 30 hours a week as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant at both the Engineering and the English department as well as maintaining respectable grades required an enormous effort on my part. My grades did falter at times due to insufficient effort on my part primarily during the end of my Junior Year when my mom was diagnosed with a benign tumor and I had to take care of her. However I was able to pull them back up through hard work, sometimes studying in the dimly-lit hallways of the hospital during her treatment. Hard work did help me sustain progress in my studies and professional life later on but the ability to adapt helped me excel.
The ability to adapt to any situation is vital in every aspect of life, not just professional and academic. Although I was bad at initially adapting to sudden changes such as surprise examinations, with time I became more adept at it. When I was the Head of Content at Lamudi Bangladesh, there was an instance when the website was hacked and the data was jumbled up. Through careful management of each individual in my team, using their strengths and weaknesses and adapting those to the requirements of solving the problem, a solution was formulated and implemented swiftly. After Lamudi, I joined Synesis IT and then DNet, in both cases I joined the business development sector and was able to seamlessly adapt to the new environment and job responsibilities. Currently working at DNet as a Business Development Manager, I manage a team of competent individuals in carrying out relevant research to formulate and implement adept strategies and proposals for expanding our organization, primarily through challenging traditional business norms and ethics. This has helped Dnet attain various international projects such as Missing Child Alert (MCA), beating international organizations such as Microsoft.
Although I might have exhibited various traits that are vital to proper Strategic Management of projects at a relatively young age, they are still nascent and need nourishment through both academic and professional exposure. Unfortunately I do not possess the necessary monetary prowess to seek that necessary exposure. I am thus seeking help through the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship to provide me with the opportunity to build my own legacy as my maternal grandfather wanted me to. Through exposure to the various European cultures as well as professional and academic exposure, I will attain the knowledge and experience to disseminate to organizations in Bangladesh so that they can gain an identity on the international stage. Thus creating a legacy by instilling innovative methods of strategic management in a country where such methods are non-existent.
Is it too over the top? Is it too bad? I really would appreciate a few pointers guys! :)
Ishaqur, so you are applying for a masters degree sponsorship from one of the most prestigious European study grants available. It is nice that you are aiming so high for your future. Completing a masters degree using this scholarship will set you apart from the other masters degree holders. That said, you really need a very impressive statement of purpose in order to have a chance at the scholarship. The problem is, as you said, the essay is too verbose and needs to be cut down. It doesn't have to be a full 1000 words. You can submit a lesser worded statement of purpose provided it covers all of the bases that you need to present in an effective SOP essay.
If I were to revise your essay, I would start by removing all references to high school activities and academics. As a masters degree student, you are going to be judged on a higher level of academic accomplishment. While your accomplishments during high school are notable, it does not really play a vital role in our current professional career. That is what you should be highlighting in your essay.
Explain the relationship of your current career with your interests in Strategic Project Management. Don't rely too much on the idea of a legacy as your maternal grandfather explained to you. That is really irrelevant in this case. What you need to prove, is that you have room for career growth in this area under your current work position. After all, why should you bother studying for a masters degree in a course that is irrelevant to your career path?
You already have an impressive professional resume that seems to properly resonate with your interest in the masters degree. Why not continue to build on that experience? Relate to the reviewer how you plan to use the scholarship to advance your future career goals. Then tell him what those goals are. Those goals will be represent the purpose for your studies.
Basically, the essay that you have just needs to be adjusted for content and focus because there is a very long part relating to your high school studies that really should not be there. So adjusting the content should hep you become less verbose and allow you to better present your purpose for masters studies in a shorter essay.
Good luck with your application !