(Hello!, I have been writing this personal statement for the gsk 2019 graduat application. I'm planning to use this to apply via embassy to kaist culture technology, skku interaction science and sogang art & technology. All feedback is welcome !)
GKS / KGSP 2019 Personal statement
As a kid I had a lot of time to play. Back then, my favorite pastimes were building with Legos and toying around with a computer. By playing in this environment I was inadvertently developing the skills that would later set me on the path to study Interaction Design and Software Development, a life-long passion for using technology to build useful and beautiful things.
It wasn't until college that my interest in culture, technology and design would all come together by enrolling at the Digital Interaction Design program at my university. That would give me the ability to articulate my ideas about these topics, in this regard, college was an extremely important experience because not only it gave me the practical tools to make software, it also taught me the methodologies and theories to properly analyze and design a well-rounded product.
As a student, I enjoyed developing projects in which I tried to create the most complex but self-explanatory interactions possible, I was particularly interested in the uses of color in different contexts of an interface to guide users to take desired actions. The two projects I'm most proud of were the Color-cube and the InnovationNavigation. The Color-cube is a cube toy in which every face has a different color and a button, it is linked to a computer which displays an increasing sequence of colors to be repeated, similar to the Simon game. The InnovationNavigation was an informative interactive installation in which users could navigate through hyperlinked screens by moving a series different colored knobs, this was loosely inspired by Project Xanadu.
During the second semester of 2017, I had the privilege to go to South Korea and study for one semester at SKKU. There, I enrolled in Software courses which made me a better programmer. But most importantly, I took a Human Computer Interaction course which I found so interesting it made me consider pursuing a graduate degree to specialize on the field of interaction.
While being in South Korea, I curiously observed the daily use of simple technologies which weren't common in Mexico. From the ubiquitous use of Samsung Pay at restaurants to the use of Kakao Gifts to send a Starbucks coffee to a friend. Those small details made me realize that Korea had developed its own technology, designed with its own specific cultural needs in mind and that's why it was generally easy for the population to adopt these innovations. In contrast, in Mexico, most of the technology is imported and sometimes isn't even available in Spanish, creating a barrier for its spread and use.
By applying to the GKS program and studying at a leading institution on the field of Human Computer Interaction I would become the excellent developer I strive to become. South Korea offers an ideal environment for my goals because it would allow me to explore the interlinked relationship between culture and technology on daily life while doing research at a high-quality institution, obtaining insights and applying them in new projects.
After finishing my bachelor's degree with great honor, I landed an internship at a videogame development company where I prototyped a mobile VR educational app over 4 months, then found a job at a digital marketing firm as a web developer. At the same time, after work I have been developing games and participating at a national game developers contest. The professional work experience of the last year has been valuable because not only have I learned new technologies and frameworks, but the projects I'm working on have bigger codebases than the ones I did in college, which has taught me about the importance of software development methodologies, design patterns and architecture.