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Statement of Purpose for Erasmus Mundus masters program in Materials Science

Alao0702 8 / 14  
Dec 14, 2017   #1

my drive for engineering

More than anything else, the deep feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment of being part of key stakeholders in the development of built environment has always stimulated my drive for engineering. While on a field trip to the federal capital territory of my country, my inner cravings to know more about civil engineering became more profound when I visited the site of an underground pedestrian passageway of an express road. The configuration of the passageway which allowed easy utilization by pedestrians, as opposed to an overhead pedestrian bridge, inspired awed enthusiasm. This single experience, and many others, underscored the invaluable importance of engineering in making life more comfortable for the society, and thus the passion for Civil Engineering was ignited in me. However, my choice of an MSc program in Material Science was inspired by my desire to develop sustainable solutions to the incessant collapse and poor functional performance of buildings, which has resulted in the loss of productive lives and properties, as well as retarded the sustainable development of the construction industry in my home country- Nigeria.

As an undergraduate in a leading university of technology in my country, I participated in various industrial training programs and research projects. One highly rewarding industrial training experience, which helped the development of my supervisory skills and problem-solving ability, was a six-month internship at Osun state Ministry of Works, where I worked as a site supervisor of a road dualisation project. For my major undergraduate research project, I performed a questionnaire-based study on the issues concerning motorcycle ownership in a local government area, using seven representative communities selected purposively, and developed a model expressing the ownership behavior. The results from analysis showed that monthly income, household size, purchase price, number of working family members, years of riding experience and number of dependants are factors that significantly affected ownership. The major significance of this study is its importance in formulation and management of traffic policies and development of effective and feasible motorcycle-related policies for effective vehicular traffic management.

My choice of Erasmus Mundus program for postgraduate degree was informed by the program's renown for helping admitted students gain transferable skills, the fascinating experience of learning alongside students from diverse cultural backgrounds, and the promising opportunity of building a scholarly network across different study destinations abroad. I plan to carry out research in sustainable construction materials, and I wish to publish at least two highly-rated journals in the field of materials science with the support of my lecturers. Moreover, studying through the Erasmus Mundus programme will avail me the opportunity to learn and understand the rich cultural backgrounds of any of my preferred study locations, whilst expanding my network.

Additionally, on completing my Master degree, I intend to earn a Ph.D in innovative civil engineering materials to further equip me with the research skills and intellectual sagacity in addressing key issues in sustainable construction. This knowledge will be invaluable in providing a deep understanding of the characteristics and behavior of local construction materials, as well as the exploration of viable ways of utilizing these materials in the sustainable development of the built environment in Nigeria. In the long run, I plan to use the knowledge garnered during my postgraduate programmes to design indigenous, innovative building technologies that guarantee the production of low-cost, sustainable, and environmentally friendly construction materials for greener homes in Nigeria; synergize with both governmental and non-governmental agencies to formulate policies that will regulate the severity of building collapse, and promote the use of cheap, recycled waste as green alternatives in construction materials; set up a consultancy firm that will offer consultancy roles to international and local organizations on pressing construction and environmental matters, and to finally take a career in the academia where I can use my knowledge to impart human capacity development.

Conclusively, I have a strong desire to create a conducive and comfortable environment for people to live in, and to improve the everyday lives of people. I believe that I have the zeal in material science that makes me a suitable candidate for this program. My hardworking nature, interpersonal skills, knack for coordination, and insatiable thirst for academic excellence consistently ranked me among the top 5% of my class throughout my undergraduate study, the best student in water resources engineering, course representative for various course works, and the project leader of several research works during the course of my undergraduate degree. I am confident that I have the necessary research, technical and software skills needed to thrive on the academic rigor of the MSc program. I appreciate you for taking your time to look into my application and attached documents
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,648 4752  
Dec 14, 2017   #2
Alao, your essay needs to be more focused on making you stand out as a candidate. At the moment, you are not really saying anything that makes your application remarkable or notable in the eyes of the scholarship reviewer. The participation that you had in various projects shows how you can work with a team but does not show any extra ordinary accomplishment that proves you have the mettle to be an outstanding scholar under the program. You need to do a lot of work on this motivation letter before it can be ready for use.

For starters, do not confuse the application with a presentation of how you were inspired to become a Civil Engineer. Instead, open the essay with information about the problems in construction that Nigeria faces, then connect that with the development of your interest in Material Science. You do not need to reestablish the development of your interest in Civil Engineering because you already established an advanced interest in that by your interest in the MSc program in Material Science.

After that, highlight your civil engineering participation in projects that have a material science relevance. All of the projects and explanations that you should be presenting in the essay must prove that you are inclined to become a successful civil engineer in the future with a focus on Material Science. It would be better for your application if you can explain how you plan to use material science to help improve the construction procedures or materials used in the creation of major infrastructure projects in Nigeria. That will help your essay to create a moment of interest and hopefully a memorable potential project for the reviewer.

Separate the discussion about your internship at the Ministry of works and your undergraduate research project. Make sure to lean towards the Materials Science discussion at all times, making sure that you stir interest in your materials science exposure as an intern. The undergraduate research project is not material science based so you should remove that from the essay. Focus only on proving your material science skills. Do not confuse the reviewer by throwing in Civil Engineering information every so often. That divides the attention and analysis of your application in the eyes of the reviewer.

Please present a 5 year career plan that does not include a reference to PhD studies. That paragraph deviated in focus and started issuing informaiton about your PhD interests, which is out of place in a MSc essay. Refer only to the MSc related information alone.

Your last 2 paragraphs should be more solid in development and presentation as part of your career goals, objectives, and plans. Your constant reference to your academic "accomplishments" as implied in the last paragraph is unnecessary. What you should be doing in this paragraph is presenting a discussion as to how your choice of university, program, and scholarship will help to propel the Nigerian infrastructure situation into the 21st century. That way, you can reiterate the importance of this scholarship to your desire to help your country become a better place to live in.

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