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Personal Statement - GKS 2019/Embassy Track - Industrial Engineering

jlrm 1 / -  
Mar 3, 2019   #1
Hello everyone,

I'm applying to the GKS program for a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering. I would like to receive feedback on my essay.


being part of something big

Before going to college, I was encouraged by my parents and peers to major as an Information Systems Engineer due to my 'proficiency' with computers, which included playing video games and fixing software issues the computer had. Personally, I liked computers and programming more as a hobby, while the management and strategic aspects of the games I played, like Civilization V, spiked in me something more than a recreational interest; I saw myself making a living out of this. Thus, I majored in Industrial Engineering, whose principles combined with the skills acquired with my hobbies have given me a competitive advantage.

In my internship I was given the task to fill out and print more than 900 receipts with employee data. Given the repetitiveness of the task and it being prone to human error, I determined myself to find a way to automate it following the Six Sigma improvement model. I looked for material online and learned how to use Visual Basic for Applications, or 'macros'. I created a macro that reduced the amount of time this task takes by 93% (from 88 hours to only 7) and the probability of an error occurring was reduced by 99.95%. I continued my career in the company, starting in Logistics and ultimately in Production. Along the way I learned new skills like working with databases, SQL queries, and UI design, developing solutions that reduced time and resources needed for completing tasks and achieving results. The best part of it is I had fun while doing so.

Today, I'm the Senior Production Manager and Head of the Engineering Department of a garment manufacturing plant in the company. My responsibilities include budgeting production units and labor costs and making sure these are met, setting up new products, and improve processes through automation in order to reduce our lead time and standard production times, all while keeping a safe workplace environment and a record of more than 1,000 days without a recordable work related injury. The tools I've learned to use are still relevant today as they were three years ago while I was doing my internship. In fact, with every passing day they become more essential to an Industrial Engineer. New developments in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are either optimizing manufacturing operations in a quick and efficient way, or creating entirely new solutions to old problems. The world is experiencing the dawn of the 4th Industrial Revolution, and I want to be part of it.

This desire of being part of something big, my background in the manufacturing industry, and my affinity for simplifying tasks through data gathering, transformation, and programming are my motivations for pursuing a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering. Why Korea? I've always been fascinated by how Korea, despite having relatively few natural resources, has become a global industrial giant thanks to its manufacturing sectors in shipbuilding, automobiles, and Information and Communications Technology. It gives me hope for the future of my country, Honduras. And even though Korean companies are being challenged recently by competitors in China and India, I believe initiatives like the Innovation in Manufacturing 3.0 Strategy and advances in the ICT industry will not only consolidate Korea as a leader in these sectors, but will also turn it into a major player in revolutionizing the manufacturing industry as we know it.

The GKS program is a great opportunity for me to experience, and even be part of, these changes in the industry first-hand. Through it I will prepare myself academically, technically and professionally for the new trends and challenges brought by these changes. It will also help me bring new ideas to my home country, which is rich in natural resources but whose full potential hasn't been exploited due to poor infrastructure and a struggling education system, and contribute to its economic growth through the socialization, adoption, and implementation of these new technologies.

Holt [Contributor] - / 9,509 2955  
Mar 4, 2019   #2
Jose, there are two weak points in this essay that you need to address. The first, is the lack of academic background. When the essay asks you to discuss your academic background, that means you have to explain how well or little you performed as an undergraduate. A presentation of notable accomplishments during this time leading up to your professional career would be of tremendous help to your application. In addition to that, you need the academic discussion to help you present your college thesis, which will then allow you to explain your research abilities and background. You need to portray yourself in terms of being an academic rather than just a professional. The student has to evolve into the professional and it is that evolution that you have to present in the essay. By doing so, you will be able to balance out the extremely heavy professional self - portrait you have in this essay.

Try to connect your academic goals and professional ambitions to the reasons why you want to study in Korea. Right now, you are just telling the reviewer what he already knows about his country, but not about how a Korean education inspired you to reach higher academic goals. If you are impressed by the Korean accomplishments in terms of the industrial revolution, then you should also be interested to learn about how a Korean education can help you jump-start the same in your own country.

Once you add these points, the essay should be in a better position to portray your interests in pursuing the GKS in Industrial Engineering.

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