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Personal statement Science and technology for development - COMMONWEALTH SHARED SCHOLARSHIP

SophiaN 1 / 1  
Apr 1, 2018   #1

Personal statement Science and technology for development

Please supply a personal statement, of no more than 500 words, that summarizes the ways in which your personal background has encouraged you to want to make a contribution to development in your country. You should indicate areas in which you have already contributed, such as in overcoming any personal or community barriers to higher education

I have always been fascinated by geography related subjects. When I was in primary school, I was given a star gazing chart as a gift from my geography teacher, I used to wait till everyone has gone to sleep to run outside and study the stars. I read on the constellations and theories on the origin of stars at a very young age. At this early point in my life, I had already made the decision to study geography, space science and everything related to it. From whence my passion in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) begun.

It was for this reason I pursued an undergraduate in xxx. My passion and determination saw me awarded the Vice Chancellor's Academic Award for outstanding performance. I hoped to use my knowledge to solve pertinent challenges in Kenya. In my professional years, I have gone ahead to co-found the Women in GIS Kenya initiative as I seek to not only grow myself but inspire others as well through mentorship and career advice.

In my younger years, I often found myself spending time in my family's small garden or visiting my grandfather's farm to help out. The farm symbolized security for me however overtime this reality changed. My grandfather used to sell much of his produce in the market but he stopped due to low yields and inconsistent harvest which was as a result of attacks by various pests and diseases or poor rains. If at the time he had the right agro-weather information and climate risks data for his farm he would have taken preventive measures and planned appropriately. It was upon this realization that I decided to use my knowledge in geographical sciences in informing him on best agricultural practices.

Professionally, at xxx, I created GIS solutions. In particular, I was the technical project coordinator for use of GIS tools to monitor indicators of Sustainable Development Goals in counties in Kenya. A research project which opened my eyes to the opportunities agriculture can provide for Kenya. Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya's economy with her capital termed the green city under the sun she boasts of her diversity in agriculture. However, her low yields and challenges faced in this sector speak volumes to the need to do much more including using science and technology.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) entails the use of spatial data and technology to make interpretations for various applications. Crops are location-based hence one very key area of application for GIS has been in agriculture. eg. farmers use the precise location of crops to save on fertilizers. GIS can assist farmers to increase crop production, reduce costs and improve monitoring and management of farms. As one area of application, risk and sustainability, I would like to use GIS is to create Climate risk profile maps that can inform decision making in plant production as well as farm management practices to mitigate against pests and diseases.

A masters in xxx will allow me to study and model climatic factors against various farm practices in Kenya. This will allow me to make climate risk maps for specific crop production to produce information necessary for decision making in plant production. The information can be availed to farmers through online dashboards or various communication media. This study will also give me skills necessary for creating suitable policies for best farm practices. This reaffirmed my decision to pursue this course and make a difference in the agricultural sector for Kenya through my skills in GIS.

Kindly assist me in improving this essay and identify that which is not necessary to reduce on the number of words.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,686 4759  
Apr 2, 2018   #2
Sophia, this otherwise strong personal statement is marred only by an exaggerated opening paragraph on your part. The reviewers tend to disbelieve any applicant who claims to have made a career based decision during childhood. That is because a childhood interest in a topic does not always translate into an adult career. Therefore, starting that you developed this interest in primary school, though acceptable becomes laughable to the reviewer when you state you made such an important life decision as a child. A child does not have life decision making skills yet. Hence, the reviewer will think you are joking and not take your claims seriously all throughout the essay anymore. Revise the beginning of the essay to be less of a "child dream" and more of a "teenage dream" to make it more believable. The rest of the essay applies itself properly to the prompt expectations and does not need altering as far as I am concerned. If you wish to strengthen this personal statement further, tehn indicate your chosen university and why you opted to seek admission to that university.
OP SophiaN 1 / 1  
Apr 2, 2018   #3
Thank you so much @Holt for the help. I shall heed your advice and review my essay.

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