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The structural engineering field - Application to an Erasmus Scholarship

luchernandezse 1 / -  
Jan 25, 2021   #1

Scholarship Application essay

Good morning, I'm applying to an ERASMUS SCHOLARSHIP related with BIM for construction.

Any comment on my letter will be a huge help to my application. Thanks:

"In the next few lines I will try to develop the reasons that motivates me to be part of the BIM A+ program, the people that inspired me during my studies and my objective looking for a new tool to take my professional career to another level.

In my life I've attended to different job interviews during my professional career and the most common question I've heard is "How do you define your self?". Now, almost seven years after my first job interview, I can assure with total confidence: I define myself as a philomath and a inquisitive engineer.

A few years ago, as a bachelor student, I developed several skills oriented to the structural engineering field. The motivation to follow this path of the civil engineering was the support of different professors that gave me the tools to learn and to explore the structural field. One of these professors is Dr. Maritzabel Molina who was my tutor during my BsC and MsC, the person who taught me such magnificent things related with structural analysis, and most important, the one that always motivated me to research about different topics in structural engineering.

On the other hand, another important person that motivated me to start my graduate studies was Dr. Shirley Dyke. She gave me her support when I wanted to work in her lab during my internship and always motivated me and helped me to learn different topics as a real graduate student. During these time she gave me some duties and responsibilities at her lab, commitments that helped me to have one first approach with the graduate studies and the research field. The experience of doing Research at a high level university like Purdue University, in the Intelligent Infrastructure Systems Laboratory with Dr. Shirley J Dyke, gave me a new perspective of the civil engineering.

The motivation obtained from that two experiences pushed me to set free my learning passion, so I started working as a junior assistant engineer in a construction company of steel structures in a part time job before finishing my Bsc. This first job opened my mind to a new world of capabilities that, in another circumstances, couldn't be possible to gain just in the faculty environment. So I started to complement my studies with professional applications. This mixture gave me important advantages in the subsequent years that impulsed my professional career in a positive way.

After that, as a professional engineer, I started my career oriented to the design of structures and the construction process as the main focuses, but in the meantime I figured out that there was something missing at this point, there was something that didn't feel right in my training. I found my self incomplete without the academic duties and motivations thus, I decided to start my MsC oriented in structural engineering and also, as previous experiences, I started to unify my studies with my career obtaining important improves in my capabilities and abilities as a professional.

In the meantime, I found a position as a university professor at one of the most important universities in Bogota and due to this I could find my second passion: the academic approach to the civil engineering. The possibility of learn, transmit and apply the knowledge in any profession is the greatest achievement for a person in any place of the world. It's wonderful to see how the basic knowledge acquired during the last centuries, can flow throw many different approaches and could lead to excellent and magnificent projects that changes the real life of the people around us. This experience showed me my leadership skills and my capability of guiding people to a common objective.

However we are humans, we think and we act in many unpredictable ways that is impossible to unify, in many cases, concepts and procedures to achieve a common objective in the field. In the same way, professionals in any field must be clear that any failure could lead to incredible loss of money and more important, loss of life of innocent people, defining our main objective as to preserve the life of the users in any situation. Unfortunately at my country there have been different examples in the last years that had led to the loss of many human life. In many cases due to human mistakes or errors due to the design and construction process.

The best option to reduce those situations, according to my experience, is to improve our educational system from the basis of our professionals and explore different tools that will lead to an excellent development of the careers in the civil engineering industry.

From my point of view, the BIM methodologies are a magnificent tool that could improve the professional practice to prevent and to achieve high standards levels in the design, construction an fabrication of civil structures. Unfortunately, the professional misunderstanding of the BIM techniques reduces the power of the methodology to a unique objective: learn how to use a software. Then a proper BIM implementation in developing countries is needed, a change of perspective.

Therefore, I think that this master is an essential tool for the engineers who wants to be part of the educational and construction industry, not only for acquiring the basis of BIM but also to learn how to improve the methodologies and adapt them to the special needs in an specific project all around the world. This could lead to an international development of the engineering regardless the country or construction techniques oriented to prevent problems and take projects to a happy end and conclusion.

The content of the course has a powerful and strong emphasis that cover unique topics of leading European universities, a content impossible to find in my home country. The combination of diverse professionals in complementary fields gives added value to the project, is an important fact to assure the excellence of the program. It guarantees an exclusive set of values to fulfill the highly demanding market related with BIM professionals globally.

The privilege of being selected to take this scholarship will add uncountable value to my personal and professional development, will feature my structural engineering skills and most important, will be an extremely unique added value to my labor that needs his kind of tools to achieve an excellent level of the structural engineers worldwide."

Thank you so much

Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,317 3351  
Jan 26, 2021   #2
The first paragraph that you wrote is really unnecessary. The reviewer already knows the purpose of the motivation letter you will be writing. It is better to stay direct in the motivational letter. Do not waste your presentation space. The letter itself is already running too long. You have over 1k words written. A motivational letter should be kept short, quick and easy to read. You are over discussing in this presentation. Try to summarize your presentation as best as you can. Stay within the normal 500-750 word count. Maximum of 800 words, and only if it cannot be helped due to the excellent motivational discussion you are presenting.

Remember that you are not being asked to define yourself in a motivational letter. You are being asked to discuss your motivation for pursuing higher studies based on your career progression plans and, how the increased and updated knowledge will help you better your professional field once you return to your home country.

You need to better represent your motivations for choosing the course, the scholarship program, the university, and your expectations. The presentation takes too long to get to the point. Summarize your undergraduate studies and the reference to people who influenced you during this time. What actually matters most is your professional presentation and current skills discussion. These are the two aspects that should strongly drive your motivation for higher studies outside of your country.

Yes, you have to represent your skills and how it was developed. However, too much reference to other people, as opposed to presenting how you used what you learned from them do not add to your motivation. Surely these people did not teach you enough to satisfy your career needs. Otherwise, you would not be seeking higher studies. The way you present this information is too dry. It is not interesting enough.

Remember that your undergraduate motivation, as inspired by these professors no longer matter in the discussion of the EM scholarship. What matters now, is the motivation gained from work experience, exposure to the field, and the amount of self-study that you have acquired, along with any training your company may have given you. There is too much focus on your undergraduate presentation within this motivation letter, making it misdirected in focus and content.

Truth be told, this qualifies more as a personal statement than a motivation letter. It appears that you have written this without considering the actual prompt requirements, which led to your mixed bag of information presentation. This is half a motivation letter, half a personal statement. What you need it a solid motivational letter.

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