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Cybersecurity - University of Waterloo AIF Reasons for choosing program and Waterloo (CS and CFM)


Fiona1234 1 / 1  
Jan 28, 2019   #1
*Question 1:

Reasons for choosing your program and Waterloo

(*Required)
Please tell us about your educational goals, your interest in your chosen program(s), and your reasons for applying to the University of Waterloo. If you have applied to more than one program, please discuss your interest in each program. (900 characters limit)


An unpleasant experience of unauthorized credit card charges has sparked my interest in cybersecurity, and I wish myself as someone who will not only witness cybersecurity threats but also make my contributions towards tackling it. Thus, in the future I would like to work in the cyber security field, either developing software for cryptography or innovating fraud prevention strategies as a fraud analyst. That would require both financial analysis skills and programming skills. I believe the initiatives offered at UW in CS and CFM would best prepare me for my career goals. For one, the unique capability in cybersecurity field owned by members of CrySP and a range of senior CS courses regarding computer security such as CS 458 could master skills I need. In addition, I can apply my skills and gain valuable job experience through various positions offered by co-op. I also look forward to joining the URA program, especially working with Professor Urs Hengartner to do more in-depth research and applications about cyber-security.

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,618 1957  
Jan 29, 2019   #2
Ying, you are not being asked for your personal reasons for choosing the course so you should remove that information. It is not relevant to your academic goals nor the reason that you chose to seek admission to the University of Waterloo. That is a topic that would work better as the foundation of your personal statement or motivational letter. It doesn't suit the required information for this statement essay. I think I should be clear at this point and tell you that the essay works from a partial point A to a partial point b. What I mean is, you can use the following sentences to fully respond to the prompt:

in the future I would like to work in the cyber security field... I also look forward to joining the URA program

I omitted the mention of the professor because that does not have any bearing on your academic interest. Unless the professor will be a referee, there is no sense in mentioning that name specifically when you can learn from other professors as well. In addition to that, if the professor does not hire student aides for any reason, the mention of the professor's name will be worthless in this essay. Say something else that could be taken as notable about the URA instead.

The parts that I indicated in italics above will be more than sufficient as a response to the statement. You don't need to write a total of 900 characters if your response does not require or suit it. The most basic and bare bones response statements are usually the ones that tend to be remembered better by the reviewer. In this case, the bare bones tactic just might help your essay become noticeable.
OP Fiona1234 1 / 1  
Feb 4, 2019   #3
Thank you so much for the advice. I still have some questions about my application essays and I indicated them in bold and red below. Could you also give me some advice on the Extracurricular Activities Essay and Additional Information Essay? By the way, English is my second language, could you also give me some advice on my language, like wordy?

*Question 1: Reasons for choosing your program and Waterloo (*Required)
Please tell us about your educational goals, your interest in your chosen program(s), and your reasons for applying to the University of Waterloo. If you have applied to more than one program, please discuss your interest in each program. (900 characters limit)


An unpleasant experience of losing $200 due to unauthorized credit card charges has sparked my interest in cybersecurity, and I wish myself as someone who will not only witness cybersecurity threats but also make my contributions towards tackling it. I started with an unpleasant experience to tell how my interest in cyber security started, I am concerned whether I stated my interests for my programs clearly and sufficiently if I deleted this experience.

Thus, in the future I would like to work in the cyber security field, either developing software for cryptography or innovating fraud prevention strategies as a fraud analyst. Therefore, my educational goal is to develop financial analysis and programming skills. I believe the resources offered by UW in CS, FARM, and CFM would best help me achieve that. For one, I could apply my skills and gain valuable job experience through various positions offered by co-op. Do I state the core attraction of coop for me clearly? Or I should put more words on how coop would help me regarding my career and study?

In addition, the URA program, especially working with Professor Urs Hengartner, (I found this professor is major in cybersecurity and he is on the list of faculty members who requiring potential URAs) the Velocity program, and the CrySP research center could provide me opportunities for more in-depth research and innovation.
Holt [Contributor] - / 7,618 1957  
Feb 5, 2019   #4
The program prompt only requires an academic goal, not a personal reason for enrolling in the course. That reference is irrelevant to the discussion and takes away valuable word allotments from areas where you could have explained things better such as in the URA section of the essay. You are not being asked to write a personal statement so there is no need to explain why you developed an interest. That is not important to the reviewer at this time. When he requires the information, the prompt will clearly ask you to discuss the development of your interest. That is why I MUST INSIST that you remove that reference line in the paragraph. If you insist on keeping it in, then there is nothing I can do about it. That is your choice. You came here for advice and I have given you the same explanation twice as it applies to the prompt requirements. Listen or not, the choice is yours.

While there is no requirement for your choice of professor to train with at this time, it does help show a deeper familiarity with the program and comes across as a different and far more interesting reason for your choice of university than the other applicants. You can retain that reference in the essay. After reading your explanation, I feel that you should indicate that you hope to become part of his specific URA program with a specific learning purpose to truly strengthen the statement.


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