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How to write an eloquent and appealing 'letter of purpose' w.r.t. Graduate School. .

How to write an eloquent and appealing 'letter of purpose' w.r.t. Graduate School. .

Hello kid, planning to get into graduate school? Congrats! You have come a long way; pat your back for me, will you? 

Alright, so to solve your query of drafting a Letter of Purpose, here are short but comprehensive tips and format that will provide you just what you are looking for. Read on, get it done. 

What is a Statement of purpose?

While applying to a graduate school, an application called Statement of Purpose/ personal statement/ letter of intent is sent to grad school. It aids the admissions committee in understanding the candidate's academic and professional interests and how course and applicant complement each other. 

While making an attempt to know the student, over and above research interest, GPAs, academic records, and work experience, the admission panel pays importance to the statement of purpose. A student should write incisive and thoughtful statements that are unique to them. However, it should also have statements reflecting their understanding of the university, its mission, and why it would be great to get accepted in it.   

Why do Grad Schools ask for SOP (Statement of Purpose)

It is primarily an opportunity given to an applicant to express their qualitative traits like personal strength, professional competence, and passion for career fields. Most times, admission in premier to medium grad schools are competitive; in such cases going through a statement of purpose aids them in understanding if the applicant has thoroughly researched the program and is committed to achieving success in the program.  

What do schools want to see in an SOP v/s what makes them repulsive

They are looking for a clear statement showing why the applicant is interested in that particular problem, whereas what they do not want to see are general statements that seem to have been copied pasted in every SOP sent by the candidate. 

 Experts also look if the applicant has researched the program thoroughly, as opposed to those who have not highlighted why they want to be in such an environment. 

SOP that illustrates a clear connection between degree and any future goals is always appreciated; it shows a mutually beneficial fit. However, an SOP that is not succinct and unstructured is considered poor. 

And lastly, good grammar and writing skills cant go unnoticed; the opposite stands true equally. 

Ten TIPS for writing eloquent SOP :

  1. Avoid writing in Auto-pilot mode. While inviting applications, every institute mentions its own set of requirements. Granted that after filling out numerous applications, a candidate may miss out on such details. But the applicant who chooses to pay close attention to the prompt at hand definitely increases the chances of getting selected by multiple folds.
  2. Stand out of the pack: Find innovative ways to uniquely share your story. Each year members in the panel read thousands of applications, and they can easily spot the cliché. Hence it always is beneficial if you share your recollections or accomplishments in a distinctive manner.
  3. Provide Context: Little detail harms nobody. Provide context by qualifying or quantifying your stated point. For instance, Don't just state 'Head of editing committee'; state the leadership skills, drafting skills, and people skills that you showcased or enhanced during that position. 
  4. Highlight Institution: It's good to praise where it's due. Research and mention institutional qualities which will complement you. 
  5. Add the flavor of academics: Don't just provide a glimpse of your personality and motivation; they are academicians, after all. So make sure to mention what you learned in your undergraduate school and emphasize how you plan to build upon that knowledge. 
  6. Address the School Gap: In case there is any gap between your baccalaureate program and graduation degree, mention it. State how you utilized that time off. Discuss any jobs, volunteering, research done during time-off, and its potential benefits. 
  7. Write your inspiration. What served as an inspiration to you for studying the applied topic should always be highlighted. You may be subject/ overall course-specific. 
  8. Start Early: Begin drafting your Statement of Purpose well in advance. Once you start, you will know that condensing your life in 500 words is not as easy as it seems. Writing just the day before the deadline will sure not serve you well.
  9. Create versions: It is natural to feel overwhelmed while writing your first SOP. In such a case making multiple versions and different themed drafts will help to arrive at the one which suits you best. 
  10. Take review and proofread: Ask your family/ friends or faculty to review it once. If they suggest any required modifications which speak to you, then edit it. And yes, proofread it twice for yourself.  

Format of Statement of purpose. 

Introduce yourself

What or who influenced you to choose the field 

Describe your background (Academic, professional, and volunteer)

List and illustrate your achievements 

Briefly explain discrepancies, if any. 

Demonstrate your motivation for continued studies

Mention a specific faculty that you are hoping to work with. 

Describe your plan to contribute to the course

Mention how your graduate degree will help you achieve your plans. 

Mistakes to avoid if you want your SOP to be appealing:

Avoid common adages: put your point in your own unique way, elaborate if necessary but do not fall into the trap of using cliché metaphors and phrases. For instance, describe that you are a go-getter without using a go-getter. 

Don't overload academic grades: this is not your resume; stating under graduation GPA will do; avoid rolling down to school level (even if you were a ranker).

It can not be overstated that spelling and grammatical errors should be avoided at all costs. The panel reads many applications in a day, and they will catch such spelling errors in no time. 

Avoid cool informal terms. Remember, they are academicians; they repel slang and profanity. It can have a more adverse impact than you can imagine. 

Avoid Exaggerations: A statement of purpose written by a novel-hearted soul would not be appreciated. One way to avoid exaggerations is to avoid hyperbole.  

Do not copy: Ctrl c + Ctrl V is a big no-no. Even if you copy a great statement of purpose, they will still be able to spot it (After all, you are an undergrad kid)

Boasting and confessions: If an applicant has few options on hand, then it naturally becomes difficult to resist boasting or kneeling wordily and confessing that they are your last hope and that your family is really hopeful. While all this seems obvious and human, it is not considered professional at all. The best thing would be to leave aside all temptations of boasting or confessions and to draft a letter so precise that the institute would invite you on the grounds of merit rather than sympathy. 

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE (Sample)

  • INTRODUCTION:-

I am Chirag Pansuriya, a lifelong learner, an optimistic entrepreneur and an aspiring leader. Understanding that life in today’s time is dynamic and the world shrinking as it moves rapidly towards globalization, I think the time is right for equipping myself with the technology, skills and mindset if I want to achieve my aim of creating a bright and successful future for myself, my community and my country.

The Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advance Learning offers an array of opportunities for students across various nationalities, races and faculties to experience well researched work integrated learning methods which are ideal for learners like me who have a background of vocational experience. I, now, look forward to upgrading my skills to enable me to implement world class business practices in the business that I aspire to set up based in my home country India.

  • BACKGROUND:-

As I pursued my Bachelor in Technology, I discovered my strong aptitude towards the field of Information Technology,and keenly took up the opportunity to work as a Systems Administrator immediately on completion of my studies in July 2015 with DVKSP IMPEX PVT. LTD

Life was following the path that I had planned out when I joined Industrias G.E.S.A at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in West Africa in July 2018. The promotions and the paycheques both flowed in just as I had envisaged when I had opted for my admission in B-Tech in Agricultural Information Technology at Anand in the only college offering this course in Gujarat, way back in 2011 June. 

  • FAMILY BACKGROUND:-

Being the younger son in my family, I have always been the more pampered one. My father, Mr.Manushkhbhai Pansuriya is a businessman and we have a well-established business in the Agro industry. My mother, Mrs.Bhartiben Pansuriyais a homemaker and my elder brother Mr.Hardik Pansuriya has completed his Engineering and is working as a Freelancer. Since my childhood, I have always seen my father revere the family farmland we own and strive to enhance and upgrade the quality of our agricultural produce, update our farming methods consistently and avail the latest equipment to ensure the best produce in the market. He is also a Broker at the APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) market at Gondal. Over a period of time as business opportunities grew, I realized that a professional understanding of the business tactics, and technology combined with my leaning towards a career in the Agro industry could give me an edge and help to take the family business to a higher growth. Today India, my country is at a stage where there are unlimited opportunities not only in the local and national market but also the international market in terms of export. 

  • ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND:-

My interest in studies and my participation in extracurricular activities had always been encouraged by my parents and my teachers. I completed my Senior Secondary from Gujarat Board with 70.92% in2009 and my Higher Secondary from Gujarat Board with 58% in 2011.   I always had a keen interest in Information Technology and the lack of the application of the modern techniques in Agriculture always piqued me as I knew that across the world there was a methodical and corporatized approach towards Farming which was lacking in most parts of my state and country. Following my entrepreneurial leaning, I opted for Bachelor of Technology in Agricultural Information Technology in Anand Agricultural University in Anand, The curriculum there had a weight-age of around 60% of Information Technology and around 40% of the Agro applications with subjects like Project Management, Entrepreneurship Development. I scored a 6.14 OGPA in the bachelor’s programme.

 I was keen to put my learning into my professional practice and joined DVKSP Pvt. Ltd. as a ‘System Administrator’ immediately on completion of my graduation. The promotion in 2017 to the position of a ‘Project Coordinator’ in DVKSP Pvt. Ltd. was a feather in my cap because it came in a short period and it increased my confidence in my skills and my technological know–how.

 Following this, my thirst for learning grew and consequently, I honed my knowledge and understanding of International Business Scenario, understanding Marketing Analytics and Global Business development Strategies. I acquired both knowledge and certification from National and International courses on the application of my interest in sales and tech skills. Three years and a promotion to the position of the Project coordinator were followed by an international job opportunity in INDUSTRIAS G.E S.A. in West Africa as the ‘Business Development Manager’ which was difficult to turn down. The work stint at INDUSTRIAS G.E S.A. helped me to realise the magnum opportunities presented in the global market for Indian business and also strengthened my belief in my capability to shoulder a broader spectrum of responsibilities independently and confidently. 

During my work experience, in field of agriculture information technology I realized that people with non technical background are able to build right  deal or model but people with technical background were more successful and were able to understand and satisfy the customer requirements better, because they knew the exact process and technical details. Learning business skill gives very good range of job.  

WHY PROJECT MANAGEMENT?

Project management as course renders specific and practical knowledge about how to manage a project and its resources. Project management helps a person learn the ropes about how one can manage a project and its resources, and lead it to success, while also considering the interest of the people involved in it. I have always wanted to build my career in the business field, for this dream to become a reality, I would need practical knowledge and experience that I aim at learning during my studies of Project management

However, I am more excited to develop my knowledge in exclusive subjects such as Procurement and Contract Management, Organizational Behavior which are hardly available in my country on practical basis.  

Moreover, project management, also helps in learning many transferable skills like, social relationship skills, leadership qualities, team work and collaboration skills, as well as help me gaining a lot of practical experience, A Post Graduate degree in Project Management with a focus on formal theoretical and practical skills development such as planning and managing the scope of impact, the cost, and also understanding client expectation along with the latest organisational management practices will prove to be an exemplary tool to advance my career. 

After much research, I have narrowed down on the Project Management at Conestoga. I shall here get an opportunity to enhance my skills and capacities as a Project Leader and an insight in the areas of corporate Project leadership.

REASON FOR SELECTING CONESTOGA COLLEGE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY AND ADVANCE LEARNING:

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a medical crisis back home, I had to return to India in February 2021. Thereafter, At this juncture in my career, I feel that I have developed the required communication skills, the technological know-how as well as the analytical skills to play an important role in any business endeavour of significant proportions. 

After much research, I have narrowed down on the Project Management (1298) which is an Ontario College Graduate Certificate Course (Post- Graduate) program at Conestoga at the Doon Campus. I shall here get an opportunity to enhance my skills and capacities as a Project Leader and an insight in the areas of corporate Project leadership. A Post Graduate degree in Project Management with a focus on formal theoretical and practical skills development such as planning and managing the scope of impact, the cost and also understanding client expectation along with the latest organisational management practices will prove to be an exemplary tool to advance my career. 

REASON FOR CHOOSING CANADA AS THE EDUCATION DESTINATION

Canada is recognised today as one of the world’s most promising and leading destination for international education second only to the USA. It provides a conducive and nurturing environment for international students and celebrates the diversity of the people coming to its land regardless of race, colour, creed and nationality with the sole purpose of growth, education, research. A country which welcomes scholars from across the corners of the world, offers them the best of faculty and training opportunities, a well-researched instruction and assessment system undoubtedly supports students with a convenience for a healthy and peaceful living style, affordable living amenities for students, strong transport links, global exposure through festivals, music and cultural events, Canada is the perfect destination for helping me realise my dream of setting up my successful entrepreneurial endeavour in the field of Agro – business in my birthplace, my country. 

FUTURE PLANS AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Post the Covid-19 Pandemic, India has a tremendous potential to emerge as strong player in the field based on Agriculture and Produce. There is a large pool of investors and both local and foreign investments which can be utilised well for successful business models and well planned Projects and endeavours. I keep a regular track of the on-going market scenario in the Indian Agriculture and Export market and I am confident that equipped with a professional understanding of the global business tactics, and technology in the Agro industry combined with the clarity and understanding of universal economics and management techniques will give me an edge and help to take my family business to a higher level altogether. I intend to complete the course and equip myself with the skills and knowledge and return to my home country and join my family business and take it to a much larger platform. 

I hope that the respected management finds my application to this program promising and grant me an opportunity to study in Canada and thus lead me near to my dream of entrepreneurial success.

Regards,

Chirag . M. Pansuriya.

                                                              ***end of sample***

Now that you have read it all, I am sure you are pretty serious in your business and will leave no room for sloppy writing. Be proud of yourself and go on writing now.

Happy Drafting Kid!

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