24 December 2008

What makes a personal statement compelling?

Good personal statements tell stories that demonstrate your strengths.
1. Knowing your strengths – How can you be of value or how can you contribute? Begin
by looking at your good experiences for evidence of your strengths and then ask those
who know you best for their thoughts. Don’t overlook the value of a true friend’s honest
assessment of your strengths. Many people find they have hidden strengths that are only
obvious to their close friends and family.
2. Knowing your audience – Research the program(s) and organization(s) to which you are
applying through online searches, reading catalog / program descriptions, and emailing
for more information. Talk with professors, graduate students, advisers, and colleagues
met during internships.
3. Making a good case for the “match” between you and the program or organization to
which you are applying.
4. Telling a story that demonstrates your strengths with examples and that sets you
apart from others and shows how you can contribute. Avoid just writing a first-person
essay where each paragraph is a direct response to the points you are being asked to
address. Avoid starting every sentence with “I” or “I want.”

22 December 2008

What is personal statement??

The personal statement, also called the statement of purpose, is a special type of writing sample.
Personal statements are commonly requested when applying for scholarships and graduate /
professional schools. They may also be requested for certain types of jobs, such as competitive
teaching and research appointments in education, for positions with non-profit organizations, or
for internship applications.
It is a writing sample describing you at your best, your reasons
for choosing the field you have chosen, your research interests, your objectives, and the unique
ways you can contribute to the program / organization to which you are applying. A statement
of purpose is designed to communicate five things:
1. Writing abilities – grammar, punctuation, organization, creativity, expression, etc.
2. Connections between your past education / experiences and future goals.
3. Your philosophy of the field and why you are pursuing an opportunity in that area.
4. What makes you unique and how you can add to the diversity of the program.
5. How you can be an asset to the organization or the school, now and in the future.

21 December 2008

What is personal statement??

The personal statement, also called the statement of purpose, is a special type of writing sample.
Personal statements are commonly requested when applying for scholarships and graduate /
professional schools. They may also be requested for certain types of jobs, such as competitive
teaching and research appointments in education, for positions with non-profit organizations, or
for internship applications.
So what is a personal statement? It is a writing sample describing you at your best, your reasons
for choosing the field you have chosen, your research interests, your objectives, and the unique
ways you can contribute to the program / organization to which you are applying. A statement
of purpose is designed to communicate five things:
1. Writing abilities – grammar, punctuation, organization, creativity, expression, etc.
2. Connections between your past education / experiences and future goals.
3. Your philosophy of the field and why you are pursuing an opportunity in that area.
4. What makes you unique and how you can add to the diversity of the program.
5. How you can be an asset to the organization or the school, now and in the future.

17 December 2008

Sample SOP#26

We all have ambitions, some generic, like wanting to become a millionaire, and some more specific, like wanting to be a doctor. My ambition is to become a scientist, something I have always dreamed of since the age of five. I am an avid fan of the Star Trek series, and am greatly moved by the visions of the future that Gene Roddenberry and Irvine Kirschner, the creators of the sci-fi epic, bring to us. The thought that science could lift mankind to different planes of existence has been the inspiration behind my choosing to follow my childhood dream.

In my religion, Hinduism, working for the betterment of society that nurtures us is one of the fundamental tenets. After the completion of my tenth standard, I realized that the best way I could contribute to society was by making use of my innate talents, which were recognized by my teachers as ideal for a career in scientific research. On my teachers’ advice, I chose the science stream of study for standard eleven and twelve, rejecting the commerce stream. This proved to be the most pivotal decision of my life.

Starting in the eleventh standard, my already burgeoning fascination for physics and mathematics bloomed. I began to take a liking to the area of semiconductor physics and the nature of matter. In the standard twelve national level examinations, I was commended by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for being among the top 0.01% of all students taking the examination. My standard twelve project titled “Logic Gate Design” was the object of several accolades and is still being used today as a part of the practical classes in my alma mater. I subsequently chose to do my bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication (ECE), for I felt that it had all the makings of a course that comprised of both the physics that I loved and it’s application in today’s world.

As the course progressed, I noticed that it was a conglomerate of many areas, each with its profundity, and realized that I had to make a choice from among the myriad that were available. My liking for core electronics had grown by the time I reached this crossroad, and I boldly chose VLSI as my area of research. I now look to how I can sate my yearning to bring about the same revolution that has made a few of the world’s cities the virtual Meccas of technological advances, to the rest of the planet which has been in suspended animation. VLSI is one field of electronics with a very bright future. The world needs people who are both trained in VLSI as well as willing to work for the betterment of humanity. I was deeply inspired by the makers of the new version of Linux called “Ubuntu”. These were highly trained, sophisticated individuals who created an operating system which is primarily intended “for the benefit of mankind”. It is with this goal in mind that I intend to pursue my master’s degree.

I exposure to VLSI began with my industrial training at “VI Microsystems”, where I was introduced to the basics of IC fabrication. I was then selected to attend a training programme at the meteorological department of India, where I acquainted myself with the applications of VLSI in form of weather satellite electronics. It was during this training programme that I decided to major in VLSI. My final semester project is titled “Standard cell design using the semi custom approach” is an ambitious project aimed at the complete replacement of certain components in the existing PSpice library. I have presented papers titled “The Spin Transistor-improvements” and “Protection from the E-Bomb”. Both of these have been commended for their novelty. I hope to further my research in VLSI at your prestigious institute, and request you to consider me for admission into the MS program “Microelectronics and VLSI” with full financial support.

15 December 2008

Sample SOP #9

Statement of purpose

In India, virtually bursting at its seams with a population of a billion, one was resigned to waiting in line for most services from cradle to grave. The advent of computers has started a metamorphosis, which has quickened the pace of life. This has kindled in me a strong desire to be a part of the ongoing ‘Computer Revolution’.

Science and related fields have always fascinated me. With Computer Science and Information technology penetrating all walks of life, my search for a suitable course of undergraduate study ended with Computer Engineering. I have strived for excellence in all that I pursue, and this is reflected in my high academic standing, fifth in the first year among students of all engineering disciplines in my college and first in the second year among over 100 students in the computer department.

Through my education, I have gained valuable experience, especially from my final year project and my entry in an inter-collegiate paper contest. My project titled ‘Intranet BBS’ which implements messaging and file services in Java, has exposed me to platforms like Windows NT and UNIX. The paper I entered was titled ‘Mobile Computing using IPv6’, for which I won an appreciation prize. It covered the concepts surrounding IP addressing, neighbor discovery protocol and support for mobile computation in IPv6. These major pieces of work have narrowed my areas of specific interest to Operating Systems and Computer Networking, which together have made it possible to provide information at the tip of our hands, anytime, anywhere. My desire to learn more about computers has also caused me to go above and beyond the requirements of my degree. As a result, in addition to my final year project I am doing a module on ‘Speech Recognition and Coding’ as part of a funded special research project titled ‘Systems Automation using Smart Cards’.

My interest in Computers does not stop at just acquiring information and experience through education. I am also very enthusiastic about sharing it with others. I voluntarily conducted two Visual Basic workshops for the Computer Chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at our college where my teaching skills were greatly appreciated. I enjoyed the experience and look forward to doing similar work in the future.

The need for education and training continues throughout life. Advances in information technology are so rapid that those who are not able to ride the wave of change are often left far behind. I do not want to be left in the dust and believe that a good, sound educational background and the opportunity to do independent research at the Master’s level would give me a head start and enable me to exploit these advances in technology in the most constructive manner. My current academic goal is to complete a Masters Program in Computer Science, which is a stepping stone towards my ambition of achieving significant technological advancement in this field. My academic record coupled with my project experience gives me the confidence to successfully complete, and amply benefit from your reputed program and state-of-the-art research facilities.

On completion of my graduate studies, I would like to pursue a career in a reputed American corporation to gain practical experience and to imbibe and assimilate the well-known American work ethic. The knowledge, skills and experience gained in America will equip me to take up the unique challenges and tremendous opportunities of improving the quality of computerized systems in the next millennium.

13 December 2008

LOR #1




Assistant Professor,

Department of Mathematics

***** College of Engineering

I have known **********. as a disciplined, intuitive and an inquisitive student for the past three and a half years. He is a final year student of the Bachelor’s degree program in Electronics and Communication Engineering at our institution.

I have taught him the fundamentals of Engineering Mathematics, which encompasses Differential Equations, 3-Dimensional Geometry, Calculus of Single & Many Variables, Matrices and Determinants, Contour Integration, Fourier Transforms, Laplace Transforms and Z-Transforms. His aptitude, grasp of mathematical concepts and eagerness to explore are qualities that have impressed me.

‘Communications and Signal Processing’ is ****** area of interest. His project in “Image Processing” for the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) required skillful application of theory coupled with in-depth knowledge of mathematics. The scope and execution of the project reaffirmed my faith in his capabilities. I would rate him in the top 5% of the undergraduate students in his area of interest.

He is lucid in communicating his ideas, aided by a flair for languages. He has been an active member of the organizing committee of the “National Technical Symposium” held at the college and has earned laurels as an efficient administrator.

***** is a meritorious student who consistently shows a keen urge towards acquiring knowledge. He has the potential to achieve his goals through hard work and perseverance, complemented by a solid foundation of technical knowledge.

I am very pleased to recommend ****, with financial assistance, for the MS EE program at your prestigious university.

09 December 2008

Flow of SOP #1

Typical flow of a statement of purpose:

1) Begin by introducing yourself to the reader and provide some details about your personal background as it relates to the field of study

2) Then discuss your academic experiences as they relate to your field- include both academic activities as well as extra curricular activities

3) Then discuss your research experiences or if none, talk about your research related courses and how they prepared you for research

4) Then make the connection between these experiences and your field of study- it is good to mention a major idea in the field of study- it shows that you are knowledgeable and think about the field.

5) Mention any special aspects of your application (grades, GRE scores, publication)

6) Move on to what you expect from the program and your career goals

7) Mention why program is a good match with career goals

8) You can standardize your statement but should tailor the last paragraph specifically for each program that you apply to…reviewers will note this

05 December 2008

Useful tips #4

5) Be truthful and don’t make boasting statements or conclusions for the reader. Instead of concluding that you are a good researcher, just give your qualifications and let the reader make that conclusion

6) Try answering these questions:

What have I learned academically that stimulated me to pursue this field?

How did I learn this? Lecture, readings, hands-on experiences

Are there any personal experiences that influenced my career choice?

What are my career goals- what will you do with the degree?

7) Use the statement to address a weakness or discrepancy in your record

Low grades freshman year- death in family ruined one semester- figure grades without chemistry or math- grades over Jr and Sr years if higher-grades in major

8) Address any special circumstances such as working through school- and medical or financial hardships that you worked through- it shows character

9) Revision- best if you can put away for several days- examine every word and ask if it is necessary…plan on revising your statement several times

02 December 2008

Useful Tips #3

1) Brainstorm previous academic experiences and qualifications but also include relevant work or other experiences…sales job for social psyc, lab tech for neuroscience

2) Make several outlines of brainstormed items and see which order of presentation best- reflects the overall theme of ‘why you should accept me’

3) Write in a straightforward manor. Avoid flowery language or language used strictly to impress a reader. Be concise. Never use more words than necessary.

4) Be specific in your writing: better to say what techniques, procedures, and apparatus you are familiar with than just saying that you have much research experience…don’t say ‘good with computers’ or ‘can handle animals’ say what computer programs you used…what type of animal and how did you handle them

25 November 2008

Useful Tips#2

5) Write for an audience of faculty or professionals in the field (1-2 pages-single spaced)

6) Remember that your writing will be clear to you- but will it be clear to someone else who only has the written word to go by

7) The statement of purpose is an opportunity to “stand-out” from the crowd

8) It is an opportunity to showcase your writing abilities, but also your critical thinking skills as you relate your background to field of study

9) The objective is to gain acceptance- every sentence should be written with this in mind

20 November 2008

Useful Tips #1

General comments:

1) Importance: The statement of purpose is always important but is relative to other aspects of application.

2) Time consuming: the statement of purpose needs several revisions- with outside review and input

3) Attempt to provide personal information that is not specifically provided elsewhere in the application

4) The tone is moderate but serious and ambitious (not too cheerful or too morose) and avoid humor unless you are sure- use first person (I, me, my)

5) Write for an audience of faculty or professionals in the field (1-2 pages-single spaced)

15 November 2008

Sample SOP #3

The key to all sciences is unquestionably the question mark. To the word How? We owe most of our greatest discoveries. Wisdom in life may perhaps consist in asking ourselves on all occasions: Why?”

(Sample Quote)

Honore de Balzac.

From the very first day of their lives the one thing that every human being has been utilizing and continues to do so is their power of communication. Communication with its boundless sphere of activities controls every aspect of human life regardless of its size or complexity. Today wireless communication is revolutionizing the world of modern communication in ways that we would never have imagined only a few years before and I would very much like to be an active part of this revolution and further my interest in this particular field at your esteemed university.

From my school days I have been an ardent activist in getting things done as a group and perhaps this was the point in time when I first acknowledged the importance of effective communication. I was fortunate to study at P.S.B.B Senior Secondary School, ranked one of the country’s top schools, till my tenth standard. As head of the schools quiz club and Cultural Secretary I was able to improve my people skills and understand the essentials of working in a group. Choosing the science stream for standard eleven and twelve was not very difficult as Physics and Mathematics have always held their sway over me and continue to do so.

My interest in the field of communication was kick started during a demonstration in high school by some of my fellow classmates, which showcased the sheer power of communication over long distances and remote controlled operation of devices. Though many of the projects were mere displays of existing low-level concepts the keenness exhibited by the students had me dreaming about the endless possibilities of communication. Seeking to translate my dreams to reality I set about working on a Low Power AM Radio Transmitter. Though the concept was simple and the implementation straightforward it was instrumental in teaching me how to work in a team and provided me with an amateurish satisfaction of having accomplished something of immense importance.

The successful completion of this scheme ignited a spark in me and I couldn’t see it dying down at any point in the future. The choice of Electronics and Communication Engineering (E.C.E) at the undergraduate level was an easy one. It was the most suitable course as it had Communication as one of its core areas, while electronics is infinitely important at the implementation stage of any communication model. My exposure to the courses Signals and Systems, Communication Theory and Systems, Digital Communication have led me to appreciate the intricacies involved in this field. The mini project on Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s) provided another means of appreciating the significance of teamwork. I was extremely privileged to be able to visit the ISRO facility at Bangalore while on an industrial visit, where I had an enlightening tour accompanied by a lecture on communication systems and wireless communication. By this time my interest in Communication had matured into an active enthusiasm to learn more and do more in this area. Further industrial training sessions at the Airports Authority of India (International Division), TVS Electronics and Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (Telecom Division) and an industrial visit to BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.) served to enhance my passion in this field to a higher degree.

My current final year project titled “A Multipath Interference Mitigation Technique for High Speed Packet Transmission in WCDMA Downlink” aims to devise a means of suppressing multipath interference using OVSF Code Characteristics in a WCDMA downlink. Interference free data transmission positions itself high on the agenda of any modern communications company and WCDMA being at the forefront of wideband digital radio communications of Internet, multimedia, video and other capacity-demanding applications was an enticing prospect to carry out a project on. Furthermore WCDMA provides new service capabilities, increased network capacity and reduced cost for voice and data services providing more reason to probe this area of study.

Academics has in no way diminished my participation in extra-curricular activities both at the school and college level. I was part of the NCC (National Cadet Corps) in school and the NSS in college. I am currently the joint secretary of my college quiz club and have been actively involved in the organization of our college’s annual symposium for the last two years. I am confident that I will exhibit the same level of commitment while pursuing a Graduate course and request you to consider me for admission into the MSEE Program beginning Fall 2007 at your esteemed university with full financial support.

10 November 2008

Sample SOP#2

I intend to undertake my graduate studies at The University of Rochester, and focus on the Fiber Optics and Optical Communications research area. My experiences over the course of my undergraduate study have been instrumental in influencing and narrowing my interests to this field.

I have always taken an avid interest in Communications right from my high school level. It was because of this that I pursued my undergraduate study in the field of Electronics and Communications. I stood in the top 0.1% of my school and this helped me secure an admit at ************ which has consistently been rated as the best institute among the 250 private engineering colleges affiliated to The Anna University.

In my second year, my zeal for communications increased further when I was exposed to the operational fundamentals of a Telecommunication Network at ************, the World's 7th largest Telecommunications Company. The experience gave me insights into the multifarious prospects that the communications field has to offer in terms of research and innovation.

As I delved deeper into my subjects, I became aware of the importance of practical experience. After great scrutiny of my academic credentials and aptitude, I was accepted as an Intern at Reliance Communications, India’s largest CDMA operator. Here, I was part of the Operations and Management (O & M) Team wherein I interacted with engineers from Lucent Technology about specific issues concerning Optimization and Management of CDMA Networks. This inspired me to do a project on one type of Optimization – In Building Solutions. The project aimed at achieving optimal signal levels in coverage deficient areas within a multi-storey building. After 3 months of rigorous planning and testing, the system is now fully functional and is serving more than 2000 customers a day. The assignment instilled a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in me. It helped me realize that improvisation, systematic work, patience and perseverance are the hallmarks of a good researcher.

It was during my stint at Reliance, that I was introduced to the inherent potency of Fiber Optics and Optical Networking. With additional background study, I have come to realize that this technology, which is already a key component of most communication networks, is here to revolutionize communications. I really cherish the unforgettable experience I had when I worked on Characterization and Simulation studies on Optical Components and Network Elements at Andromeda Communications Pvt. Ltd. I am now certain that I want to pursue a career researching the Fiber Optics & Optical Communications field. Accordingly, I have been attending special lectures and seminars on ‘The emerging trends in Optical Communication’ conducted by my project advisor, Dr.V.Nagarajan. Furthermore, the ‘Optical Communications’ course in my present semester is helping me to learn the basics of this field. The reading that I am doing beyond the purview of my syllabus has increased my enthusiasm for this subject in leaps and bounds and has spurred me on to do a project in the same.

Currently, I am working on a research project – ‘IP Over WDM’. In this project, our team is trying to directly interface WDM with IP after eliminating the intermediate layers like SDH/SONET and ATM. The solution proposed is to incorporate one or more advantages of these eliminated layers into the IP protocol itself by making use of WDM Technology. The project has taken me a step closer to realizing my ambition of working on the latest technology in Optical Communication. I strongly believe that different applications should harness the explosive capacity of this technology to their advantage.

I hope to further my research in Optical Communications by pursuing an M.S. Degree in Optics in your prestigious institution. I chose this university because I find that it not only has the entire infrastructure one needs for research, but also is a very reputed place of learning for this specialization. I am confident that with my high interest levels in the subject, I will be able to significantly contribute to the ongoing research at the Institute of Optics. I hereby request you to consider me for admission into the M.S. program and I look forward to being associated with The University of Rochester. I will indeed deem it a special privilege to be a part of it.

21 October 2008

Sample SOP

Sample SOP---check out!

Sample 1#

The urge to achieve and prove myself among the greats in the history of science has been my ambition from the days I was first introduced to the captivating concepts of science and engineering. The mental ability to approach a problem with the right blend of logic and reasoning has supported me in inching towards my goal. As a first step out of school I decided to take up engineering, the only field that requires comprehensive understanding of the basics of science and the flair to exploit the fascinating field of Mathematics.

The computer was the next important milestone and, as a person with the penchant towards logical reasoning, was attracted towards it. High school introduced me to the high level languages like C and C++ that made me use the computer the way I wanted it. I underwent courses to master software languages like C, C++, Java and the entire Visual Studio. The Certificates of Excellence from NIIT Ltd., an official partner of Microsoft in India speak for my performances under their guidance. My ability to work as team and as an individual was enhanced by the projects like the Inventory Control System and the Online banking System (Modules) that I had to venture upon. I put my knowledge of these programming techniques to realize a simple game called the “Cows and Bulls” implementing some basics of Artificial Intelligence. System Programming was my immediate focus and for this I needed to understand the electronics behind the computer. My Bachelor’s degree program on Electronics and Communication Engineering endowed me with that knowledge .I assembled a computer at home to assist me in digitized computing and system design. I also volunteered for extensive 30 day training under the service Engineers of Allegro Systems and Software (P) Limited in troubleshooting hardware and software conflicts in the systems that their clients were complaining of.

Technology was changing and I had to be in constant touch with it. Digitized computing was the field I was engrossed into once I understood the Engineering approach to Electromagnetic Theory and the Signal Processing tools. Courses in the undergraduate program like Numerical methods, Operation Research, Signals and Systems, Digital Signal Processing and Electromagnetic theory for communication, laid the foundation for my project. The reinforced enthusiasm has taken me into a project on Data Communication using the techniques of Signal Processing. I am working on an algorithm that represents video signals using the least amount of space.

The principles that I learnt in the various undergraduate courses have kindled me to produce an enhanced version of the existing ones and to my misfortune I find that such an extension has already been implemented. This instigates me to learn more in an exhaustive and systematic manner of the existing technology and its limitations. A Master’s Degree with the Thesis Option leading to a PhD would definitely be the next opportunity knocking my doors.

My ability to comprehend technology without external guidance has often projected me as a potential asset to my college. My participation in the national level seminars and conferences has been commended by the faculty members. It is with the all their best wishes that I am encouraged to pursue higher education. The engineering courses that I underwent have imbibed my aptitude to make things work and has appended to my attentive and observant elegance. As an engineer, I learnt the techniques of performing tasks in the most simple, uncomplicated and economical way. The deft character that I demonstrated in experimenting in the laboratory at the undergraduate level has been rewarded and has increased my predilection to my research objective.

Academics on one side, I have been shouldering responsibility right from the age of 14 as the unopposed leader of the class and in college as an organizer of the Symposium Committee and the active member of the Students Association. The college and the department of Electronics and Communication entrusted me with the job of editing the yearly magazine in the second year of study and my efficacy and creativity impressed one and all in the department to delegate me with the job for the next two years. My technical contributions apart from the job of anchoring have received worthy commendations as well. The Master’s degree offered by your university aims to promote most my interests and more importantly is a giant leap towards my research objectives.

The project that I was involved induced me to approach various aspects of signal processing and I learnt that signal processing involved a plethora of sciences and mathematics and every principle and tool that I came across fueled my journey towards the ambition. The various algorithms and schemes encouraged me to think a few steps ahead. The field of Electromagnetism that involves the processing of signals was one abstract subject to which I was enslaved. My undergraduate performance in that course is exemplary and stands foremost in the universities’ records. As my quest to learn more and innovate is still unabated, I would like to take up the Engineering Electro sciences as my major with the signal processing concepts supporting it.

After having gone through the web pages of the Iowa State University and its Electrical Engineering department I have decided that your university is my next step towards my decade old desire. The erudite faculty that the institution boasts of and the much-sought after infrastructure along with the academic ambience have allured me to pursue higher education. I am sure that all these factors will facilitate the realization of my research aspirations. Hoping for an encouraging and prosperous future at the university, I take this opportunity to thank the University faculty for their patient perusal of my application.

12 October 2008

State ur purpose!!

SOP---it’s just a journey towards your goal!!

Before you start with your sops try visualizing where u wish to go and what all you want to achieve in your life by pursuing the graduation. After that give thought on where you are currently standing in the journey towards your goal and how much distance you have traveled so far. You will definitely understand the distance you need to travel in order accomplish your goal… Jus jot down the actions required to accomplish….TATS YOUR SOP!!!Cakewalk!!