It can get quite overwhelming making an application for a postgraduate degree. Besides the CV, transcripts and recommendation letters, you will require a personal statement. What I’ve learned is that a personal statement is an invitation for the selection committee to get to know who you are and what your goals are. Using a personal checklist could help to keep track of all the information you want to convey without leaving any important information out.
Here are some of my thoughts on what a good personal statement checklist should entail. Feel free to add on, your experience could genuinely be of help to someone who needs it.
1. Why do you want to pursue a Masters degree?
Introduce yourself, education and professional background, your career goals and Indicate the benefits of the course to your career at the moment and prospective future.
2. Reasons for this particular university?
Flatter them, indicate clearly why you believe the particular university suits you and why you suit them. Read about the university, faculties and professors and you could even mention a professor that you are keen on working with or a program within the uni outside classes that makes them standout. You could also refer to the percentage of students within the universitythat are hired after graduation or continue to do research in global scale that makes them interesting.
3. Why this topic/area of research?
If there is a particular area that you have already identified link it to number 1 and emphasize the importance to your goals.
4. Previous academic practical experience?
If it is a research university, they will be keen on any previous experience professional or academic that gives you some knowledge of what research entails. You can discuss your undergraduate project or any otherfellowships/research/design projects that you’ve worked on
5. Skills you have that can help you succeed in research area?
You could include academic skills, personal skills and work experience.
All in all, this entire personal statement is about you and how you sell yourself as the best candidate to join the university. So don’t sell yourself short and do your research! It’ll help to know more about the university as you apply.
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