Hello forum, I am posting the rough draft of my Statement of Purpose that I will be submitting to Southern California Universities. I am applying for a Master's in Electrical Engineering. Ideally, I would like feedback from some of you who have already gone through this process and know what works and what doesn't. Please be brutally honest. Any help is appreciated! Thanks so much. I have blanked out people's names to protect them. This particular version will be included in my application to the University of California, Irvine. For the sake of answering each part of the prompt, I broke the statement into several sections to address each topic. PROMPT - In an essay, please describe your aptitude and motivation for graduate study in your area of specialization, including your preparation for this field of study, your academic plans or research interests and experience in your chosen area of study, and your future career goals. Please be specific about why UC Irvine would be a good intellectual fit for you. Introduction and Opening Statement: I, _________, am applying for a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering (EE) with a concentration in Analog/Mixed-Signal IC Design. I hope to achieve this long-anticipated goal of receiving my Masters and soon after beginning a career in the space exploration industry as an electrical engineer. The electrical engineering program offered by UCI uniquely exhibits my interests of circuit design within the EE field; specifically in the design and fabrication of micro and nano devices. Of the graduate programs to which I am applying for, I hold UCI’s in the highest regard for a multitude of reasons. During the summer of 2008, I had the privilege of conducting research in the laboratory of __________ in the department of medicine. I worked forty hours a week for two and a half months in the lab through the Bridges to Baccalaureate program; I had a sufficient amount of time to experience what the university had to offer. The student body of UCI is perfectly diverse, while the individuals that make up that body are all striving towards the same goals. The diversity of the university creates an atmosphere with many different perspectives, which encourages a broader scope of learning. Being a part of this unique learning environment, I know that I would take away much more just a classroom education. Also, the focus of the UC system on research forms the consummate environment to foster my growth as a scientific professional. With a Master’s in electrical engineering from UCI, I will have supreme confidence in my skills and knowledge to contribute to and positively impact the field of space exploration. Aptitude: Being a Biophysics major, I was required to take over 60 units of physics curricula. This included courses in electricity and magnetism, quantum physics, and calculus classes such as differential equations. Among the broad range of subjects I studied at UCLA, I excelled in quantum mechanics and electricity and magnetism. By nature, the field of physics demands strong critical thinking in order to solve complex problems. This is a skill that I have built through countless math and physics homework sets, labs, and projects. Solving both simple and complex circuit problems requires this skill specifically. As an undergraduate student I also developed strong problem solving skills by constantly working through endless repetitions of math and physics problems. Having a strong background in math, together with an intuition for physics, forms a stable foundation for an electrical engineer. Understanding how to program in Matlab will also aid me in graduate school, particularly at the research level where such programs are required for the analysis and modeling of data. I am certain that my physics background makes me an ideal candidate for an electrical engineering graduate student. Motivation: By becoming an electrical engineer I hope to achieve two important goals, financial independence/stability, and to satisfy my genuine interest of the subject. I am absolutely curious in understanding the underlying mechanisms of electricity and magnetism, and how we apply these theories to technology. The field of electrical engineering is as intriguing as it is practical. The unimaginably vast, unexplored space that surrounds our planet is the true final frontier of human exploration. Electrical engineers play one of the biggest roles in this effort; supplying society with the required technology to achieve our ambitions as explorers. There is still so much to learn in this field that the demand for electrical engineers can only grow larger. Therefore, from a financial standpoint, there is great stability in this line of careers. Preparation for this field of study: In my last year at UCLA, I was fortunate enough to join the laboratory of Dr. _______. Under professor _____’s wing, and with the guidance of several graduate students under his direction, I was able to learn much in a short amount of time. While conducting research in ______’s laboratory, I soldered my first simple circuit, learned the basics of programming in Matlab, and had a brief introduction to microcontrollers. Being a part of this laboratory was the highlight of my undergraduate experience because of the practical skills and knowledge I obtained, and also because I realized that I really enjoyed the subject of electrical engineering. Outside of academia, I have learned how to build strong interpersonal relationships. I attribute this to my involvement with the community through a nonprofit, mentorship organization which I have been a part of for 5 years. Through this org., I have come to understand how to work well in team settings. I think working well with others is crucial to growing as a student as well as an individual outside of school and the workplace. I have also assumed many leadership roles in coordinating and managing teams. I also attribute my refined ability to speak in public to this organization, of which I am currently a program coordinator for. As a coordinator, I am responsible for managing and training mentors, and facilitating events/workshops with a group of up to 50 individuals. At the conclusion of my research at UCI, I had the privilege of presenting the research that I was involved with at the SACNAS student conference in Utah. I received an award for the best poster presentation in the category of biology at this conference which hosted an exuberant 500 student poster presentations. This unique experience taught me the essentials of articulating and presenting scientific research to academic colleagues. Academic plans or research interests and experience: My research interests are imbedded deep within circuit design. As a physics student, I was fascinated with learning of all aspects of circuitry. From the physics behind individual circuit components such as inductors and capacitors, to the innumerable applications of circuits through their programming. I now hope to focus on understanding the nature of circuit design and their applications. In reviewing the research areas of UCI faculty within the EE department, I see many potential advisors for which I would like to be involved with. I am most intrigued by the research currently lead by the ______ laboratory, specifically, in the design and fabrication of micro/nano circuits and circuit components. I understand that choosing the ideal advisor in graduate studies can make all the difference in one’s experience of the program as a whole. I carefully worked through the EE faculty directory before deciding that the _______ lab would be a good fit for me. Future career goals: After attaining a Master’s in EE, I hope to work within the space industry. My interest in the fields of space science and space technology was sparked by a single astronomy course I took at a community college. My obsession with these fields has since been fostered by my own curiosity and the abundance of information on the subject that can be found on the world wide web. Above all else, I would love to work on projects directly involved in the human exploration of space. For this reason, companies such as JPL, NASA, and SpaceX would be ideal candidates. Conclusion: At this point, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my statement. I hope that you will carefully consider my application. If accepted, I look forward to all that UCI has to offer me, but also to contributing to UCI’s greatness in my own capacities.