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Statement of Purpose Critique

  1. Oct 28, 2014 #1
    Good morning! Can someone help me critique my Statement of Purpose? Here's my first attempt:
    (On a side note, should I put in that I taught myself C++ in this paper?)




    Statement of Purpose


    In short, my purpose is study at XXX to obtain a Ph.D. in Physics to facilitate a career as Experimentalist. In long, I have a strong interest in Electrodynamics and Magnetic fields, as well as affections for Quantum Mechanics, Nuclear Physics, and Particle Physics. XXX’s experimental research plays heavily into those fields and would be a good match for me. At the same time, I’m a good match for XXX.


    At XXX I’ll be performing quality research. I enjoyed the hands-on labs and Undergraduate Research Experience at XXX and I always had the tenacity to follow through with my projects. For example, my Undergraduate Research Experience during my Junior year: I was tasked with creating ISAM (Ionically Self-Assembled Monolayer) Films on glass slides, and then developing patterns of Gold Nano-particles on them through a process of Metal-Deposition and acid etching. It was quite fun, except the films weren’t developing reliably. The semester ended and I, unsatisfied with the results, continued my research unofficially with my professor’s blessing during the summer months to determine the cause of the failures. I’ve always had that tenacity with problems where once I’m presented with a problem, whether it’s paper or physical, I can’t rest at peace until I’ve solved it.


    I also love helping other people solve problems. I participated in SPS Outreach and study groups. I enjoyed showing Physics demonstrations to kids of all ages around XXX while helping my peers in our SPS study groups at home. Helping others understand Math and Physics is something I truly enjoy, which is why I’m looking forward to the Teaching Assistant requirements of graduate school. I have plenty of experience explaining concepts and math work to others, as well as performing professional work.


    I currently am not enrolled in school, I graduated in 2013. I wanted to work in industry for a year or two before deciding on graduate school in order to round myself and confirm my convictions. I currently am an Environmental Test Technician at BAE systems and I perform stress tests on classified electronic equipment for our nation’s military air-craft. It’s a demanding, rigorous job that requires precise documentation and strict adherence to test procedure in order to maintain our reputability and safety for our soldiers. This job speaks volumes about my professionalism and trust worthiness and overlaps with experimental research in that it demands responsible test documentation and the ability to perform tests.


    I have a demonstrated ability to work and operate equipment, a natural propensity towards teaching, and a tenacity with Physics that compels me to seek the truth. My purpose is to study Physics at XXX, and I would like to do it as an experimentalist. I’m particularly interested in XXX and Dr. XXX groups since they involve Electromagnetic research. I hope to hear back from XXX soon.




    Sincerely,


    XXXXX



    So, what do you guys think? I know it's not the best.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2014 #2
    Okay, I've got some advice and rewrote it a bit: Here's my newest draft:

    Statement of Purpose

    I’m applying to the Physics program XXX to facilitate a career as Experimental Physicist. I have a strong interest in Electrodynamics and Magnetic fields. XXX’s experimental research plays heavily into those fields and would be a good match for me. At the same time, I’m a good match for XXX do to my experience and tenacity with research, my desire to be a Teaching Assistant, and my professionalism.

    At XXX I’ll be performing quality research. I enjoyed the hands-on labs and Undergraduate Research Experience at XXX where I excelled in tenacity and spirit. For example, for my Undergraduate Research Experience I was tasked with creating ISAM (Ionically Self-Assembled Monolayer) Films on glass slides and then developing patterns of Gold Nano-particles on them through a process of Metal-Deposition and acid etching. It was quite fun, but the research ran into a hurdle when most the films refused to develop properly. When the semester ended I was unsatisfied with the results, so, with my professor’s blessing, I continued my research unofficially during the summer months to determine the cause of the failures. I’ve always had that tenacity with projects: once I’m presented with a problem, whether it’s a math problem or developing films, I can’t rest at peace until I’ve solved it.

    I also love helping other people solve problems. I participated in SPS Outreach and study groups. I enjoyed showing Physics demonstrations to kids of all ages around XXX while helping my peers in our SPS study group. We’d come back from class and go over what we learned together, and I was always one of the ones to offer help when needed. Helping others understand Math and Physics is something I truly enjoy, which is why I’m looking forward to the Teaching Assistant requirements of graduate school.

    I graduated in 2013 and have been working in industry as an Environmental Test Technician at XXX. I perform stress tests on classified electronic equipment for our nation’s military air-craft. It’s a demanding, rigorous job that requires precise documentation and strict adherence to test procedure in order to maintain our reputability and safety for our soldiers. The ability to operate multimillion dollar equipment and specimens worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and to run a multitude of tests to validate product will be a valuable asset in performing research. To me, handling invaluable laboratory machinery and test results is a day job I’m well trained in.

    I have a demonstrated ability to work expensive laboratory tools, a natural propensity towards teaching, and drive with Physics that compels me to seek the truth. My purpose is to study Physics at XXX, and I would like to do it as an experimentalist. I’m particularly interested in Dr. XXX and Dr. XXX groups since they involve Electromagnetic research.


    Sincerely,

    XXXXX
     
  4. Oct 30, 2014 #3
    3rd version with a completely redone ending. Am I getting closer?

    Statement of Purpose


    I’m applying to the Physics program XXX in the hopes of joining either the XXX or XXX Laboratories. The XXX and XXX Labs investigate the electromagnetic properties of solids, which to me is exciting. In return, I have professional experience outside of college in a testing environment and the ability to teach undergraduates.


    I enjoyed the hands-on labs and Undergraduate Research Experience at XXX where I was the one to go in during off hours to finish and perfect work. For example, for my Undergraduate Research Experience I was tasked with creating ISAM (Ionically Self-Assembled Monolayer) Films on glass slides and then developing patterns of Gold Nano-particles on them through a process of Metal-Deposition and acid etching. It was quite fun, but the research ran into a hurdle when most the films refused to develop properly. When the semester ended I was unsatisfied with the results, so, with my professor’s blessing, I continued my research unofficially during the summer months to determine the cause of the failures. I’ve always had that tenacity with projects: once I’m presented with a problem, whether it’s a math problem or developing films, I can’t rest at peace until I’ve solved it.


    I also love helping other people solve problems. I participated in SPS (Society of Physics Students) Outreach and study groups. I enjoyed showing Physics demonstrations to kids of all ages around XXX while helping my peers in our SPS study group. We’d come back from class and go over what we learned together, and I was always one of the ones to offer help when needed. Helping others understand Math and Physics is something I truly enjoy, which is why I’m looking forward to the Teaching Assistant requirements of graduate school.


    I graduated in 2013 and have been working in industry as an Environmental Test Technician at XXX. I perform stress tests on classified electronic equipment for our nation’s military air-craft. It’s a demanding, rigorous job that requires precise documentation and strict adherence to test procedure in order to maintain our reputability and safety for our soldiers. The ability to operate multimillion dollar equipment and specimens worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and to run a multitude of tests to validate product will be a valuable asset in performing research. To me, handling invaluable laboratory machinery and test results is a day job I’m well trained in.


    To me, the best parts of my undergraduate studies were E&M and laboratories. Solving Laplace’s e equation in three dimensions and finding boundary conditions was entertaining to me; Griffith’s “Introduction to Electrodynamics” is my favorite textbook by a mile. And preparing ISAM films, soldering circuits, metal disposition, and all things technical were fascinating and made me giddy. XXX has a plethora of research options that fit into all of that and I would love to see you next fall.




    Sincerely,


    XXXXX
     
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