Postgraduate Personal Statement Example: Applied Machine Learning

With so many university personal statement examples available, how do you know if you’re reading a good one?

After all, personal statement examples can teach you how to write and structure your application, and you can quickly learn how to write a personal statement by examining others.

But only if you can understand how to get value from the examples of personal statements you read.

You’re in the right place. Here’s a great example of a postgraduate personal statement, complete with my thoughts on its positive and negative elements…

Postgraduate personal statements should highlight relevant academic and practical experience, research skills and ambitions and their suitability for the course. This postgraduate personal statement example for Applied Machine Learning clearly illustrates these three critical elements.

Studying master’s degree personal statement examples can be especially valuable. They’re sometimes referred to as personal mission statements or statements of purpose, so if you’re tasked with writing a personal mission statement, the following example will work for you.

I’ve broken down this personal statement example section by section, with a commentary on each element. 

That way, you’ll see its strengths and weaknesses and get some inspiration for your own personal statement.

Once you’ve read the personal statement example and analysis, you can download a pdf of the whole document to use as inspiration for your own!

Postgraduate Personal Statement Example: Applied Machine Learning

Personal Statement Example: Introduction

“I am an Automation major at the Marshall Institute of Technology. Having developed my experience of working with machine learning systems during my undergraduate studies, the next step on my academic journey is to successfully complete an MSc in Applied Machine Learning. I am confident that I have the required knowledge, experience and skills to make the most of every opportunity offered by the course and to add value to your department.”

My Commentary and Analysis 

This is an unusual introductory style to find in a personal statement example. It’s concise and direct, which is certainly a positive, and it has a number of relevant, appropriate points which direct the reader to the suitability of the writer.

However, it is limited in its impact as it doesn’t actually contain a great deal of personal or detailed information. Nor does it have a particularly engaging ‘hook’ or central point other than to point out that the writer is already studying a related subject as an undergraduate (which you would expect to see in a postgraduate application).

The references to confidence and adding value to the faculty are very positive ones to include, and these are usually placed in the conclusion of a personal statement. However, given the brief and direct style the writer is using, they work well here, setting up the reader’s expectations in a positive way.

If you’re struggling with your personal statement introduction, check out my article on how to write perfect opening paragraphs here.

Personal Statement Example: Academic Background

“The interdisciplinary knowledge gained during both my degree studies and as a result of completing a range of co-curricular courses makes me a well-qualified and unique candidate. I have immersed myself in the mathematical curriculum, focusing specifically on Probability and Mathematical Statistics, Complex Functions and Linear Algebra. These disciplines have afforded me a deep understanding of fundamental theories in machine learning such as the Empirical Risk Minimization Principle, Principal Component Analysis and Gaussian Mixture Models, and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to further contextualise this knowledge through practical application on the MSc. I have also completed a wide range of programming and software implementation courses, including Computer Technology and Programming and C Language Programming Practice which form the foundation of contemporary industries such as autonomous driving, medicine and robotics.

Additionally, I have developed my knowledge of electronic engineering, automatic control and circuit design, and consequently gained the understanding essential for hardware application in the real world. Attending a course in Pattern Recognition, I learned statistical, intelligent and structural pattern recognition and investigated the implementation, effects and limitations of BiLSTM, TextCNN, and SWEM. This course was particularly academically demanding and is a positive example of my ability to successfully meet deadlines, research with accuracy and study independently.  I was also part of a student team working on the AI-based Medical Image Segmentation and Recognition Project. Developing GAN-based CT Image Segmentation and Recognition, our team realized automatic CT image classification and labelling of true and false lumens of the aorta based on Vox2voxGAN. 

This experience helped me to realize that AI could not only facilitate the challenges we face daily, but also save lives, as the resultant medical-aided diagnosis system has the potential to reduce mortality as a result of shortening the diagnosis delay for fast-onset diseases such as aortic dissection. Interested in testing AI concepts in a practical setting, I was aware that the Flood Fill Algorithm is considered an optimal choice for path-planning of the Maze Robot. However, my research showed that it was limited and less efficient than the Wall Follower Algorithm when tested under applied, realistic conditions. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to further test the potential of AI in a practical context on the Applied Machine Learning program.”

My Commentary and Analysis

The writer begins this next important section, which rightly focuses on academic experience and qualification, by reiterating the relevance and value of their knowledge in a confident way. They then go straight on to outline the range of their prior learning, and this is where the quality of this application begins to shine through.

The reader is immediately persuaded by the writer’s qualifications and suitability, as each element is laid out in relevant and engaging terms. 

Critically, the writer then connects the courses they have taken and their value to specific aspects of postgraduate study. This is a critical element to include. When the reader can see that the applicant understands the details of the course they are applying for and can show how their knowledge will enable them to succeed, they are far more likely to make an achievable offer. You must make sure you include links like this in your postgraduate personal statement.

In doing so, the writer skillfully shows an understanding of the industry in which their course of study sits, indicating an awareness of their longer-term plans and how the course will help them to achieve these.

The final sections above contain an outstanding level of detail that indicates a high degree of suitability for the course. The writer includes a lot of information but doesn’t just list or describe it. Instead, they focus on the benefit of the skills learned and how this level of learning enabled them to move on to greater achievements. 

There is a hint at independent study and research, which is important to include, application in real-world scenarios and again, relevant connections are made to the master’s course, further convincing the reader of the applicant’s suitability and potential.

This is an outstanding, convincing section of the applicant’s postgraduate personal statement.

If you’d like to learn more about how to structure your personal statement or statement of purpose, check out my awesome Personal Statement Template eBook here. It’s full of detailed examples of what to include!

Personal Statement Example: Research Experience

“My class at the Marshall Institute of Technology encourages top students to excel, and I ceaselessly strive to meet this expectation by pushing boundaries and challenging technological limitations. The curriculum has fine-tuned my English reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. Moreover, for the past two summers, I have participated in the Buckley Global Engagement in Academic Research Program and Slater Machine Learning Program. The Slater program exposed me to Deep Learning and Computer Vision whilst giving me a thorough grounding in Autonomous Driving. In a subsequent project, I employed multivariate normal distribution, perceptron, CNN, and Python (Tensorflow and Pytorch). The NCSU experience enables me to implement data collection, processing and visualization in Python to address practical problems. By collaborating with my teammates from around the world, my communicative and co-operative skills were strengthened, and the multicultural environment encouraged me to think critically and air my opinions courageously.”

Commentary and Analysis

Another compelling section. This time the focus is on the quality, relevancy and value of additional courses taken by the writer in preparation for further study. This allows the reader to see that the application is part of an ongoing plan, the next step in a logical progression of knowledge acquisition. 

Examples of transferable skills, collaboration and diversity are enmeshed within the academic elements, which is ideal. They add a degree of personality and purpose to what could have been a bit of an abstract personal statement. They also suggest the writer will be able to manage the interpersonal demands of university life successfully.

The final line is engaging and suggests a depth of moral purpose, academic confidence and maturity, which set this applicant apart from others.

Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!

Personal Statement Example: Motivation For Study

“I consider Gabriel University to best fit my interests and ambitions, and anticipate that the program will equip me to address the newly emerging challenges in machine learning. GU provides an inclusive, international atmosphere for free thinking and discussion, which is conducive to innovation. I am looking forward to participating in debates focusing on topics such as the impact of AI artists on the human perception of art or whether deep learning should be treated as the real direction of machine learning, considering it depends more on recent improvements to hardware than on principle innovation. Model UN discussions at high school and summer camps during college have all conveyed to me the significance of interaction with talents from diverse backgrounds in finding practical and efficient solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges, such as ethical safety, transparency and fairness, and future directions in AI. I am aware of the advantages that higher schools of science and engineering have over generalist universities, including course content, faculty members, resources, opportunities and laboratory conditions. Having worked with talented individuals several times, I know that their expertise, enthusiasm, and perseverance will motivate me to achieve results of the highest standard.”

My Commentary and Analysis: 

This is a relatively long section of the personal statement that doesn’t add a great deal of value. As such, it’s probably the weakest section of what is a strong personal statement overall. 

On a positive note, the writer outlines their reasons for applying to this particular university, and that is always a critically important element to include. They mention, in general terms, their intended contribution, their value, and the benefits of study, but it is all very vague. 

This paragraph could have been written without any knowledge of the actual course or institution, which is always a good way of evaluating whether you’re really being detailed enough in your application.

Had the writer included aspects such as specific faculty members they wanted to work with, specific societies or organizations they wanted to join or research projects they were keen to participate in, this would have been a more relevant and impactful section.

The one thing that all successful personal statements have in common is that they are concise, engaging and accurate in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Consequently, I always recommend Grammarly to my students and clients. 

It’s an outstanding tool for ensuring your personal statement is rich with detail whilst hitting those all-important word limits. Check out the free version of Grammarly here, or hit the banner for more information.

Personal Statement Example: Conclusion

“As an MSc student, my goal is to gain a richer theoretical and practical understanding of aspects of machine learning such as computer vision and multi-model information processing. Subsequently, I plan to complete a Ph.D. in order to further consolidate my knowledge framework and skills within the machine learning sector, prior to realising my career ambitions relating to autonomous driving and intelligent robotics. Machine learning is an exciting, dynamic and creative field of study, and its capacity to overcome challenges faced by our global community is significant. I am looking forward to playing my role at the forefront of this field of engineering, in a career which I know will satisfy my intellectual and academic curiosity as well as contribute to the improvement of the world in which we live.”

My Commentary and Analysis

The conclusion of a personal statement should always be looking to the future, and this is a strong example. The writer indicates their academic ambitions, and it is clear that the course they are applying for will help them achieve them.

The use of language here is also important. They start the section with the phrase, “As an MSc student, my goal is…”  By writing as though they have already achieved their next goal, they add credibility to their application and subconsciously persuade the admissions reader.

The rest of the conclusion is quite general and simply reiterates elements mentioned previously, which is a shame. Again, more focus on the specific value they might bring to the faculty or a little more focus on research plans would have left a more compelling impression. 

However, this is a very impressive, well-written and dynamic application which indicates that the writer is suitable, highly qualified and motivated. 

For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.

Click here or on the banner below to get your free download of this complete personal statement example

Whether you’re looking for personal mission statement examples or an example of personal purpose statement, I hope this personal statement example has been helpful. Above all, I wish you every success in your academic career. 

If you’d like to work with me to develop your personal statement 1:1 and write a powerful mission statement, I’d be delighted to hear from you. 

Find out about my personal statement support services by clicking here or on the image below.

Research and content verified by Personal Statement Planet.

David Hallen

I've worked in the Further Education and University Admissions sector for nearly 20 years as a teacher, department head, Head of Sixth Form, UCAS Admissions Advisor, UK Centre Lead and freelance personal statement advisor, editor and writer. And now I'm here for you...

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