Reading examples of personal statements can be valuable when applying to a university or college course.
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 with so many university personal statement examples available, how do you know if you’re reading a good one?
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 Computer Science clearly illustrates these three critical elements.
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’ll be able to download a pdf of the whole document, to use as inspiration for your own!
Postgraduate Personal Statement Example: Computer Science
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“An open-day event at the Parkland Branch of LJA heightened my perception of the value and impact of computer technology on Slater Accounting Firm, LJA capitalised on digital accounts and a bespoke online system to finalise their auditing. This approach demonstrated higher efficiency and lower error rates than traditional paper-based processes. Having witnessed the growing trend of audit automation, my next internship at the Buckley Construction Bank allowed me to interact with AI Middle Office and gave me a first-hand opportunity to understand artificial intelligence’s integration into the banking industry. Given AI Middle Office’s facilitation of financial product innovation and cost reduction, I now recognise the need to deepen my understanding of mathematics, especially probability theory. This realisation piqued my interest in the connections between computer science and finance application development, inspiring me to design financial software which enhances staff and customer productivity. These experiences have combined to motivate my application for this MSc in Computer Science (Conversion).
Globalisation increasingly requires professionals across a range of industries to develop a basic understanding of the discipline of computer science, and I am increasingly aware of my need to build a portfolio of technical skills in this arena. For instance, analysing a large number of stocks is more likely to be undertaken in R or Python, and the more one knows about relevant software packages, the more successful one is likely to be in developing effective investment apps or bots. Ultimately, I am committed to using coding to improve efficiency and optimise my time, allowing me to undertake further profitable and creative endeavours.”
Commentary and Analysis
The writer has skillfully woven a balance of elements together in this introduction. By using a range of technical and experiential examples, they show a depth of knowledge and understanding of the sector in which they are pursuing a career. This clearly indicates a connection and understanding of the field and a highly capable skill level. It also shows that they have first-hand experience in the sector, makes the connection with skills that are directly relevant to their postgraduate course and illustrates their suitability as a candidate well.
The second paragraph summarises the industry and focus area that the writer is interested in and shows self-knowledge in terms of current weaknesses or deficiencies in knowledge. This is particularly relevant as it is written in such as way as to make the writer’s interest in the course and the relevancy to their carer plan extremely clear.
When admissions readers can see the link between what the course offers and what a suitably qualified candidate requires, they are far more likely to make an offer.
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
These accomplishments have encouraged my constant exploration of programming and software development and thoroughly prepared me for the challenges of graduate study. To update my understanding of the real-world application of computer science, I participated in a software development project focusing on intelligent analysis, evaluation and employee validation led by Professor Marks at the Western University of Mining and Technology. I created a knowledge base that recognised numerous work roles and responsibilities. As an independent learner, I gained an increased understanding of machine learning, algorithmic optimisation and evaluative methodologies during this process. Furthermore, processing significant volumes of data via Access and Excel throughout this project strengthened my database creation capabilities.”
Commentary and Analysis
The first paragraph above makes an excellent reference to the range of skills and knowledge the writer possesses. It isn’t always made explicitly relevant to the course, and it would be more effective to make some direct links with exactly how this would be of value to this postgraduate qualification, but the connections are implicit and impressive.
The writer then goes on to further emphasise their suitability for the course by including essential references to research and independent learning. By mentioning a specific study and supervisor, the personal statement is given some depth and detail, and the aspects discussed show a depth and range of knowledge applicable to the course. The writer also talks about the value of what was studied – the benefit of what they’ve learned – in addition to the objective skills developed.
If I were to be critical, it’s worth mentioning that this reads a little like a list, and just doesn’t explicitly justify why these skills and experiences make them a suitable candidate.
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: Practical Experience 1
“Benefiting from my programming and data processing experience, I gained industry experience in real estate valuation during my internship at the Maxim Real Estate Development Co. I carried out initial modelling using Excel, but adding an increasingly complex array of formulas made the process inefficient and cumbersome. To overcome this obstacle, I created a model in Python, which allowed me to complete the valuation by inputting code directly into the model, streamlining my process. I have cultivated my automation mindset by writing a script to deliver charts and tables to fixed positions when creating PowerPoint slides and automatically managing quarterly financial statements. These challenges improved my computing competence and prompted me to reflect on the advantages of utilising coding and programming in the financial industry. Importantly, I realised that expertise in computer science improves efficiency across an array of diverse disciplines, furthering my determination to study Computer Science at graduate level and develop my professional versatility and employability as a result.”
Commentary and Analysis
A relatively descriptive and straightforward paragraph, but positive and relevant in content. It’s critical to discuss relevant employment or internship experiences and to identify relevant skills gained, which this writer does well.
They mention a good range of skills, both technical and transferable, and show a positive approach to the application of knowledge in real-world settings, which is important in a postgraduate statement.
The writer illustrates how they overcame challenges, and this is a valuable technique as it shows they have dynamic and problem-solving skills. It also provides evidence of success within a relevant activity, encouraging the reader to view the applicant in a positive light.
The final section links the applicant’s experience with the motivation for further study and professional ambitions, which allows the reader to see the application as one element in a strategic journey. This gives them the confidence that the applicant has made the right decision in their application and makes it more likely that the reader will make an offer, as they can see the logical progression from the past through the present and into the future.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Connection To The Course
“I envision contributing to a revolutionary internet-enabled society in which each element is connected to a highly intelligent cloud. The enriched research outputs and top-rated teaching quality of Computer Science at Marshall University will help me achieve my personal and professional ambitions. I look forward to engaging in the Introduction to Computer Science course, which will provide me with interdisciplinary insights into computer science in business and facilitate my exploration of the future possibilities and challenges enabled by the development of technology in the broader economic context. With the business knowledge from my past studies, I will take a step further toward my career goals by combining business and computer development in this course. In addition, courses such as Programming in C and Object-Oriented Programming with Java will enable me to refine my programming techniques.”
Commentary and Analysis:
The writer makes a bold, relevant and realistic claim here in terms of their ambitions. What makes this effective is that they have also linked this ambition very clearly to the course they are applying for.
They then evidence that they have a sound understanding of the course they are applying for, which is a critically important aspect of any postgraduate application. When the reader sees that the applicant has a thorough understanding of the course and that their ambitions connect precisely with the modules on offer.
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
“Gaining a full-scale software development skillset and a comprehensive understanding of computer applications relating to accounting and banking industries in this MSc programme is an ideal next step for me. My advanced knowledge of mathematics will facilitate my implementation of a standard set of algorithms and allow me to develop a high-performance application that combines my knowledge of business and computing in original and profitable ways. Ultimately, I aim to apply the knowledge gained from my graduate studies within the sphere of financial software innovation, improving efficiency and customer experience. I am confident that my experience and background will allow me to meet the challenges of Marshall’s programme and maximise the potential of my master’s studies. I look forward to playing a positive role as an engaged member of your faculty.”
Commentary and Analysis
The writer eloquently outlines their motivations for further study, in a way that shows an increasingly comprehensive understanding of the skills and experiences they need to develop. They also confidently outline their abilities and illustrate convincingly that they are a suitable candidate. This is sometimes lacking in personal statements, as applicants find it hard to write about themselves confidently without sounding boastful. It’s critical that you do this, however, as by outlining your relevant achievements in a clear and objective way, you add to your suitability.
The writer then outlines a personal connection with the course and mentions the value that they would bring to the faculty. This is important, as universities are looking for students who bring individuality, purpose and value to their organisation.
This is a strong personal statement that outlines skills and experiences in a relevant way. I would suggest that there could be more technical content and greater evidence of academic research to add to their suitability as a postgraduate student.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.
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