Besides submitting test scores, recommendation letters, and an undergraduate transcript, one essential requirement of applying to a data science masters programme is the application essay — aka personal statement. The personal statement is where applicants need to convince the professors their ability and worth of getting selected in the master programme.
In fact, many a time, a personal statement acts as a deciding factor for getting chosen for a prestigious masters programme in the field of data science. Thus, one needs to be extremely cautious while writing a personal statement for their master’s application. Not only does it help the university authorities determine the sincere interest of the applicant to enrol for the course, but also provide a chance to the students to stand out of the crowd highlighting their skills and relevancy.
Having said that, data scientists are experts in mathematics, but writing might not always be their expertise, and a personal statement is usually longer than you think and requires to be well crafted in order to grab the attention of professors and administrators. So, if decided to pursue higher studies in the data science field and have narrowed down universities to apply, this article can help you write a winning personal statement required to apply for the data science masters’ programme.
Planning Is The Key: Highlight The Reason To Study Data Science Masters
Although it is stated as ‘personal,’ a personal statement doesn’t require applicants to share the intimate details of their life; instead, it needs to highlight the intention of the applicant for the particular master’s programme. To avoid any confusion or mistakes, the first step to write a personal statement for a data science masters programme is to brainstorm around it and plan it before actually starting to write. It is critical to make notes and use bullet points when planning, which can later be referred to while writing the personal statement. One should research thoroughly about the course requirements and the university, and prepare a list of their achievements and goals that can come handy while writing the essay.
Most universities expect their applicants to adhere to a specific word limit for the personal statement, and thus a good brainstorming will help applicants to keep their essay relevant and to the point. Planning will help in setting the context, creating a structure and forming a narrative of the piece that is critical for drafting a compelling statement.
Have A Killer Intro & A Concise Conclusion: Relevant To The Passion For The Field
An attention-grabbing intro and a hard-hitting conclusion are again critical for writing a compelling personal statement. The first paragraph can create the first impression of the applicant in front of the professors, and a sharp end will help them remember that candidate among the crowd. The readers of the personal statement are the experts from the data science industry and academics; thus, they expect the writeup to be extremely intriguing in terms of content.
Personal statements are usually lengthy but require to be extremely clear in sending out the message. Rather than starting the essay with some cliches, data science applicants should begin their personal statement highlighting their passion for the stream and their domain proficiency. And to have a definite ending, these data scientists must ensure to convey their genuine interest in pursuing the master’s programme, and how their skills are relevant to the stream.
Be A Good Story Teller: Highlight Experiences & Skill Sets
Thirdly, data science applicants must showcase their skill sets and experience in their personal statements without repeating the information that is already mentioned in their application form. And that’s why it is critical to be a good storyteller with their statement, where applicants can highlight their skills by talking about a particular data science research project that helped in solving real-life problems. One can also point out their experiences, knowledge, and quantify their expertise in the field that can help them in pursuing further studies.
The job of the personal statement is to let the administrators and professors know the abilities of the applicants to be qualified for the master’s programme. Data scientists can also mention their thesis, publications, journals or any relevant activities that can help them in getting selected. A well crafted personal statement avoids clichés, jargons, and too many details, and should be presented formally with a clear narrative.
Focus On Your Domain & The Programme
Unlike undergraduate courses, masters programmes are more specific as well as require applicants to understand the domain they are pursuing. Consequently, while writing a personal statement, one needs to sync their interest according to the requirement of the programme and emphasise on the specific skills that match the area of expertise. One can also network with relevant faculty members and seniors to get a better understanding of the requirements of the program.
Many universities are also working on several ongoing data science projects, citing one of them corresponding to the interest, can also be a great addition to the personal statement. Furthermore, applicants can also write about what inspired them to pursue this particular domain and how their work will contribute to the field. One can also share their personal experiences and how that has helped in pursuing this course.
Don’t Be Generic: Customise The Write Up For The Course
Lastly, it is critical that the essay is unique and thus requires to be customised according to the university and its requirements. Applicants don’t have to start from scratch every time they are applying to a university, but they must ensure that they still provide a unique draft personal statement to each application. Professors and administrators read thousands of personal statements in a day, and therefore to be unique, applicants cannot pick up generic content to build their essay.
Applicants can also make the personal statement unique by adding up personal experiences relevant to the field, which will not only make the read interesting but also will allow the readers to empathise with the applicant. One can also add up a few of their failures to make it sound genuine as well as relatable. Usually, masters programmes don’t conduct face to face interviews; thus, personal statement plays a vital role in the applicants’ admission process.
Other Things To Keep In Mind
- Personal statements are not university applications, so don’t be repetitive.
- Highlight why this university is the right choice for the career you are planning to pursue.
- Although it’s the life experiences one shares in their personal statements, it indeed requires to be professional and to the point.
- Avoid grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
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Sejuti currently works as Senior Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine (AIM). Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org