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Chemical, Civil & Petroleum Engineering Master's Degree Statement Sample, Nigerian Applicant

My interest in energy stretches back to my early childhood. Electricity was only intermittently available in Nigeria. Electricity was something that we certainly did not take for granted, indeed I and my brothers would whoop with joy on the occasions when it flowed.  I often wondered where this power came from and why the supply was not continuous. When I was nine, I moved with my family to Brooklyn, N.Y. and I found the constant availability of power to be wonderful. I decided never to return to Nigeria but my mother had other plans and, at the age of 16, I found myself in Nigeria in a boarding school. I made the best of it, I enrolled in the Physical Science program, worked very hard, and won awards in Mathematics and Chemistry.

On graduation from high school, I was offered a place at XXXX University majoring in Chemical Engineering which was a combination of the two subjects in which I was most interested and in which I had excelled at school. My interest in the subject did wane slightly after a couple of semesters and I decided to pursue a ‘Study Abroad’ program in Alternative Energy Technology in Brazil with one of my professors from XXXX, Prof. XXXX. I am very glad that I took this decision which re-ignited my childhood interest in the provision of reliable power. I visited various energy generation sites and saw the several ways in which energy could be generated. It was a fascinating and instructive experience and I decided to pursue a further program which involved visiting Sardinia with Prof. XXXX from the Civil Engineering Department. I took a course in Resource Recovery and Waste Management abroad. I learned how locally collected waste was being collected, processed and used to provide low-cost energy.

After my time abroad, my fascination for energy was fully fired and I decided to pursue this passion academically and professionally once I had completed my undergraduate studies. I understand that, while the substitution of alternative energy sources is desirable and is being developed at an impressive pace, oil and gas will be a ‘mainstay’ in energy provision for many decades to come. Coming from an oil-rich country, I was naturally interested in the challenges relating to the extraction of these assets. I understand that these challenges include: the rapidly declining rate and low permeability of shale wells and low efficacy of traditional enhanced oil recovery methods. Clearly the recent falls and volatility in oil prices have created a pressing need to reduce costs by the employment of new technologies and improved processes. My goal is to assist in their creation and application.

I am aware of the prestigious reputation of the department and its faculty at XXXX University and the successful career outcomes of its alumni. The program is by far the ‘best fit’ to enable me to achieve my academic and professional goals and I am very excited at the possibility of joining it. I have some familiarity with the valuable research work undertaken by Drs. XXXX, XXXX, and XXXX. While I have never had the opportunity to assist with research, I greatly look forward to doing so. I feel that my role in the Army Reserve has equipped me with some of the basic skills and developed some of the attitudes and characteristics required of an effective researcher such as; clarity in expressing goals, pursuing them with determination, persistence and flexibility and collaborating with others to achieve the goals set as efficiently as possible. I am particularly interested in the possibility of assisting in a project relating to unconventional and novel means of extraction. I see this as the key to the future of the industry for the general good.

During my undergraduate studies, I completed two ‘co-ops’ (internships undertaken as part of the program). These were with Clariant, a specialty chemical company and with Bristol Myers Squibb, a pharmaceutical company. I received an excellent grounding in quality, compliance and safety planning and regulation. I learned to write SOP’s, conduct audits and acquired experience in gathering ‘quality training metrics’. This exposure led me to pursue a ‘Lean Green Belt’ certification to improve and formalize my knowledge of Quality especially in relation to the reduction of waste. With the intention of pursuing employment on an off-shore rig, I also enrolled in a Basic Off-shore Safety Induction and Emergency Training course (BOSIET), a requirement for off-shore oil and gas personnel.

I discussed my options for my third and final ‘co-op’ with the Dean.  I told him about my interest in energy and he suggested that I apply to some upstream oilfield service companies to acquire direct experience. I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to work in Coca, Ecuador for Schlumberger. My duties involved supporting Maintenance and Petroleum Engineers to prepare and install surface and ‘downhole’ equipment on rig sites. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience which totally confirmed me in my decision to pursue a Master’s in the specialty and a career in the industry. This exposure to the industry provided valuable professional experience over a period of 6 months working in the Artificial Lift Segment.

Perhaps just as importantly as professional experience, my time in Ecuador also exposed me to the demands of a life in the industry such as; living away from home for extended periods, dealing with language barriers and working to unusual and demanding schedules (20 days on and 8 days off). My Spanish was non-existent at the start of this ‘co-op’ and perhaps only marginally better by the end but it is a skill that I hope to extend as time permits. I also became aware of the need for cultural sensitivity and awareness in an industry which involves the co-operation of people from so many cultures and social backgrounds. I am a friendly and out-going person who gets on well with others, I have a well-developed sense of humor and enjoy learning about new cultures and sharing knowledge of my own and see these characteristics as real assets in the industry. I feel that my time with Schlumberger has provided an excellent grounding for the eventual pursuit of a successful career in the industry.

I believe that my background will enable me to ‘add value’ to the program. I can assure the reader that I shall apply myself with exceptional diligence and enthusiasm to it the program to enable me to acquire expert skills and knowledge in the safe and economic extraction of oil and gas.

Thank you for considering my application.

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Video Introduction, Materials Science Masters Application, Chinese

How do you think a graduate degree from MSE at XXXX will help you achieve your career goals in 5-10 years' time? (for videotaping)

Hello. My name is XXXX and I am applying for the MSE Master's Program. I have always believed that one’s academic preparation is foundational for the level of professional skill to which one aspires, especially in a highly competitive employment environment. I see the MSE Department at XXXX as the optimal springboard to propel me forward to the realization of my dreams as a materials engineer because of the vast experience of the professors in your program and the fact that you attract many of the best students in the world. I crave the interdisciplinary character of your program since it draws from a variety of fields of study. I plan to excel in more than one field, thus helping me to be competitive on the job market. In addition, the MSE Department at XXXX has strong connections with many famous companies, such as my dream company General Electric; and the XXXX alumni network is spread all over the world which could also help me find the most suitable job with the most advanced company. Earning the MS Degree at the world famous XXXX, is not only a process of learning, but also a test of my fortitude, diligence, and critical thinking skills.

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