Statement of interest graduate school: How to write an effective statement of interest?

Statement of interest graduate school: How to write an effective statement of interest?


Hi everyone. My name is Rodolphe Devillers, I’m graduate officer at the Department of Geography at Memorial University. As a
grad officer one of my duties is to lead a committee that reviews application
from candidates like you that want to join our grad program. One of the
elements you will have to submit when applying to grad school is called a
statement of interest. Depending on the grad school this is sometimes called
statement of purpose, statement of intent, research statement and so on. In short, a
statement of interest is a text that explains why you are applying to this
specific program and what makes you a good candidate for it. It can capture
information about your past experiences like earlier studies, maybe past
employment related to this field, publications you authored related to the
program, extracurricular activities of interest, etc. It should also capture
information about your interest in this field maybe even how the program will
help you reach your career goals. Don’t be afraid to be specific when discussing
some of those points. Writing this text is probably the most challenging part of
your application. So here are three tips to help you write this text and submit a
stronger application. First, customize your statement to this specific
application. Many of you will apply to many graduate programs, that’s fine you
have to find a program that meets your needs. Submitting an application to grad
school can be very easy, yes? Few clicks on the website, copy pasting some text,
uploading documents and done. Mistake. Probably the most classic mistake
actually. Resist the temptation to recycle too much material from a
statement of interest from one application to another. Each statement
should be carefully crafted for each specific application. People reviewing
your application will be interested in knowing why you’re interested in this
specific program or this specific university. This requires you to
understand the details of the program and university. So do your homework, look
at the program website to get some details about courses, instructors, look at the details on the university and maybe this program is
unique in its focus or structure, maybe the program offers courses more relevant
than other similar programs, maybe it allows you to access specific resources
or equipment, maybe student that graduated from this program have
carriers you’re interested in or maybe the ability to work with specific
professors on specific project is what draws you to this program.
Be specific don’t be afraid to say you’re interested in working on this sub
discipline or with Professor X, no not Professor Xavier from X-men
unfortunately. Second, write a statement as Goldilocks would! Do you know
Goldilocks? The blonde girl that enters a house of three bears in the forest. If
you don’t know the story, I let you google it. Well, Goldilocks likes what is just right. She likes a chair not too big, not too small
a bed not too soft not too hard and this is exactly how your statement should be, just right. In terms of length for instance, don’t make it too short or too
long unless required by a specific program aim for something around six
hundred to a thousand words. A shorter statement may not allow you to express
many ideas, but a longer statement may lose the attention of your reader and go
in unnecessary details. Same thing for the level of detail about your specific
interest it has to be just right. Avoid vague statement like, I want to
apply to your program do it too it’s very good reputation or I want to find a
program that can challenge me intellectually, this may be true but it
doesn’t really explain why you want to apply to this specific program or how
this will help you meet longer career goals. A statement to vague can suggest a lack of focus but being too specific and also in some cases be an issue. Let’s say
for instance, you only want to work on a very specific research project, people
reviewing it could think this program is not the best fit for that or that nobody
is currently available to supervise you on this. So show focus but also some
flexibility. Also, if you’re applying to a program with a research project, please
do not use this space to copy/paste your 20-page research proposal.
Summarize your key points here. Generally try to find the right balance between
the two general and the two specific. Third, check your writing. Of course I
assume you will put your best effort in writing this text. You think the
committee will only read your text to understand your motivation, big mistake.
Here is a little secret for you. This text is also seen as a sample of your
writing skills and writing skills are really important at the graduate level.
So did you forget that you few typos in your text or your sentence clear, is your
grammar correct or your arguments will organize in the text all of those things
are important. A poorly written text can really decrease your chances of being
admitted even if the rest of your file is very strong. So write your text
carefully, proof it and get other people to review it before you submit your
application. That’s it! If you follow those simple tips you will already be
ahead of many other candidates. Good luck with your application and I look forward
to maybe meeting you in person on the Memorial campus in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *