What is a Statement of Purpose?
A Statement of Purpose (SOP) also known as a research statement is a short essay that prospective students write while applying to a respective university. This essay talks about your interests, professional achievements, ambitions and the driving force behind pursuing a program from that particular university. The essay is usually about a page long and is about 800-1000 words long.
The SOP is used by the admission panel, alongside your academic profiles to decide if you should be selected for a degree course. Therefore it can be considered as the decision maker of your application. A well written SOP will help the admission committee evaluate your subject knowledge, vision and career goals, hence painting your overall personality for the universities.
It is an opportunity to highlight your purpose for the particular program and why they should consider you over other applicants. A well written SOP can highlight your thoughts using your writing skills. It can also compensate for your weak academic scores. This is the reason why the SOP can either make or break your chances at an acceptance letter.
This blog provides you with a few tips to an exceptionally well written SOP along with a sample SOP. Read On!
1. Impactful Introduction and Relevant Conclusion
Start your essay with an impactful paragraph and a relevant conclusion. An introduction to your essay will highlight the content of your essay. A reader reads ten thousand essays every season. Therefore, he might not be motivated to read yet another essay. Therefore, to make your essay stand out amongst other applicants write an exceptionally well introduction paragraph.
Similarly end your essay with a powerful paragraph. Write how you plan to put your degree to use. Mention your professional aims and how this program will add value to your skills.
2. Mention your academic profiles
In case you are applying for your Masters or higher courses, write about your academic profiles, your achievements and your future goals. These factors will determine your passion for the Masters program, giving them enough reason to select you. A clear connection between your goals and interests will be a cherry on top.
3. Mention your future contribution
Talk about how the preferred program can contribute to the university in terms of research and further development thereby, adding value to your professional life.
4. Write in Active Voice
Write your essay in the active voice and make sure your essay reflects your determined mindset and passion. Add quotes and relevant examples to convey your direct statements.
Following is a sample SOP for an MBA applicant. Please go through it to get an idea of drafting an SOP in any academic field.
During my early teens, once I happened to come across the cliche: ‘Sky’s the limit in Marketing’. While nurturing my passion to integrate myself into the international business space all these years, I have realized the reality behind this belief. Having completed my BBA course, I have witnessed international business paradigms evolve over the years. Over the last couple of decades, digitization has led to a massive shift in marketing tactics and principles. Competitive firms look forward to expanding their ventures beyond demographics. Reaching out to a global audience remains a top priority for these firms. I would like to delve deeper into business administration and complete my MBA in Marketing from one of the leading universities in the UK. The reason is, the UK is one of the commercially refined nations, and the courses are perfectly in sync with the industry. The University of Sunderland offers this program to international students, and I have decided to pursue this course from this institution. A berth in your esteemed university would mould my career in the desired way.-
Often, during my leisure hours, I scan through the archives to gain insights about the profiles of successful entrepreneurs and marketers. As an individual, I am self-motivated and goal-oriented. Academically, my performance has displayed consistency all these years. In 2015, I cleared my Secondary Examinations under the CBSE Board, aggregating 96.2%. Next, I bagged 93% marks in my Higher Secondary Examinations in 2017, under the CBSE Board. After this, I decided to pursue BBA, as I realized my managerial and leadership traits. Eventually, I got myself admitted to Amity University, Noida, to pursue this course. The last three years have been a valuable learning phase for me. I am in the last semester, and have maintained a CGPA of 8.98 till now.
I have been a quick learner, being methodical in the process of acquiring knowledge. The best skills in individuals, I believe, find its manifestation in the practical ground. I have been successful in meeting strict deadlines during academic projects, while focusing on my goals. My interpersonal skills and go-getter nature further complement my efforts to scale higher into the industry. Being disciplined and diligent, I have made the most from the opportunities to acquire practical skills during my BBA course. Aligning my past experiences and skills with the ones I am going to acquire, I look forward to streamlining my profile.
My graduation years exposed me to several modules, which are likely to be relevant to the new course. My approach to knowledge acquisition involves nurturing excellence through practice. Being dynamic in my operational processes, particularly during my internship, I have gained skills outside my academics too. At the same time, I have been an active participant in sports activities. In 2018 and 2019, I bagged the first prizes in chess and badminton, respectively in our college competitions.
My internship at Simpler Technologies during June-July 2019 was a happening period during my graduation. This was the first industry exposure I experienced, imbibing first-hand knowledge in marketing. As a marketing executive, I was responsible for managing the customers. The company also entrusted me with the responsibility of assisting their clients to repay their card bills. In the process, I was able to work on my organizational and communication skills too. All these experiences helped me strengthen my core traits as well as soft skills. In January 2020, I have published a paper, titled ‘Evolution of Customer Behaviour in the digitized age’, with special focus on international business. During my college days, I also participated in several workshops and seminars that strengthened my profile. I would mention a 2-day workshop on personal effectiveness and GST, which bolstered my core traits
Through campus placements, I have received the opportunity to join a company called Intugine, Hyderabad as a marketing executive. Realizing that my interest lies in marketing, particularly in the international context, I have decided to go for further specialization. Presently, global firms are facing the heat of competing in a digitized space. Apart from retaining their established customer bases, they need to expand their shores. Besides, the overall process of branding, advertising and marketing have undergone massive changes over the last few decades. I would like to embrace a career in marketing, where I can remain within the learning loop in the coming years. I fancy myself walking in the shoes of a marketing or sales head in one of the progressive companies in India. It would be quite interesting to determine fresh opportunities for my organization after assessing the same.
The University of Sunderland would be the right choice for me, given that the institution has got an established track record of success. The MBA course in Marketing comprehensively encompasses all the modules I am willing to study. These include strategy development, branding, integrating digital tools in marketing and much more. This is an important juncture of my life, as I ascend towards greater professional goals. On returning to India, I will be able to capitalize on the fast digitizing market and the progressive economy. As a part of this course, I will specialize in domains like new product development, product positioning, reputation management in companies and remodeling products. The sophisticated educational ambience in your university will streamline my professional profile significantly.
The UK continues to be one of the most sought academic destinations across the world. I will immensely benefit from its industry-oriented programs, which are relevant in the present age. The learning outcome for aspirants is productive indeed. I would also grow my leadership and managerial skills, broadening my profile further. Considering the effecting knowledge acquisition process and seamless learning mechanism in your university, I want to pursue the program from this institution. The course will significantly leverage my professional profile and propel me closer towards my career. I promise to respect all the norms of your organization and deliver my best during the academic course.
My professional interests lie in India, and I would return to my homeland on completing this program. I have some of the leading companies on my radar. These include the Tata Group, BHEL, and Larsen and Toubro, besides others. I would like to be a part of the progressive environment for learning in your institution. I promise to give my best output and study with diligence, once I am selected as a candidate for the mentioned course.
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