UCAS Personal Statement
For admission to a university in England you have to fill in a form from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). They for a very reasonable fee provide all applicants to unversities and colleges in the UK with a way to apply to up to 6 universities (or multiple courses at, say 3 universities). Part of the form (apart from all the obvious details such as name and address), is half a page where you are asked to write about yourself, your interests and so on. Inevitably you have to make it sound as good as possible, as you're trying to sell yourself to the universities you're applying to...
I applied to the universities of Aston, Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, Imperial College London, and Loughborough. All for an MEng (Master of Engineering degree) in Chemical Engineering, except for Bristol where I went for an MEng in Computer Science, so this is tailored towards those courses. Anyway... Here it is. I don't guarantee that you won't get bored! ;-). (NB this was written in the summer of 1999, and is therefore not too current!).
Reasons for Course Choice
Since beginning secondary school, I've been very interested in Chemistry and Computing. Besides my normal schoolwork I've read around these two subjects. Because I am also very keen on Mathematics and Physics, I want to pursue a degree course that combines all or most of these. Both of my parents are Science/Engineering graduates and they have taught me some of the qualities needed for a degree course in this field. This has encouraged me to find out about the opportunities available.
I have applied to several firms for sponsorship while at university and during a gap year, with the intention of getting Engineering-related work experience. This would give me valuable experience for the course at university. I hope to obtain a Master of Engineering degree and become employed in research and development in the oil or food industry. Eventually, I would like to do postgraduate study, and perhaps even teach Chemistry/Engineering.
I play basketball, tennis, volleyball, and I like kayaking. By far my biggest sports interest, however, is orienteering. I've won several trophies for Andalusian and league championships, and I've helped to organise regional orienteering events. I have also designed the database system for my club. My greatest interest outside school is computing. I have done a large amount of web design. I help maintain the computer systems at my father's workplace; and I also do some part time work teaching people on a one-to-one basis how to use their computers. I like writing manuals or "notes" on things related to computers, and have published an article on web design in a small US computer magazine. I have written papers on the use of data-logging and other equipment for my school's science department. This year, I was responsible for laying out my school's entire yearbook using DTP software. Recently, I was employed developing a web site and training staff for an organisation in London.
When I have time I play the keyboard, and also do some sound engineering: I used to operate the mixing desk at my local church, as well as help at my parents' workplace, which is a professional recording studio. I enjoy teaching and have given weekly tuition in Maths and English.
I've lived in Spain for 14 years and am fluent in Spanish. In addition, my parents work with North Africans, Middle Easterners, Americans, Spaniards, Britons, and people of other nationalities. I have gained valuable experience growing up with many different cultures around me, and as a result appreciate the difficulties of cross-cultural communication. I have been part of several "King's Kids", teams which perform music and dance all over Spain. This entailed travelling away from home for 3 weeks at a time, and having to work with around 60 other people. I think that this has made me a fairly rounded person, and I therefore feel confident about "fitting in" with people from any culture.