I am submitting an application for scholarship in my school. Please point out and check for:relevance of my essay, general organization structure, content and persuasiveness. Any comments is highly appreciated. Thank you for reading and your comments in advance.
ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL GOALS
This statement seems to have been written for me. I hail from lower middle-class family in south India where we faced severe water shortage during my school days and tap water (not suitable for drinking) lasted for only two hrs in the morning and evenings. Frankly, I would have spent more time running around the streets in the evenings looking for hand pipes than on my home work at school. This childhood experience taught me the necessity of clean water. I felt a dire need to do something that will ensure all the people in my community have access to clean drinking water. I decided to pursue a carrier in research with something related to improving water quality. I equipped myself with a BS & MS in Chemical Engineering and my thesis work focused on using white rot fungi to clean textile dye waste water. I loved working long hours in the lab performing analysis and collecting data. I realized that although after my masters I could get a job in chemical companies as process engineer, honestly, that did not match my long term perspective of working on water quality issues. I saw that in order to make a difference, I had to do in-depth research, something a PhD degree could offer. Besides, I loved the idea of getting a “Dr” before my name. The prospect was thrilling.
"We are made to persist. That's how we find out who we are"
— Tobias Wolff, Writer
Since my interest rested on water quality, when a professor at University of Hawaii offered me a PhD position to study the fate and transport of Cryptosporidium parvum (an pathogenic protozoa causing infection and sometimes death in children and old people) across tropical soils from Hawaii with full tuition waiver, I jumped on it. I realized that studying transport of pathogens like Cryptosporidium was critical in maintaining water quality, especially in developing countries like India. I could readily relate to numerous cases of deaths due to poor drinking water quality. I was exhilarated about this project and was yearning to get started ASAP; however, stepping foot on foreign land was a bit intimidating as well.
Once I landed in Hawaii, things changed. The people were really nice and friendly. I immediately started liking this place, especially the Aloha Friday’s. I realized that unlike a Masters or Bachelors, pursuing a PhD degree was different ball game. You go through this whole range of emotions throughout the year. I learnt getting along my major advisor and other committee members, simultaneously, I was reading papers, doing experiments, getting along with lab mates, attending group meeting’s, discussing my results, writing journal articles and attending conferences. Clearly, it is not a smooth ride and it was pretty hard to stay motivated all time. My sense of service to my community back in India helped me ‘press on’ during testing times.
I am feeling grateful working with world class people, best research atmosphere and state-of-the art facilities, that not many are privileged. I will try my best to use the knowledge I gain from this PhD experience to apply to solve water quality problems back in India, as a Scientist. I had to struggle for clean water during my childhood; I only wish that my children do not grow up the same way.