10 most outrageous things to write in your Statement of Purpose (SOP)

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If you are applying to grad schools for FALL 2020, you must have already started drafting your Statement of Purpose

For people living under a rock, paper, scissor, Statement of Purpose is perceived to be the MOST IMPORTANT document in your application process. Simply stated, it can make or break your application. Get you to an ‘ok’ university even if you are an unusually bright kid meant for the Ivy Leagues. In short, a great SOP is an essential component for getting you close to your dream university.

Unfortunately though, when people start drafting their story in the SOP, things are not so easy. Some of the questions that really bother them are (a) What to write? (b) How to write? (c) How much to write? (d) Is my SOP too generic? (e) Should I start with a quote of some dead guy?

At Gradsmiths, we have come across all sorts of SOP. Some good, some bad, and some very ugly. And although SOP drafting is fairly common, the people end up writing weird stuff in their Statement of Purpose. Things which make no sense. Things that make the AdCom members go….

We have compiled some of them for you. Enjoy these real gems of writing.

1. Resorting to Marvel to save the day!

Being an ardent fan of the Marvel Universe, I believe that if we have the thirst for knowledge, ability to rectify the errors and better our skillset like Ironman and if we have grit, perseverance and will to do good for the mankind like Captain America, then we can win any battle and achieve something great. I tried to follow these ideology while working on all my projects and technical papers.

2. Oh! The childhood story

During my childhood, we used to play a game, run behind a car, touch the number plate and kiss the hand; Whoever touches the fastest and the most beautiful car becomes a winner. So, running behind the most advanced car started from that phase of my life. I didn’t have any other toy than my two favorite remote-control cars which I still have. Physics became the subject of my interest and mathematics has been my favorite since my childhood, painting was my hobby. I chose Mechanical Engineering and I started enjoying it.

When I was a child I   was fascinated by bridges, tall buildings, flyovers, tunnels. Watching them made me wonder how they were constructed? Why were they so huge?  As I got the answers to these questions, my interest in civil engineering increased. This is how I decided to do my undergraduate in Civil.

90s kid give me a cheer

3. Bless you Almighty!

Few things are never planned so is life, its always hardwork, dedication and blessing of that Almighty which always lead to right path irrespective of other circumstances. Since childhood it was dream to be part of something which will change the world and help humanity for good. Science was the only field with such magic and potential.


4. The curse of the teens

In my teenage, I started working on creating my own viruses and Trojans to infiltrate the computer systems in college to do mischievous things with fellow classmates in computer labs. In high-school, I continued the same habit but this time it was to test the strength of the security systems in place. 

5. Most generic university paragraph, ever!

The all too short 4-year undergraduate program cannot truly make me master all the sophisticated computer skills to perform effective information management. I want to consolidate my academic foundation and to further improve my computer expertise so that I can become a well-trained DS specialist. Compared to advanced western countries, India falls rather behind in terms of teaching and research of DS. This is the essential reason for my application for a Master’s program at USC which enjoys an undeniable top ranking in MIS research. 

6. Start with a quote of a dead guy

“Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics.” This quote by Napolean Bonaparte has always inspired me to understand the importance of supply chain management and logistical systems.

7. Of farm visits and rainfalls

Visiting and working on my family farm has always been a very enjoyable experience and something that I have taken a lot of pride in since my childhood. One such visit to the village during the cropping season wasn’t a very pleasant one though. Lack of  rainfall and nutritional deficiency in crops had led to very minimal harvest that year. I had started my Engineering education, and I thought I must utilize the knowledge I have and help the farmers minimize such incidents.

8. Dream of the building, and the building falls down

As kids, all aspire to be someone they adore or make something that they like the most. Right from childhood, I have always wanted to pursue a profession which involved building things. This dream of mine, coupled with my interest in Mathematics and Mechanics drove me to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering 

10. Oh! the joys of childhood

The world around me has never ceased to amaze me. Every little detail and every little element in this world somehow coming together as a part of something bigger, displaying order in what seemed random with patterns sometimes obvious and sometimes obscure. As I grew up, the horizon of my fascination widened from just the marvels of nature to include the profound advancements made in technology. I vividly remember my surprise at seeing advertisements for the products I searched for when I was young. I grew up to realise that the one key entity responsible for a lot of these seemingly inexplicable wonders is data. Hidden patterns and logic in data giving structure in randomness. I realised the untapped potential held by the endless supply of data around us. The idea of working with assorted kinds of data to make meaningful analysis for solving real-world problems has inspired me to apply for MS in Computer Science with a specialization in Data Science.

If you have also written such things in your SOP, now will be a good time to change them.

Applying for Data Science? Read the actual SOP that got accepted into MSDS in University of Pennsylvania

Applying for Master in Business Analytics program? Read the SOP that go accepted to Columbia MSBA program

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