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Thread: Will you review my statement of purpose for me?

  1. #1
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    Will you review my statement of purpose for me?

    Ok, so, this is the first statement of purpose I have written for graduate school admissions and I am looking for some feed back. Essentially it is just a jumble of thoughts right now and I need to do some restructuring and rewording as this is my first draft. Let me know of anyways I can make it longer, I thought this was a lot of work but it is also considerably shorter that statements I will have to write for other schools. It is for Cal Poly Slo, let me know what you think my chances are. Here is some more information about me and the statement:

    GPA: 3.775
    BA in Geography (Departmental Valedictorian)
    Graduated in three years
    Letters of recommendation from:
    Professor
    Dean of College of Liberal Arts
    Former Assistant Dean of Graduate School

    Statement:

    My first introduction to the field of urban planning came to me in my early years of high school; for a required job shadow project I elected to observe a family member and urban planner simply on the basis of his interesting title and my ignorance towards his profession. Almost immediately I became enthralled by the cartographic, creative, communicative and analytical skills used everyday in the planning profession.

    As I entered my university education I began taking courses in environmental studies and geography with a future in planning in the back of my mind. In the spring semester of my second year, my junior year, I enrolled in the upper-division Urban Ecology course which served as my first formal course in environmental planning theory. Upon completion, I continued my examination of urban ecology through a summer independent study of bioregional planning theory and sustainable development. Furthermore, I am currently working as a research assistant for the course’s professor where we are examining the street lighting quality of [CITY] and how improvements can be made with regards to safety and the urban environment. Now, as I complete my undergraduate education in geography, I have decided that a career in urban planning is right for me.

    I have chosen to apply to California Polytechnic State University in order to gain a theoretical yet highly practical education in environmental planning. After examining the course offerings, I am highly interested in courses Cal Poly offers related to growth management, urban ecology, environmental planning methods and community participation under the guidance of Michael Boswell or Paul Wack. My primary interests lie within the intersection of neighborhood redevelopment, environmental justice and sustainability; using destitute neighborhoods as models for environmentally sustainable development while limiting the effects of gentrification. Upon completion of your program, it would be my desire to stay in California and work in either the public or private sector in the inner city, with the eventual possibility of completing a PhD in planning or geography remaining open. Thank you for your consideration.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by vedge View post
    I have chosen to apply to California Polytechnic State University in order to gain a theoretical yet highly practical education in environmental planning.
    Cal Poly is a hands on "learn by doing". You will learn more about the day to day operation than theory.

    Quote Originally posted by vedge View post
    After examining the course offerings, I am highly interested in courses Cal Poly offers related to growth management, urban ecology, environmental planning methods and community participation under the guidance of Michael Boswell or Paul Wack.
    Mike Boswell is the main professor environmental planning, however there are others there as well (including adjunct staff). Direct this to the entire staff rather than naming 2 professors. They all teach well.


    Quote Originally posted by vedge View post
    My primary interests lie within the intersection of neighborhood redevelopment, environmental justice and sustainability; using destitute neighborhoods as models for environmentally sustainable development while limiting the effects of gentrification.
    Define a "destitute neighborhood"? Wouldn't gentrification actually help the neighborhood by brining in economic development? You may have too many interests here, try to narrow it down and hone in on one and talk about the skills sets you want to learn.

    Quote Originally posted by vedge View post
    Upon completion of your program, it would be my desire to stay in California and work in either the public or private sector in the inner city.
    Throw this out. What will you contribute to the university if you get accepted? How will you help advanced the program? How can you help CP win more state/national awards? Private sector doesn't do inner city work unless it is a redevelopment project to improve it, and even than it is more design work than anything else. Possibly inject working in the public sector or non-profit instead. Again, focus on what you want to learn, and what you will bring to the department to better educate and improve yourself and how you will take this and run into the "real world"
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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