Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Personal Statement (for the post of Research Assistant, in correspondence with my cover letter)

I am a fresh graduate with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Life Sciences (Concentration in Biology), from the National University of Singapore. I am in essence someone who is passionate about the natural environment; as such I have been very much involved in ecological work in my research whilst in my undergraduate years, as well as in my volunteer involvements.

During my 3rd year of study, I undertook the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme in Science (UROPS) where I did research on the relationship between healthy seagrass beds and the abundance of seastars, particularly, the knobbly seastars on Cyrene reef. The entire research process was especially enjoyable for me as I love doing fieldwork, getting out of the laboratory to hit the natural habitats and study the organisms in their natural environment. Being particularly fascinated by the knobbly seastars, I carried on with the research when I was in my Honours year. Working alongside Professor Chou Loke Ming (Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore), I have picked up much relevant skills as well as gained valuable insights into the field of marine biology. The research project definitely fueled my passion for the natural environment.

Over the course of my undergraduate studies, I undertook modules such as Fundamentals of Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry, which equipped me with laboratory skills such as performing Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry. Upon graduation from NUS, I was familiar with procedures in a laboratory with regards to safety as well as operation and maintenance of laboratory equipments.

During the summer break in my 2nd year of study, I had the rare opportunity to participate in the Waseda Global Honours College (GHC) Programme held in Waseda University, Tokyo. One of the key objectives was to gather students and professors from 8 universities worldwide, where they come from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds to discuss topics related to Environmental Sustainability. Though the programme lasted only a mere 3 weeks, I believe I learnt much more than I would in the same duration of time if I were back home in Singapore. For one, I became much more disciplined and efficient in doing work, and I have more confidence in my ability to deliver work that is of reasonable calibre. This is due to the fact that my peers and I had to work under tight deadlines while making sure work had to be of a standard that was acceptable to the professors, who were also our mentors in the programme.

Personally, I have always enjoyed interaction with people from different backgrounds and cultures, as there is always much to learn from every different encounter. Through my work experience with Fitness First Singapore Pte Ltd especially, I got the chance to interact with people of varying age and backgrounds. Also, the Waseda GHC Programme gave me the opportunity to interact with both students and professors of diverse personalities and from different backgrounds. These experiences have certainly honed my interpersonal skills as well as forged great friendships.

Work aside, I volunteer with Team Seagrass and Toddycats, both of which are non-governmental groups with environmental conservation as their primary concern. The little contributions I may have made to Singapore’s environment through involvement in these volunteering activities have further rooted my passion for the natural environment and I believe that this has influenced my friends in some way or other. I believe that with increased public awareness, more people will be aware of the vulnerability of Singapore’s biodiversity, and in general, the whole natural environment as a whole, in view of the changing climate conditions the world is facing. It is my hope that more of the general public would join in the fight against climate change, which is currently one of the most pressing environmental issues.

My undergraduate years have been truly fruitful as I saw tremendous self-development and growth, and was given many opportunities to fuel my passion for the natural environment. I am an advocate of life-long learning, and very much hope to develop myself in the field of ecology.


  1. That was a pretty impressive personal statements.

    It is clear, from reading your statement that you are passionate about environmental sustainability and in particular, the marine environment.

    I really have nothing bad to say about your statement. I think that as far as personal statements go, yours in definately in the top 12 of the class.

    You have also managed to illustrate your interests and link them to your experiences which gives me the impression that you are someone who is proactive and believes in what you are doing.

  2. There is really nothing bad to say about your personal statement. The points are clear and you fully supported your passion for the natural environment with relavant experience.

    The detailed experience you gave showcase both your relavant teachnical and soft skills giving you an edge over the others. =)

  3. Great essay here! You have clearly stated what you have done and your relevant experiences and how can you contribute as a research assistant. Most importantly I can feel your passion for nature.

    Great job:)

  4. Hi!!

    Wow!! Good essay =) I think the rest have already said what I wanna say.

    But one thing though...I'm not sure if the length is a bit too much? Cause normally there is like a word limit of 200 or even 100 words for a personal statement.

    But gotta tell me how to write like you, girl! =D

  5. hello!

    Impressive statement. You really showed your passion for the marine life and how your related experience can aid you in your job. I really felt the passion you have for marine life. =)

    Good job!