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One man’s “magic” is another man’s engineering. “Supernatural” is a null word. – Robert A. Heinlein
I have always been a supporter that technology advancement is the engine that drives the humankind and society moving forward. It is the invisible hands that controls the development of almost every aspect of human life, be it agriculture, communication, military, finance or macro economy. With such a strong belief and a good sense of logical reasoning, there had been no doubt that Engineering would be my top choice of study and career. The passion motivated me to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at National University of Singapore in Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. With a solid foundation in mathematics, physics and chemistry plus hardworking and perseverance, I have excelled in all subjects during my undergraduate study, ranking as top 5 percent among my cohort. I have also challenged myself beyond coursework. Having successfully completed the research project – “Techno-economic analysis of algae biodiesel”, I dived deeper into the research topic with my teammates and published the results on Bioresource Technology.
However, I am aware that a good engineer should not limit himself to technical ground. A good business sense and strong soft skills are of equal importance. Because eventually, technology advancement must fit into the human society so that it can move things forward. In order to expand my horizons, I studied a few fundamental business modules, like micro and macroeconomics, corporate finance and operations management and so on, to build up the knowledge base. Besides, I was actively involved in extra-curriculum activities (ECA) as well where I met more friends and develop inter-personal skills. These foundation and experience have turned out to be extremely helpful after I started work.
Upon graduation, I joined Guan Ho Construction, a reputable construction company in Singapore, as a cost engineer. My major responsibility is to keep a close eye on project finances and contractual relationships. My first hands-on project, Tao Nan Project, was particularly impressive. It was a fantastic journey in a great team where I have accumulated valuable knowledge and experience. The job scope requires a good balance of technology foundation and business acumen, which was not easy at first, but I managed to adapt to the challenging role in shortest time. Through different projects I have worked on, I have built up a good foundation in financial and numeracy management skills, communication and negotiating skills, and contract administration skills. More importantly, I was also encouraged to be involved in discussion with clients, project teams and company management teams. This helps me to build a solid foundation and deeper understanding of the organization, business and industry. Looking back now at what I went through during my previous job, I truly believe that challenges and difficulties are the part that makes life and work worthy and fun.
First of all, a more solid foundation in technical knowledge and professional skills is the most important goal. With previous industry working experience, I would be able to better appreciate the value of latest research results in academics by relating them to challenges and obstacles encountered in work. On the other hand, more in-depth academic knowledge would enable me to gain more insights and capture the trends of industry developments. Secondly, I would make an effort to expand my horizon beyond technical expertise. The sea owes its increasing capacity to its admittance to all kinds of liquids. Likewise, a man would only make great achievement if he has a wide and balanced knowledge base. I am glad that the graduate program in XXX University provides the flexibility so that I can develop in other related areas like finance, management, and so on.
Last but not least, pursuing a graduate degree in the world’s top universities is itself a great opportunity and challenge for personal development. Immersed in the vigorous culture and fast paced environment, I would be able to improve other soft skills such as time management, interpersonal skills, effective communication, and so on. Interaction with fellow students and professors will be a great exposure and unforgettable experience.
Impressed by its brilliant history and continuous leading position among world’s most reputable universities, I am confident that the Master of Engineering program at XXX’s graduate school of engineering and applied science is the ideal place to achieve my goal and ambition. I look forward to start the fresh and exciting journey in University of Washington this fall.
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