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Personal Statement for International Masters in Security & Strategy Studies, Erasmus Mundus Program

Ishaqur 6 / 14 6  
Feb 20, 2021   #1

Erasmus Mundus Program application

Hi, I am applying for admissions in the Erasmus Mundus Program for International Masters in Security & Strategic Studies. The questions that the personal statement should answer have been given below as per the program:

1.What is your main motivation for applying to the IMSISS postgraduate degree?
2.How will your educational background and/or work experience inform your engagement with this programme?
3.How will this programme support your future career development?

Please let me know if the statement seems appropriate, it still is a bit over the limit of 600 words, so would appreciate if you could denote any parts that seem irrelevant for the programme.

My main motivation to be a part of this programme stems from my interest in formulating strong strategies that can adeptly perform crisis management and resolve security issues, not only in my own country of Bangladesh but also around the world. Growing up in a country like Bangladesh that has a history of rampant security threats, terrorist attacks and conflicts among different Government parties, I was aware of these various security threats long before I even knew the meaning of them. Our schools would be closed due to multiple strikes or due to an eminent terrorism threat such as the Artisan Bakery Shooting in 2016. Reading about politics and world history always enthralled me, and when in 2004 I participated in a competition jointly arranged by an NGO in joint venture with the UN to ask students to write about their ideal world, I came second, not because I wrote about an ideal world but rather I focused on developing a safer world, starting from my own country. The IMSISS programme helps build on that essay a ten-year old wrote through not only providing the academic expertise but also exposure to leading experts residing in three different countries under three world-class universities. The ability to formulate solutions that could cater to both international and regional problems plaguing my country, through professors and peers in an international setting provides me with an incredibly strong purpose regarding why I should pursue the IMSISS programme.

The passion of pursuing a career in security and intelligence strategy originated back when I was in middle-school and used my passion in politics and world history to participate in monthly debates focusing on seeking sustainable solutions to different concerns and conflicts around the world. That passion never ceased even when I started high school and later on a Bachelors in Business Administration. In 2014 while working with a Journalism institution called "Jaatra", I jointly hosted a workshop on Disaster recovery planning where the focus was on strategic responses towards natural disasters, however I eluded to the fact that such responses were necessary towards events such as terrorist attacks. During my undergraduate degree, I participated in Model UN (MUN) conferences regularly. Doing courses in political science and strategic management helped catalyze my interest in conflict studies further, which I utilized during my time at MUN. Although I have received many best delegate awards notably at different MUN conferences from 2017 to 2019, I would always hark back to the moment during my first MUN conference in 2016, which was RUMUN. It was on "Protesting Terrorism & Securing Civil Rights" where I represented Netherlands and it inspired me to pursue a career in the field of international security,inteligence or development. Through MUN, I was able to develop a strong base and eventually evolve my skills in research, critical thinking, and communication, skills which I further developed through numerous courses I completed during my Undergraduate degree. I was able to further improve those skills alongside organizational and planning skills during my tenure as a high-performing customer service representative for the better part of the last three years.

To apply critical thinking and in-depth research in such strenuous circumstances, one needs the right programme, and that is where IMSISS is the final puzzle piece for my future aspirations. Through courses such as international security & strategic studies, intelligence analysis & policy making, and technology & warfare, among others, additional workshops, guest lecturers, and specialized exercises namely the GLOBE simulation exercise, the educational aspect of the program will help me grasp the fundamentals and form a strong basis for a career focused on security and strategic studies. Furthermore, the opportunity to participate in international competitions such as Cyber 9/12, integrated with learning from my peers from different countries, each bringing their own experiences and solutions, as well as the learning from countries where I will be travelling to, allows me to incorporate a myriad of perspectives to develop better security strategies and policies internationally and for Bangladesh. After completion of the program, I aim to collaborate with Bangladeshi Institute for Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) back home, alongside global institutions to help utilize the comprehensive knowledge at my disposal to develop better security and intelligence gathering strategies, and to bring a female perspective to a largely male-dominated profession in counterterrorism would be monumental for a countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.

Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,317 3351  
Feb 21, 2021   #2
Bring your motivation closer to a truer application, stick to Bangladesh for the discussion. Since your presentation is focused mostly on your experience within your country, it is silly of you to aim for an international scale at this point. Why? You do not refer to a professional background that would actually convince the reviewer that your interest in IMSISS has a global scale and can have a global impact. Your references are only academic in nature, without a professionally relevant exposure to the field of strategic security even on a basic level. Being a participant in MUN is something that would be impressive, if you were applying for college and not the IMSISS. Relevant undergraduate course studies aside, your professional exposure in a relevant field is what will count mostly for this essay, which you have little to none of at the moment.

Though you try to use convincing words to make the reviewer consider your application, the fact still exists that it is weak due to the irrelevant nature of your presentation. There will be far stronger first round applicants whose studies, job exposure, and motivation will render your application amateur and irrelevant. This is not strong enough to pass the consideration round. It does not have enough educational and work exposure that would make you a considerable or notable candidate for the program.

Although you have an impressive target for your future career, I am not sure if that target alone will be enough to help you get through the assessment round of the scholarship consideration.
OP Ishaqur 6 / 14 6  
Feb 21, 2021   #3
Hi Holt as a bit of a clarification this is for the self funded spots and not the scholarship application, do you think that would increase the probability of me getting into the program? Also I will frame it to include Bangladesh security improvements as a the core theme and international career development as a secondary, and I'll also include the partnerships they have with relevant organization. What else could I do to improve my essay?

Also I have experiences in NGO related work that focuses on security for women from domestic abuse among other types of violence towards women, do you think placing that as one of the core aspects would be better?

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