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SOP Letter

by RandomTalks


A/N: This is an SOP letter written by my sister. I have changed the names of the universities and professors with random letters, but otherwise this is the draft that she is planning to submit. Any and all feedback is appreciated!

(Quick note: She is applying for an institution of Psychology. This is more of a motivational letter to state the reason for her application.)

The workings of the human mind fascinate me and my primary motivation is to understand emotions and how past experiences can form our identity and influence our behaviour, cognition and memory.

If anybody asked me what I wanted to become when I grew older, I would have said I see myself as a doctor, helping people and gaining knowledge in the process. My entire life I had been preparing to apply to medical school but somehow always failed to reach my full potential. But all of these aspirations changed when I fell into depression and alienated myself from friends and family and was in a constant state of anxiety. Unable to put my finger on the reason, I decided to seek counselling and took a two years gap from pursuing academia to figure myself out. Almost after almost 1.5 years into counselling, I started being aware of my thoughts and understood the power of our minds.

In an effort to control my anxiety and get out of my comfort zone, I joined an NGO called Panacea, where I taught and mentored underprivileged kids. While working there I noticed that the kids who received the proper support of a caregiver had more self-confidence and could regulate their emotions better than kids who had an emotionally or physically absent caregiver. Most of these emotionally unregulated kids depended on their mentors and tried to form a parent-child bond with them. They would seek their mentor's acceptance, validation and support. Moreover, many of these kids were abused by their guardians and had reticent behavior or severe temper issues. I along with my team tried to support them by equipping them with proper tools to deal with such situations. In doing this, I realized how crucial the relationship between a caregiver and child is and how much the environment can have a long-lasting effect on a child’s behavior.

I majored in business as I was still unsure about my career and felt I could help my father with his business. During this time I worked as a Marketing Intern with Quikr and as an HR intern with Paytm. At Quikr, I got to understand consumer psychology and the power of brand value on a market level and gained a deeper insight into consumer biases and how to tackle those tactfully. At Paytm, I was the point of contact between the new joiners and employees and management. I had the responsibility of onboarding new joiners and conducting screenings, interviews and salary negotiations of potential candidates. I took up ownership of organizing various on-campus and off-campus placements, interviews and effectively communicating the grievances of employees to the management.

The experience I had at Paytm was my inspiration for my final year paper on ‘Effects of Work Stress and Social Support’ as I realized the primary contributor to these grievances or resignations was work stress. In my work with Dr. X and Mr. Y at STW College of Management and Technology, we proposed that high levels of work stress (role ambiguity, role conflict, work overload, work-life balance, growth and opportunities, control and involvement) would have a detrimental impact on job satisfaction and psychological well‐being and investigated the degree to which social supports elevate the dissatisfaction. I conducted a literature review, formulated and took surveys, formed hypotheses, analyzed the obtained data, and in the process learned about correlation, regression, p-values and statistical significance.

The seed of pursuing psychology was by now firmly planted in my mind, but I felt I needed a bit of financial independence before making the switch. I took a job at Amazon where I had the task of data accumulation, storing and training the machine learning model. For the quality of my work, I was featured various times in the team newsletter and received the Rockstar Award. I also host psychological wellness sessions, an open forum where people discuss their highs and lows by forming a support group, resolving work conflicts together and forming a team-building spirit through various games and activities.

To learn more about psychology, I have been following the Human Behavioral Biology Series by Prof. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University on YouTube and have been reading the book Loneliness- Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick.

The major scientific areas in which my research interests lie are developmental psychology, emotions and individual differences. The aptly-curated course at the Department of Psychology: Theory and Research will give me the holistic knowledge required to pursue research in these areas and refine my academic direction. I’m particularly interested in the works of Prof. X, Prof. Y and Prof. Z and I find their work, especially in the fields of Emotions and Individual Differences, both fascinating and relevant to my research interest. With my background and interests, I think ABC University would be an excellent fit for me and I would be able to learn from the environment and contribute to it, while also realizing my career goals.


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Wed Mar 02, 2022 3:24 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi RandomTalks,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

I don't really know how to review it, so I'll just write my general opinion of the structure here so that it's a bit clearer.

First of all, what struck me most was the division of the sections. In my opinion, these have turned out well because they always tell a kind of "story of their own" until it goes on to the next one. At the same time, it remains detailed but still not too extreme, but goes into depth in such a way that some interesting points are always raised that make the reader curious for more, which in my opinion also creates a curiosity in the professors.

The workings of the human mind fascinate me and my primary motivation is to understand emotions and how past experiences can form our identity and influence our behaviour, cognition and memory.


I think this first paragraph is already a very good summary, and how you went on from there to give some details from the past. These are some good points that also help to develop an understanding and also show where the practice and the theory lies. The fact that this first section also acts as a kind of heading helps to give the descriptions, so to speak, to the other sections. In other words, this first section is the cat and the next sections describe the different organs that are inside the cat. (Weird. :D)

What I am missing, however, are still sometimes some more concrete examples that could be inserted there. I'll give you the example that it's a kind of CV where you have to insert three things that you have changed. That also shows initiative and responsibility. I think something like that is still missing here, that this individual character is inserted, which distinguishes the text from other applicants.

Otherwise, I find it clear and structured. I also just noticed that I mostly wrote you instead of your sister. :D

Have fun writing!

Mailice




RandomTalks says...


Thank you very much for your review! :)



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Sun Feb 27, 2022 9:15 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



Hey RandomTalks! I was interested to come across this in the Green Room, and I hope I can offer some nuggets of a review based on the countless cover letters I've read/helped people to write to apply to jobs.

I've never really come across an SOP letter before but after a quick google I'm up to speed - I think it's pretty similar to a personal statement that we write here in the UK so I'm going to treat it as such! If I miss out on anything that's crucial to an SOP I apologise in advance.

I really like that she's used her personal background to explain why she's so invested in the field and why the area of study is interesting to her. I personally would lead off with this, as I think the beginning

The workings of the human mind fascinate me and my primary motivation is to understand emotions and how past experiences can form our identity and influence our behaviour, cognition and memory.
is comparatively a bit devoid of passion. It's a well structured sentence so I would keep it in, but I think it belongs more toward the end of the statement rather than the beginning.

I took a job at Amazon where I had the task of data accumulation, storing and training the machine learning model. For the quality of my work, I was featured various times in the team newsletter and received the Rockstar Award.

I think this makes sense in the flow/context, but I think it would be good to note how this experience will be useful in her studies - has it impacted her time management ability for example? It's clear why she made the choice to work at Amazon and that she excelled there, but what has she learned from it that she can take forward?

Otherwise this seems like a strong letter, and please wish her good luck for me :)

Hope this was helpful!

Icy




RandomTalks says...


Thank you for the review!




Very well; I hear; I admit, but I have a voice too, and for good or evil mine is the speech that cannot be silenced.
— Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness