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Grad School: UC Berkeley, Application Essay Example

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Application Essay

I learnt early in life that life is anything but predictable and while it is important to make plans, plans would not always go per expectations. This is why I adopted a personal motto I call T-CUP or “Total Control Under Pressure.” Whenever it seems going is getting tough, I remind myself of the personal motto and tell myself giving up is not an option.

During my second year in King Saud University (KSU), my father suffered from a heart attack during one of the busiest weeks when I was working on two college projects. Making the matters worse was the fact that one of my team mates in one of the projects was also preparing for her wedding. I didn’t only visit my father in the hospital every day but also took greater share of the work so that my teammate can focus on her preparation. I actually enjoyed taking on more responsibilities because it gave me confidence that I have the emotional strength and determination to succeed in the face of any challenge no matter how hard it may seem at first. I was averaging less than four hours sleep a night but I didn’t want to compromise on my academic performance. This experience also shows that when I take a responsibility, I do not spare any efforts to successfully accomplish the task. This episode also demonstrates my tenacity and my love for education.

Being a college student in Saudi Arabia is not easy because the conservative values of the society often get in the way of an optimal learning environment. In Saudi Arabia, the college education is segregated by gender which means male and female students attend different campuses even if they may be enrolled at the same academic institution. Not surprisingly, the instructors at this segregated campuses also come from same gender background. This system is especially disadvantageous to women because the number of women in technology pales in comparison to men even in western economies yet alone Saudi Arabia where the gap is even more severe. Not surprisingly, female students are sometimes taught by foreign instructors or by male instructors through distance learning. But distance learning has its own shortcomings as the interaction between the instructor and the students suffer and it is not easy to take notes. KSU’s administration is aware of these issues, hence, their new policy is to hire only Saudi instructors. This has created an ideal situation for concerned citizens like me who are motivated to gain learning and experience at some of the finest universities in the world and return home to improve the state of education in Saudi Arabia. In order to support this new policy, Saudi Government now provides scholarships to lecturers to study abroad at only selective top universities.

UC Berkeley is an ideal choice for me because the university also aspires to educate individuals who are passionate about making social difference, especially in the lives of less-fortunate members of the society. The university has a long tradition of producing leaders because it doesn’t only provide education but also helps its students develop character and adopt high ethical standards. I have no doubt UC Berkeley will provide me with a strong foundation to inspire my students, who will lead the Saudi Arab of tomorrow. I would like them to expand their worldview and become more passionate about socio-cultural issues and how they can take Saudi Arabia into the 21st century as a progressive country.

My whole life is a story of perseverance and hard work and my future story would not be much different. I hope I will not only educate my students but also help them develop personal traits essential for success and leadership. I would want nothing less than my students to be my ultimate legacy.

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Application Essay

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