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Sample Personal Statement for Industrial Engineering

“God would laugh when human beings think,” a popular saying goes like this. I don’t know how much truth there is in this saying, but if human beings stop thinking, they will be no long called human beings, will they?

I recall this popular saying when I’m writing the present statement because it is my incessant thinking that has been inspiring my thirst for and persevering pursuit of knowledge. It is through this pursuit that I have been tempering myself and adding value to my life. I’m fully aware that if I want to add more value to my life, I should never be content with what I have learned in my undergraduate education and the achievements I have made in my work in well-known multinational enterprises. Instead, I should strive to scale new heights. Now it is the right time I apply for a Ph.D. program in industrial engineering, my specialized field of interest.

I consider my work experience at XX – a well-known international IT company - as an asset for myself. The company put a lot of trust in me. I was made responsible for the implementation and maintenance of all ERP systems in all its factories in China and was appointed a key member for implementing the manufacturing management system of a refrigerator factory. Besides, I was a key member and advisor for the implementation of the Hub system – a logistics solution - for two DVD/CD-ROM factories. I was honored an Excellent Employee in only half a year after joining the company. Moreover, I won appreciations from my superiors and colleagues with my sound communication skills, learning ability and work performance.

In fact, I have dealt with many aspects of industrial engineering in my work before joining XX. I had been working on designing and development of an ERP system in XX Technologies Co., Ltd. - a dynamic company in the tobacco industry - from July 2000 to August 2002. I was specifically responsible for designing and programming the warehouse management and equipment and parts procurement module, analysis of program requirements and design of the CRM prototype system. I spared no efforts in searching for the optimal solution and making on-site investigations to familiarize myself with the operation procedures in all departments covering procurement, warehouse management, customer service and channel management, and getting a large amount of most valuable data and experience.

I know well that my fruitful work performance would not be possible without my successful undergraduate education at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of XX University – a key university in China. In the curriculum for the specialty of Measurement Technology and Instruments, I developed a strong interest in a wide range of courses including Probability Theory & Mathematical Statistics, Fundamentals of Control Theory, Computer Control Technology and Digital Signal Processing. I was obsessed with the things different theories can do. Probability predicts the likelihood that an event will occur. Statistics taught me how to perform analysis. Control theories showed me that the world consists of large and small systems that are interrelated and interact with each other and life is always in a positive/negative feedback at a certain moment. Computers do complicated calculations and make machines work automatically to do the things man can or cannot do. And it was so fulfilling when programs I compiled controlled the computer in completing different tasks. My study of these courses laid a sound foundation for my development of interest in industrial engineering.

Meanwhile, I never confined myself to my own specialty because I knew this would make my perspective narrow and unenlightened. I would read extensively in the library books and journals in hologram informatics, computer science, expert systems as well as novels and journals in English. I was often so engrossed in my reading that I forgot the time.

I was honored an Excellent Student of my department in my third year for distinguished academic and extracurricular development. However, what really distinguished me is my graduation thesis for which I brought into full play my ability to apply knowledge and exercise independent thinking. At the time, I was taking part in my supervisor’s project to design and develop a real-time locomotive operation simulation system for the XX. Therefore, I decided to base my thesis on researches in the project for its practical significance— the simulation system could be used to calculate the most rationalized acceleration and deceleration speed for the locomotive at different times and places. I encountered many challenges in my research. For example, I didn’t know much about the performance of the motors in different models of locomotives. However, I didn’t give up. I consulted a wide range of documents, studied the most commonly used locomotive models and designed the basic computation model. Finally, I successfully completed my thesis and the results computed by the model were highly accurate. I received full recognition and high appraisal from my supervisor for my contribution to the project.

While I have made outstanding achievements in my work, I have also observed the hard facts in China’s machinery industry and other industries in their rapid development. As reported frequently in the media, China is becoming the major manufacturing base of the world. However, we have been mainly relying on cheap labor to make up for our discrepancy in technology, while it is a known fact that the core competitiveness of an enterprise or a country lies in the improvement of efficiency, quality and technology-intensive products. To achieve this goal, we need a variety of tools. Industrial engineering is one of such tools because it improves productivity of the entire society, lowers cost and improves quality. Moreover, as an interdisciplinary subject that encompasses integral system design, implementation and improvement for human resource, materials, equipment, information, energy environment, etc., industrial engineering requires planning, forecast and evaluation of the effectiveness of the above systems with industrial analysis and design theories and methods. Therefore, a practitioner in this field has to have comprehensive knowledge in mathematics, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. And as a discipline bridging engineering and scientific management, it covers a wide range of fields including operations research, human factors, manufacturing engineering, quality control, management engineering and information systems.

The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of the University of XX is known for its strong faculty and the fusion between research and applications. Therefore, I wish to pursue further studies there. If admitted into your program, I will bring into full play my independent thinking, creative and innovative spirit and self-improvement quality in both my studies and research. The fields I’m specially interested in include investigation of analytical and computational methods for optimization or stochastic, including risk analysis, and the development of methodologies for the design, planning and control of systems in a variety of application domains, including manufacturing, distribution, material handling, transportation, power generation, health care, financial services, information services, and governmental services.
Through studying at your university, I will pursue my professional development in six I’s: Integration: integration of engineering technology and management technology; Information: applications of information systems; Intelligence: expanding my high level intelligence; Interaction: collaboration, personal communication and team spirit; Idea: development of ideas and creativity; International: broad international perspectives.

My personal motto is “Self-discipline and Social Commitment”. I have been setting one challenging target after another in the past to boost my thinking and enterprising spirit with lasting enthusiasm. I believe that I will become a top-notch scholar in industrial engineering through studying at your university. After I return to China on completing my program at your university, I will train more engineers in industrial engineering back in China. I will dedicate all my life to the prosperity and well-being of this society.


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