Free Sample Personal Statement in Computer Science
Program: MS in Computer Science
I grew up in Oscar, Ohio, where I attended Pleasant Meadows High School,
a nationally recognized college preparatory institution. Pleasant
Meadows is a public school which all academically inclined students
throughout the city can attend if they manage to pass an entrance
examination. At Pleasant Meadows I was placed in the honors program;
later I took six advanced placement courses, receiving college credit
for five of them. I also completed three full years of Greek and two
full years of advanced German. I graduated from Pleasant Meadows in the
top ten percent of my class.
Upon graduating Pleasant Meadows I was accepted to Carillon Cross
University. Since my family was of very modest means, I relied heavily
on financial aid. I immediately decided to become a chemical engineer, a
decision that was not well informed. My first semester at Carillon Cross
was promising, but I struggled through the next three years pursuing a
career that I eventually had to admit did not interest me. I learned
from this experience that my true strengths and interests lay not in
applied technology but, rather, in the philosophical constructs of
So, it is not surprising that, in reaction to my unsatisfactory
engineering experience, I spent the next year and a half in the
humanities, completing a B.A. degree in history, which I was awarded in
the Spring of 1987. I excelled during my studies in the history
department, but I decided that I did not want to pursue graduate study
in the field. While considering career options, I took the LSAT, which
strongly tests analytical ability, placing in the 95th percentile.
However, I really wanted to pursue a career in the sciences.
I knew that I wanted to continue my education, but I was out of money.
So, I got a job working for University Development at Carillon Cross as
a PC programmer. My job duties were to develop a database reporting
system to track potential donors to the university. I was very
successful and was quickly promoted (within 4 months) to manager of the
donor accounting department, but, more importantly, I discovered that I
truly enjoyed working with computers. I liked the creative possibilities
in programming; even more, I was intrigued with the process of modeling
problems and then implementing different solutions through programming.
I realized then that I wanted to learn more about computing. So, I
decided to use my tuition waiver benefit to begin to explore the
computer engineering/science field. I started to take classes towards a
B.S. in computer engineering, but later switched to computer science
because I wanted to work more with ideas and less with implementation. I
was able to take one course (sometimes two) per semester, which will
enable me to receive my B.S. this Spring (1993).
As you can see from my transcript, in all of the courses that I have
taken while employed, I have received only letter grades of A or B (3.5
GPA). Meanwhile, I received two more job promotions and currently hold
the title of Senior Manager in Advancement Services. My job is
equivalent to a programmer/analyst II, but requires extensive knowledge
of University Advancement and has managerial responsibilities as well. I
spend much of my time programming on an IBM ES9000 mainframe system as
well as working with many PC applications.
I feel that I have grown tremendously as a person through my employment
at Carillon Cross. I have learned a lot about myself; for instance, I
find teaching others to be very rewarding (something I would like to
pursue further along academic lines). Although my employment of five
years with the university has taught me many valuable skills, I find the
work to be unchallenging and devoid of ideas. It pains me to leave the
security of a good job and many close friends to go back to school, but,
I am very committed to my career goals.
My sincerest desire is to become a computer scientist. Specifically, I
am interested in exploring how problems can be modeled and solved using
artificial intelligence. I also want to learn about human cognition and
machine intelligence. I have been studying the debate over whether
machines will ever become "intelligent" given the current course of
research and reading about such issues as whether a machine can acquire
"common sense" (as discussed in Hubert Dreyfus's book What Computers
Still Can't Do). I have been exploring many different areas within the
domain of artificial intelligence (such as neural networks, genetic
algorithms, and natural language processing). The bottom line is that I
want to be a part of this exciting field. To that end I would like to
come to Indiana University to work towards an M.S. in computer science
with an emphasis in natural language processing.
I am looking forward to attending Indiana University in the Fall. I
recently took the GRE general test and received a 2200 combined score: a
670 in verbal (93rd percentile),750 in analytical (93rd percentile), and
a 780 in quantitative (92nd percentile). I know that I can make a
positive contribution to your department, and I hope that you will give
me that chance. I thank you for you time in considering my application.