Stanford University Engineering Graduate School Sample Essay
During my senior year at Purdue University, I made a decision that has impacted the entire course of my education. While my classmates were making definite decisions about their career paths, I chose to implement a five-year plan of development and growth for myself. I designed this plan in order to examine various careers that I thought might interest me, as well as to expand upon my abilities at the time. As I was attaining a BS degree in Electrical Engineering, I decided to focus primarily on fields related to the VLSI (Very Large-Scale Integrated) circuits area. My main goals were either to gain work experience or to further my education by pursuing an MS degree in Electrical Engineering (MSEE). I saw an opportunity to both work and learn through employment at Xilinx Inc. Operating as a product engineer at a successful, high-tech semiconductor company has enabled me to utilize my technical and interpersonal skills in new and challenging ways. The position has also allowed me to interact with a multitude of departments including marketing, integrated circuit (IC) design, software/CAD development, manufacturing, reliability, accounting, and sales. I thus have gained an array of experience that extended beyond the parameters of my own responsibilities. In the workplace, I rely heavily upon the interpersonal techniques I developed as a counselor in a Purdue residence hall, as well as the organizational skills I had acquired through holding various leadership positions in cultural and engineering societies. I have also cultivated an interest in high-technology marketing that has continued to grow throughout my career.
My experiences with Xilinx have heightened my hunger for knowledge in the VLSI field. Two months after joining the corporation, I applied to several part-time programs in the vicinity that would allow me to acquire an MSEE degree within two to three years. San Jose State seemed an ideal choice, for its evening MSEE courses would allow me to pursue two independent, full-time positions concurrently. The San Jose program has complimented my Xilinx duties well; both demand large levels of energy and enthusiasm while guiding me to my ultimate goal a high degree of education in VLSI sciences. The resources that I poured into both endeavors have reaped many gains. I have been promoted to a Product-Yield Engineering position within Xilinx’s Coarse Grain Static Memory (CGSM) Product Engineering division. My extensive coursework plays a key role in my continued success at Xilinx. Relevant classes in advanced digital and analog VLSI design, as well as sub-micron ULSI technology, have allowed me to understand more completely the workings of Xilinx, a fab-less semiconductor company that also functions as a software and hardware design, testing, and marketing center. The gains in knowledge I have made through the combination of work experience and education have indeed been exponential.
The academic records of my senior year at Purdue, coupled with my MSEE coursework, are ample proof of my dedication to learning. I feel I have overcome through hard work and dedication the brief “dry phase” I underwent at Purdue during the close of my sophomore and the first semester of my junior years. My performance at that time is in no way indicative of my usual achievements; they are instead the result of urgent family difficulties that required much foreign travel and serious attention to resolve. In May, I shall graduate with an MSEE degree from San Jose well ahead of my original estimates. This early graduation with Dean’s Honors is the result of my firm belief in the value of diligence, as well as my renewed determination to strive for perfection in both work and school.
I am now embarking on another five-year plan, during which I hope to fulfill several specific career goals. For instance, being part of a very dynamic and results-oriented Yield team at Xilinx calls for continuous development of computational and statistical techniques. The Yield team is divided to focus on specific process/fabrication issues and process (manufacturing) optimization. My own position is an integral part of the optimization group. Speed and cost issues continue to press high technology atmospheres towards optimization, probability and stochastic processes and systems, and rigorous simulations of mathematical models. The MS in EES&OR offered at your university will grant me the statistical knowledge that is crucial for process and production optimization in a fab-less environment. In addition, product engineering requires fundamental research on mathematical models for linear and non-linear programming, as well as the utilization of efficient computer software. I continuously employ the knowledge I gained at Purdue in Operations Research and advanced mathematics courses. Yet despite the value of these classes and my high performance in them, I now require further education to best fulfill my duties. An MS in the EES&OR field, will give me knowledge that is invaluable to a career in product development, project management and strategic planning. The program will allow me to improve decision-making skills in operations, strategy, and policy issues. I will strengthen my theory and application in countless areas:continuous, discrete, numerical optimization; probabilistic and stochastic processes; dynamic systems and simulation; economics, finance, and investment; decision analysis; dynamic programming and planning under uncertainty; operations and service; corporate and individual strategy; and private and public policy issues. Thus, the EES&OR program will not only help me to excel at Xilinx but will also further any future career. My commitment to work and education over the last three years proves that I will pursue this MS with enthusiasm and zeal.The technical edge that the MS would provide is incomparable. Since I will be working while attending Stanford, I shall mingle education with practical application, and bring to the table interesting problems from my experience and past education.
Technical challenges encountered through projects in the EES&OR program will provide motivation and opportunity for methodological innovation.The data collection, processing and presentation issues presented are integral to my future goals, and the management challenges raised will provide invaluable experience for professional practice. This will in turn build a solid foundation for a life-long career that can overcome any problem in decision-making. In addition, taking courses in economics, finance, and investment analysis will allow much growth of knowledge in investment issues in different industries. The EES&OR program thus appeals not only to my engineering, economics, science and mathematical background, but will compliment my technical abilities with the conceptual frameworks needed to analyze problems in operations, production, strategic planning, and marketing in the realm of emiconductor/IC/engineering systems. I feel that I am prepared to meet the challenges of the curriculum. My coursework in intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics, international trade, operations research, linear algebra, and probabilistic methods, along with my extensive calculus background, will allow me to function well within the program.
My long-term career goals include a move into marketing and product management. I believe that attaining this MS degree is the cornerstone to achieving my goals. It will give me the academic background necessary to succeed in product development, project management, and strategic planning. It will improve decision-making skills necessary for optimizing performance. The integration of two excellent programs in Economics Systems and Operations Research thus suits my current position and ties in with future goals perfectly by improving decision making in operations, strategy and policy. At present I desire to continue at Xilinx; attending a program that provides the flexibility and convenience of the SITN, is therefore imperative. Hence, being at Stanford as an HCP student also attracts me. I believe that Stanford is the best environment for me to achieve my goals while gaining exposure to and experience with a diverse student body and faculty. It is my belief that one continues to learn throughout one’s life, and the most effective method of learning is through interaction with others. Stanford’s diversity offers an environment for learning, both inside and outside the classroom. I hope to share my varied knowledge with my classmates and to take from them a new understanding of topics that are foreign to me. I believe that no other school provides students with the combination of education and environment offered by Stanford. Its outstanding academic reputation, mingled with its diverse environment and thriving Bay Area location, creates an opportunity for growth that is second to none. I have many ambitions for myself as I embark on this stage of my life. I believe that an education from Stanford will provide invaluable experiences and skills that will allow me to become a successful and innovative business leader in the new millennium.