Answer By Purvi Tantia: It has been 10 years I, have been coaching students in the process of applications and admissions to study abroad and to make the most out of their study abroad experience while they study abroad. One of the most – or probably the most challenging tasks for me has been to get the students to introspect and write their statement of purpose for their study abroad application. It was one of the reasons why I was motivated to write my book – 3 Secrets to Write a Winning Study Abroad Application.
Often students ask me, why is it such a massive task to write a statement of purpose and why is it so important for admission. My answer is this – The universities are giving you an opportunity to find your purpose in life well in time to make the most impact in this world. Moreover, it is a difficult task because it requires self introspection and in today’s world by and large we find it easier to talk about others than talk about our own strengths and weaknesses; or beliefs and values. But, in my experience, the students who did it right at the time of admissions – were not only successful in getting their dream university admits but also
Today, I was listening to Jennifer Dulski (Head of Groups and Community at Facebook; and Best Selling Author of Purposeful: Are You A Manager or a Movement Starter) and I was deeply inspired by the way she introduced the value of purpose and why having a meaningful life and purpose is important for you and your career. If you are starting to write a statement of purpose and want to know why is it important to write. Do watch this video.
While talking on Future of Work, in this video, Jennifer Dulski talks about how to develop culture, values and policies that support full lives of employees. The first step she mentions is “to understand what motivates people”. She provides a motivational tool that she uses as she leads her team at Facebook and she has used it for over 15 years in her work. She found that compensation is at the bottom of what motivates people (if they are paid their worth), and the single major aspect which motivate people is – Meaningful Work. If your work is inclined towards your purpose of life – then you have happier and you contribute your best to the organisation you are a part of.
So, if you study what gets you closer to your purpose in life or meaning in life – you increase your chances of living a fulfilling life. That’s the reason, why the universities want you to attempt to explore your purpose in life before committing to a field in your higher education. I understand and have experienced that many a times, find your purpose as early as in high school or right before your master’s degree many not be possible – in that case, you can show how you are in the search of your purpose in life and how the degree that you are aspiring for can bring you closer to find your purpose.
So, Yes – the aim of the study abroad essay or statement of purpose is to help you find your purpose in life, but if you cannot – it’s fine – but let that be then the first attempt to find your purpose in life and make sure that it leads you to ultimately find your purpose.