One of the most important tasks while applying to a master’s degree programme is to create a motivation letter or a Statement of Purpose (SOP). The motivation letter will be a letter that explains to the programme coordinator the reason “why” you want to apply to the particular master’s programme and university and explains “how” your education, work experience, and future goals make you fit into the particular master’s programme and university. In this blog post, I give you my tips on writing a motivation letter.
- Research about the master’s programme and university: It is necessary to know the details of the programme such as the courses within the programme, the learning objectives and goals and leading research topics, and so on. It is crucial that you understand that the programme fits your past education and/or future goals yourself before starting to write a motivation letter. Tip: send a mail to the professors and current students and arrange a virtual meeting with them to answer your queries. This should be more of an interview than pitching for your acceptance. Quoting what the student or professors say would add merit to the application and show the initiative you have put into researching about the university.
- Geography: It would be an add-on if you can motivate your decision to move to Sweden or Stockholm in particular. Tip: I stressed the relevance of my field of interest in sustainability and the research and emphasis given to sustainability in Sweden. Since I had prior experience working with a European company, I mentioned my motive to move to Europe considering the attractive working ethics here.
- Creating a Draft: The ideal time to start writing a motivation letter is at least 3-4 months before you start applying to the university. This is because of the time it takes to build a near-perfect letter. However, you can begin with a draft and brainstorm all the ideas, and literally “puke” down your ideas onto a paper. Use prompts such as “What made you be interested in Innovation Management?” “How will this degree assist you in meeting your career goals?”. This is just the beginning!
The draft has to be structured, refined, re-written, and reviewed by a number of people before it achieves a near-perfect form. Tip: start early with writing an SOP since it would never seem done even after applying and also get it reviewed by people.
- Being Authentic: The motivation letter should not be a replica of your CV. Let the letter project your true self and true interests in the selected field. This would also save you from the risk of getting selected into a program that does not fit your goals. Tip: you can include genuine stories and achievements related to the programme you are applying for.
I hope these tips will help you in starting your motivation letter. Maria wrote a blog post about the reasons you would want to choose KTH. There will be a KTH application process webinar on 12 January 2021, where your queries about the application will be answered. You can sign up for the webinar here. A reminder that the deadline for applying is 15 January 2021.