The below essay was used by an Asian student to apply for a scholarship to a graduate school in the UK (personal details have been changed).
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As someone who comes from a relatively poor background in South Korea, I view the James Smith scholarships as crucial to achieving my academic goals. Studying in the UK will give me a great advantage in my future career in terms of not only cutting-edge expertise but also the international perspective it will afford me. However, I also know that, as a graduate student, it is important to devote myself wholly to my studies, free of the stress and obstacles created by financial hardship. Studying Finance and Investment at XXX University is only one step in my continuous career development, yet I view it as perhaps the most important step due to the outstanding level of instruction and education there. The assistance provided by these scholarships will enable me to give my full attention to learning from this program, which will benefit me immensely in my professional endeavors.
After I earn my masters degree, I hope to move on to MBA studies, as this will give me a new range of skills that I can use in my career. In the medium-term, I plan to work as a financial analyst specializing in investment funds. Eventually, I plan to return to my native South Korea, using the experience I have accumulated to start my own enterprise providing financial services and consulting services. With the training from XXX University, I will have a unique advantage as I begin working toward these goals.
In addition to my aspirations in the finance industry, I hope to set up educational training courses for local high school students so that they can begin thinking about their university majors and long-term career goals. This is motivated by my experiences growing up in South Korea, where students parents often determine their academic and professional paths. Although, in hindsight, I am very glad to have followed my parents wishes, as they are closely aligned with my own goals, many of my peers have ended up pursing career that do not interest them. On a large scale, this results in squandered talent and the loss of some of our nations most valuable resources.
The education offered by XXX University can give me the professional expertise, organizational skills, and the confidence that I will need to achieve my goals. However, in order to take full advantage of the education offered at XXX University, I am in dire need of financial assistance such as that provided by the James Smith scholarships. I therefore sincerely appreciate your consideration, and I will do everything I can do prove your decision a wise one, should you grant me this scholarship.