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Good morning,

First of all, thank you very much for your help, I found this forum a few days ago and I've been reading through it since then. I am applying for a master's degree and here is my first attempt of motivation letter. I took a lot of clues and hints from any other letters you posted here. Look forward to your revision, thank you.

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Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you to express my interest in applying for the MSc xxxxxxxxxxxx programme at xxxxxxx University, scheduled to start in September 2011. I appreciate this opportunity and I would like to provide further information in support of my admission procedure.

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of xxxxxx (Spain) in 2009. I got very good marks in several important and relevant subjects such as Environmental Impact Assessment, Environment and Urban Planning, Ecology and Geographic Information Systems amongst many others. I also have a good knowledge of Mathematics, Physics and Statistics since it was essential during my studies. Due to the wide range of different disciplines that Environmental Science involves, soon after starting my studies I realized that the environmental management was the specialty where I really wanted to focus on.

After graduating, I was selected to do an internship for an environmental consultancy in xxxxxxxx (England) for a period of six months, granted by the “Leonardo da Vinci” project. This experience allowed me with the possibility to gain a valuable, international and practical knowledge in the consultancy and environmental advice, areas which I would like to develop my future career in.

I sharpened my critical thinking and took responsibility for several environmental projects. My internship also gave me the opportunity to live abroad and meet people from different countries around the world.

Soon after finishing my work experience, I started working as a volunteer in the xxxxxxxx for three months. I learned a lot from the volunteers and Volunteering Officer I worked with and gained a lot of experience in the organization work, team working and communication skills. This experience also attests of my capacity of integration and adaptation which I think is essential when studying in a worldwide recognized institution like xxxxxxxx University, with different ideologies and cultural backgrounds offered by its students. Undoubtedly, this creates a great source of international knowledge and global vision which is a great benefit in order to be able to face a wide variety of environmental issues.

As my aim is to work in an environmental consultancy, since I came back to Spain I kept pursuing further academic education in environmental management and took additional courses focusing on “Environmental Management Systems” and “Environmental Impact Assessment”. However, I consider that studying the MSc xxxxxxxxxxxx is the best way to gain deeper theoretical and practical knowledge and achieve the career goals I have set for myself, taking a step forward for my professional development in this particular field.

The high reputation of xxxxxxxx University in the environmental sciences, the courses this programme combines and the internship programme would provide me with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills I will need to succeed as a urban environmental management advisor in the future.

I am aware of the highly competitive demands of this master’s program, but I am confident that I have the ability, ambition and motivation to exceed the requirements and I will do my best to excel within the MSc xxxxxxxxx programme. I would like to mention that I also have the support from two recognized lecturers of the University of xxxxxx who assure I am trained to undertake the MSc xxxxxxxx programme. I am sure that my international background, deep concern in environmental management and willingness to make a progress, combined with practical knowledge make me a very good candidate and will add diversity to this master’s degree programme.

Thank you very much for considering my request. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours faithfully,

xxxxxxxxx
New Member10
Hi Jerry314.

Welcome to the forums! Here is some feedback.
I most often advise people who write these letters to be as direct and specific as possible. General statements don't distinguish you from other candidates who will make those same general statements.
If you make a statement about yourself, back it up with proof or evidence that makes it irrefutable.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you to express my interest in applying for the MSc xxxxx programme at xxxxxxx University, scheduled to start in September 2011. I appreciate this opportunity and I would like to provide further information in support of my admission procedure. (THis sounds like you are asking for more information about applying. If this is part of your application, then I would change it to a direct statement of purpose. )

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of xxxxxx (Spain) in 2009. I got very good marks in several important and relevant subjects such as Environmental Impact Assessment, Environment and Urban Planning, Ecology and Geographic Information Systems amongst many others. I also have a good knowledge of Mathematics, Physics and Statistics(do not capitalize these words; they are common nouns) since it was essential during my studies. Due to the wide range of different disciplines that Environmental Science involves, soon after starting my studies I realized that the environmental management was the specialty that where I really wanted to focus on.

After graduating, I was selected to do an internship for an environmental consultancy in xxxxxxxx (England) for a period of six months, granted by the “Leonardo da Vinci” project. This experience allowed me with the possibility to gain a valuable, international and practical knowledge in the environmental consultancy and advice, an areas in which I would like to develop my future career.
I sharpened my critical thinking and took responsibility for several environmental projects. My internship also gave me the opportunity to live abroad and meet people from different countries around the world.

Soon after finishing my work experience, I started working as a volunteer in the xxxxxxxx for three months. I learned a lot from the volunteers and Volunteering Officer I worked with and gained a lot of experience in the organization's work (be more specific), and developed my team-working and communication skills. This experience also attests of my capacity of integration and adaptation which I think is essential when studying in a worldwide recognized institution like xxxxxxxx University, with different ideologies and cultural backgrounds offered by its students. Undoubtedly, this creates a great source of international knowledge and global vision which is a great benefit in order to be able to face a wide variety of environmental issues.
As my aim is to work in an environmental consultancy, since I came back to Spain I kept pursuing further academic education in environmental management and took additional courses focusing on “Environmental Management Systems” and “Environmental Impact Assessment”. However, I consider that studying for the MSc xxxxx is the best way to gain deeper theoretical and practical knowledge and achieve the career goals I have set for myself, taking a step forward for my professional development in this particular field. (the previous sentence is rather long.)

The high reputation of xxxxxxxx University in the environmental sciences, the courses this programme combines and the internship programme would provide me with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills I will need to succeed as a urban environmental management advisor in the future.

I am aware of the highly competitive demands of this master’s program, but I am confident that I have the ability, ambition and motivation to exceed the requirements and I will do my best to excel within the MSc xx programme. I would like to mention that I also have the support from two recognized lecturers of the University of xxxxxx who assure I am trained to undertake the MSc xxxxxxxx programme. I am sure that my international background, deep concern in environmental management and willingness to make a progress, combined with practical knowledge make me a very good candidate and will add diversity to this master’s degree programme.

Thank you very much for considering my request. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours faithfully,
xx
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Adding to the previous comments you've received, avoid vague stuff. Vague stuff is toxic.

I got very good marks in several important and relevant subjects such as Environmental Impact Assessment, Environment and Urban Planning, Ecology and Geographic Information Systems amongst many others.

If I go to the dictionary and look up "very good marks," I find that it doesn't provide a number or even a range. And going back to the same dictionary, I looked up "amongst many others." Again, it came back blank.

These letters should be extraordinarily concise, focused, and well supported.
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Thank you very much for your prompt responses! They were really useful and I made another attempt, I hope this one is better but, please, feel free to make any comment to improve it.

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Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you to express my interest in applying for the MSc xxxxxx at xxxxxxx University, scheduled to start in September 2011. I appreciate this opportunity to provide further information in support of my admission procedure and I strongly believe that my educational background, work experience and deep concern in this field of study make me a very good candidate for this programme.

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of xxxx (Spain) in 2009. I got 2nd class honours in several important and relevant subjects such as environmental impact assessment, environment and urban planning, ecology and geographic information systems amongst many others related to the urban environmental management, as you can see in my academic transcript. I also have a good knowledge of mathematics, physics and statistics since it was essential during my studies. Due to the wide range of different disciplines that Environmental Science involves, soon after starting my studies I realized that the environmental management was the specialty that I really wanted to focus on.

After graduating, I was selected to do an internship for an environmental consultancy in Southampton (England) for a period of six months, granted by the “Leonardo da Vinci” project. This experience allowed me to gain valuable and practical knowledge in environmental consultancy, an area in which I would like to develop my future career. I sharpened my critical thinking and took responsibility for several environmental projects within the South East England region. My internship also gave me the opportunity to live abroad and meet people from different countries around the world.

Soon after finishing my work experience, I started working as a volunteer in the Hampshire & Isle of White Wildlife Trust for three months. I learned a lot from the volunteers and Volunteering Officer I worked with and gained a lot of experience in the organization’s work and developed my team-working and communication skills. This experience also attests of my capacity of integration and adaptation which I think is essential when studying in a worldwide recognized institution like xxxx University, with different ideologies and cultural backgrounds offered by its students. Undoubtedly, this creates a great source of international knowledge and global vision which is a great benefit in order to be able to face a wide variety of environmental issues.

As my aim is to work in an environmental consultancy, since I came back to Spain I kept pursuing further academic education in environmental management and took additional courses focusing on “Environmental Management Systems” and “Environmental Impact Assessment”. However, I consider that studying for the MSc xxxxx is the best way to gain deeper theoretical and practical knowledge and achieve the career goals I have set for myself. I am certain that it will mean a step forward for my professional development in this particular field.

The high reputation of xxxxxx University in the environmental sciences, the courses this programme combines and the internship programme would provide me with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills I will need to succeed as a urban environmental management advisor in the future.

I am aware of the highly competitive demands of this master’s program, but I am confident that I have the enthusiasm, ambition and motivation to exceed the requirements and I will do my best to excel within the MSc xxxxxx. I would like to mention that I also have the support from two recognized lecturers of the University of Granada who assure I am trained to undertake the MSc xxxxxx. I am sure that my international background, deep concern in environmental management and willingness to make a progress, combined with practical knowledge make me a very good candidate and will add diversity to this master’s degree programme.

Thank you very much for considering my request. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours faithfully,

xxxxxxxxx
I will let AlpheccaStars comment on the rest of your letter. I will just bash away on one sentence that I commented on previously.

I got 2nd class honours in several important and relevant subjects such as environmental impact assessment, environment and urban planning, ecology and geographic information systems amongst many others related to the urban environmental management, as you can see in my academic transcript.

First, write out second. Don't use shorthand. You are not texting your letter, but rather writing it. Second, never refer to other stuff outside your letter. They don't want to be referring to transcripts, phone books, old school yearbooks, and job appraisals. And last, make your sentences as focused and short as possible. And if it were me, I would always try to draw positive attention to myself.

I earned second class honours in several important courses such as environmental impact assessment, environment and urban planning, ecology and geographic information systems.

So what did we accomplish? You earned instead of got. In other words, you worked for it. You deserve it. Next, we tightened the focus. While there are several courses, these are courses we have chosen to highlight to the reader. Now, the reader understands you're bright. No need to keep harping on that point by blathering on and on about other courses, transcripts and whatever else. Keep your text focused and concise.

When writing these letters, ask yourself: Is this information critical to the overall letter? If not, yank it out.
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Thank you very much MountainHiker, I am taking all your advices into account. I will wait for the AlpheccaStars' comments too. I know my motivation letter is not brilliant but maybe it is because I don't have much to offer...

Thank you very much anyway Emotion: smile
You've got lots to offer. So no worries there.

I don't want to get too involved in your letter because I don't want to step on AlpheccaStars' toes. Often when one person puts in signficant effort to helping a student, he or she is trying to shape the letter in a specific direction. If I come along throwing my advice around, I am likely to derail her efforts. In the end, it just becomes a mess. So my comments are more surgical and should not interrupt her overall flow.

Here's something else for you:

I learned a lot from the volunteers and Volunteering Officer I worked with and gained a lot of experience in the organization’s work and developed my team-working and communication skills.

I have a translation machine that has a rather caustic personality. When I feed your sentence into the translation, here's what it spits out.

I have learned nothing from volunteers and Volunteering Officer I worked with....communication skills.

Why did it say you learned nothing? Because you provided nothing tangible. So nothing tangible = nothing.

Instead, how about something...

While working for a six month period with volunteers and a Volunteering Officer, I learned/accomplished (something tangible). Now describe what YOU learned or accomplished.

You might find the following two links helpful:

http://www.englishforums.com/content/lessons/motivation-letters-part-i.htm


http://www.englishforums.com/content/lessons/motivation-letters-part-ii.htm
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MountainHiker, you are simply great. I appreciate your hints and examples, very constructive!

I understand your position about reviewing my motivation letter, thanks a lot anyway. Well I think the letter is getting better, little by little. Now I see why you mentioned that lots of revisions were necessary Emotion: smile

I wrote another paragraph following your previous advice:

Soon after finishing my work experience, I started working as a volunteer in the Hampshire & Isle of White Wildlife Trust for three months. While working with volunteers and a Volunteering Officer I accomplished different tasks such as insect surveys, plant removal and streams cleaning. These activities help to secure the future of many precious habitats and species and gave me a practical vision about how the environmental conservation and management work. This experience also attests of my capacity of integration and adaptation which I think is essential when studying in a worldwide recognized institution like xxxxx University, with different ideologies and cultural backgrounds offered by its students. Undoubtedly, this creates a great source of international knowledge and global vision which is a great benefit in order to be able to face a wide variety of environmental issues.
After my work experiece, I worked as a volunteer for three months at in the Hampshire & Isle of White Wildlife Trust. While working alongside volunteers and a Volunteering Officer, I conducted insect surveys, removed plants and cleaned streams. These activities help to secure the future of many precious habitats and species. Now, you just need a short concluding sentence.

When you write your concluding sentence, keep it simple and concise. Remember, your reader knows about environmental issues. So you don't have to state the obvious. Instead, just tell them the key point.

This experience also attests of my capacity of integration and adaptation which I think is essential when studying in a worldwide recognized institution like xxxxx University, with different ideologies and cultural backgrounds offered by its students. Undoubtedly, this creates a great source of international knowledge and global vision which is a great benefit in order to be able to face a wide variety of environmental issues.

The above stuff is just jibberish. I don't even want to feed it into my translation machine.

If I were writing, I might say something like...

Moreover, I learned that it only takes some relatively simple activities to protect, sustain, and promote the native environment. (You most likely need to change my words. I am not conversant with environmental studies. The key point, however, is to keep it simple and straightforward. The more complicated and high fallutin you try to make it sound, the more life you suck out of it.)
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