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Hi Everyone

I have spent some time on the site reading and learning from the plethora of previous advice on writing motivational letters. After a fair amount of time i have come up with an initial draft that i would appreciate help with. This is for acceptance into a post graduate sustainable development management course and has to be 1000 words.

Please find my draft below, all comments are welcome:

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I am applying for your BPhil in Sustainable development planning and management starting in February 2012.

My application has been part of an internal work in progress for many years, and I now feel this is the ideal time in my life and career to pursue this new direction. Fulfilled, meaningful and impactful are key words that fill me, when I think about the positive outputs from realigning my career direction with my new skill set. The potential for assisting businesses and communities to become more aware of their environment and social responsibilities is hugely motivating.

One of my fondest childhood memories was at age 11, lying flat on my back gazing into the wondrous plethora of stars above theMpumalangahighveld community of Lydenburg. The Southern Cross, Orions belt and the mysterious Milky Way - all crystal clear in a sky unobstructed from pollution or light. Surrounding me, the clean sweet smell of the veld air, the unobtrusive clicking of the crickets and wild barking of baboons on the mountain. This is where the consciousness for the love of the environment, nature and animals was truly awoken.

If I look back at my final high school years, it was not mathematics or business management that spurred my energies and imagination, but geography and biology. It has however taken 17 years to finally appreciate that my passion was not for big business, but the opportunity to make a difference to current and future generations in how we operate big business sustainably.

In 2004 I visited Chinafor the first time on a business trip. We traveled over land and stopped off at a popular tourist attraction called West lake, located in the historic center of Hangzhou , in Zhejiang province. A large body of fresh water, surrounded by lush forested mountains and ancient Chinese architecture hugging the banks of the lake, but sadly, the sky’s were overcast with pollution and the fresh water was hazardous to touch or drink.

How could such an amazing area of the world be so incredibly beautiful in one respect but so pitifully poisonous in another? This was a clear contrast between unrestricted economic development for a bludgeoning population and the direct after affect on the environment.

This for me was a clear depiction of what unrestricted economic development could quickly do to our delicate environment and have a significant knock on affect on future generations.

On my return toSouth Africa, I made adjustments to the product we purchased (nickel free, free from animal shell, use of non endangered wood) as well as the packaging, ensuring these where non toxic and bio-degradable.

My other passion is for animals and for as long as I can remember I have tried to support animal organizations where possible, financially or physically.

****** is a forum that I developed last year to provide a platform for individuals to discuss and disseminate animal related issues, and to offer advice about animal nutrition, healthcare and training.

I also focus heavily on welfare issues and issues relating to canned lion (animal) hunting, seal hunting, whaling, the dog meat trade inAsia, breed specific legislation for dangerous breed dogs, Rhino poaching, ethical treatment of farm animals and organic farming – these contentious issues are endless as is the unnecessary cruelty.

All of these issues have financial benefit to someone or some organization, but what is the impact on the animal and on the sustainability of these actions to future generations? I want to tackle these issues head on to avoid the grim reality that wild open planes, forests and endless seas could be stripped of all animals and fish, and that my son will only be able to see these majestic creatures in zoo’s or museums.

From an educational background, I completed my Bachelor of commerce degree in 2008 studying part time and receiving a total of fourteen distinctions. During this period I also completed a number of information technology courses and was selected from five hundred applicants to receive a bursary from Oracle Corporation to study Oracle Financials.

In 2009 I completed a project management course run through******** business school receiving a final mark of 85% for my project and in 2011, I completed my Prince 2 Foundation and practitioner course scoring 2nd highest in my class.

I have worked from the age of eighteen and have gained invaluable experience and exposure in both the Information Technology and corporate retail environments. Although this has not been the wood for my fire, it has imparted an excellent set of skills in management, team work, communication, strategic thinking and planning. Time in this environment has however opened my eyes as to why corporate business need to adopt further environmentally friendly business principles that can be directly translated into eco-efficient outcomes.

I want to study at ********** University because of my past positive experience with your university as well as your outstanding educational system. The chance to work and learn at your Sustainability Institute at ***************village which focuses on providing relevant work experience as well and the ability to assist the surrounding community is an exciting and rewarding opportunity I look forward too.

Given my past history of commitment to hard work and excellence, I am confident that I will bring a high level of energy and enthusiasm to your program. I am sure to exceed your expectations, because of both my academic and interpersonal skills as well as the experience gained from my career. I hope to enrich the program by enabling fellow students and professors to benefit from my ambitious and open nature.

Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to your positive response.

.
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Comments  
Your letter is extremely long. Moreover, it reads like a diary entry with a long story rather than a business letter.

Please look read these two posts:

http://www.EnglishForward.com/content/lessons/motivation-letters-part-i.htm (this post links to Part II too)

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/PleaseReviewMotivationLetter/pwcmp/post.htm (another student that I recently helped - she recently received her acceptance)

Notice how her letter emphasizes her strengths with examples to support/demonstrate her stengths.

Take your time and please revise your letter.
Hi MH

Thanks for your feedback, I will work through this now.

It is very long, i know, but the requirement is a 1000 word essay/motivation.

I felt due to the nature of the course, environment as well as some feedback from a past student that they are looking for honest, heartfelt reasoning behind the application. I will try again.

Phily
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I suspect the 1000 is a maximum, not a minimum. Brevity is always, always, always appreciated.

According to my software, you have about 940 words.

I'd aim for a 1 - 2 page letter. Beyond two pages, you're blathering too much. If I were reading these letters, I would automatically fail/reject anyone who used more than two pages. I think 2 pages is about 600 words.
MountainHikerI suspect the 1000 is a maximum, not a minimum. Brevity is always, always, always appreciated.

According to my software, you have about 940 words.

I'd aim for a 1 - 2 page letter. Beyond two pages, you're blathering too much. If I were reading these letters, I would automatically fail/reject anyone who used more than two pages. I think 2 pages is about 600 words.
I re-read the application criteria and have copied the key point below:

"The completed departmental application form plus a motivation (1000 words) of why you wish to study the BPhil in Sustainable Development Planning & Management degree"

How do you think i should handle this?
Without meaning to be sarcastic, if they are reputable, they like brevity. Treat the 1000 words as a maximum. Obviously, don't make it one paragraph. But don't take two pages and make it four pages, hoping to come close to the 1000 word limit.

If you are at all concerned with planning and management, brevity, brevity, brevity.

If stuff is too long, you literally don't read it. If you read a tight, concise, focused one or two page letter, you learn something. If you get handed a 20 page document, your recycle it, knowing that if it contains something important, someone, somewhere will tell you about it.
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Just for interest sake, the uni is one of the top 4 in S.A, http://www.sun.ac.za/university /

Will give them a call tomorrow to confirm this and will feedback tomorrow. Thanks MH have a good eve/day?
>> Will give them a call tomorrow to confirm this and will feedback tomorrow.

Yeah, I might be inclined to do the same thing. If I were asking, what is the typical length of the stronger letters? I am planning to write a one to two page concise, focused letter. Does this format meet with your expectation?
MountainHiker>> Will give them a call tomorrow to confirm this and will feedback tomorrow. Yeah, I might be inclined to do the same thing. If I were asking, what is the typical length of the stronger letters? I am planning to write a one to two page concise, focused letter. Does this format meet with your expectation?
Alrighty, some clarity!

So after a chat to the uni, they want a 1000 word essay (motivation). I enquired about the style of essay and this is the feedback below. So based on this, I feel the style of my essay might be appropriate?

"I’ve spoken to our Programme Coordinator – the aim of the motivation is to see if you can write and to get to know you, and applicants must interpret this in their own way.

So there you go – no hard and fast rule. Gut feeling work.

All the best and looking forward to seeing your app on my desk."
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