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From big corporations to small businesses and nonprofits, all need a project manager in today’s landscape. If you’re looking to move to a higher role in your specific role or niche, a degree in project management from a reputed university abroad can be one of the best career decisions for you. But getting into these universities requires a well-written statement of purpose, or SOP. Writing an SOP for project management can feel like a difficult task unless you are familiar with the technical know-hows of writing one. Fortunately, our guide on writing an SOP provides you with simple guidelines and tips that you can use to write an impactful statement of purpose for all your college and university applications.
Toolkit for SOP for project management
A clear and accessible toolkit has been developed so that you can create a statement of purpose that is just as good as a professional written statement.
|Questions to be answered
|Introduction (motivation and goals)
|What experiences persuaded you to study project management?
|The realisation of lack of skill set required to oversee the day-to-day operations in the family business
ORFurther education would open up new avenues for me as a civil engineer
|What skills have you gained that align with your project management course?
|Leadership and communication skills
ORProblem-solving and organizational skills
|What is your higher goal?
|To take over my family business in the future
ORTo become a construction project manager
|Body paragraph I (learning, execution, and impact)
|Where did you get your previous education?
|Completed Bachelor of Business Administration from The New College, Chennai
ORCompleted Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from Amity University, Noida
|Where did you previously work?
|Worked as a management trainee internship at Royal Enfield during summer semester, worked in father’s mill on quality assurance and control
ORWorked as a building construction intern with InternshipWala, did a full-time job as a site civil engineer at Aditya Birla Group
|What have you accomplished as a result of your cumulative experiences?
|Was responsible for ensuring that all safety measures were followed at all times in the mill, supervised packaging and the storage conditions
ORLearned to estimate the quantity and costs of required materials while ensuring health and safety standards at all times, proficient in drafting and designing using AutoCAD
|Body paragraph II (why course, why university)
|What made you decide on taking this level of course?
|MBA would equip me with essential knowledge in a shorter period of time
ORThe diploma will help me gain the required knowledge in a short time
|What made you decide on this specific course?
|The coursework provides analytical training in both the public and private sectors
ORThe program’s focus on technological as well as management aspects of the industrial and commercial projects
|What made you decide on this university/college?
|The opportunity to collaborate with distinguished faculty members, particularly Prof. Nicholas Perdikis, known for renowned for his research work
ORThe cooperative education program will help me manage my expenses as an international student
|What are the benefits that you bring to the university/college?
|By becoming a part of the Aberystwyth University Badminton Club and competing in various badminton competitions
ORBy becoming a part of the volunteer team at the annual Volunteer Expo on the college campus
|Conclusion (closing statement)
|What goals do you wish to accomplish in a short time span?
|To absorb advanced project management projects, enhancing my ability to lead projects in an effective manner
ORTo transition seamlessly to the role of a construction project manager and secure an entry level job
|What goals do you wish to accomplish in the long term?
|To take over my father’s business and take it to greater heights
ORTo work in a senior position as a construction project manager
|What will be your contribution to society in the future with your career?
|Collaborate with EcoSikh and aim at reducing carbon footprint through rice mill
ORTo be a part of sustainable and socially impactful projects
Sample SOP for a student with a background in project management
“Trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play a football game without a game plan.” — Karen Tate
I come from a business background, given that my father is a self-employed businessman who owns a rice mill. As a kid, I used to frequently accompany my father on his visits to the mill. There was a sudden joy and curiosity that ushered upon me as soon as I entered the mill, and I believe that feeling is with me to date. I am still fascinated by the loud thud of the machines, the noise of the workers, and the fact that they all coordinate and work together like a team. By the time I entered high school, I started to visit the mill more often and help my father with his work. With time, I started working alongside my father and began observing and understanding the day-to-day operations at the mill. These included managing the inventory while ensuring that rice is sold at lowest possible price without compromising its quality. Moreover, to fulfil my vision of expanding my father’s business, I realised that I need to become proficient in managing these tasks as it is a highly risky business. However, being an undergraduate student, I have limited skills and understanding of project management, which made me realise the need for higher studies. For the same reason, I wish to pursue a master's degree in project management.I believe my knowledge of quality control, coupled with my leadership and communication skills attained over the years, will aid me on my journey to take over my family business in the future.
I was always clear with the idea of working in my father’s mill, because of which I took up a Bachelor of Business Administration from The New College, Chennai.During the summer semester in my second year of college, I worked as an administration intern at a non profit organisation named The Startup Club.My duties involved performing the general clerical work and maintaining files and records of the events organised by the organisation. Though my work experience was very limited, the internship helped develop good organisational and communication skills. Apart from that, I gained practical knowledge and work experience at my father’s mill, where I initially worked on quality assurance and control. I was responsible for ensuring that all safety measures were followed at all times in the mill. I had to also keep an eye on the packaging and the storage conditions to ensure that the packaged rice remained fresh for an extended period of time. This, in turn, made me skilled in ensuring product quality, waste management and developed leadership skills.
Due to the same reason, I decided to get a Master of Business Administration degree in project management, as I believe it will equip me with essential knowledge in a shorter period of time.I aim to join Aberystwyth University’s ‘MBA Professional Masters in Project Management’ programme for its stellar reputation for producing industry professionals. My decision to choose the MBA programme stems from its coursework, which provides analytical training in both the public and private sectors. The opportunity to collaborate with distinguished faculty members, particularly Prof. Nicholas Perdikis, renowned for his research work in global trade and the Indian economy, resonates with my academic interests.Beyond my academic pursuits, I am excited about engaging with the Aberystwyth University Badminton Club and competing in various badminton competitions.
In the short term, my goal is to absorb advanced project management projects, enhancing my ability to lead projects in an effective manner. In the long term, I aspire to return to my country and work towards the goal of taking over my father’s business and taking it to greater heights. I believe the knowledge I will gain from your university will allow me to craft effective project management strategies that will help me achieve my goal. Along with this, I aim to collaborate with EcoSikh, which is a charitable society that aims to reduce the carbon footprint. I believe that working with them will help me learn effective strategies that I will later utilise to reduce the carbon footprint through my rice mill.Attending Aberystwyth University and earning an MBA degree from there will smooth my path to achieving these goals.
Sample SOP for a student with a different background
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela
This quote by Nelson Mandela resonates deeply with my vision and plans for the future. As a site civil engineer who has been working in the field for around two years, the prospect of returning to study might be scary at first. However, I believe that there is nothing as powerful as education, and at this important juncture in my professional career, I have decided to get a postgraduate degree in project management. While my role as a civil engineer has been fulfilling, I believe that further education would help me become a construction project manager and open up new avenues for me. Becoming a construction manager would help me to contribute strategically to construction projections, from their inception to completion.I am mindful of my problem-solving and organisational skills, which I believe perfectly align with my career aspirations as a construction project manager.
With my academic strengths in mathematics and physics in school, I chose to study engineering. I have completed my Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from Amity University, Noida,following which I worked as a building construction intern with InternshipWala. The internship helped me get a full-time job as a site civil engineer at Aditya Birla Group. While working as a civil engineer, I have been involved in a variety of construction projects, which presented me with unique challenges and opportunities. I was responsible for estimating the quantity and costs of required materials while ensuring health and safety standards at all times. These experiences have shaped my understanding of construction drawings using AutoCAD and provided me with valuable insights into the technical know-hows of construction. Given that construction management is a highly risky job and the duty of a construction project manager requires extensive supervision and attention to detail, a diploma in project management would serve the purpose.
After extensive research, I decided to apply to Centennial College in Canada to pursue a diploma in project management. I chose the ‘Construction Project Management’ diploma as it will help me gain the required knowledge in a short time. The program’s focus on technological as well as management aspects of the industrial and commercial projects particularly interests me.As an international student moving to a new country, I recognize the challenges of adapting to student life while navigating between work and studies at the same time. The cooperative education program at Centennial College stands out as an ideal solution, allowing me to seamlessly integrate work and study.I look forward to joining the college and becoming a part of the volunteer team at the annual Volunteer Expo on the college campus.
Upon completion of my diploma, my short-term goal is to transition seamlessly to the role of a construction project manager and secure an entry level job. I aspire to leverage my technical expertise as a civil engineer and combine it with the leadership skills that I would gain from my diploma. I believe that this will help me in the long run to work in a senior position as a construction project manager.As a responsible professional in construction, my societal contribution lies in championing sustainable and socially impactful projects. I am confident that a diploma from Centennial College will provide me with the ideal platform to refine my skills, broaden my perspective, and emerge as a successful construction project manager.
How to write an SOP for project management
Your SOP for project management must be sectioned into 4 paragraphs. Below we have provided you with an explanation on how to write a statement of purpose.
Introduction (motivation and goal)
It is crucial to keep the admissions committee hooked to your SOP from the very beginning. For the same reason, we recommend you to begin your SOP with your source of inspiration that made you pursue your chosen degree/diploma in project management. To sound more authentic, relate your source of motivation with your personal experience. It could either be your personal story, a course you had taken or a book that got you interested in project management. Make sure to mention the skills that you have acquired over the years, making you a perfect fit for you to pursue your course. Also, mention your long-term goal that you wish to achieve with your course.
Checklist for writing introduction:
- Hook (quote related to project management)
- Source of motivation
- Long-term goal
- Reason to pursue the course
- Unique aspects about your personality
- Future goals
Body paragraph I (learning, execution, and impact)
When you apply to your chosen college/university, it is clear that you’re qualified according to their academic requirements. However, in order to stand out amongst the pile of applicants, you need to mention how your academic background prepared you for career in project Management. Not only this, highlight your professional career which could include your volunteership, internship, or full-time employment showcasing your skills in the work environment.
Checklist for writing body paragraph I:
- Academic accomplishments
- Professional accomplishments
- Long-term goal
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Impact of all the cumulative experiences
- In case of a fresher, talk about internships and volunteerships
Body paragraph II (why course, why university)
This paragraph should only be focused on your reasoning to be a part of your chosen college/university. You must state why you want to pursue the level of the chosen course in project management. Along with this, you must talk about the features of the course and the college/university that made you select it for your higher education. Not to forget, mention a quality of yours that makes you a valuable asset for the institution.
Checklist for writing body paragraph II:
- The skills and knowledge you know related to project management
- Why this particular college/university?
- What do you like about the university?
- How can you be a valuable addition to the college/university?
Conclusion (closing statement)
Your closing statement should show your commitment towards your career. In this paragraph, demonstrate your ambitious side by talking about your short and long term goals. Make sure that you talk about realistic goals as unrealistic goals would establish you as an impractical applicant. In addition to this, talk about your contribution to society with your career in the future as admissions officers get a better understanding of the direction the students want to take their career.
Checklist for writing conclusion:
- Path to achieve your career goals (short-term and long-term goals)
- What after the course (long-term goals)
- Contribution towards the society
As a prospective student looking forward to studying project management abroad, crafting a perfect statement of purpose is integral. With our guide on writing SOP for masters, you can get an idea of what you need to mention in your SOP to make it stand out. Our guide focuses on the 4 paragraphs which are: introduction explaining your motivation and goal, body paragraph I explaining your academic and professional background in SOP, body paragraph II explaining the reasoning to choose your selected college/university, and lastly, the conclusion giving a closing statement for the SOP.
Why should you choose project management?
A degree in project management is a great option if you’re looking forward to transitioning to a senior job position. Studying project management abroad offers you a variety of job options to choose from with lucrative salaries. In the United States alone, a project manager makes an average of $92,288 per year. This figure has been calculated excluding the additional cash compensation, which, too, is estimated to be around $7,207 in a year. The additional cash compensation could be in the form of a bonus, commission, or profit sharing.
What is SOP written for?
A statement of purpose is written to give the admission committee a clear and concise idea about you. At its core, SOP restates your life’s learning, achievements, goals and motivation in your own words. It is with the help of an SOP that you can portray your personality with your skills, strengths, and accomplishments over time, which make you different from the other applicants.
How long should SOP be?
College and university websites generally mention the word limit for SOP on their websites under guidelines. In case, they aren’t mentioned you can stick to the word limit of 600-1000 words.
What should be the tone of an SOP?
An SOP is trying to appeal to the admissions officer, so it is crucial to write in a formal manner throughout the SOP. However, your tone should be conversational so that you can paint a picture of your personality in an effective manner using words. We recommend you to not use any informal words or slang terms as they could create a bad impression on the admissions committee.