Personal Statement Education

Education is not the level of commitment to memory, or even how much one tends to know, but it is the capability to separate the known from the unknown. As stipulated by Bel Kaufman, education is not a job, diploma, mark or money, but rather a non-terminating process. My motivation to apply for a master's degree program in Environmental Studies at U.Penn is to acquire academic knowledge in a multicultural context. The degree will help me to acquire knowledge in relation to economic, environmental, and social factors of a project.  In addition, my architectural background and hard work, together with the latest knowledge from U.Penn will help me become active in project development. I believe that U.Penn is the place to obtain further knowledge that will facilitate the achievement of my career objectives.

As an architecture student, my passion for sustainability developed since I undertook my first design project of designing a house with a special drainage system. This helped in gathering and preserving rain water.  I sank the house underground, thereby allowing wildlife to drink in the roof gutter. The flooding issue became history and this provided an exciting experience. During my undergraduate studies, I gradually realized the urgency of environmental issues and the significant roles architects can play. With a second major in environmental studies, in the summer of 2012, I have been exposed to a total sustainability and design integration in Human Impact Institute's retrofit project as a volunteer and its chief architect. The project will be NYC's first low- income, green building education site in Southside Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  As the principal architect, the project involved creations on concept plans to detail architectural drawings. This project will use Human Impacts Institute headquarters, as a demonstration and training space to inspire people's engagement and action on energy efficiency and sustainability, as well as essentially minimizing energy use and carbon emissions of the building. Leading this project further confirmed my belief in green architecture, and my persuasion as a sustainability leader.

After graduating, I intend to work for an architectural firm in China. Here, I will integrate environmental knowledge into my designs. I will propose using my analysis in helping others by being an environmental consultant. After gaining sufficient understanding of sustainable issues both as a designer and a consultant, I hope to develop the company to one of the leading green architecture firms in China. The fact that I am Chinese equips me with thorough knowledge of my country. Therefore, I know the urgent need for performance-oriented designs. The rapidly growing infrastructure industry provides a niche for me to fill with regard to my career path.

I have faith that the Master of Environmental Studies will empower me to chase my dream. Moreover, my Chinese and architectural background will provide perspectives to the program. My experience in architectural practice and the skills obtained from environmental studies puts me further ahead of ordinary architects.  I am fluent in both Chinese and English thereby able to assist hastening the sustainable development in China. U.Penn's education will help me bridge the west and east together through sustainability. Broadening my intelligence envelope with human environmental relations will enable me to contribute to the world with my full capacity. The master of environmental studies and a directed focus on environmental sustainability enables learners to benefit from sustainability programs as well as MES course offerings. The program provides various course options that enable students to formulate programs with explicit requirements derived from the areas of sustainability they are pursuing. The MES program offered at U.Penn will allow me to select courses effectively with regard to my anticipation. This will increase my focus on green design. Knowledge gained from the MES program will equip me with the necessary skills to hold positions such as sustainable consultant and a green architect. Skills of dealing with issues, such as energy use, storm water runoff, greenhouse gas emissions, waste reduction and recycling, and use of sustainable products, will enable me to work in design and construction companies.

My professional experience has raised my career goals. I will maintain a high level of personal dedication and hard work. My grade point average, experience, and unmatched personality made me stand out as a promising candidate that your school is looking for.  The master' degree will supplement my experience and confidence to face the career world. I've found a program that will offer me an opportunity to train in a well-structured and administered environment. Faculty teams with a passion to teach and lead in projects are part of the quality that attracts me to Masters Program at U.Penn. Since practice is a core ingredient of the master's program, I will put my skills into practice once offered a chance at the university.

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