Motivation Letter Help!!

Share tips as you apply, write essays, interview...
This topic has expert replies
User avatar
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 46
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Thanked: 2 times

Motivation Letter Help!!

by nathanalgren » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:21 am
Could you please help me make this letter better? I have 710 gmat, 103 toefl and 2.43 gpa..

I wanted to add information about that I was working all the time during my first years in the college, which is why my GPA is low, but I didn't know how to phrase that. And in my last year, I wasn't working, I passed 21 classes in one year. (normally one year load = 10-11 classes)..



Thank you.





--

Dear Sir/Madam;



I am writing to express my interest in your Master program in International Finance. My career goal is to work in a reputable investment bank or in the treasury departments of an international bank.



In high school, I graduated with Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics as my majors. In 2003, I took the university entrance exam that everyone must take in Turkey and I was in the top 125 people among 1.6 million people. I was accepted to a very selective Integrated BS&MS program in Teaching Mathematics of Bogazici University. In the August of 2010, I graduated from the university and since August, I work as an assistant supervisor in the Commercial Loans Allocation department of Finansbank AS.



My interest in finance started when I was in High School because of my uncle. I remember watching the graphs of stock prices all day without getting bored even one bit. Due to the difficulties in career prospects in finance in Turkey, I haven't applied any universities for studying finance after high school. However, during my years in the department of Education and Mathematics, I realized that I do not want to be a teacher. I worked in different sectors such as sales, marketing, teaching, web design and photography as an intern or part-time worker to see what I want to do with my career.



Eventually in the summer of 2009, I voluntarily started to work in the Credits department of Finansbank AS, a part of National Bank of Greece. That was the turning point in my future plans, as I felt very happy and comfortable with the job. I was the only intern to receive a full-time job offer among the four interns, even though all of the other interns were studying Economics or Finance in a university, and I was not.



I graduated from the university on the 18th of August and I was already employed on the 16th of August by Finansbank AS. Finansbank has one of the best training opportunities in banking sector in Turkey. I had two months in class training in finance, banking and communication, and one month internship in different departments of the bank to see how the things work. Since the beginning of November of 2010, I am evaluating the loan requests of the firms which come from the certain 18 branches of Finansbank in Turkey.



I want to study at University of Amsterdam because of your excellent teaching facilities and staff. Moreover, the curriculum of the MIF program is quite parallel to my ambitions as I want to gain a broader view in finance and to improve myself in investment banking, financial modeling and management. I spoke to a few people who studied in this particular program and the feedback that they gave me about the quality of education and career opportunities was more than satisfying.



The high living standards of Amsterdam and the fact that Amsterdam is one of the world's leading financial centers are the two of many reasons of why I would like to study and live in Amsterdam. In addition to this, the fact that most people speak English in the Netherlands and the diversity that Amsterdam possesses are just two of the key factors that can make life easy for a newcomer.



Considering my ambition and background in Finance, I am confident that I can exceed your expectations. Furthermore, I believe that my knowledge and experience in Education, Mathematics and Sales will bring diversity and a different point of view to your class.



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



Sincerely yours


Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 35
Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Location: USA
Thanked: 3 times
GMAT Score:750

by Superduperstudent » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:47 am
Hi Nathanalgren! I've read your letter and want to give you some of my expert advice. Nice GMAT score, by the way!

The 2nd and 3rd paragraph should be deleted or moved to a later point in your letter. At the moment, your motivation starts in paragraph 4, and you want to start talking about your motivation as early as possible. You don't want your reader to nod off before you tell them what they need to know.

Ah, so what do they need to know? Why you want to take part in the MIF! How did that idea pop into your head? Well, you're working in finance right now and you LOVE it! L.O.V.E. It! Tell them more about how much you LOVE it! Put that information in paragraph 2, the one that is currently paragraph 4.
Second, you like your work now, you don't need an MIF for your current job, but you need an MIF for something, right? What do you need it for? What can you do with the MIF that you could not do without it? How will the degree help you, your company, your country, whatever? Answer those questions and put them in the letter, to be specific in a new paragraph 3.

Paragraph 5 is alright.

Then you tell them why UvA, but your reasons are not very convincing. "Your excellent teaching facilities and staff"? That won't do. BE SPECIFIC! What facilities? Which staff members? Which courses are you especially looking forward to? Which clubs are you definitely going to join? What do you like about the way they connect to the world of business or whatever? Stroke them, tell them how great they are, and what's so great about them.

The business about Amsterdam having high living standards and lots of people speaking English is not interesting. Leave it out. It shows, perhaps incorrectly, that you haven't done enough research about the program.
See, the more research you do about the program, the better the chances are that this is the right program for you and that you will SUCCEED in their program. You succeeding is good for UvA: they get a high graduation rate, and a high employment rate after graduation. That will boost their rating and attract more students for the future. That in turn pays their bills.

OK, so now for the business of the low GPA. You mention in passing "my years in the department of Education and Mathematics," but you don't tell us when these years were. Is this the job that stopped you from getting a high GPA? Why did you keep a job that was so bad for your GPA? Did you need the money to pay for your tuition, rent, etc? Or is there another reason. Make it look like you did the right thing: you made a choice (working while studying) which ruined your GPA, but in the end you are happy you did. It gave you an opportunity to do a, b, or c. It allowed you to study at all, it gave you indispensable experience in front of the classroom, whatever. ONE PARAGRAPH ABOUT THIS ONLY! And put it somewhere in the middle; you don't want this to be the last thing on their mind after reading your letter.

FINALLY, FIX YOUR INTRODUCTION! It's too short, lacks information, and does not grab anyone's attention. Read my blog entry about writing a great introduction.

If you want me to help you re-write this letter further, you can reach me by going to my website, www.superduperstudent.com, click on "Contact".

Good luck!
Go to www.superduperstudent.com for GMAT tutoring and MBA application support!

User avatar
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 46
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Thanked: 2 times

by nathanalgren » Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:46 pm
I fixed some parts of it, and here it is. I still have problems with introduction.And I don't know if it was too specific to give names of courses and teachers.
(I also e-mailed you this)
Dear Sir/Madam;

I am writing to apply to your Master program in International Finance. My career goal is to work in the departments of corporate finance, treasury, asset management of international firms.

My interest in finance started because of my uncle when I was in High School. He used to invest his money on Turkish stocks and I remember watching the graphs of stock prices all day with him without getting bored even one bit. In high school, I graduated with Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics as my majors. I am an intelligent and focused person, In 2003, in the Turkish University Student Selection Exam, I was placed in the top 125 people among 1.6 million people.

Due to the lack of information and consultation opportunities in Turkey in 2000s, I just applied to the undergraduate program that has the highest requirements i.e. Integrated BS&MS program in Teaching Mathematics of Bogazici University. However, after working as a tutor for one year to finance my studies, I realized that I do not want to be a teacher. Therefore, from 2004 to 2009, I had worked in different sectors such as sales, marketing, teaching, web design and photography as an intern or part-time worker to improve myself in different areas. Even though I did enjoy all of my experiences, none of them made me say "This is what I want to do with my career!" until the summer of 2009.

In the summer of 2009, I voluntarily started to work in the Credits department of Finansbank AS, a part of National Bank of Greece. That was the turning point in my future plans, as I felt very happy and comfortable with the job. Each morning, I would get up as early as possible and I would be very excited to go to the bank and start working and learning new things from the experienced people. This enthusiasm must have impressed the managers, at the end of the internship, I was the only intern to receive a full-time job offer among the four interns, even though all of the other interns were studying Economics or Finance in a university, and I was not.

In August of 2010, I graduated from the university on the 18th of August and I was already employed on the 16th of August by Finansbank AS. Finansbank has one of the best training opportunities in banking sector in Turkey. I had two months in class training in finance, banking and communication, and one month internship in different departments of the bank to see how the things work. Since the beginning of November of 2010, I am evaluating the loan requests (that are from 0 to 3M-USD) of the firms which come from the certain 18 branches of Finansbank in Turkey. My unit and I were moved to one level higher to evaluate the loan requests that are more than 3M-USD in the beginning of 2011 thanks to the performance of the team.

I want to study at University of Amsterdam because of the opportunity to closely interact with the professors (such as Corporate Finance and Financial Markets Professor Arnoud Boot and International Finance professor Enrico Perotti). I am particulary interested in the courses of Investments, IFRS, Advanced Financial Econometrics and Advanced Asset Management because I want to improve myself in managing portfolios, asset pricing, hedge funds, predicting volatility and returns, and the IFRS. Moreover, the curriculum of the MIF program is quite parallel to my ambitions as I want to gain a broader view in finance and to improve myself in investment banking, financial modeling and management. The alumni wrote me about the quality of instructions and how they are eager to teach students, also about career opportunities through internships. In addition to this, the high living standards of Amsterdam, the fact that Amsterdam is one of the world's leading financial centers and that one of my best friends has been living in Amsterdam for a few months make me want even more to study in the University of Amsterdam.

Considering my ambition and background in Finance, I am confident that I can exceed your expectations. Furthermore, I believe that my knowledge and experience in Education, Mathematics and Sales will bring diversity and a different point of view to your class.

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

Sincerely yours

Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 35
Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Location: USA
Thanked: 3 times
GMAT Score:750

by Superduperstudent » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:45 pm
Hi Nathanalgreen,

I like what you did with the specific information about professors and courses. Now you sound like you've looked through their course list and read a few brochures!

Tighten up your sentences. A bunch of them are "run-on" sentences and it sounds like you're rambling a little.

Work on your introduction. Make it 3-5 sentences. You already have two! Add one that immediately tells the reader what you're motivation is. Something like: Since I started working in for a bank, I found out that this is the line of work I want to be in. Finance fascinates me and I have accomplished a great deal without having been educated in the field. I believe that, with a Master's degree from UvA, I can be even more..... etc etc etc.

Then after that, in the next paragraph, you immediately elaborate on your motivation. Talk about Finansbank, how well you do there, how much they love you, how much you love your job.

Allow them to find out as early as possible in your letter what they need to know.

Keep working on it, you're getting there!

Good luck!
Go to www.superduperstudent.com for GMAT tutoring and MBA application support!

User avatar
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 46
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Thanked: 2 times

by nathanalgren » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:50 am
So as you ordered (:P), I removed some useless stories, and I added some other information (hopefully didnt make it worse). Also I worked on the sentences, because I had Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score 34. Now it is..31..still not good enough..


I didn't touch the part about UvA, I e-mailed two alumni and asked them about UvA (they said that they would like to help me), when I ask them all I want to know, I will edit that part too. In the meantime, I would like to continue working on the paragraphs about me.


What I cannot get is, how will I let them know about my capability if i don't tell them stories?.. I don't think it will do if I say "I am really smart, trust me!".. Of course I understand that I should not include unnecessary stories.


Dear Sir/Madam;


I am writing to apply to your Master program in International Finance. Since I started working for a bank, I found out that this is the line of work I want to be in. Finance fascinates me and I have accomplished a great deal without having been educated in the field. I believe that, with a Master's degree from UvA, I can improve myself even further to reach the highest platform of financial institutions. My career goal is to work in the departments of corporate finance, treasury, and asset management of international firms.


In the summer of 2009, I voluntarily started to work in the Credits department of Finansbank AS, a part of National Bank of Greece. That was the turning point in my future plans, because I felt very happy and comfortable with the job. I liked very much the pace, teamwork, stressful and communication based nature of the job. I was able work closely with managers and the president. I was already integrated into the team following a two-weeks learning period.. I had responsibilities to forecast if a firm can repay the loan back. I presented my findings and opinion to the upper management about each firm. My team was able to bring 2 times more requests than average into a conclusion in a month. It was exciting to be a part of that team. At the end of the internship, I was the only intern to receive a full-time job offer among the four interns, even though all of the other interns were studying Economics or Finance in a university, and I was not.


I am an inborn intelligent and entrepreneur person, In 2003, in the Turkish University Student Selection Exam, I was placed in the top 125 people among 1.6 million people. With a difficult economy at the turn of the millennium, I chose Integrated BS&MS program in Teaching Mathematics of Bogazici University. Therefore, from 2004 to 2009, I had worked in different sectors such as sales, marketing, teaching, web design, independent currency trader and photography as an intern or part-time employee. I believe that each experience has helped me to improve certain skills of me and widened my point of view.


In August of 2010, I graduated from the university on the 18th of August and I was already employed on the 16th of August by Finansbank AS. Finansbank has one of the best training opportunities in banking sector in Turkey. I had two months in class training in finance, banking and communication, and one month internship in different departments of the bank to see how the things work. Since the beginning of November of 2010, I am evaluating the loan requests, up to three million dollars, of the firms which come from the certain 18 branches of Finansbank in Turkey. My unit and I were moved to one level higher to evaluate the loan requests that are more than 3M-USD in the beginning of 2011 by the president of Credits department, because my unit had the lowest amount of loss of loans although we accomplished the most number of requests compared to other units.


I want to study at University of Amsterdam because of the opportunity to closely interact with the professors (such as Corporate Finance and Financial Markets Professor Arnoud Boot and International Finance professor Enrico Perotti). I am particulary interested in the courses of Investments, IFRS, Advanced Financial Econometrics and Advanced Asset Management because I want to improve myself in managing portfolios, asset pricing, hedge funds, predicting volatility and returns, and the IFRS. Moreover, the curriculum of the MIF program is quite parallel to my ambitions as I want to gain a broader view in finance and to improve myself in investment banking, financial modeling and management. The alumni wrote me about the quality of instructions and how they are eager to teach students, also about career opportunities through internships. In addition to this, the high living standards of Amsterdam, the fact that Amsterdam is one of the world's leading financial centers and that one of my best friends has been living in Amsterdam for a few months make me want even more to study in the University of Amsterdam.


Considering my ambition and background in Finance, I am confident that I can exceed your expectations. Furthermore, I believe that my knowledge and experience in Education, Mathematics and Sales will bring diversity and a different point of view to your class.

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


Sincerely yours

Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 35
Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Location: USA
Thanked: 3 times
GMAT Score:750

by Superduperstudent » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:43 pm
Wow, what an enormous improvement! Great work, Nathanalgren!

I think content-wise this is far better than what you had before. It reads well, you make your important points early on, and you are very specific about important details. The work details that you provide make you sound capable and smart. Also, you've reformulated your career change in a very positive way. Excellent. I'm impressed!

The final step is language. There are quite a few issues of English in this letter. To give just one example: "I voluntarily started to work." This sounds as if your other option would be forced labor or something. Do you mean that you worked as a volunteer? Without any salary? Or were you an intern? Get the terminology right, just so that the reader doesn't waste time wondering what you mean, instead of focussing on your accomplishments.

If you need someone to proofread your letter and fix these language issues for you, you know where to find me! We can work out a price, and you know that I work fast :).

Good luck!
Go to www.superduperstudent.com for GMAT tutoring and MBA application support!

User avatar
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 46
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Thanked: 2 times

by nathanalgren » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:18 am
I have written a new letter, I used some of your sentences and some of mine, but the structure of it is different than the previous one. It is way too long though. We will have to cut some parts out.. I am adding it below, and I would like to you to tell me if this approach is better or if I should stick with the previous one. I liked this one better, but I do not know much about these things

I have three things in different paragpraphs: quick learner, teamplayer, entreprenuer.. Then I gave names of the people I talked to (I am still talking to them, so I hope I will get more info from them, and I am writing X and Y for now)

By the way, I completed all documents for my applications, I just need to add motivation letter. :)



--



Dear Sir/Madam,



I am writing to apply to your Master program in International Finance. Since I started working for a bank, I found out that this is the line of work I want to be in. I have accomplished a great deal without having been educated in the field. I believe that, with a Master's degree from UvA, I can improve myself even further to reach the highest platform of financial institutions.



I am an intelligent and entrepreneur individual. In 2003, in the Turkish University Student Selection Exam, I was placed in the top 125 people among 1.6 million people (top 0.008%). With a difficult economy at the turn of the millennium, I chose Integrated BS&MS program in Teaching Mathematics of Bogazici University. Even though I was studying in a very challenging department, I did my best to use my time to demonstrate my entrepreneur personality and quick thinking and learning skills, and my ability to perform in a team.



In the summer of 2009, I began working as an intern in the Credits Department of Finansbank AS, a part of National Bank of Greece. My primary responsibility was to evaluate commercial loans up to a value of three million U.S. dollars. To fulfill my responsibilities, I, as a part of a credit team, was required to carefully analyze the company and its financial statements and present our findings to senior management in a timely fashion. The works of my team were quick and accurate because of our open communication, teamwork, and cooperation. At the end of my intern period, I was gratified to learn that, although I lacked formal business or financial training, I was the only intern who received a full-time job offer among the four of us. Besides, I have been trading currencies in the Forex Market for a year, and I have successfully tripled my capital in less than 9 months. The time and effort I spend in Finansbank and Trading has proved my quick thinking and learning skills.



In addition to being a quick-thinker, I have always been eager to improve different aspects of myself. I had worked in different sectors such as sales, marketing, teaching, web designing, independent currency trading and photography as an intern or part-time employee before starting to work in my current job. The highlights of these experiences were tutoring kids in English and Math in different levels and founding a website to sell web space and domain. Most of the students whom I tutored managed to increase their graders and score pretty well in the standardized tests. On the other hand, the web site that I founded to sell web domain and web space had reached more than 150 customers in a short time of period. This brought interest of a few people in the site, and I sold the web-site with its customers to an investor. I believe that each experience has helped me to improve widened my point of view and improved my performance in a team setting.



In the university, I was involved in many school projects as a part or the leader of a team. In most projects, because of time-limits it was important to work efficiently and effectively as a team. For example, in a project to come up with an idea to help poor people, I, as the team leader, organized an event to collect used books and we created a website for donations. Thanks to this project, we provided books for more than 200 elementary school students. In addition to this, working as a photographer in Six Flags Great America in Chicago let me see that I can easily adapt living in a different culture and work effectively in a team of people who are from different countries. I managed to consistently exceed the goals set by my manager and as a result of that; my team contributed the company to make more than expected revenue in the park.



I want to study at University of Amsterdam because of the opportunity to closely interact with the professors (such as Corporate Finance and Financial Markets Professor Arnoud Boot and International Finance professor Enrico Perotti). I am particularly interested in the courses of Investments, IFRS, Advanced Financial Econometrics and Advanced Asset Management because I want to improve myself in managing portfolios, asset pricing, hedge funds, predicting volatility and returns, and the IFRS. Given my passion, drive, and ambition, I am determined to attend a top tier university. After working on small commercial transactions for a local bank, I want to learn as much as possible and apply my knowledge to large and important commercial transactions.



To get opinion of a current student and alumni, I talked to X, a current student, and Y, an UvA graduate. They both told me that all of the professors are one of the bests in their areas and they are open to interaction with their students. In addition to this, the high living standards of Amsterdam, the fact that Amsterdam is one of the world's leading financial centers and that one of my best friends has been living in Amsterdam for a few months make me want even more to study in the University of Amsterdam. I am aware that the graduates of University of Amsterdam are highly valued and work for important institutions such as JP Morgan, ING, and Morgan Stanley. I want to become one of your successful graduates.



Considering my ambition and background in Finance, I am confident that I can exceed your expectations. Furthermore, I believe that my knowledge and experience in Education, Mathematics and Sales will bring diversity and a different point of view to your class.

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

Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 35
Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Location: USA
Thanked: 3 times
GMAT Score:750

by Superduperstudent » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:10 pm
Hi Nathanalgren,

I can see why you like this new approach. It allows you to display more of your experiences and personality, and that is always good. Go with your gut!

That being said, a few points can be improved.... ;)

I would prefer that paragraph 2, immediately after the introduction, states important information about your motivation. This is a motivation letter, and you want to start with the good stuff. Starting with the good old days (this is almost 8 years ago!) in which you scored in the top 1% of the country is OK, but it's not relevant to your motivation.

I like your paragraph about Finansbank. The one-before-last sentence, about trading on Forex should not be there. Perhaps you can turn this into a paragraph of its own? Or you can add it to the paragraph about running and selling your own internet company. That makes more sense. It's good info though, just in the wrong place.

"The time and effort I spenT in Finansbank and Trading has proved my quick thinking and learning skills." How? When did you think quickly? What did you learn quickly? You *claim* this, but you don't *support* this statement with evidence.

Paragraph 4 is messy. I'd say: focus on your website and on the Forex trading, two successful, entrepreneurial ventures. I'm not sure what point you are making with the tutoring, so I'd leave it out. Oh, and the last sentence, about the team setting, is again just a *claim* without proof or support. In fact, every example you have given in this paragraph appears to be entirely individual.

Paragraph 5 is nice because of the book collection project etc. The photography example doesn't work (yet). How did you work in a team? And can you really claim that the company made more than expected revenue on the entire park because of your photography?

Paragraph 6 and 7, and 8 are very good.

Nice work!

Again, many language issues, but the content keeps improving! Keep at it, your effort is paying off!
Go to www.superduperstudent.com for GMAT tutoring and MBA application support!

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 1
Joined: 13 Jun 2021

Re: Motivation Letter Help!!

by MaxFox » Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:27 am
This is very interesting

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 2
Joined: 01 Aug 2021

Re: Motivation Letter Help!!

by aricjoshua » Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:04 pm
Thank you for sharing this information! In terms of content, I believe this is considerably superior than what you had previously. It reads nicely, you go right to the point, and you're quite precise about crucial facts. The work specifics you offer make you appear skilled and knowledgeable. You've also reframed your profession shift in a favorable light. Excellent. I'm blown away!