Pls help me review my PS, foreigner, gotta be sent this week

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cassieyuc
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:53 pm

Pls help me review my PS, foreigner, gotta be sent this week

Postby cassieyuc » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:44 pm

In one usual hot and humid afternoon in Sri Lanka, the air in the meeting room of our project site was nearly frozen. Though nobody talked, everyone could sense the tension between parties including my employer as contractor, Chinese government as the owner, and Engineer who was responsible for supervision of the construction. It was the construction claim negotiation meeting; my employer has requested to recover the cost of additional job that was not stipulated in the official project contract. The truth was that we have done thirty percent more work than required in the contract, and our work had been seriously affected by delayed payments and stalled paperwork from the owner. However, the owner bluntly refused every item we requested. The “successful” legal consultant my company hired from Europe, to our surprise, didn’t break the impasse, and was frequently confused by engineering terminologies, even after I have provided compelling evidences to him. The Engineer, who witnessed the whole project process, would not tell the truth because they were too afraid to upset the owner, and also that they have not received “gift” of comparable value. Facing contemptuous Owner and corrupted Engineer, I can not help but asking myself: what was wrong?

The impasse between Owner, Contractor, and Engineer happened to us has been prevalent in China since the construction boom began in 1995. Great demand in new infrastructures creates a huge bubble in China real estate industry, along with many drawbacks such as unfair competition, poor quality constructions, and severe environment pollution. But as an ambitious engineer graduated from top engineering school, I was too optimistic to see the dark side of the industry.

After graduation, I joined the largest marine contractor in China, China Harbor Engineering Company (Group). When first acknowledged to work in a Chinese government donated project in Sri Lanka, I was very excited and honored about being able to contribute to reconstruction after the devastating tsunami in 2004. As soon as I arrived there, I was stunned by the destruction which was everywhere and must be seen to be understood. People had lost their homes livelihoods and close family members and were suffering from diseases and lack of food and water. In strong contrast to the environment of such were the pure and spotless eyes of the children who brought me papaya fruit to share which was perhaps their only food they had that day. I was deeply moved by the local residents’ hospitality and by exchanging gifts and ideas of different culture, we became good friends. I was frequently invited to their religious rituals and local parties. It is this remarkable experience that provided me a new perspective to feel the world, assimilated a wholly new culture and taught me to be grateful. I decided to dedicate to the project wholeheartedly, as high-quality facilities would contribute to people’s lives most effectively.

Responsible for cost control, I successfully established a well-rounded system to control steps of procurement methodically and usage of materials and equipment. In six months, we reduced fifteen percent of wasted materials and unnecessary machinery usage. Realizing the importance of coordination between cost, schedule and quality teams, I initiated the development of a series of indexes that could reflect overall performance as well as identify potential risks and problems, which led to a dramatic increased efficiency and profitability. As my work were recognized and lauded, I was promoted as Commercial Manager in the fastest manner. Nonetheless, during the pricing negotiation with the owner, we have met great problems in the combination of international and Chinese standard contract clauses. Unfortunately, resulting from this unequal and equivocal contractual language, we ended up unable to recover our loss. I then started to rethink my planned career path to be a successful engineer.

I decided that I need to learn more. After 2 years experience in Sri Lanka, I chose Columbia University to study construction management. With special focus in legal aspect, I was greatly exposed to real-estate related legal knowledge. But taking three law classes and one related subject in one semester, I felt the enormous pressure that I have never encountered before. At the first few classes in Construction Law, I was too shy to actively participate in the class with the fact that most of my classmates were native speakers and half of whom were law students. Professor Robert Rubin helped me with his kindness and encouragement, and gradually I gained my confidence, participated more, and finally enjoyed the class subjects and atmosphere. By comparing Chinese regulations to US legal system, along with my solid foundation of engineering, I was able to bring unique perspective to the class discussion, which sometimes gave rise to hot debates in the class. As a result the course sparked my interest in legal knowledge, which made the study of appeared-elusive legal concepts and principles a delightful experience.

I then realized that the answer to my riddle lies in the gap between seemingly distinct fields of lawyers and engineers. As illustrated by my employer’s case, without such connection, lawyers cannot effectively protect engineers, nor could engineers utilize laws to defend themselves. Therefore, I want to build a bridge that spanning the sea between engineering and law. Feeling both mentally and emotionally ready to climb the law school mountain, I believe that I would be able to conquer any obstacle along the way and eventually transform it into a robust and infrangible bridge that would bring justice to both sides.

PoliticalJunkie
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: Pls help me review my PS, foreigner, gotta be sent this week

Postby PoliticalJunkie » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:05 pm

cassieyuc wrote:In one usual hot and humid afternoon in Sri Lanka, the air in the meeting room of our project site was nearly frozen. Though nobody talked, everyone could sense the tension between parties including my employer as contractor, Chinese government as the owner, and the Engineer who was responsible for supervision of the constructionof what?. It was the construction claim negotiation meeting; my employer has requested to recover the cost of additional job that was not stipulated in the official project contract. The truth was that we have done thirty percent more work than required in the contract, and our work had been seriously affected by delayed payments and stalled paperwork from the owner. However, the owner bluntly refused every item we requested. The “successful” reason for the quotes? I don't see it.legal consultant my company hired from Europe, to our surprise, didn’t break the impasse, and was frequently confused by engineering terminologies, even after I have provided compelling evidences to him. The Engineer, who witnessed the whole project process, would not tell the truth because they were too afraid to upset the owner, and also that they have not received “gift” of comparable value. Facing a contemptuous Owner and corrupted Engineer, I can not help but asking myself: what was wrong?

The impasse between Owner, Contractor, and Engineer happened to us has been prevalent in China since the construction boom began in 1995. Great demand in new infrastructures createsis this the correct tense? a huge bubble in China real estate industry, along with many drawbacks such as unfair competition, poor quality constructions, and severe environment pollution. But as an ambitious engineer graduated from a top engineering school, I was too optimistic to see the dark side of the industry. (use "my optimism masked the dark side of the industry" or some variation. You use too many unnecessary word)

After graduation, I joined the largest marine contractor in China, China Harbor Engineering Company (Group). When first acknowledged to work in a Chinese government donated project in Sri Lanka, I was very excited and honored about being able to contribute to reconstruction after the devastating tsunami in 2004. As soon as I arrived there, I was stunned by the destruction which was everywhere and must be seen to be understood. People had lost their homes livelihoods and close family members and were suffering from diseases and lack of food and water. clear upIn strong contrast to the environment of such were the pure and spotless eyes of the children who brought me papaya fruit to share which was perhaps their only food they had that day. I was deeply moved by the local residents’ hospitality and by exchanging gifts and ideas of different culture, we became good friends. I was frequently invited to their religious rituals and local parties. It is this remarkable experience that provided me a new perspective to feel the world, assimilated a wholly new culture and taught me to be grateful. I decided to dedicate to the project wholeheartedly, as high-quality facilities would contribute to people’s lives most effectively.

Responsible for cost control, I successfully established a well-rounded system to control steps of procurement methodically and usage of materials and equipment. In six months, we reduced fifteen percent of wasted materials and unnecessary machinery usage. Realizing the importance of coordination between cost, schedule and quality teams, I initiated the development of a series of indexes that could reflect overall performance as well as identify potential risks and problems, which led to a dramatic increased efficiency and profitability. As my work were recognized and lauded, I was promoted as Commercial Manager in the fastest manner. Nonetheless, during the pricing negotiation with the owner, we have met great problems in the combination of international and Chinese standard contract clauses. Unfortunately, resulting from this unequal and equivocal contractual language, we ended up unable to recover our loss. I then started to rethink my planned career path to be a successful engineer.

I decided that I need to learn more. After 2 years experience in Sri Lanka, I chose Columbia University to study construction management. With special focus in legal aspect, I was greatly exposed to real-estate related legal knowledge. But taking three law classes and one related subject in one semester, I felt the enormous pressure that I have never encountered before. At the first few classes in Construction Law, I was too shy to actively participate in the class with the fact that most of my classmates were native speakers and half of whom were law students. Professor Robert Rubin helped me with his kindness and encouragement, and gradually I gained my confidence, participated more, and finally enjoyed the class subjects and atmosphere. By comparing Chinese regulations to US legal system, along with my solid foundation of engineering, I was able to bring unique perspective to the class discussion, which sometimes gave rise to hot debates in the class. As a result the course sparked my interest in legal knowledge, which made the study of appeared-elusive legal concepts and principles a delightful experience.

I then realized that the answer to my riddle lies in the gap between seemingly distinct fields of lawyers and engineers. As illustrated by my employer’s case, without such connection, lawyers cannot effectively protect engineers, nor could engineers utilize laws to defend themselves. Therefore, I want to build a bridge that spanning the sea between engineering and law. Feeling both mentally and emotionally ready to climb the law school mountain, I believe that I would be able to conquer any obstacle along the way and eventually transform it into a robust and infrangible bridge that would bring justice to both sides.


1. Seems very long if this is double-spaced.
2. I lost my train of thought and interest within the first 4 sentences. You may want to consider revising your intro to make it easier to read (too many actors - Chinese govt, contractor, engineer, etc) without proper context.
3. I'd recommend not using contractions at all in formal writing. You should look at the PS as a publishable piece of prose and publishers despise "don't" "can't" etc.....
4. bad grammar throughout (see underlined)
5. It sounded piecemeal to me and not cohesive. I saw it as multiple pieces of prose mixed together, without a clear structure. While I understood the general idea of what you were getting at, you can certainly clean this up a lot, particularly removing entire chunks of unnecessary background information and cleaning up the language

cassieyuc
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:53 pm

Re: Pls help me review my PS, foreigner, gotta be sent this week

Postby cassieyuc » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:01 pm

1. Seems very long if this is double-spaced.
2. I lost my train of thought and interest within the first 4 sentences. You may want to consider revising your intro to make it easier to read (too many actors - Chinese govt, contractor, engineer, etc) without proper context.
3. I'd recommend not using contractions at all in formal writing. You should look at the PS as a publishable piece of prose and publishers despise "don't" "can't" etc.....
4. bad grammar throughout (see underlined)
5. It sounded piecemeal to me and not cohesive. I saw it as multiple pieces of prose mixed together, without a clear structure. While I understood the general idea of what you were getting at, you can certainly clean this up a lot, particularly removing entire chunks of unnecessary background information and cleaning up the language[/quote]



Thanks a lot, this is my first draft, and I know I have a language problem, thanks again for pointing them out!

PoliticalJunkie
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: Pls help me review my PS, foreigner, gotta be sent this week

Postby PoliticalJunkie » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:07 pm

Its not really a language problem - just tighten it up a bit, lose words/sent that are not needed. (keep in mind admissions folks are reading, in some cases, thousands of PS's/applications therefore grabbing their attention in the beginning and brevity are critical.




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