Specific SOPs: Operations Research
Doing a Ph.D or Master’s in Operations Research is a wise decision that you have taken. By now, you might have found out as much as you could about the field. However, it is crucial that your SOP looks as good as your research.
A few things that you may want to keep in mind:
Highlight Mathematics : Since Operations Research has a lot to do with Math, highlight subjects, courses or your inclination towards it. Operations Research is a field that deals with the use of advanced analytical methods for taking better decisions. The area deals with the process of solving decision-making problems through mathematical sciences such as statistical analysis, mathematical modeling and mathematical optimization. Do not under estimate your love for Math here.
Make a connection : The SOP must ideally talk about how much you appreciate the field of Operations Research and how logical it is for you with an engineering/mathematics background to pursue it. It must note how this is the next logical step in your career.
Background/Work experience : While you will definitely quote the degree of graduation and your specialization along with your college, don’t forget to highlight how well this degree furthered your interest and skills in analysis and math. Quote specific subjects, projects that you undertook etc, Math quizzes or seminars etc in your SOP. If you are an engineering with work experience, make sure you outline how your analytical approach got a platform there and how you use advanced Mathematical ability to tackle given tasks. The more specific you are, the better.
Program USPs : US universities want to see if you want them. Do a thorough reading of the research departments of the universities you are applying. Since it is a research-oriented course, you must talk about how you are excited to learn about the University research projects. Like, the Operations Research Center at MIT offers research assistantships that lead to thesis-related research. You may stumble upon some interesting facts that may help you add value to your SOP.For instance,The Tepper School of Management Carnegie Mellon University had recently invited Ratan Tata to address its management and operations research graduates for a direct interaction with students. You may quote Tata’s address to the students. These little details will come in handy while writing the SOP.
Beliefs and skills : Towards the end, don’t forget to share your long-term career and personal goals making a logical connection with the course you have applied for. You may quote your beliefs and the skills to showcase how much of a value addition you will be to their college, if selected.
The SOP written for Operations Research must smell and taste like the field itself, which is demanding and promising at the same time.