PHD Computer Engineering. Vietnamese

December 28, 2012

In my professional career, I have found that I have exhausted every possible avenue of promotion and challenge at my current academic level.  While I have extensive experience in many areas of Test Engineering, I crave the opportunity to advance, and engage in in-depth research work in the field that has brought me great satisfaction and fulfillment. 

 Furthermore, it is my ambition to become a college professor, sharing my years of relevant industrial experiences and through a quality educational program, I will be able to bring this dream to fruition, guaranteeing the future of engineering as I reach burgeoning and bright minds.  While there is a need for qualified professors to teach the basic principles of testing, there is a distinct industrial need to teach the basics in the context of older attitudes towards test engineering.  The common misconception is that test engineering is costly, and causes delays for products production.  I will go on to impress upon my students that test engineering must accommodate these concerns, to reduce the overall cost and time involved through better quality control procedures and streamlined protocols.

 In order to be an asset to the doctoral program, I have a solid academic foundation in electrical engineering, and have maintained two decades of conceptual continuity in my academics and career path.  Graduating from schools such as XXXX, and XXXX, my education has been thorough and stellar, and I have received accolades in my Test Engineering work.  It is my hope that I may continue my academic relationship with Northwestern, and go on to serve their extended community as I have been served.

 Working in Test Engineering is one thing, but excelling is another.  Any electrical engineer can work in the field, but it takes years of dedicated multidisciplinary teamwork and experience to take on the responsibility of guiding an organization, being able to envision product development, discuss testing concepts and standards from a philosophical standpoint, analyze a customer’s needs, and develop the latest testing technology and processes.

 Fifteen years of practical experience has taught me that electrical engineers are frequently lacking in terms of management skills as it is simply not taught, and rather learned on the job.  There needs to be a different approach, a systems approach, to managing and developing innovative test technology.  One needs to look at the market picture in order to remain competitive.  Just as an effective staff test engineer needs to be able to interact with and inspire their multidisciplinary teams, an effective principal engineer needs to take an interdisciplinary direction, and have an understanding of organizational boundaries and know when and how to lead across them successfully.

 To work in a management or leadership position, even that of a university professor, one needs to be able to interact well with people of differing backgrounds, belief systems and languages.  Throughout my career, I have interacted effectively with many fellow scientists, yet, I feel due to my background, I have been all the more successful because of my heritage.  I was a refugee from Viet Nam, fleeing the communist incursion of the 1980s, and taking refuge first in the Philippines and later the United States.  While many speak of the need to be culturally competent, I have walked more than a mile in the immigrant’s shoes, and have a world view that is more rounded than most.  I feel that I am more sympathetic to the immigrant experience, to people of differing cultures, and especially those that yearn to advance themselves to the highest levels that they can.  This is what I will bring to the workplace as well as the classroom, as a student and a future professor.

 While my research interest would increase the depth of my existing understanding of test program development, and writing scripts that enhance these programs, I feel that there is a great deal more that can be done in terms of developing methodologies of testing that are less cumbersome, and acknowledge the need to be interdisciplinary.  Test engineering and the industrial issues involved go beyond the scope of the average engineering program.  XXXX University is far from being average, and sets academic standards.  I will bring with me to the program the understanding and standpoint that test engineering needs to have a management approach just as much as a technical approach.

 My extensive work history and educational successes are evidence of my ability, wisdom regarding the business and passion for the work that I have done and my commitment to the industry.  While many engineers would choose to continue at one level, I feel a need to do more, to use my creativity and experience to help advance the field of Test Engineering.  To become a principal engineer and a university professor are my dreams.  And, yet, these dreams speak of something much more profound than simply wanting to be on the cutting-edge of the next biggest thing in test engineering.  I want to go on to be a leader in my community, and in my profession.  There is a need in me to ensure the future of the work that I have been involved in, and to touch the lives and minds of students wanting to make changes in their world, in a field that is only getting bigger every day.

 I thank you for your time, consideration and look forward to a personal interview.

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