This personal statement is part of this student’s successful admission to King’s College London for Computer Science. As this student wishes to remain anonymous, the other university offers are not listed here.
As a student in the 21st century, computers and digital technology have become an integral and almost ubiquitous part of my life. However, in my country of Malaysia, especially in rural areas, digital literacy on the whole is still relatively low. A study conducted in villages to determine the level of ICT literacy amongst secondary school students in 2012 by the Faculty of Information Science Technology at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, showed that ICT literacy among them was generally very weak, mainly due to little availability of computers and having to acquire ICT knowledge either through self-learning, or through friends.
In a developing country such as Malaysia, I believe that it is imperative that students are equipped with proper ICT skills. The world is charging ever more deeply into a “Digital Age” where ICT skill requirements are becoming increasingly important for procuring a job. Prospective employees are expected to possess basic skills such as word processing, and the ability to create and use spreadsheets and presentations. Even more important are the skills of data and information management, as these can significantly increase the productivity, work rate, and output of an organisation.
Over the past ten years or so, the Malaysian government has been devising strategies to improve income of the local agricultural industry through ICT implementation and skills development. This plan is based on statistics from the Ninth Malaysia Plan of 2005. However, the actual usage of ICT amongst the agro-based entrepreneurs, for business management and marketing purposes, still remains relatively low, according a study conducted in 2009, with many of them still relying upon traditional methods of mass media communication such as television, radio and newspapers for marketing.
Such studies show that adequate ICT skills are still lacking within certain communities in Malaysia. As such they are less able to make significant advancements in their lives, whether it be in their education or their income. This is one of the things that I would like to do with Computer Science and Software Engineering: to develop user-friendly interfaces which will aid people with low ICT skills to help them improve said skills to better their livelihoods, and to also learn how to integrate computers more effectively into their lives to improve their living standards.
Personally, Computer Science and Software Engineering has always interested me because it is able to provide a number of solutions to everyday needs or problems. A great example of this is Google’s involvement in the Open Automotive Alliance, which aims to provide a means for Android users to safely access mobile services whilst driving in a seamless manner. Hopefully, it will provide solutions to improve the lives of many people here in Malaysia. I can be quite meticulous and pay close attention to detail, and I believe this is a positive trait when it comes to developing software, as I would need to pay close attention to what I’d be programming to prevent errors in the software. I have been doing some basic programming on codecademy.com to help me get a feel of how certain programming languages such as Python and HTML work.
In addition to this, I am currently attending an introductory course on electronics which provides me with an insight into basic circuitry design. I also take part in a variety of extracurricular activities such as acting and Taekwondo. I played the lead male role in my school’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific”, and have also taken part in the 2014 Southeast Asian Forensics competition at the International School of Kuala Lumpur, in the Duet Acting category. I hold a blue belt in Taekwondo which keeps me fit, active and disciplined.
The world of technology is progressing at an accelerating pace, and I would like to see that Malaysia does not lag behind as the rest of the world pushes forward.
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