Original Posted By el_stup1do►
OK, being that I've been in both the applicant and reviewer position several times, here are a couple of things that your sister needs to reflect upon:
1. A personal statement needs to be, personal. So be specific ! The final goal is to make them know who you are , what you aspire to be and why are you a good candidate for the scholarship. They're not looking for a good student that study hard, they want a great students that's well balanced.
--> The first paragraph is pretty much generic, you will lose their interest in this. Instead you should tell them why is she interested in CS ? What did she do beyond her usual academic rigor? Explain the key extra curricular activities and achievements both academic and non-academic.
2. Reviewer always look for uniqueness and most of them are a sucker for a sob story that involves overcoming adversity. This is usually the best bait to hook them so put this early.
--> There's a short paragraph about your family, this is actually the one you need to elaborate more because it will put you in a different perspective than the rest of the candidate. Show how this scholarship will not only help you but also help your family. In addition, to be completely honest, the last sentence in this paragraph is a downer. It mentioned about helping the family but there's the 2nd part about being a great person. That just kills the entire thing about helping the family because the conclusion comes back to me me me me and how I'm going to be a great person.
3. Do not oversell yourself.
--> Look at the last sentence:
Furthermore I am a kind of person who is hardworking, sincere, responsible, honest, tenacious, steadfast, patient, and loyal.
This is like the ultimate no no, not only that there's just too many that it loses its integrity, there's really nothing to back it up (just like what ivan said). Anyone can say that they're smart, hardworking, etc etc but those are all self judgement with a variable standard meaning that everyone have their own definition. A better way in doing this is to choose at most three characteristics that embodies you the most and highlight it with plenty of supporting materials.
4. Having a keen eye into the future while maintaining a good disposition are great but don't overreach/over promised and most importantly don't be corny.
--> On one of the paragraphs there's a part about "I will make my best contribution to CIMB Niaga by developing the information system to become better, safer, and easier to carry out." That's a really vague statement and doesn't make any sense. As student you're going to single-handedly develop a system for the entire university ?!?!?!?
There's also another one about being president director by working from the bottom, it's honorable but it's pretty shortsighted if you ask me. A person rarely stays in one company in their lifetime, nor do they become a president just because their single college degree regardless of what they are. The person on the top needs to be the jack of all trades, mastering different skills and having a wealth of knowledge along with the affinity for leadership, decision making, etc etc..
5. Praise the scholarship entity in a subtle way.
In the first paragraph, all the reason given pretty much was your run of the mill "oh you're so great, please give me money" spill. What you should have done instead, is to do research about the entity and their scholarship. Why do they do this? What's the main motivation? What do they expect? And more importantly, why are you a good fit to this scholarship while taking into consideration the earlier stuff?
It may sound harsh but please don't take all the above personally. They are complete objective advice and they aren't meant to insult or underestimate anyone. I've seen way too many applications that didn't make the first cut because they're so blase with that cookie cutter feeling in it.
All the best and good luck to your sister.