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“Why do you want to do this?” People have said to me, in the tone one might use to a person threatening to jump from a cliff! So I very carefully considered my motives before making this application. My reasons are: I love challenges and solving problems; I want to achieve something significant; I am endlessly curious about my subject and I am constantly seeking to extend my knowledge of it; I am persistent and focused; I like to work with others in a team but I am equally happy to concentrate on a problem on my own; and finally, I love research. I concluded that I am one of those ‘slightly strange’ people who are natural Ph.D. students. My ultimate goals are to become a professional researcher and to continue teaching, which I love.
I began my computer studies at high school. I was taught BASIC and the use of flowcharts, I had never heard the word ‘elegant’ applied to a chart before but, when my teacher did so, it seemed totally appropriate and I have always sought to produce ‘elegant’ solutions in my work. I was ‘hooked’ from the very start; I never viewed my computer studies as work but as a pleasure and I eagerly looked forward to every lesson. However, in a patriarchal society such as my own, career decisions are not merely a matter of personal choice and my father had other ideas for my future.
I began studies in the faculty of Economics and Administration at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. It was very hard work studying subjects that did not interest me and, at the end of the first year, I was allowed to transfer to the science faculty to major in Computer Science and this was a life enhancing decision.
I spent four years studying for my bachelor degree and loved every minute of it. I acquired a good grounding in computer theory and extended my programming skills to include C++ and Java. I was selected for a summer internship in the Deanship of I.T. at the University and worked as a Network Technician; this provided very useful experience, I acquired basic skills in networks and a passion for work in this area.
Having completed my bachelor degree studies, I took up a post in my home country teaching programming to undergraduates. I love teaching and find that my enthusiasm is infectious. However, I was eager to continue my own studies and gained a place on a Master’s program in Computer Science at XXXX. I participated in several projects and was able to work on CISCO lab equipment and WiMAX lab technologies. These projects enhanced my fascination with computer networks. On completion, I returned to my teaching job but am now ‘hungry’ for further study and research. I avidly study relevant periodicals to maintain my knowledge of the most recent technologies, design techniques and innovations in computer networks and read the latest research papers published by professional societies.
In summary, I believe that my enthusiasm for, and love of, my subject, my intellectual curiosity, my interest in research and my current level of skill and knowledge will enable me to become an asset to the program and allow me to excel within it.