UCLA MeM Sample Essays & LORs

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UCLA MeM Application Essay 2023-24

Statement of purpose
Up to 500 words focusing on your professional goals and reasons for pursuing a master’s in engineering. Describe any experience from your career in contributing to the field of engineering management. Discuss your objectives after you receive your master’s degree. Approximately one page, single-spaced, using one-inch margins and 12-point font.
Personal statement
Up to 500 words discussing the personal experiences that brought you to apply for a master’s in engineering. Approximately one page, single-spaced, using one-inch margins and 12-point font.

UCLA Winning Sampe Essay-1

Statement of Purpose 

As a business development professional with six years of experience in the energy and petrochemicals industry, I am seeking to enhance my technical and management skills through UCLA’s Master of Engineering Management program. My goal is to transition into a strategic leadership role driving sustainability initiatives and circular economy projects in the energy sector.

In my current role as Assistant Manager of Petrochemicals Marketing at Indian Oil Corporation, I have gained extensive experience in product development, technical consulting, and key account management for polymer products. I have led projects to launch new sustainable polymer grades, conduct technical trials with customers, and optimize product performance. A key achievement was arranging grade approval from 3M for an IndianOil polyethylene product, generating €20,000 in annual business.

Most significantly, I am currently leading Indian Oil’s major sustainability initiative – the “Circular Economy” project for plastics recycling in South India. This involves sourcing post-consumer plastic waste, developing value-added recycled compounds, and selling them to OEM customers. The project aims to generate over £250 million in annual revenue while addressing the critical environmental issue of plastic waste.

Through these experiences, I have developed a strong interest in engineering management as it applies to driving innovation and sustainability in the energy industry. However, to take on higher-level strategic roles, I need to enhance my technical knowledge in areas like operations research, data analytics, and systems engineering. I also aim to strengthen my leadership and project management capabilities.

The UCLA MEM program’s curriculum in engineering management fundamentals, data analytics, and product development is ideally suited to help me achieve these goals. Courses like “New Product Development and Innovation Management” and “Decisions, Operations & Technology Management” will provide me with frameworks to drive sustainable innovation. The capstone project will allow me to apply these learnings to a real-world engineering management challenge.

After completing the MEM degree, my objective is to transition into a strategic consulting role focused on sustainability and circular economy initiatives in the energy sector. Long-term, I aspire to launch my own venture in renewable energy or sustainable materials. The combination of technical expertise and management skills gained through the UCLA MEM will be invaluable in achieving these career goals and making a meaningful impact in sustainable energy.

Personal Statement 

My journey to applying for a master’s in engineering management has been shaped by overcoming adversity and a desire to drive positive change through sustainable innovation. Growing up in challenging circumstances instilled in me a strong work ethic and determination to create a better future – both for myself and for society.

I was born into a low-income family in rural India. When I was just one year old, my parents separated, leaving my mother to raise me as a single parent with limited means. By age nine, my family could no longer afford my education, so I was sent to live in an orphanage. Despite these difficult circumstances, I remained focused on my studies, driven by the belief that education was my path to a better life.

Through hard work and perseverance, I excelled academically and ultimately gained admission to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Madras – becoming the first in my family to attend university. This was a pivotal moment that opened up new opportunities and set me on the path to a career in engineering.

My background has given me a deep appreciation for the transformative power of education and technology. It has also instilled in me a strong desire to give back and create positive change. Throughout my career, I have sought out opportunities to mentor underprivileged students and contribute to social causes. I have sponsored the education of two students from rural India and provided career guidance to many others.

My interest in sustainability and circular economy initiatives stems from a desire to address critical environmental challenges while driving economic growth. Leading Indian Oil’s plastics recycling project has shown me the potential for innovative engineering solutions to create both business value and societal impact. I am passionate about furthering this work and developing my capabilities as an engineering leader who can spearhead transformative sustainability projects.

The Master of Engineering Management program at UCLA represents the ideal next step in my journey. It will allow me to build on my industry experience while gaining new technical and leadership skills. I am particularly drawn to UCLA’s emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, as I aspire to launch ventures that advance sustainable technologies.

Beyond the classroom, I look forward to engaging with UCLA’s diverse community and contributing my unique perspective. I hope to get involved with sustainability-focused student organizations and use my background to mentor fellow students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Ultimately, my goal is to leverage my MEM degree to drive meaningful change in the energy industry and beyond. By combining technical expertise with strategic leadership skills, I aim to develop and implement innovative solutions to global sustainability challenges. The UCLA MEM program will be instrumental in equipping me with the knowledge and capabilities to achieve this vision and make a lasting positive impact.

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UCLA MeM Winning Sample Essay-2

Statement of Purpose 

As a lead systems engineer at Ford Motor Company with over 5 years of experience in the automotive industry, I am seeking to transition into a strategic product planning and management role. Pursuing a Master’s in Engineering Management at UCLA will provide me with the business and leadership skills necessary to complement my technical background and achieve this goal.

In my current role leading cross-functional teams to develop Ford’s next-generation electric truck platform, I have gained valuable experience translating customer needs into engineering requirements and managing complex technical projects. However, I have realized that to make a bigger impact, I need to move upstream in the product development process to shape overall vehicle strategy and planning.

My experience participating in Ford’s internal incubator program, where I led a team to develop a sustainability framework for future products, sparked my interest in product strategy. I enjoyed taking a customer-centric approach, conducting interviews to understand user needs, and developing long-term plans to deliver on those attributes. This project made me realize that I want to transition into a role where I can leverage both my technical knowledge and business acumen to drive product vision and strategy.

The MEM program at UCLA will allow me to build on my engineering foundation while gaining crucial skills in areas like technology strategy, product management, and business analytics. Courses such as “New Product Development” and “Technology Management” directly align with my goal of moving into a strategic planning role in the automotive industry. The program’s focus on leadership development through courses like “Engineering Leadership” will also be invaluable as I look to advance into management positions.

Additionally, the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from classmates with diverse industry backgrounds will broaden my perspective beyond automotive. The program’s emphasis on practical application through capstone projects will allow me to immediately apply new skills to real-world business challenges.

After completing my Master’s, my objective is to transition into a product strategy and planning role at Ford, potentially through their Business Leadership Program. In this role, I would lead the development of entire vehicle programs, drawing on both my technical engineering background and newly acquired business and management skills. Long-term, I aspire to advance to an executive-level position shaping the future of mobility, such as VP of Product Strategy.

The MEM program at UCLA will be instrumental in helping me bridge the gap between my current engineering role and future strategic management positions. By combining my passion for automotive technology with enhanced business and leadership capabilities, I aim to drive innovation in sustainable transportation solutions. I am excited about the opportunity to grow as a leader and make a meaningful impact on the future of the automotive industry through UCLA’s program.

Personal Statement 

My journey to applying for a Master’s in Engineering Management at UCLA began on a sailboat in Lake Erie. As an avid competitive sailor, I’ve learned invaluable lessons about teamwork, strategy, and adapting to changing conditions – skills that have profoundly shaped my approach to engineering and leadership.

I vividly remember my first sailing experience, where I battled severe seasickness for hours. Despite the discomfort, I was captivated by the exhilarating feeling of harnessing the wind’s power. This experience taught me the importance of perseverance and adapting to challenges – lessons I’ve carried into my engineering career at Ford Motor Company.

Just as sailing requires constant adjustments based on wind and water conditions, my work developing electric vehicle platforms demands flexibility and quick problem-solving. When faced with complex engineering trade-offs, I draw on the strategic thinking I’ve honed through competitive sailing. Both pursuits require a balance of technical skill, teamwork, and the ability to make decisive calls under pressure.

My passion for innovation and problem-solving extends beyond my day job. Inspired by a teacher friend’s struggles during the pandemic, I founded LudicrousCreations, a 3D printing business. Our bestselling product, a webcam projector that allows teachers to write on paper during virtual lessons, exemplifies my drive to create practical solutions to real-world problems. Managing this side business has given me firsthand experience in product development, marketing, and operations – areas I’m eager to explore further through the MEM program.

Throughout my career at Ford, I’ve sought out opportunities to expand beyond traditional engineering roles. Participating in the company’s internal incubator program to develop a sustainability framework opened my eyes to the strategic side of the automotive industry. This experience, combined with my entrepreneurial venture, ignited my desire to move into a role where I can have a broader impact on product strategy and innovation.

My background as a first-generation immigrant has also profoundly influenced my perspective. Moving from China to the United States for college taught me to embrace diversity and approach challenges with an open mind. These skills have proven invaluable in leading cross-functional teams at Ford and collaborating with international suppliers.

Outside of work, I’m passionate about giving back to the community. I’ve mentored interns at Ford on diversity and inclusion topics, drawing on my own experiences to foster a more inclusive workplace. Additionally, I donate a portion of my 3D printing business profits to support STEM education initiatives, believing strongly in the power of technology to create opportunities.

Pursuing a Master’s in Engineering Management at UCLA represents the next step in my journey of continuous learning and growth. I’m excited to challenge myself in a rigorous academic environment, expand my leadership skills, and collaborate with diverse peers who share my passion for innovation. By combining my technical expertise with enhanced business acumen, I aim to drive meaningful advancements in sustainable transportation and make a lasting impact on the automotive industry.

Client Testimonials

UCLA MeM Letter of Recommendation 2023-2024

Three professional or academic letters of recommendation

MEM Recommendation Letters
(Free Samples & successful Examples)

Professor - Recommendation letter Sample 1

Here is a quick PDF of a sample recommendation our client submitted for a successful admit. 

Sample letter of Recommendation for masters application from professor

How do you know the applicant? How long have you known them for?

I am the Dean and Professor at Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology in Rohini, India. I have known Pavani since her first semester, where she was in my “Fundamentals of Computing” class.

I have had multiple opportunities to interact with Pavani as she was leading the student activities for her batch and was also working on the “Automated Stock Trading algorithm” project as a part of the curriculum, under my guidance.

What would you say are the applicant’s key strengths and talents?

One of Pavani’s primary strengths is her ability to lead a team even in uncertain situations. In her final year, Pavani was the Organizing Committee Member of the International Conference. Since it was the first conference of its kind, there were no previous benchmarks or processes in place. Right from marketing, outreach events, finding vendors for event management, to logistics—everything had to be figured out from scratch. The budget was also crunched, which further did not help the situation.

Pavani went beyond her responsibilities and took the lead on the project. She worked with other team members, discussed with them, and charted a plan. She delegated responsibilities to fellow peers and also guided them on their tasks. There were also conflicts in the team and unforeseen problems. One of the vendors cancelled the contract two days before the conference. Pavani immediately reached out to other vendors through personal contacts and engaged the team with a calm mind and got things done. Thanks to Pavani, the conference was a huge success with over 60 participants from multiple countries. As a result, 3 projects were selected and funded by our institution. The conference is now recognized internationally and is set to take place again next year in February.

Pavani also demonstrated her leadership capabilities while working on a project under my guidance. The project was focused on building automated stock trading algorithms that managed to maximize cumulative profit. Although she did not come from a finance background, Pavani quickly learned the basic concepts. She also brought her team members onboard by coaching them and teaching how the stock market works. With the team’s support, Pavani was able to build a functioning algorithm that got published in a reputed journal, “Journal of Emerging Technologies and Innovative Research”. I believe Pavani is the kind of candidate who can take ownership and deliver things with minimal guidance.

In which areas of development has the applicant progressed the most in the time you’ve known them?

Initially, when I met Pavani, she was a shy person who was not confident to lead a team. Even though she might have brilliant ideas, she used to keep them to herself and not put them forward. As a consequence of being shy, she even preferred to work alone rather than in teams. She needed a little encouragement to help break her out of her shell. Slowly, she started putting forth her ideas. As those ideas were adopted by her teammates, she started gaining confidence. She quickly learned to plan, lead, and delegate a team effectively.

Pavani grew to participate in competitions, representing the college on a national level. Seeing her progress into an effective leader, I appointed Pavani as the organizational head of an international conference that took place on our campus in February 2020, as mentioned above.

Pavani also progressed tremendously in her academics, from a 7 CGPA in the 1st semester to a 9 CGPA in later semesters. Her performance has progressed not just in theory but practical as well. She was part of 2 research papers that were published in reputable journals.

Another area that Pavani needs to develop is to be open and listen to others’ opinions. Sometimes, Pavani is quite stubborn when it comes to her plans and wants to execute them the way she has planned them. Therefore, she is at times not open to new viewpoints or any suggestions to the plan she came up with. This arises from her own perceptions that changing plans will lead to chaos and hence poor performance. In one of our sessions, I coached her and made her understand that she alone cannot control all things and she alone cannot achieve great things. She understood the importance of teamwork and has been trying to work it out. She is now a bit more open to new ideas and opinions. I believe she will learn these qualities over time and experience.

In what ways might the applicant contribute to the Masters in Engineering Management Program?

Pavani has always volunteered and stepped up to lead student activities. I have no doubt that she would continue to do the same in a Master’s in Engineering Management program. With her experience in project management and leadership, she will be a great asset in student-run activities and events.

Apart from that, I think Pavani is a fast learner who is always enthusiastic to teach her fellow batchmates. She has held multiple tutor sessions for juniors and fellow batchmates on tough courses. She will contribute to the class by bringing her technical expertise and practical experience during discussions and also coaching them on relatively tough concepts.

Is MEM Program a right fit for the candidate right now?

This course would be the natural academic evolution for her. On multiple occasions, Pavani has expressed her interest in taking up roles that are at the intersection of engineering and management. Engineering has given her a strong foundation in technical and analytical skills. However, she needs the academic experience and learning about management principles. More importantly, a MEM program will also groom her leadership abilities and impart holistic thinking capabilities. Pavani has great potential to learn and succeed, and I believe a MEM will be a step in the right direction towards achieving her goals.

Here is a quick PDF of a sample recommendation our client submitted for a successful admit. 

Recommendation Letter For Masters -  - Ameerkhatri.com

Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (50 words)

I am the project manager, and Vinay is part of my team as a Senior Business Analyst for the past two years. I directly oversee his work and align with him on a weekly basis to understand the project requirements, roadmap discussions, and staffing plan for his team.

Describe your first-hand knowledge of the candidate’s work on a software or product development project. Describe the candidate’s role on the project and how their performance on the project compared with other well-qualified individuals in similar roles. (200-500 words)

I believe Vinay have good command over product development process and projects. To quote an instance, I was a project manager for one of the Healthcare clients. The client project involved heavy product development. I brought Vinay onto this project as a senior Business analyst to shoulder some of the project roadmap and team collaboration-related responsibilities. 

Before he joined, we were faced with a problem. The developers were working in silos, as there was no Business Analyst who gave proper guidance and a roadmap on what to work on, where to start, and the project lacked a proper structure. Also, the client was proposing new changes and had new requests every week, so the scope kept on changing, and the team was struggling. 

After joining as a Business Analyst, Vinay brought himself up to speed on the application, use cases, and what the client asked. He started doing user research, created empathy maps, drafted jobs to be done, and finally added all client requests and user stories to the product backlog. 

He took the lead in coordinating with the technical lead to understand the technical aspects and architecture of the product. He started adding product backlog of both functional and technical user stories, with the help of the tech lead and added around 130 user stories. He made sure the team followed Agile practices. Finally, within a short period of 3 weeks, the  team has a roadmap, stories to work on, and proper practices to follow.

As a result, we delivered the product with a UI improvement of 45% based on user feedback. And Vinay received appreciation from the client for his exceptional work. We also got a new project from the client for one of the pain points Vinay found to develop an application on Data security to safeguard patient data using blockchain technology.

Vinay’s performance impressed the Client Leadership Team (CLT) with how he worked with the team, bringing a structured format to the team, creating a product roadmap, Client communication, and Stakeholder management. As a result, we added him as a part of (CLT). He is one of the best BAs I have ever worked with.

More generally, provide your insights as to whether this candidate has promise to be an effective engineering manager. Include specific examples of times when they demonstrated skills and/or behaviors that would lead to their success in that role. (200-500 words)

I think Vinay has the potential to be a good product manager because, after joining the team as a Business Analyst, Vinay proposed doing a Discovery phase with the client. I let him take the lead on this and told him that he can go ahead if he can convince the client.

He observed it had been 8 years since we did the last discovery workshop. He pitched his idea to the Client and proposed a Discovery phase where his team and he can do a SWOT analysis for the project, prepare a roadmap, and a template containing all the tasks necessary for the workshop. The client really liked the idea and aligned on doing a Discovery workshop for a week.

Once the workshop started, Vinay ensured everyone was taking part completely and clarifying any doubts. He also ensured that everyone (Clients, Developers, designers, Salespeople, QAs) was thinking and contributing to the tasks based on their viewpoints. He also reminds everyone occasionally about empathizing with users while discussing or writing their points. As a result, the workshop was successful, and we got 4 new problem statements the client is currently facing; we got approval for 3 of them to start building the product as a part of new engagement and revenue of $3 Million.

He showcased effective communication skills during the workshop, motivating and inspiring everyone. He also brought the emotional intelligence and empathy part, where he could read the situation and influence everyone to make everyone empathize more with users in the workshop tactfully. One of the significant skills of any product manager is communicating effectively, interpersonal skills, and empathy. Vinay has all these skills to be an effective Product Manager.

Would you work with this candidate again? If not, why? (50 words)

Yes, If he desires to rejoin after completing his Master’s in product management.

What hesitations or concerns to have you have about recommending this person to the MSPM Program? (50 words)


Based Letters of Recommendation Guide for engineerign management aspirants, here are five do’s and don’ts tailored for candidates applying to a Master’s in Engineering Management program:

1. Choose Recommenders Who Understand Your Technical and Managerial Abilities:
– **Do** select recommenders who can provide detailed and specific examples of your technical expertise and managerial skills. Ideal recommenders include current or former supervisors who have directly observed your engineering projects and leadership roles.
Example: Your direct manager on a project where you led a team of engineers to develop a new product or improve an existing process.

2. Provide Comprehensive Background Information:
– **Do** give your recommenders a comprehensive overview of your achievements and context for your contributions. Highlight key projects, leadership roles, and innovative solutions you have implemented.
Example: Share a list of projects where you applied engineering principles to solve complex problems, managed project timelines, and coordinated cross-functional teams.

3. Meet and Discuss Specifics:
– **Do** meet with your recommenders to discuss your goals for the Master’s in Engineering Management, why you chose specific programs, and how the degree aligns with your career aspirations. This helps them tailor their letters to your specific goals and the program’s focus.
Example: Explain how the program’s curriculum and faculty will help you achieve your career goals in technical leadership or project management.

4. Ensure Specific, Anecdote-Driven Letters:
– **Do** encourage your recommenders to use specific anecdotes that highlight your technical and managerial strengths. Real-life examples provide credibility and illustrate your skills effectively.
Example: Ask them to describe a project where you led the team, detailing your role, the challenges faced, and how your leadership contributed to the project’s success.

5. Set Early Personal Deadlines:
– **Do** set early personal deadlines for your recommenders to ensure they complete their letters well before the application deadlines. This provides a buffer period for follow-ups if needed.
Example: If your application is due on January 1st, ask your recommenders to submit their letters by December 1st to avoid last-minute issues.

1. Avoid High-Ranking but Unfamiliar Recommenders:
– **Don’t** choose recommenders based solely on their title if they are not familiar with your work. Letters from high-ranking individuals who cannot provide detailed insights will be less effective.
Example: Avoid asking the CEO of your company unless they have directly worked with you and can provide specific examples of your contributions.

2. Don’t Write the Letter Yourself:
– **Don’t** write the recommendation letter yourself, even if a recommender offers to sign it. Admissions committees can detect self-written letters, which can harm your credibility.
Example: If a recommender suggests this, politely decline and offer to provide them with detailed information to help them write the letter themselves.

3. Avoid Generic Content:
– **Don’t** let your recommenders submit generic letters that could apply to anyone. Generic praise without specific examples will not make your application stand out.
Example: Ensure your recommenders avoid statements like “X is a great engineer” without context or supporting evidence.

4. Don’t Overlook Specific Instructions:
– **Don’t** ignore the specific instructions and questions provided by each school. Different programs may have different requirements for recommendation letters.
Example: Make sure your recommenders address each question posed by the school’s recommendation form and follow any formatting or submission guidelines provided.

5. Avoid Subordinates as Recommenders:
– **Don’t** ask subordinates to write your recommendation letters. Their perspective might not carry the same weight and could be seen as less objective.
Example: Recommendations should come from individuals in supervisory or client roles who can objectively evaluate your performance and potential.

These tailored do’s and don’ts will help ensure that your recommendation letters are strong, relevant, and supportive of your application to a Master’s in Engineering Management program.

Recommendation letter Template tailored for candidates applying to a Master’s in Engineering Management program:

Admissions Committee
[Masters in Engineering Management Program Name]
[University Name]
[University Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]



Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to enthusiastically recommend [Candidate’s Name] for your [Master’s in Engineering Management program] at [University Name]. I have known [Candidate’s Name] for [duration] in my capacity as [Recommender’s Title] at [Company Name], where I have had the privilege of supervising [him/her/them] directly.

Professional Capabilities and Achievements

[Candidate’s Name] has displayed outstanding engineering and management capabilities during our collaboration. In one notable project, [specific project/task], [he/she/they] [specific action taken], which led to [quantifiable result/outcome]. This accomplishment underscores [Candidate’s Name]’s proficiency in [specific skill, e.g., project management, technical innovation, systems engineering].

Another significant achievement was during [another specific project/task], where [Candidate’s Name] [specific action taken], resulting in [quantifiable result/outcome]. This demonstrated [his/her/their] ability to [related skills, e.g., lead cross-functional teams, optimize engineering processes, handle complex technical challenges].

Leadership and Team Collaboration

Beyond technical expertise, [Candidate’s Name] has shown exceptional leadership and teamwork. [He/She/They] effectively led a team of [number] engineers in [specific context], ensuring the successful completion of [specific project/task]. [His/Her/Their] ability to foster a collaborative and inclusive team environment was critical to our success.

Constructive Feedback and Growth

I have provided [Candidate’s Name] with feedback on [specific area for improvement]. [His/Her/Their] response was proactive and enthusiastic. [He/She/They] [specific actions taken to improve], which significantly enhanced [his/her/their] performance in [related context]. This commitment to continuous improvement is a testament to [his/her/their] professional growth.

Personal Qualities and Values

[Candidate’s Name] is known for [his/her/their] integrity, dedication, and willingness to help others. For instance, during [specific instance], [he/she/they] [specific actions taken to support others]. This not only improved team morale but also reinforced [his/her/their] role as a trusted and respected leader within our organization.


In summary, [Candidate’s Name] possesses a rare combination of technical acumen, leadership skills, and a commitment to continuous improvement. I am confident that [he/she/they] will thrive in the [Master’s in Engineering Management program] at [University Name] and make significant contributions to both the program and the broader engineering community.

Please feel free to contact me at [Recommender’s Email] or [Recommender’s Phone Number] if you need any further information.


[Recommender’s Name]
[Recommender’s Title]
[Company Name]

Free Recommendation Letter sample text for masters application

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