Fresh PS - Please Tear it Apart

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Fresh PS - Please Tear it Apart

Postby deegee22 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:30 am

Hey everyone. So this is really the first PS I have completed that I actually feel may have some potential. Please feel free to let me know if you have any comments or suggestions whatsoever, and thanks for taking the time to check it out.

Thanks in advance, guys.

*And edit to add that I'd be happy to swap with someone if they'd prefer that.*
Last edited by deegee22 on Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fresh PS - Please Tear it Apart

Postby WhatSarahSaid » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:46 am

“Ok, so we have around $60 million of accounts receivable in our financial reporting system that we are unsure if we are actually owed,” Ron said as he addressed me. “Now that you know how to navigate the financial software, what I need you and the other interns to do is to analyze each one of these accounts receivable line items to figure out which are real and which shouldn’t be there.” Despite being caught off-guard by the sheer volume of the misstated account items at first, I felt a wave of excitement rush over me. This project represented the first opportunity I had ever been granted to put my accounting background to work in practice. ["to work" and "in practice" mean the same thing. Cut one] It was a serious matter for the department, and Ron trusted that I was an excellent candidate for the job. He was apparently impressed with the work I had done during the summer, [put something like "which involved" here. Otherwise, it's a comma splice] closing the accounts of research projects that had ended. He went on to explain that they had never done something like this before in [undergrad]'s Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) wing, [no comma]and that it was up to us to figure out the most appropriate methods by which to conduct our analysis.

It has since been about three months, and my team and I have already discovered in excess of $2,000,000 in accounts receivable misstatements. Perhaps even more importantly, we have pinpointed a handful of programming flaws in the new financial reporting system that led to these misstatements, [no comma] and have alerted RSP’s management to their existence. I worked to pioneer a concise step-by-step process for analyzing each accounts receivable item, and I have taught two other interns how to conduct the analysis. We are on pace to finish the project over the course of the spring semester, at which point the department will be in a position to correct their financial statements to reflect the accurate number of assets they possess, [no comma] as well as correct the programming flaws to prevent reoccurrences [I don't think this is a word. Just put "these problems from occurring again" or something]. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to watch a system that I co-created come to fruition and operate efficiently, and I am delighted to have the opportunity [add "to"]utilize my undergraduate expertise to assist in making my alma mater tighten its controls on financial reporting. [I don't like the grammar here. Try "to assist my alma mater in tightening its controls on financial reporting"]

So far, the adcomm is over 40% of the way through your PS, and he or she has no idea what the thesis of your PS is. I know that you get to it in the next sentence, but you might have too many details here. At the very least, find a way to give this some direction in the first two paragraphs.

To me, one of the most interesting aspects of my undergraduate major of accounting has been the legal implications associated with nearly all of the subjects and situations we come across. I have often found myself asking questions beyond the scope of our classes, particularly with respect to the law. Do shareholders have recourse against accounting firms when it is discovered in retrospect that fraud had been taking place in their clients’ businesses? Can a corporation legally fire their auditor just for issuing an unfavorable opinion on their financial statements? Unaddressed questions such as these have eaten away at me for the past couple of years, and I have developed an enthusiasm towards researching them. It has effectively developed into a hobby of mine, and I have ascertained that I derive a great deal of satisfaction from finding answers by way of my own due diligence.

This is a pretty good paragraph, though you might want to cut one of your two sample questions. This tells me something about you other than "I was a good intern."

The field of accounting hinges on the operation of the law, and every facet of the profession is therefore intertwined with it. One thing that I have learned through my independent research, for example, is that every decision made by an auditor is documented on the spot to enable future recollection of the situational conditions that prompted the decision, preparing the firm for potential lawsuits. It’s a precaution that literally [don't use "literally"] costs firms millions and millions [just say "millions" once] of dollars in labor costs to carry out, emphasizing the importance of law in the profession.

This paragraph has told me nothing about you.

I think my inclination to research and draw meaningful answers from the law as it relates to my major - especially a major that is so heavily influenced by the law - evidences that I am predisposed to be a successful law student. [don't tell an adcomm that you know how to be successful in LS. This is presumptuous] I possess natural talents in interpretation of complex principles, along with a sincere curiosity towards the knowledge of the law, which further reinforce this notion. It is with these reasons in mind that I kindly ask you, SCHOOL X, to permit me to study law at your prestigious institution. I am infinitely confident that your trust in me will pay off, just as it has for Ron and [undergrad]’s RSP wing.

Please don't ask the adcomm to admit you. It's cheesy. It almost sounds like you're making a business proposition, which is not the tone you want to go for.

Two problems:

1) You're a good writer. However, your vocabulary comes off as "business-y" at times. The words above in green are the most egregious examples of this. Be more concise.

2) This is the structure of your PS: "I succeeded as an intern at a specific task. I also really like to look up legal things relating to accounting. Therefore, I would be a good law student." I haven't learned very much about you and your case isn't very compelling. Changing these two things will make your PS much better.

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Re: Fresh PS - Please Tear it Apart

Postby deegee22 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:54 am

You bring up some excellent points, WhatSarahSaid, thank you so much for your time. I'm going to work on adjusting it today and see what happens.

In the meantime, any other comments/suggestions would still be extremely helpful.

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Re: Fresh PS - Please Tear it Apart

Postby mattymatt » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:04 pm

To echo WhatSarahSaid, a PS is supposed to tell adcomms something about yourself not evident from the rest of your file. They'll see that you were an intern, and from your LOR's they'll probably guess that you're damn pretty good at whatever it was that you did during your undergrad. Don't just write an essay about a line from your resume, and then say that you think you'll make a good law school student because you can work diligently.

deegee22 wrote:Please don't ask the adcomm to admit you. It's cheesy.

Depending on how much time it takes you to write these, I'd go for a more personal topic. Like I said, this is your chance to really sell the adcomm on you as a potential law student, and talking about an internship sounds more like you're applying for an undergrad scholarship rather than a law school.

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Re: Fresh PS - Please Tear it Apart

Postby pamplemousse » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:33 pm

I agree with the above statements. you can certainly use this experience to show that you are analytical and hardworking, but i think you need to go a little more personable.

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Re: Fresh PS - Please Tear it Apart

Postby gdane » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:05 pm

Yea more personal. Sounds too businessy and Im not feeling it.

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Re: Fresh PS - Please Tear it Apart

Postby deevilsih » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:12 pm

Interesting situation, but I didn't really get a feel for who you are at all. I'd try to edit to leave more of a personal impression of yourself than just what you did.

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