Tear it apart people!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:25 pm

Tear it apart people!

Postby SoCalKevin » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:55 pm

One more time...

I remember the moment vividly: I was a teenager in high school, just sixteen years old. It was a chilly December morning, and a group of friends and I had put together a small brass ensemble to play at a local convalescent home, hoping to bring some cheer for the holidays. But the day we performed was unexpectedly bittersweet: on one hand, it felt good to give a group of lonely and often forgotten mothers, fathers, brothers and grandparents an hour of personal attention they so desperately craved and deserved. But the difficult part was that near the end of our visit, after the last chorus of Jingle Bells ended and the horns were packed up in their cases, we were the only people in the world they had to talk to, a captive audience, and that conversation became filled with reminiscence of days gone by, missed opportunities, and dreams of what they would do if they could do it all over again. To some, that short time might have seemed like a heartbreaking eternity as they tried to end the conversation and dash for the exit. But for me, a light bulb went on. At the end of my time in this life, I never wanted to end up wishing I had done more with my life. That day would motivate me more than I could have possibly imagined.

When I started thinking about a career I knew right away that I wanted to be in media, specifically the entertainment industry. The power that it has to persuade, motivate and inspire people had been a fascinating enigma to me. Only the entertainment world can bring together complete strangers to sit in a theatre or in front of the television and laugh, cry, feel proud, feel shock or disgust, to tug on their heartstrings or make them mad as hell. It is a power that can make people want to fight the man or help their fellow man, to back a war or to rise in protest against it. So the moment I graduated with my B.A. in communications, I set a course toward becoming the commander-in-chief of this power—the producer. A producer is like the conductor of an orchestra, bringing together all of the strategic, creative and execution elements to create a work. To be a great one, I would have to know a good deal about what all of the different people working with me did in their positions. So I spent a great deal of time filling in the blanks between what I learned in my undergraduate work and what it would take to be successful in the highly competitive entertainment world: budgeting, negotiating, visual structure, design and story telling, as well as marketing and advertising strategy, my intended specialty. Two years later, when I felt I was finally prepared, I interviewed for my first big job in production management.

I did not just apply to any firm that I thought would accept me. Through a series of contacts I had made, I received an invitation to meet with XXXX, the largest and most influential creative advertising agency in the television world at that time. After one interview, I was hired as a production coordinator, and within a year I was a full-fledged producer. By the second year, I was commanding millions of dollars in budgets and handling international clients from the United Kingdom to the Middle East, and for the rest of my time there I would travel the world, launching and promoting television channels and working directly with clients such as Elizabeth Murdoch of XXX and Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the UAE and XXX.

My work at XXX over the next several years garnered more than a dozen industry awards and a lot of recognition. So much in fact that in November, 2001 I was sought out by a theatrical marketing firm looking for someone with television expertise to grow and manage the entire operation. The idea of leaving a secure job and successful position after September 11, when the entertainment industry –like many others- was in financial chaos, for a tiny, unknown company seemed like an insane notion. But after three months of interviews (me interviewing them, mostly) I saw the potential in this small group of people, and I knew it was an opportunity to do something great—something that would make a mark in the industry, make a difference to my future employees, and be personally rewarding for myself. I would have to start from zero, writing a business plan and figuring out how to execute it on a shoestring budget. It would be a gamble and would take an unbelievable amount of time and sweat, but I had reached the point in my career that I once again knew I was ready to make the leap.

As I write this, it has been eight years to the day that I made that decision. I’m glad I did. What began as a group of six people grossing only XXX annually has become one of the top creative advertising firms in the television industry, with more than 40 full-time employees and billings of nearly $XXX million a year. Our work has been seen around the world, and our clients include nearly every major television brand and movie studio in Hollywood. The industry has recognized our work with awards that number in the dozens, and I am asked to speak on entertainment marketing around the world, most recently in Singapore, Mumbai, and New York City, and to date I have been fortunate enough to visit 15 countries, almost all through my job. As it turns out I may not have been convincing the masses to rise up and fight the man, but I was successfully convincing millions of them to tune into my client’s network, watch their show, or get off the couch on a Friday night and pay ten dollars to see one of their movies.

At every milestone in my career I have known when it is time to push myself further. I know at what point I am prepared to do so, and when I need to do it to quell the voice of that teenage boy in my ear, constantly pushing me to move forward in life without regret. This is one of those times. I know that I will be a great attorney. My experience in entertainment and the volume of high-level relationships I have made along the way will advance this next stage of my career much faster than I could have ever hoped as a fresh undergrad. I have been on the client side of the table –in dealing with contracts, licensing, intellectual property, union issues and more– and can now more fully understand and appreciate what my future clients’ concerns will be. I have developed skills that are critical to the field—negotiation, persuasion, organization, verbal and written communications, and in managing and motivating people and personalities of all types to achieve a goal. Since I plan on staying in California, I know that XXX Law School’s solid Entertainment Law program, and excellent reputation would be a critical part of that package moving forward.

Things have never been handed to me nor have they always come as easy as it might seem. I am only the third generation of my family born in the United States and just the second to attend college, my father was the first as a XXX graduate. I was born in a small, blue-collar suburb of XXX, and it was only through the hard work of myself and my family that I am where I am today. At any point in my life, things could have very easily taken a different turn. Because of that, I value hard work and self-motivation, and appreciate when I see it in others. For a few years now I have been a supporter of Chrysalis, the LA Mission and Habitat for Humanity, all organizations that help people help themselves. At a certain point in one’s life, especially when the world has given so much, it comes time to give back. I know that besides furthering myself once again, a law degree could help do that in spades.

I am confident that at this point in my life and with a law degree, I can bring a great deal of knowledge to the law profession, honor and recognition to my future alma mater, and greater philanthropy to my community. And when it’s all said and done, I hope to make that young man from so many years ago very proud.


Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:56 pm

Re: Tear it apart people!

Postby arewhyaen » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:17 pm

I really don't get why you included the intro. I actually don't like it at all, cause from a personal level, my mother works in a nursing home--and the opening statement has an assumption that nursing homes just don't treat their patients right. Who knows, what if the adcomm reading your statement also had a parent or relative living or working in a nursing home? But if you insist on keeping the intro, I would like to see a little more relation to it later on in the statement.

However, your experiences in the entertainment industry are very intriguing and perhaps opening your statement with a specific experience might be better.

There are also alot of vague statements through out your essay ( I won many awards, I made lots of money, I did many things, I dealt with many people). Yes, you mention a lot, but I would like to see an elaboration on a couple of the things that you do mention. It would really bring your amazing experiences to a much clearer view.

Lastly, I would work a little bit on your closing paragraphs. You state that you already know alot about the law(ip, contracts, workers comp, etc), so why exactly do you need to go to law school then? Simply stating you want to further your knowledge just doesn't do it for me--as this is probably mentioned a million times over in other apps. You have unique experiences, so take advantage of that and have a unique reason on why you want to go to law school!

I hope this helps!

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