Risky PS - please evaluate! (submitting soon)

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
mintjulep
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:02 pm

Risky PS - please evaluate! (submitting soon)

Postby mintjulep » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:56 am

I feel like I took a huge risk here by talking about my personality rather than my experiences, although I awkwardly tried to include at least one experience. I'm not sure if everything will give the impression I intended, so please comment!

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“You’re the biggest devil’s advocate I’ve ever known,” a close friend once told me. It was an accusatory tone, putting a temporary halt to an otherwise very animated private exchange about the value of his elementary education major, where I had taken the controversial position that the training of teachers had less positive impact on society than the training of finance workers. But I could only smile playfully at being caught, as it was a testament to the many years we’d known each other – to any unwary spectator, our debate would’ve seemed like an irreparable disagreement. I had argued passionately and relentlessly, but in reality I had felt guarded support for my friend’s opinions from the very beginning. Like so many other instances with a multitude of different topics and people, I had only been arguing for the sake of arguing, as he well-realized.

I have always found great joy in presenting and defending the opposing viewpoint, regardless of my own opinion. As one can imagine, persistent disagreement is not something that’s always met with approval – my mother jokes that I’m a “No-man” when I point out potential flaws in even her most reasonable suggestions. Amusingly, I often find myself later apologizing to friends or family who didn’t quite catch on to what I was doing and were fooled into thinking we were participating in a genuine dispute. Now, I admit that my tendency requires (at least) a bit of annoying know-it-allism in disagreeing so consistently, but I have found that it also needs considerable objectivity and careful understanding of different perspectives to ever give my words a chance of being taken seriously. After all, I believe that to challenge conventional thinking as often as a perpetual devil’s advocate does, it follows that one must find many ways of thinking around traditional wisdom and attitudes. When I reflect on the truth of a statement or opposing ideas, years of habit have taught me to never completely count anything out – I instinctively search for all the factors that could impact each possibility, and work on discovering potentially unexpected ways certain scenarios could be true.

In an academic setting, this aspect of my personality has frequently translated into a challenging in-class persona for instructors and classmates, to which little information or direction is taken for granted. Such an approach has yielded consistent rewards, especially in moments requiring irregular methods. In my time as a finance undergraduate, there was a unique, very notorious course each business student in my university was required to go through. My final grade would be decided chiefly by my team’s performance in the computer-simulated strategic management of a major automobile manufacturer throughout the semester. Due to the complexity of the simulation, traditionally teams would struggle to achieve any improvement at all in their company’s position even after months of work, and very few ever met the requirements needed for an ‘A’.

As it turned out, the secret to success was making decisions quite the opposite of what was deemed correct by our studies, our professor, and even common sense. The best moves in the simulation would have been, from what we knew, suicidal in real life. Despite this, when I first began discovering evidence in the simulation in support of the winning strategy, I argued fervently for its potential value to my teammates rather than dismissing the ideas. I managed to eventually convince my team to move boldly against our professor’s strongest recommendations and make the correct decisions within the simulation. In the end, it resulted in us not only surpassing the school record for any team, but more than doubling it – it seemed we had been the first to seriously consider the outwardly absurd moves necessary for such a score.

However, finance is not for me. Whereas law deals with ideas, finance deals with numbers. I look forward to the day when what I enjoy doing now is part of my profession, and with my love of analysis and debate, my hope is that law will be the field for me to be in.

User avatar
devilishangelrjp
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:21 pm

Re: Risky PS - please evaluate! (submitting soon)

Postby devilishangelrjp » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:05 am

mintjulep wrote:I feel like I took a huge risk here by talking about my personality rather than my experiences, although I awkwardly tried to include at least one experience. I'm not sure if everything will give the impression I intended, so please comment!

---
“You’re the biggest devil’s advocate I’ve ever known,” a close friend once told me. It was an accusatory tone, putting a temporary halt to an otherwise very animated private exchange about the value of his elementary education major, where I had taken the controversial position that the training of teachers had less positive impact on society than the training of finance workers. But I could only smile playfully at being caught, as it was a testament to the many years we’d known each other – to any unwary spectator, our debate would’ve seemed like an irreparable disagreement. I had argued passionately and relentlessly, but in reality I had felt guarded support for my friend’s opinions from the very beginning. Like so many other instances with a multitude of different topics and people, I had only been arguing for the sake of arguing, as he well-realized.

I have always found great joy in presenting and defending the opposing viewpoint, regardless of my own opinion. As one can imagine, persistent disagreement is not something that’s always met with approval – my mother jokes that I’m a “No-man” when I point out potential flaws in even her most reasonable suggestions. Amusingly, I often find myself later apologizing to friends or family who didn’t quite catch on to what I was doing and were fooled into thinking we were participating in a genuine dispute. Now, I admit that my tendency requires (at least) a bit of annoying know-it-allism in disagreeing so consistently, but I have found that it also needs considerable objectivity and careful understanding of different perspectives to ever give my words a chance of being taken seriously. After all, I believe that to challenge conventional thinking as often as a perpetual devil’s advocate does, it follows that one must find many ways of thinking around traditional wisdom and attitudes. When I reflect on the truth of a statement or opposing ideas, years of habit have taught me to never completely count anything out – I instinctively search for all the factors that could impact each possibility, and work on discovering potentially unexpected ways certain scenarios could be true.

In an academic setting, this aspect of my personality has frequently translated into a challenging in-class persona for instructors and classmates, to which little information or direction is taken for granted. Such an approach has yielded consistent rewards, especially in moments requiring irregular methods. In my time as a finance undergraduate, there was a unique, very notorious course each business student in my university was required to go through. My final grade would be decided chiefly by my team’s performance in the computer-simulated strategic management of a major automobile manufacturer throughout the semester. Due to the complexity of the simulation, traditionally teams would struggle to achieve any improvement at all in their company’s position even after months of work, and very few ever met the requirements needed for an ‘A’.

As it turned out, the secret to success was making decisions quite the opposite of what was deemed correct by our studies, our professor, and even common sense. The best moves in the simulation would have been, from what we knew, suicidal in real life. Despite this, when I first began discovering evidence in the simulation in support of the winning strategy, I argued fervently for its potential value to my teammates rather than dismissing the ideas. I managed to eventually convince my team to move boldly against our professor’s strongest recommendations and make the correct decisions within the simulation. In the end, it resulted in us not only surpassing the school record for any team, but more than doubling it – it seemed we had been the first to seriously consider the outwardly absurd moves necessary for such a score.

However, finance is not for me. Whereas law deals with ideas, finance deals with numbers. I look forward to the day when what I enjoy doing now is part of my profession, and with my love of analysis and debate, my hope is that law will be the field for me to be in.


I like it for the most part. The last sentence, to me, kinda makes it seem that you're just doing the law because you think it's the next step though. Like you aren't sure if this law thing is gonna work out.

mintjulep
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:02 pm

Re: Risky PS - please evaluate! (submitting soon)

Postby mintjulep » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:09 am

Ha ha, I think it's a bit ironic since in the essay I talk about always keeping all the possibilities in mind, and law school not working out is a possibility. That doesn't stop it from being a weak conclusion though.

inmans
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:12 pm

Re: Risky PS - please evaluate! (submitting soon)

Postby inmans » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:23 pm

Law deals with ideas?

Law deals with logic... which has as much mathematical power as numbers...

Sometimes it could be a little more concise. The first paragraph has a few sentences which are a little convoluted.

Otherwise, I liked it




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