Critique please

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
chaoticpoppet
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Critique please

Postby chaoticpoppet » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:56 pm

Backhoes, bulldozers, excavators – I love them all. By my fifth birthday, I could name every piece of heavy construction equipment. Most children enjoy the prosaic games tag or hopscotch. I was different; I preferred going to family company owned construction sites and riding the equipment with my grandfather. With an early interest in construction, my attention inevitably turned towards Legos and Erector Sets. Even my first job, landscaping, related to construction.

In all technicality, I was a landscaper long before receiving a paycheck. Memories of planting flowers and pulling weeds with my parents flood my mind at the beginning of every spring. On more than a few occasions, I would pretend the flowerbeds were construction sites and I would use my toy trucks over mundane garden tools. My backhoe dug holes for flowers, my grader loosened soil around otherwise hard to pull weeds, and my bulldozer dumped dirt on weeds I was too lazy to pull. The summer following my twelfth birthday, I was ready to branch out of my parents’ garden and begin my professional landscaping career. Having recently built a house on a massive 15-acre property, I started my career with my grandfather. For the next several summers, the land was ours to tame and mold.

Through the summers, I never tired of landscaping. Naturally, I thought about a career in construction. However, as I began my studies at Allegheny College my dreams started to transform. Suddenly, construction was only a hobby, no longer satisfying my intellectual desires. Several philosophy courses later, Descartes’ mind/body problem captivated me. As I progressed in philosophy, disappointment set in when modern philosophers had no concrete evidence for a mind/body link. Realizing I needed a more empirical route, and thinking the answer lay with the brain, I began studying psychology eventually leading me to neuroscience.

As a neuroscience major, I was awarded many opportunities to take part in various research projects. Through two separate internships and a yearlong independent study, I gained valuable insight into the world of scientists. The summers of 2007 and 2008 saw me taking a sabbatical from landscaping. Opening the door to the world of academic research, I worked with Dr. Hollerman on an animal model of autism in my first internship. Fall semester I had the opportunity to continue with the summer research, however, still interested in a mind/brain link I chose to study memory. For the next year, I studied two subtypes of declarative memory in rodents, attempting to show they were associated with two different areas of the brain. Though failing to support my hypothesis, my research added to the litany of others attesting to the fact that declarative memory is not specific to humans. Summer of 2008, I continued researching, this time working with Dr. Juhasz, synthesizing a stockpile of carborane anions used in the construction of superacids. Unlike my previous internship, there was little in the way of experimentation creating an environment that felt similar to working at a private research firm.

Though I enjoyed my research endeavors, they alone were unable to quench my voracious intellectual thirst. With this knowledge, I resumed my old landscaping post after graduation, while I reflected on my experiences in neuroscience. I emerged with the realization that I came out of science with a desire to use research in a way to affect regulatory policies, something only a study of the law provides. I now wish to use my background in science to begin a career as an intellectual property lawyer. I am confident that my background in construction and science – fields that demand excellence in methodical, logical, and analytical thinking – will allow me to succeed in law school. My backhoes, bulldozers, and excavators have since transformed into methodical, logical, and analytical thinking, themes that have been present throughout my life.

dlee975
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 2:28 pm

Re: Critique please

Postby dlee975 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:26 pm

I feel like its a stretch making the connection from landscaping to neuroscience to law. As I read your ps, I felt like you were trying too hard to make a connection from your past to your desire to study law. Your 4th paragraph is overloaded with information that I feel adcomms will not really care for nor want to read. I think focus more on the effects of the experiences rather than the specific experiences themselves. In all honesty, the feeling that I got from reading your ps is that you really didn't have anything to do with your neuroscience major, went back to landscaping, and now you are thinking that law school might not be a bad option for you. I hope this helps you out and best of luck on your process.

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CardinalRules
Posts: 2332
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:20 pm

Re: Critique please

Postby CardinalRules » Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:49 am

The neuroscience section seems like an aberration in an otherwise intriguing and highly consistent pursuit of construction / landscaping. As the poster above suggested, the abrupt transitions back and forth between these fields make you seem indecisive. It would be infinitely more effective if you discussed what clearly inspires you (the landscaping) at greater length and contented yourself with tying that part of your life into law. From the way that you've crafted the PS, anyway, the reader senses that you are much more passionate about this longer-lasting interest of yours than what appears to be a temporary flirtation with neuroscience.

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JustDude
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:07 pm

Re: Critique please

Postby JustDude » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:58 am

Backhoes, bulldozers, excavators – I love them all.


I will be honest. When I glanced over it I read, "Black hos ********, ********* - I love them all". I immediately though of aa good diversity statement, but alas, that was just my mistake..



By my fifth birthday, I could name every piece of heavy construction equipment. Most children enjoy the prosaic games tag or hopscotch.


I do hope that you possess a degree in child development, since so freely you talk about what most children do.

I was different; I preferred going to family company owned construction sites and riding the equipment with my grandfather. With an early interest in construction, my attention inevitably turned towards Legos and Erector Sets. Even my first job, landscaping, related to construction.


Your attention had an early interest in construction? Erector sets were promising again.

In all technicality, I was a landscaper long before receiving a paycheck. Memories of planting flowers and pulling weeds with my parents flood my mind at the beginning of every spring. On more than a few occasions, I would pretend the flowerbeds were construction sites and I would use my toy trucks over mundane garden tools. My backhoe dug holes for flowers, my grader loosened soil around otherwise hard to pull weeds, and my bulldozer dumped dirt on weeds I was too lazy to pull. The summer following my twelfth birthday, I was ready to branch out of my parents’ garden and begin my professional landscaping career. Having recently built a house on a massive 15-acre property, I started my career with my grandfather. For the next several summers, the land was ours to tame and mold.


I hope you know that you are implying here that as a twelve year old you built a house on this massive property. I can only guess whether you are an idiot that cannot connect two words with each other, or you just plain delusional. Also, dont recycle your construction job applications cover letter (I never thought they need any, but I guess in this economy you need a competitive edge) for a LS personal statement. Not cool.

Through the summers, I never tired of landscaping. Naturally, I thought about a career in construction. However, as I began my studies at Allegheny College my dreams started to transform. Suddenly, construction was only a hobby, no longer satisfying my intellectual desires. Several philosophy courses later, Descartes’ mind/body problem captivated me. As I progressed in philosophy, disappointment set in when modern philosophers had no concrete


Here we go with concrete again

evidence for a mind/body link. Realizing I needed a more empirical route, and thinking the answer lay with the brain, I began studying psychology eventually leading me to neuroscience.


So, in order to understand the logical reasoning in philosopy you decided to study neuroscience???.. Well neuroscience does explain how brain works, but not at that angle.......... Someone played a cruel joka at you.

As a neuroscience major, I was awarded many opportunities to take part in various research projects. Through two separate internships and a yearlong independent study, I gained valuable insight into the world of scientists. The summers of 2007 and 2008 saw me taking a sabbatical from landscaping. Opening the door to the world of academic research, I worked with *************on an animal model of autism in my first internship. Fall semester I had the opportunity to continue with the summer research, however, still interested in a mind/brain link I chose to study memory. For the next year, I studied two subtypes of declarative memory in rodents, attempting to show they were associated with two different areas of the brain. Though failing to support my hypothesis, my research added to the litany of others attesting to the fact that declarative memory is not specific to humans. Summer of 2008, I continued researching, this time working with ******** synthesizing a stockpile of ***************used in the construction of *********. Unlike my previous internship, there was little in the way of experimentation creating an environment that felt similar to working at a private research firm.



Seriously dude, thats something that belongs to resume or even not there. Who care about your research project. You named them bacause they sound scientific and make you look smart?. Well you were wrong. Plus last project was a chemistry project. I mean, its not even a part of the neuro whatever story.

Though I enjoyed my research endeavors, they alone were unable to quench my voracious intellectual thirst.


and satisfy your academic hunger.

With this knowledge, I resumed my old landscaping post after graduation, while I reflected on my experiences in neuroscience. I emerged with the realization that I came out of science with a desire to use research in a way to affect regulatory policies, something only a study of the law provides. I now wish to use my background in science to begin a career as an intellectual property lawyer. I am confident that my background in construction and science – fields that demand excellence in methodical, logical, and analytical thinking – will allow me to succeed in law school. My backhoes, bulldozers, and excavators have since transformed into methodical, logical, and analytical thinking, themes that have been present throughout my life.


Why dont you say that knowledge of all those buldosers will make you a perfect personal injury and workplace accident lawyer. That would be fresh and in tune with T4 schools

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FromRussiaWithLove
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:23 am

Re: Critique please

Postby FromRussiaWithLove » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:54 am

Damn. The above post is harsh but has some points. I wanted to emphasize that listing your research topics in detail is a tool move. Anyone who majored in natural science and had a PI hold their hand through a project can conjure up some jargon and make themselves feel smarter on paper, but it comes across poorly. If you are gonna mention the projects, do not mention the details.

And get rid of the voracious intellectual thirst line.




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