Your critiques and suggestions are appreciated.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
bwehmeyer
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:40 pm

Your critiques and suggestions are appreciated.

Postby bwehmeyer » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:05 pm

This is the definition of a rough draft :lol: . I'm sure there is some spelling and grammar errors, I am going to take care of them shortly. (I just threw this together) Let me know if you think I'm at least headed in the right direction. ANY critiques and suggestions are welcomed.

Seven years ago I was graduating high school and excited about my future college experience. I planned on having the traditional college experience that would consist of going to class, partying, and meeting new people. I quickly came to find out that even the best laid plans can be derailed, but even better ones could get you back on track.

Six years ago I was following MR. X through the tour of a dirty shop at XXXX Incorporated and was contemplating just what I had gotten myself into. The equipment was massive, the shop was 30 foot high, and the workers looked tired. It was only 7 a.m. on the first day and I had already begun to question the choice my conscious forced me to make. Needless to say I was intimidated. In the middle of the tour MR. X stopped, looked me dead in the eye and told me thing that I will remember for the rest of my life, “XXXXX, I want you to realize one thing. It comes down to two types of people in the world, the people who wake up in the morning and care about what they do and the people who don’t. That’s what sets apart the people that excel and the people who don’t. To excel in this business you have to care about your work.” I would come to find out later the reason he was so stern with me is that the Electrician’s Apprentice program has the highest rate of attrition at the company, a fact that still stands today. Had he only known how much I actually did care he might not have initiated what I considered not only to be a challenge, but essential for my future. Not caring was not an option. The reason I took the job was because finances had become strained for my parents and as a result, they couldn’t afford to give me financial assistance while I attended college. To this day I know they view their financial difficulties as one of their biggest failures, I view it as the event pointed me in the direction of success and it was up to me to obtain it. A friend led me to The Electrician’s Apprenticeship program at XXXX Incorporated. The program promised good pay and a future for advancement. So, I dropped my college courses and got to work. After getting over the initial intimidation of my new surroundings I took charge my apprenticeship. I quickly advanced within the company. First, earning the position of Leadsman after my first year, and then gaining the position of Foreman in the subsequent years. As a Foreman I was exposed to new types of work. I was not only responsible for the performance and effectiveness of my own work, but I was also responsible for the work of up to 8 other men, some much older and experienced than I was. It was seeing the older men constantly complaining about what they would have done differently in their life, in terms of their education, that encouraged me to return to my college studies.

I knew returning to school would be challenging, but at the same time, extremely gratifying to know that I could still accomplish my educational goals. Coupled with my required attendance of the vocational training school for electricians, the first couple of years after re-enrolling were an academic disappointment. At first, the balancing act of night classes and a work schedule that consisted of 50-60 hours per week proved to be extremely difficult and it forced me drop several classes. Undeterred, I would make up the dropped classes in the next semester. While all of my friends where going out and partying on the weekends, if I wasn’t working, I was studying. My hard work did not go unnoticed. I was constantly reminded by co-workers, fellow students, and most important of all my parents, that my hard work will eventually pay off in the form of a diploma. After I had completed the vocational training school and earned my Texas Journeyman Electrician’s license I was able to cut my work schedule almost in half, to about 30-40hrs per week, and was able to take a full time college course load. The reduction in hours at work allowed me to focus more on my college coursework and finally achieve better grades. I look forward to walking across the stage this May and receiving my B.B.A. in Economics not only because it will be a culmination of many years of hard work, but also because I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college.

My experiences at school and even more importantly, at work, are what lead me to take on the challenge of law school. The earliest time I came into contact with the law was in my Business Law class. I enjoyed reading the case briefs that were studied and the complexities of the problems that were presented. Another, and perhaps the most influential source of all, is the interaction that I have had with the law at my job. As a Foreman I am required to read and abide by contracts and addendums that detail the scope of work to be performed. It was reading those documents that gave me and interest in the law. Contractor’s that do not fulfill their obligations have often caused disputes. I have had the privilege of being present at several of the negotiations to reconcile these disputes, even one trial, and witnessed firsthand the challenges that our attorneys have faced. The litigation of the issues in construction is where I would like to practice law. I realize that the blue collar electrician to attorney is not a common transition, but I believe that my practical trade experience and skill sets, combined with a formal legal education will, prove to be invaluable in understanding and analyzing the client’s issues. I look forward to going to law school in the part time program and continuing to learn practical knowledge at work.


_End

User avatar
reebtoor
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:14 pm

Re: Your critiques and suggestions are appreciated.

Postby reebtoor » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:06 am

Overall, I don't think it's that bad. The first paragraph kind of seems useless. The second paragraph is a little too unclear for a little too long. After reading about school in the paragraph above, I had no idea what the setting of this paragraph was until halfway through, and that got kind of annoying. But I think the statement does what you want it to. I think it gives a sense of your commitment and of some of the struggles you have faced, while also outlining your reasons for attending law school.

User avatar
Cupidity
Posts: 2214
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: Your critiques and suggestions are appreciated.

Postby Cupidity » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:12 am

If it is "needless to say", why did you just waste my time saying it to me?

That is a line that has always bothered me, and I recall it being a pet peeve of many a high-school english teacher. On the off-chance any adcomm is as picky about it, I would advise removing it.

"I was intimidated" sounds far more sincere. Also, a stylistic note, I think numbers look better written when they are numbers like "seven" and "thirty".

You have several lines throughout simmilar to "was contemplating just what I had gotten myself into" and the "needless to say", always keep in mind economy of language, every word you say is taking the space of something else. Do you really need to say that you were contemplating your situation? Does that add anything to my understanding of what is happening?

"I knew returning to school would be challenging, but at the same time, extremely gratifying to know that I could still accomplish my educational goals". This is a terrible (and oft used) sentence. I have seen it in MANY personal statements. School would be gratifying? Really? Challenging? Really? There is nothing there that makes me interested in you as a candidate or a human being.

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

Re: Your critiques and suggestions are appreciated.

Postby JustDude » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:24 am

I'm sure there is some spelling and grammar errors, I am going to take care of them shortly.


at least 2 mistake right there, anyway.


Overall PS will probably work for T2 or lower T1 schools. It doesnt have anything really negative and insulting.

However there are no positives as well. The assay lacks theme or idea. The only thing that I learned from there is that youworked throughout the college and that you spent seven years to get UG degree. All this info will be clear from your resume.
This PS is full of trite sentences and even whole paragraphs. Also, the grammar is atrocious. "the reason is because", several run-on sentences, and all the stuff previous posters mentioned.


Now to details.
First paragraph can safely go.

In secong, your description of the reasons why you took apprenticship has some logical flaws. First you trying to portray yourself as caring about work person, you mention that despite high attrition rate in the programm, you are not the one to go, but then you bluntly state that you took the job for money only. Also, you stated that promotion was easy, thus diminishing the importance of your subsequent climbing the ladder. After that you describe how you progressed on work. This is very redundunt, especially if work is only for paycheck (like you stated).

It would be a msitake to remove money reason completely, since this omission will rise questions why did you switch beloved job for college. But try this approach. You needed money. You took this job. You took job just for paycheck, but you actually got excited about it. You liked it and excelled. And you were promoted through several positions. This would show you as a person who can face challenges and actually enjoy them and find positive aspects in them. You will show they made you stronger. Also, your excitement about this job would justify mentioning your promotions. Those promotions were important for you since you cared, that why you felt that this information is worth sharing.

Your negativity and patronizing attitude towards your parents finances is unwarranted. Better, describe reasons why they were poor, and simply state that you took care of yourself. No need to tell howe bad they felt about thatand how magnanimously you forgave them


third paragraph is lacking any substance. It sounds like a poor GPA addendum. Give some stories there regarding your work and your studies.

Forth paragraph. Sorry, but stating that you want to go to Law School because you like one law related class is weak at the very least. Its like saying that you want to be a surgeon because you disevted a frog at school.

User avatar
EdmundBurke23
Posts: 223
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:37 am

Re: Your critiques and suggestions are appreciated.

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:52 am

Cupidity wrote:If it is "needless to say", why did you just waste my time saying it to me?

That is a line that has always bothered me, and I recall it being a pet peeve of many a high-school english teacher. On the off-chance any adcomm is as picky about it, I would advise removing it.

"I was intimidated" sounds far more sincere. Also, a stylistic note, I think numbers look better written when they are numbers like "seven" and "thirty".

You have several lines throughout simmilar to "was contemplating just what I had gotten myself into" and the "needless to say", always keep in mind economy of language, every word you say is taking the space of something else. Do you really need to say that you were contemplating your situation? Does that add anything to my understanding of what is happening?

"I knew returning to school would be challenging, but at the same time, extremely gratifying to know that I could still accomplish my educational goals". This is a terrible (and oft used) sentence. I have seen it in MANY personal statements. School would be gratifying? Really? Challenging? Really? There is nothing there that makes me interested in you as a candidate or a human being.


I understand that "Needless to say" is a figure of speech, but it's not rhetorically effective for argumentative purposes. There are a lot of things that you're trying to accomplish on a personal statement, and a demonstration of your writing style/advocacy skills is one of them. I also agree with Cupidity on avoiding cliches; especially when they're employed as unsupported claims. I think that you have a decent story to tell, but what's just as important is how it's presented. I actually worked as a chef for a couple of years, and my teacher used to always say: it's all about presentation...

User avatar
p_r
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:35 pm

Re: Your critiques and suggestions are appreciated.

Postby p_r » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:43 pm

bwehmeyer wrote:My experiences at school and even more importantly, at work, are what lead me to take on the challenge of law school. The earliest time I came into contact with the law was in my Business Law class. I enjoyed reading the case briefs that were studied and the complexities of the problems that were presented. Another, and perhaps the most influential source of all, is the interaction that I have had with the law at my job. As a Foreman I am required to read and abide by contracts and addendums that detail the scope of work to be performed. It was reading those documents that gave me and interest in the law. Contractor’s that do not fulfill their obligations have often caused disputes. I have had the privilege of being present at several of the negotiations to reconcile these disputes, even one trial, and witnessed firsthand the challenges that our attorneys have faced. The litigation of the issues in construction is where I would like to practice law. I realize that the blue collar electrician to attorney is not a common transition, but I believe that my practical trade experience and skill sets, combined with a formal legal education will, prove to be invaluable in understanding and analyzing the client’s issues. I look forward to going to law school in the part time program and continuing to learn practical knowledge at work.


_End

You should be careful with how you approach this. This makes me think that your degree in Economics means nothing more to you than a pat on a back for getting that "piece of paper."

Antigone
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:40 pm

Re: Your critiques and suggestions are appreciated.

Postby Antigone » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:45 pm

I liked your statement. Like you said, it was your first draft and there are significant changes that can be made to assist in the flow and organization of your statement, but overall, I think the story is genuine and unique. I like the how you tie together your experiences as a blue collar worker and your interest in law. Keep working on it, but don't be too discouraged by the negative comments on this forum. It is your story to tell, not theirs.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.