Non Traditional - PS Looking for your Input

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Non Traditional - PS Looking for your Input

Postby dbushman » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:46 pm

I might be opening myself up to some serious criticism, but that is exactly what I am looking for. I am a non-traditional (second career, 41 y/o) law school candidate. I have done a lot in the last 19 years since leaving College, its tough to put it in my PS. I would appreciate any help you might give. Thanks in advance,

Taking stock in my life, I felt settled. I was Forty Years old, living in rural Utah, close to family, successful business, the American dream fulfilled. Then last spring I walked next door to visit with my Dad, my role model, my sounding board, and my anchor. I opened his door and was confronted with the medical emergency no child ever wants to face. My father was unconscious, pulse-less, and lifeless. It was my sole decision as an EMT to forgo resuscitation attempts. While I may always question that decision, I will never question my father's absolute belief in my abilities and his passionate belief in following your dreams. Suddenly, I didn't feel settled in life, I felt as though I had settled for less, I had abandoned my dream of becoming a lawyer and settled for the now seemingly mediocre life I was leading. Following this tragic life altering event, I knew I had to pursue my dream to honor my father and the example he had set.
My dad had encouraged me to return home to our small rural community in 2002 to raise our children in a safe environment. I found myself with a hammer in hand, pouring concrete, and erecting a building that would become the cornerstone of our small business. I took an interest in community politics and chamber of commerce activities, and I gravitated towards land access rights and land-use planning issues. I have been instrumental in securing and maintaining the rights of off-road enthusiasts on the public lands in our area. I am proud of my involvement and take particular pride in the fact that I helped in securing and maintaining the livelihoods of many of the county’s residents.
Through the involvement in county business, I recognized the need for more EMT’s and improved ambulance services in our small county, but found many excuses why I couldn’t be involved. My outlook changed on the morning of March 18, 2004 when my wife went to get our four-day old son from the cradle, she found that he had stopped breathing and neither of us knew what to do. After what seemed an eternity, our instinctive rather than knowledgeable efforts were successful in reviving him. Upon reflecting on our newborn incident, I decided to take action and I signed up for the next available EMT class. I later became an Intermediate level EMT and instructor. I love the work and gain great pleasure from helping my fellow man. Having the confidence and ability to respond to medical emergencies in a remote rural location has taught me empathy and compassion in an experiential way not learned from books.
My parents were entrepreneurs and they purchased a small general store shortly after I was born. I spent my first few years in a shopping cart, not a crib or play pen. I learned at an early age that everyone pulled their own weight and there were no free lunches. As early as I can remember I was helping my father in his construction business. By age 6, my father had me driving a backhoe and front-end loader. By the age of 10, I found myself taking a regular shift at the cash register in our store and doing my homework whenever business was slow.
My parents reinforced the importance of education at every opportunity. I graduated high school summa cum laude, received a leadership scholarship and entered Utah State University. While there, I had the great experience of working with the Partners in Business Program, an educational business cooperative. I worked closely with company presidents, CEO’s, CFO’s and chairmen in a wide range of industries. The exposure to corporate leaders was an incredible experience and shaped my views on effective leadership. I worked my way through college, funding my own education.
As I entered the corporate world, I found that my superiors appreciated the work ethic I had learned as a contributor to the family business. My parents had taught me to work hard and have the drive and ambition to achieve the goals I believed in. I had learned to be a communicator, effective at persuasion and able to defend my positions. I learned at an early age that cooperation and teamwork was a far more effective strategy than adversity. I progressed rapidly through a variety of positions with a broad base of exposure and eventually became the president of my own successful business.
The final impetus to gain a formalized education in law and to help other small businesses resulted from having suffered a supplier failure and ultimately a product recall. As I navigated this legal maze in an effort to maintain the equity and ultimate survival of our company, it became clear that our situation was not unique. Many small businesses are unprepared and ill equipped to handle product liability issues. And, it was troubling that I could not find an advocate or attorney that had the desire or expertise to help.
I treasure the experiences that have brought me to this pinnacle in life. I don't regret the path I have chosen, and am determined to passionately pursue my dream of becoming a lawyer. I am forever grateful to my father for having instilled in me a sense of perseverance and passion for dreams. Strengthened by my experience, proven entrepreneurial work ethic, and compassion for small business owners, I will bring a unique steadfast dedication and non-traditional perspective to the classroom and eventually the ability to aid other small business owners in the pursuit of their dreams.

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Re: Non Traditional - PS Looking for your Input

Postby booboo » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:55 pm

I feel like there is a strong story to be told here (as with most NT candidates). What first jumped out at me was when you mentioned you decided not to attempt resuscitation of your father, which only confused me, and really had no value to the story. Also, you jump from 2002 and how you became an integral part of the community/started a small business to back to when you are a child/HS/college. It seems like there is a chronological problem there (you may want to move around some paragraphs). Also, I was thrown off when you mentioned your experience in the family business (post college graduation), which (from earlier) seemed like it had begun when you moved back to Utah through encouragement from your father (2002+).

You have a decent amount of reshaping to do here, but when done, should be able to provide nice a window into who you are.

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