Am I STILL just narrating my resume? Revision below.

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zaw
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:04 pm

Am I STILL just narrating my resume? Revision below.

Postby zaw » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:35 pm

What are you going to do with a degree in Linguistics? This question always bothered me as an undergraduate because it implies that a particular major might be a constraint: a strict mold that limits someone to a direct, professional extension of that field of study. For me, an academic title does not define the individual. It instead describes the tools he has acquired. A Law School graduate, then, is not limited to practicing law, but rather equipped to confront many different challenges with a distinct skill set and an informed perspective. Education is therefore not a path to follow from point A to point B, but a map to guide you on any route you take.

I intend to earn my JD at ******** with a focus, in some combination, on environmental, international, and business law because it will enable me to capably confront what I believe is the most significant challenge we face as a human race: preserving progress and economic development while restoring our environment and fostering international cooperation.

In particular, I believe a JD will give me the expertise I need to further advance and expand a project I launched with two childhood friends in 2007. In a nutshell, the project revolves around a non-profit/for-profit partnership to promote the environmentally and economically sustainable development of Jatropha (a biofuel feedstock). Our mission is to establish an educational/research center for Jatropha development that will promulgate already established principles of fair trade and sustainable agriculture, and demonstrate how they can be successfully applied to bio-energy production, especially in developing countries. While we have made significant progress as relative novices (we secured the use of roughly 500 hectares of land to build our center), we are already facing many issues requiring legal expertise, and I am certain that my formal legal education will be instrumental in achieving our long term goals.

Furthermore, I believe that pursuing a JD is a logical next step in my career because it will unify my diverse professional and academic background and continue to nourish my core abilities and passions. Indeed, I have always made a concerted effort to synthesize my interests and build on my strengths throughout my career, and I have succeeded as a result.
For example, as an undergraduate I was able to combine my academic discipline with my extracurricular interest in politics. I wrote and presented at a graduate conference a paper in which I examined the epistemic relationship between what language users believe and the form their language takes in the context of political speech and writing. Despite the fact that I was the only undergraduate invited to participate, the paper was subsequently selected for publication in the conference’s proceedings.

Also as an undergraduate, I seized the opportunity to study abroad in Granada, Spain for one semester. This exploration complemented my previous travel to other Spanish speaking countries and reaffirmed my long held desire to work internationally. Having grown up and lived in New Mexico, I have long participated in meaningful multicultural exchange, and traveling abroad has always been an extension of this powerful experience.
After graduation I was able to integrate my language skills and my interest in public policy again by earning a paid internship in the Office of Mexican Affairs in the New Mexico Economic Development Department. As an assistant at the NAFTA Institute that summer, I facilitated business-to-business meetings and helped connect dozens of New Mexican businesses with Mexican suppliers.

Two weeks into my internship, I was offered a job in the New Mexico Governor’s Office working as a writer, translator, and caseworker in Constituent Services. I capitalized on my linguistic aptitude there as well, and in less than a year, I was promoted to Deputy Director of Legislative and Political Affairs. In my time as Deputy Director, I developed invaluable insight into the function and responsibilities of the public sector, and I rose to the challenges of a complex legislative process to make an impact on pubic policy in New Mexico. Recently, I have taken on a new challenge in our office as Director of Operations and HR.

By pursuing my interests and playing to my strengths, I have enjoyed tremendous professional success in a relatively short period of time, and there is little doubt in my mind that I will draw from these experiences in the Governor’s Office during and after Law School.

Although I have contemplated applying to Law School since I was a teenager, my work experience since college has resolved my desire to pursue a JD. As a scribe and legislative aide in the Governor’s Office, I have most enjoyed aspects of my work that require intensive scrutiny of language, a task to which my background in linguistics lends itself well. From deliberating the ramifications of language I put into a letter, to analyzing language in statutes, I have found that I naturally incline towards these common elements of careers in law. Also during the last two and a half years, I have taken special care to observe and examine the roles that Law School graduates play in both the public and private sectors. I have worked closely with Cabinet Secretaries, General Counsels, policy czars, lobbyists, elected officials, corporate managers, and private attorneys, all of whom possess a JD, and I have been repeatedly impressed with the utility of the degree.
Finally, I am confident that my undergraduate studies have adequately prepared me for Law School. Specifically, I believe courses in semantics, grammar and syntax, philosophy, sociology, political science, and foreign languages constitute a solid pre-law foundation. Moreover, my transcript reflects strong academic performance in each of these subjects.

I believe I am an ideal candidate for the JD program at ********. I am eager to return to an academic environment, and I will bring with me a desire to succeed, significant and relevant work experience, and academic excellence. ******** and the City of ******* together offer an unparalleled commitment to environmental education and activism, and this commitment forms the foundation of an exceptionally vibrant and progressive community. These important resources will enhance my legal education, offer new perspectives, and present new opportunities that will eventually form the basis of my answer to a better question: what have you done with a JD?
Last edited by zaw on Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Am I just narrating my resume? Please help!

Postby CardinalRules » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:35 am

In short: yes, you are narrating your resume. Pick out one or two of the accomplishments that mean the most to you and give us a snapshot of them rather than hurrying us through what feels like a comprehensive list.

zaw
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:04 pm

Re: Am I STILL just narrating my resume? Revision below.

Postby zaw » Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:14 pm

What are you going to do with a degree in Linguistics? This question always bothered me as an undergraduate because it implies that a particular major might be a constraint: a strict mold that limits someone to a direct, professional extension of that field of study. For me, an academic title does not define the individual. Instead, it describes the tools he has acquired. A Law School graduate, then, is not limited to practicing law, but rather equipped to confront many different challenges with a distinct skill set and an informed perspective. Education is not the path, it is the map.

Generally speaking, I believe that pursuing a JD is a logical next step in my career because it will tie together my diverse professional and academic achievements and add a new dimension to my own map. I also believe that focusing, in some combination, on environmental, international, and business law will help me navigate and ultimately make an impact on what is arguably the most significant challenge we face today: preserving progress and economic development while restoring our environment and fostering international cooperation.

Specifically, I believe such a degree will give me a lot of the expertise I need to further advance and expand a project I launched with two childhood friends in 2007. In a nutshell, the project revolves around a non-profit/for-profit partnership to promote the environmentally and economically sustainable development of Jatropha (a biofuel feedstock). Our mission is to establish an educational/research center for Jatropha development that will promulgate already established principles of fair trade and sustainable agriculture, and demonstrate how they can be successfully applied to bio-energy production, especially in developing countries. While we have made significant progress as relative novices (we raised almost $10,000 dollars to travel to Mexico for research and subsequently secured the use of roughly 500 hectares of land to build our center), we continue to face many issues requiring legal expertise, and I am certain that my formal legal education will be instrumental in achieving our long term goals.

Although I have contemplated applying to Law School since I was a teenager, it is my recent experience in the Governor’s Office that has resolved my desire to pursue a JD. As a scribe and legislative aide I found that I most enjoyed aspects of my work that required intensive scrutiny of language. This includes, for example, considering the ramifications of language I put into a letter or analyzing language in bills and statutes. I do not believe it is coincidence that this kind of attention to language is essential to many different careers in law. Nor do I believe that it was simply fortunate that my background in linguistics lent itself well to those tasks. I believe that, driven by my long-held interests, I found myself two positions that fit neatly into the natural evolution of my career, and in a similar fashion, I expect to draw from these experiences in the Governor’s Office throughout my career as an attorney.

In my time as a Deputy Director, I also developed invaluable insight into the intricacies of the legislative process. Prior to this experience, I largely took for granted the laws that governed New Mexico, as if they appeared over night and were, for the most part, mere extensions of common sense. Not only did I not fully appreciate the effort that goes into getting a law passed or repealed, but I grossly underestimated the myriad factors that shape a bill’s trajectory or the form a law ultimately takes. From power plays and political posturing to ideological divides and political allegiances, I witnessed what no civics textbook could adequately condense into a chapter on legislation. While I most certainly saw things that dispelled certain naïve and idealistic assumptions I had about government, nothing about this experience has depressed me or disheartened me. To the contrary, I have gained a better understanding of the art of negotiation, the value of compromise, and the power of debate. These discoveries have instilled in me a tremendous respect not only for those who make our laws, but also for those who apply and interpret our laws, and I am eager to take on the challenges they do when I am an attorney.

Finally, from a completely practical standpoint, I have also taken special care to observe and examine the many different roles that Law School graduates play in both the public and private sectors. I have worked closely with Cabinet Secretaries, General Counsels, policy czars, lobbyists, elected officials, corporate managers, and private attorneys, all of whom possess a JD, and I have been repeatedly impressed with the utility of the degree.
My interests and values have always served as a sort of compass for me, and there is little mystery why I have ended up advocating for sustainable development, studying linguistics, or working in government. While I know I am headed in the right direction, I also recognize that my compass alone will not get me where I want to go. Without an adequate map, I do not know what lies ahead of me or how to best approach a particular goal. That said, I have no doubt in my mind that a legal education will most improve my map at this point in my life and my career.

XXXXXXXX and the City of XXXXXXX together offer unparalleled access to an exceptionally vibrant and progressive community that will provide new perspectives and present new opportunities. This experience will ultimately form the basis of my answer to a question I can’t wait to be asked: what have you done with a JD?

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

Re: Am I STILL just narrating my resume? Revision below.

Postby CardinalRules » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:38 am

Your revision substantially improves upon the initial version, in my opinion. You still could make your language a little more concrete in some places, but overall it is much more focused.




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