Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Beantown26
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Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:03 pm

Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby Beantown26 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:07 pm

Removed
Last edited by Beantown26 on Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:34 pm

First off, I can't follow the logical flow of your ps. I read your first paragraph and then go WTF are you talking about. I see you are trying to jump around for effect, but I just find it confusing. Secondly, much of this reads exactly like a resume. I don't see why you need to put all the details of your professional and academic life into your ps. And I especially don't see why you need to list your uncle's professional accomplishments. It seems like you're just trying to name drop.

Beantown26
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby Beantown26 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:41 pm

The reasoning for naming his accomplishments was to give you insight on my future goals...because they are similar to my uncle's...and yes I tried to use each paragraph as a changing of scenes...I know it still needs work...any suggestions....its my first draft...

CanadianWolf
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:45 pm

This is going to work. I know several folks who had relatives in lesser positions, with sub-par qualifications, who were admitted to their respective state's flagship university's law school. And they were very successful afterwards.
P.S. And I am in no manner whatsoever suggesting that your qualifications are sub-par.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:50 pm

Basically I think you should rewrite almost all the paragraphs that talk about you and what you have done. They should all be on your resume. I don't really see the connection between the paragraphs about yourself and the paragraphs about your uncle anyways. You need to find a theme and stick to it, I don't feel like you have any real goal with this PS. In fact, I don't even really know what you are trying to say. You need to develop your uncle's character more, and this doesnt mean listing his professional accomplishment. You then need to create a stronger link between yourself and your uncle. Right now all I see is someone saying they want to be like their uncle (who I don't real feel like I know from your ps), but what you should be aiming for is showing that you want to be like your uncle.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:50 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:This is going to work. I know several folks who had relatives in lesser positions, with sub-par qualifications, who were admitted to their respective state's flagship university's law school. And they were very successful afterwards.
P.S. And I am in no manner whatsoever suggesting that your qualifications are sub-par.


I think the material is fine, I think it needs to be reworked.

Beantown26
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby Beantown26 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:51 pm

Thank you for your response it is very appreciated...any comments and suggestions good or bad are welcomed...thanks to everyone so far...

Beantown26
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby Beantown26 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:58 pm

I was trying to let the admissions officers know I am and have in the past worked extremely hard...In addition I wanted to convey not being afraid to step out of my comfort zones...hence the reason for mentioning Sydney and Rome...in addition my resume does not convey HOW I accomplished everything...I was trying to stress the fact that I accomplished so much in so little time and was able to manage my time well...and yes I would love for nothing more to follow in my uncle's foot steps thats why I listed what he has done so schools can understand my goals.

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ela7117
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby ela7117 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Personally I think it lacks the appropriate structure. While name dropping your uncle to a Massachusetts school could work, I don't see the real advantage. I felt like that's what you tried to accomplish, and it should be more about you. Also agree that in parts it reads like a drawn out resume.

If you stick with this theme, you should remove the detail on when in life you most interacted with your uncle, which was very young. That really solidified to me that you were simply using his name to add sparkle. My initial reaction was he is exaggerating the impact he had just to chronicle the relationship. Of course, that could be totally off base, but that is my personal reaction as the uninformed reader.

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El_Gallo
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby El_Gallo » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:04 pm

I like it a lot.

One thing that I noticed was that sometimes you capitalize uncle when saying "my uncle" and other times you do not. I am pretty sure that uncle should not be capitalized in this instance, but I may very well be wrong. Either way though it should probably be consistent.

Good job! Very nice writing :)

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:06 pm

Beantown26 wrote:I was trying to let the admissions officers know I am and have in the past worked extremely hard...In addition I wanted to convey not being afraid to step out of my comfort zones...hence the reason for mentioning Sydney and Rome...in addition my resume does not convey HOW I accomplished everything...I was trying to stress the fact that I accomplished so much in so little time and was able to manage my time well...and yes I would love for nothing more to follow in my uncle's foot steps thats why I listed what he has done so schools can understand my goals.


Listen, do it however you want. You are just as qualified as I am to judge the effectiveness of a personal statement. I have just given you my honest opinion. I believe you could achieve all the goals you have mentioned so far in a much more eloquent and enlightening manner.

Beantown26
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby Beantown26 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:09 pm

Any examples on what you would word different? Its just hard to picture what your saying I could change...i expect this essay to be torn up and spit out and re worked...like i said this was my first time writing it...your the first people to read it...

cubswin
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby cubswin » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:22 pm

FYI: I did not read any of the posters comments.

Beantown26 wrote:Thanks for any input...

I was nine when my Great Uncle died. I remember coming home after attending his funeral and putting the television on that night; (improper use of a semi-colon, because the following clause in an incomplete thought) seeing news channels covering the funeral I had attended earlier in the day. I remember wondering why Uncle John’s funeral was on television. A few days after the funeral, I saw my Aunt Jennie, Uncle John’s wife, and she brought me a book; it was Uncle John’s biography.

I could feel the fatigue taking over my body, the same way water takes over a shoreline after a tsunami. Its (this should be the conjunction "it's" and not the possessive "its") 2:30 in the morning, I am in the basement of my university’s library (you keep switching between the past and present tense in this paragraph.) . This was not unusual; most of my nights my senior year were spent this way. The semester before my senior year, I chose to enroll in a study abroad program and spent a semester studying in Sydney, Australia. Me being (not sure I can explain why this sounds awful, but there surely must be a more felicitous way to start this sentence) an accounting major, I was not permitted to take accounting courses while studying abroad. Pushing back my graduation was not an option because it would have jeopardized my position as a graduate teaching assistant. You haven't clearly connected how these two paragaphs are related, or explained the cause of "the fatigue" in the first sentence, for that matter.

Although most of my memorable interactions with my uncle (back to him again, I see) occurred between the ages of five and nine, he still managed to be a very powerful presence in my life. My uncle was a construction contractor (by trade - well, obviously. in what other fashions is one a construction contractor?); he would use his days as a contractor to teach lessons of hard work and a job well done (this sounds incredibly trite). During one of our conversations, we spoke of an assignment I had not done so well on in elementary school. My Uncle could see that I, for the first time in my life, felt defeated; it was probably one of my first life failures (i find it amusing that you think anything in elementary school can be properly referred to as a "life failure") . How he responded, although ("though" would work much better than "although" here) I did not know it at the time, would pay valuable dividends to me later in life. He told me in life (you just used "in life" twice within eight words, FYI) you may not always be the smartest or the most talented person, but you can always be the hardest working (why not hardest worker?)

Battle tested, I made it through my senior year; I graduated with honors. (wtf happened to australia?) Armed now with a degree in accounting, I accepted a graduate accounting teaching assistant position. In addition, I just signed a contract with KPMG; KPMG is the fourth largest accounting firm in the world, so it was quite an honor to be offered the position. The one catch was KPMG wanted me to start with the firm one year after signing the contract. This meant I now had to condense a Master’s in Accountancy into one year, while fulfilling my obligations as a graduate teaching assistant. Moreover, KPMG was offering a bonus for anyone who entered the firm with their CPA license. Being a broke college student, I was in no position to pass on a bonus. Hearing my Uncle's words of wisdom in my head from years back, I worked hard, I work (two damn tenses here within inches of each other) extremely hard; I pushed myself beyond my previously believed personal limits and thresholds. When the dust cleared, and the year was over, I accomplished everything. In one year, I received my Master’s in Accountancy and acquired my CPA license, while at the same time working as a graduate teaching assistant.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:25 pm

Beantown26 wrote:Thanks for any input...

I was nine when my Great Uncle died. I remember coming home after attending his funeral and putting the television on that night; seeing news channels covering the funeral I had attended earlier in the day. I remember wondering why Uncle John’s funeral was on television. A few days after the funeral, I saw my Aunt Jennie, Uncle John’s wife, and she brought me a book; it was Uncle John’s biography.
I like your opening paragraph. It's fairly strong and catches the reader's attention. I wanted to know why your uncle's funeral was on television as I read.

I could feel the fatigue taking over my body, the same way water takes over a shoreline after a tsunami. Its This is a contraction and should have an apostrophe. But in general you shouldn't use contractions in academic writing. 2:30 in the morning, I am in the basement of my university’s library. This was not unusual; most of my nights my senior year were spent this way. The semester before my senior year, I chose to enroll in a study abroad program and spent a semester studying in Sydney, Australia. Me being an accounting major, I was not permitted to take accounting courses while studying abroad. Pushing back my graduation was not an option because it would have jeopardized my position as a graduate teaching assistant.
This paragraph has past-present tense problems. "I could feel" is past-tense. "Its 2:30 in the morning" is present-tense. They contradict. The whole Sydney thing takes away from the feel of this paragraph. You want the reader to feel your fatigue, but the Sydney part detracts from this. Condense the Sydney sentence and the accounting major sentence into one so that the reader does not have to spend too much time with that piece of information.

Although most of my memorable interactions with my uncle occurred between the ages of five and nine,You have already mentioned that you were nine when your uncle died. This actually weakens your PS because you were really young when you had these experiences. So don't mention your age again here. he still managed to be a very powerful presence in my life. My uncle was a construction contractor by trade; he would use his days as a contractor to teach lessons of hard work and a job well done. During one of our conversations, we spoke of an assignment I had not done so well on in elementary school. My Uncle could see that I, for the first time in my life, felt defeated; it was probably one of my first life failures. How he responded, although I did not know it at the time, would pay valuable dividends to me later in life. He told me in life you may not always be the smartest or the most talented person, but always be the hardest working.
Personally I think this paragraph should be your second paragraph. That way you can talk about the hard work you did in your current second paragraph and it ties in much nicer.

Battle tested, I made it through my senior year; I graduated with honors. Armed now with a degree in accounting, I accepted a graduate accounting teaching assistant position. In addition, I just signed a contract with KPMG; KPMG is the fourth largest accounting firm in the world, so it was quite an honor to be offered the position. Most people knwo what KPMG is, especially lawyers since they often work in conjunction with accountants. It just sounds like you are bregging. The one catch was KPMG wanted me to start with the firm one year after signing the contract. This meant I now had to condense a Master’s in Accountancy into one year, while fulfilling my obligations as a graduate teaching assistant. Moreover, KPMG was offering a bonus for anyone who entered the firm with their CPA license. Being a broke college student, I was in no position to pass on a bonus. Hearing my Uncle words of wisdom in my head from years back, I worked hard, I work extremely hard; I pushed myself beyond my previously believed personal limits and thresholds. When the dust cleared, and the year was over, I accomplished everything. In one year, I received my Master’s in Accountancy and acquired my CPA license, while at the same time working as a graduate teaching assistant.
This paragraph comes off as a resume. You could change it by focussing more on accomplishing your goals and less on what it is you accomplished.

It was not until after I graduated from college that I read the book my Aunt Jennie gave me years back. By this point in my life, I had known about most of my Uncle’s great accomplishments. Nonetheless, reading the book gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for the man my Uncle was. My Uncle was a pioneer, a man who truly believed in serving one’s community and helping others who were less fortunate. He displayed this during his two terms as Governor of Massachusetts, while serving as President Nixon’s Secretary of Transportation, and lastly, while serving as the United States Ambassador to Italy. My uncle John A. Volpe is my greatest inspiration.
This is okay for a school like BC because they may possibly know him and the name drop may work in your favor. Other schools may not like this paragraph as much.

I have since left KPMG; I accepted a position at one of their largest clients, Citibank. While at Citibank, I worked as a compliance officer; I was able to implement a new approval process surrounding the creation of financial statement accounts, making the overall process of account creations more efficient and sound. However, in September of 2010 I will be resigning from my position at Citibank.
This whole paragraph is straight from your resume and should be cut entirely. It adds nothing to your PS.

It has always been my dream to follow in my Great Uncle’s footsteps, to someday have the privilege to serve my community and country, and to create positive change in the lives of the less fortunate, as my Uncle did throughout his life. To obtain a greater understanding of what exactly it takes to serve one’s country and to learn more about my Uncle’s legacy, I have accepted a position at the United States Embassy in Italy, starting in September of 2010.

After returning from Rome, it is my aspiration to attend Boston College Law School. It is my belief Boston College Law provides the best opportunity for my legal education. My strong academic foundation and work experience to date have provided me a practical footing for success in law school. In addition, my family and closest friends live in the Boston area. My plan after law school is to practice law in Boston and eventually serve the Boston area as a public servant. Boston College’s reputation and placement history will allow me to attain this goal. I am ready to take on the challenges law school has to offer and I believe ultimately I can offer Boston College something in return. I look forward to studying law at Boston College.



The rest is fine as far as theme goes.
Thanks Guys!!!

Beantown26
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby Beantown26 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:28 pm

Cubswin...thank you for the time you put into my draft...what are your overall thoughts...A B C D F???

Beantown26
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby Beantown26 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:31 pm

Castle I will def take some of those edits and apply them...maybe later in the week after I edit it you can possibly give it another look? I really thought your feedback was helpful. Thank you.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby WestOfTheRest » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:33 pm

Beantown26 wrote:Castle I will def take some of those edits and apply them...maybe later in the week after I edit it you can possibly give it another look? I really thought your feedback was helpful. Thank you.


Yea, I have no problem looking at it. My suggestion is edit grammar before posting another draft. People on this site get caught up in bad grammar and then their advice is really useless as far as drafts go.

Beantown26
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby Beantown26 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:39 pm

Will do...I probably should have had my wife look it over before posting it...thanks again.

Beantown26
Posts: 39
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Re: Personal Statement Help Please...Anything is appreciated.

Postby Beantown26 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:22 pm

Any new thoughts or feedback?




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