Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

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jpinjuv
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Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby jpinjuv » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:56 pm

This is a draft of my PS, I have spent most of my college career (including summers) practicing and playing golf so I just don't have much experience other than collegiate athletics... but here's what i do have. Any commentary/criticism/advice is more than welcome. Thanks!

GPA: 3.8
LSAT: 172

Suit pressed and new briefcase in hand, I walked eagerly through the doors of MGM Resorts International. It was the first day of my internship with the Fortune 500 casino magnate and I could feel the anticipation in my stride. As I passed through the lobby, I smiled and gave a very businessman-like “good morning” to the front desk clerk. It felt as though I was already a seasoned professional, giving cursory salutations to fellow suit-wearers as they passed by. Checking my watch (even though I knew exactly what time it was) I thought, “I could get used to this.” I then followed the short hallway to the elevators to await my carriage to the third floor, home of the Internal Audit Department. I was one of three interns that would be working for the department that year, a position almost any UNLV Accounting student would be envious of. I climbed in the elevator, and as it crawled skyward I couldn’t help but to imagine myself rising through the ranks of the corporate world.

I was stepping into a position that very well could have been the precursor to my professional career. As an accounting major, this internship felt like a natural progression on the path to success, it was exactly what I was supposed to do. Not only was I going to be exposed to the gloriously notorious field of auditing, I was also going to be working at the heart of the Las Vegas casino industry. Surrounded by skyscraping hotels and successful men and women, I could already envision my long and prosperous career in corporate finance.

As my internship began I happily took on any assignment, working tirelessly through massive Excel spreadsheets, developing a mild addiction to coffee, and showing my unwavering work ethic whenever possible. Although as the internship wore on, that work ethic became more difficult to muster, and my sense of accomplishment seemed to dwindle each day I left the office. What had happened to the sense of excitement, and the luster of working for such a large corporation? Why was it that no matter how I performed in the office, I would feel the same sense of worthlessness walking out the door each day? Slowly, like the elevator down to the lobby, my regard for the work I was doing continued to descend.

Luckily through my experiences as a collegiate athlete I was exposed to opportunities other students may not have been. Being involved in collegiate sports was a very challenging, yet rewarding experience. Although I may have missed out on some of the typical extra-curricular activities (due primarily to 5:30am workouts), being a member of highly respected golf program opened the door to an array of service opportunities. Because of my academic success, I was allowed to serve as the de facto tutor of my teammates on the UNLV Men’s Golf team, which is what initially sparked my interest in service. I felt a genuine sense of satisfaction when one of my teammates would do well on a test, or suddenly grasp a concept with which they were struggling. This feeling led me to seek out other ways to get involved. I represented UNLV on the Mountain West Conference Student Athlete Academic Council, which organized conference wide events such as campus blood drives. I mentored middle school students on the importance of sportsmanship and hard work, and helped teach inner city children the game of golf through the First Tee of Southern Nevada. Seeing my efforts benefit the lives of others is what finally gave me the sense of accomplishment I was looking for.

I now understand that my future will be most fulfilling as an advocate for social progress, rather than a proponent of corporate success. I realize that I would rather be on the ground working to make a difference, than working indifferently on the third floor of MGM Resorts International. That is why, instead of following the path of never ending Excel spreadsheets and all too frequent coffee breaks, I have decided to attend law school. The _______ Program at ______ Law School is the ideal setting to explore the issues that we face as a society, and acquire the skills needed to respond to those issues. The faculty and alumni of _______ have had an enormous impact on the framework and well-being of our society, and will undoubtedly continue to do so. I am looking to expand my horizons and gain an understanding about how the law can affect social change, in hopes of continuing down the path I stumbled upon once I stepped out of that elevator.

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby bostonlawchick » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:09 pm

As someone who is guilty of doing this too, you are are a little comma happy.

Other than that, I haven't read a lot of PSs but you seem like you're headed in a good direction.

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camstant
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby camstant » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:44 pm

"gloriously notorious" could use a replacement.

I think you want to make sure you aren't making law school sound too much like Plan B--maybe something more than just "helping others" as the only affirmative reason to go to ls.

I would also use your sports background to emphasize your competitive nature. Obviously you have some strong qualities in that regard, and they will surely serve you well.

You're writing is solid and I think it's a good, focused essay overall

The Jerk
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby The Jerk » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:06 pm

I, a fairly normal white boy myself, went with this:
"I am not a bum. I'm a jerk. I once had wealth, power, and the love of a beautiful woman. Now I only have two things: my friends and my thermos. My story? It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin' down in Mississippi..."

But honestly, I think the paragraph about the golf team is a total non sequitor. It needs to flow better and relate to itself more.

granger
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby granger » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:08 pm

"like the elevator down to the lobby" has to go

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DavidYurman85
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby DavidYurman85 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:15 pm

beginning the sentence with being has got to go too. it was catchy and quick enough. maybe work on a better transition into the golf story; it seemed a tad misplaced.

hth

for some reason i didn't imagine that mgm had interns. i've always thought only mafia type guys run those places. too much godfather.

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Marionberry
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby Marionberry » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:19 pm

"Worthlessness" in the third paragraph needs to be replaced, I think. It makes it sound like the only sense of worth or identity you had was derived from your job.

Overall its very good, but I agree that the decision to go to LS seems a little tacked on. Convince us that its not plan B, but rather its what you were meant to do all along.

DreamShake
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby DreamShake » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:37 pm

There are a few grammatical errors, but those can be fixed later. The main problem: your first three paragraphs are great, but you seem like you're grasping for straws in the last two. The 4th paragraph needs a better transition at its start, and as others have noted, the last paragraph makes law school like a default option. You don't want readers to think, "Ah, he hates accounting and he likes helping people, so he's going to give law a try." You want them to think, "This guy realized he was making a mistake and found what he really enjoys. He f'ing loves the law and is going to be a dedicated lawyer." Explain why being "an advocate for social progress" is an inextricable part of your life plan, as opposed to, say, being a teacher.

Overall, it's very well written, and I think you certainly have the ability to turn the last couple paragraphs around.

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ShuckingNotJiving
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby ShuckingNotJiving » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:08 am

I will never understand why people seem to be under the impression that it is somehow more difficult to write a PS if your life isn't akin to Antwone Fisher...

With that being said, I think your essay does what you have set out to do: explain the impetus of your career change--no dramatic stories of overcoming adversity, just a fair amount of normalcy and an ill-devised simile involving elevators. I agree with whoever spoke of the arbitrariness of the "golf" paragraph, although I'll admit that when I saw collegiate athlete my interest was piqued until it was revealed that golf was the sport you played, and not, say, football. That is my bias, however. Also, I felt a bit manipulated when you put in that pesky little sentence about "helping teach in the inner city." Whaddya trying to say? You're a big shot accounting student, golf-player, and you love the kids? I bet your teeth sparkle when you smile, too. Anywho, there some issues in the first few paragraphs I wanted to point out:

Suit pressed and new briefcase in hand, I walked eagerly through the doors of MGM Resorts International. It was the first day of my internship with the Fortune 500 casino magnate and I could feel the anticipation in my stride. As I passed through the lobby, I smiled and gave a very businessman-like “good morning” to the front desk clerk. It felt as though I was already a seasoned professional, giving cursory salutations to fellow suit-wearers as they passed by. Checking my watch (even though I knew exactly what time it was) I thought, “I could get used to this.” I then followed the short hallway to the elevators to await my carriage to the third floor, home of the Internal Audit Department. I was one of three interns that would be working for the department that year, a position almost any UNLV Accounting student would be envious of.don't know about this. seems a bit arrogant. I climbed in the elevator, and as it crawled skyward I couldn’t help but to imagine myself rising through the ranks of the corporate world.

I was stepping into a position that very well could have been the precursor to my professional career. As an accounting major, this internship felt like a natural progression on the path to success, it was exactly what I was supposed to do. Not only was I going to be exposed to the gloriously notoriousI don't know about "gloriously notorious" field of auditing, I was also going to be working at the heart of the Las Vegas casino industry. Surrounded by skyscraping hotels and successful men and women, I could already envision my long and prosperous career in corporate finance.

As my internship began I happily took on any assignment, working tirelessly through massive Excel spreadsheets, developing a mild addiction to coffee, and showing my unwavering work ethic whenever possible. Although as the internship wore on, that work ethic became more difficult to musterI've always thought of work ethic as being something that one either had strongly or weakly, and not something that could be "mustered" up or "shown." Having to "muster up" work ethic could connote laziness. Having to "show" work ethnic connotes a worker who only works hard when he knows he's being watched. Just explain that you began realize the job wasn't for you., and my sense of accomplishment seemed to dwindle each day I left the office. What had happened to the sense of excitement, and the luster of working for such a large corporation? Why was it that no matter how I performed in the office, I would feel the same sense of worthlessness walking out the door each day. Why did you have these perpetual feelings of worthlessness? Perhaps you were depressed? I would reconsider worthlessness, it is an unnecessarily strong word. Slowly, like the elevator down to the lobby, my regard for the work I was doing continued to descend. I will echo the other comments that has maintained this has to go. Sometimes a simile just seems so good, you need to step back and realize that it's not. Happens to everyone.

Pip
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby Pip » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:01 am

I would suggest a rewrite.

I was probably as interested as any admissions reader and I got bored and gave up after the second paragraph... I thought I was reading someones attempt at writing an opening scene for CSI: Las Vegas.... Didn't grab my attention enough to even try to finish.

The goal of a PS isn't to be interesting as much as it is another chance to sell yourself... From what I saw you should be in an MBA program... maybe you have some turn that happens later but I never got that far... don't know if the average admission reader would make it any further than I did.

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blackwater88
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby blackwater88 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:19 pm

jpinjuv wrote:What had happened to the sense of excitement, and the luster of working for such a large corporation? Why was it that no matter how I performed in the office, I would feel the same sense of worthlessness walking out the door each day?



You should answer this, I have no idea why you would want to leave the world of corporate finance.

jpinjuv
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby jpinjuv » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:24 pm

Appreciate the comments! Here's what i got now, I tried to fix the problems that seemd to be a consensus among the responses. Any comments/criticisms are welcome (I would particularly appreciate suggestions about how to make the conclusion feel as though Law School is the perfect choice for me). Thanks again!

Suit pressed and new briefcase in hand, I walked eagerly through the doors of MGM Resorts International. It was the first day of my internship with the Fortune 500 casino magnate and I could feel the anticipation in my stride. As I passed through the lobby I smiled and gave a very businessman-like “good morning” to the front desk clerk. It felt as though I was already a seasoned professional, giving cursory salutations to fellow suit-wearers as they passed by. Checking my watch (even though I knew exactly what time it was) I thought, “I could get used to this.” I then followed the short hallway to the elevators to await my carriage to the third floor, home of the Internal Audit Department. I was one of three interns that would be working for the department that year, a position that I was incredibly grateful to have. I climbed in the elevator, and as it crawled skyward I couldn’t help but to imagine myself rising through the ranks of the corporate world.

I was stepping into a position that very well could have been the precursor to my professional career. As an accounting major this internship felt like a natural progression on the path to success, it was exactly what I was supposed to do. Not only was I going to be exposed to the notorious field of auditing, I was also going to be working at the heart of the Las Vegas casino industry. Surrounded by skyscraping hotels and successful men and women, I could already envision my long and prosperous career in corporate finance.

As my internship began I happily took on any assignment, working tirelessly through massive Excel spreadsheets, developing a mild addiction to coffee, and showing my unwavering work ethic whenever possible. Although as the internship wore on I began to question why I was working so hard, and my sense of accomplishment seemed to dwindle each day I left the office. What had happened to the sense of excitement, and the luster of working for such a large corporation? Why was it that no matter how I performed in the office, I would feel the same emptiness walking out the door each day? In reality, my feelings stemmed from the fact that my work made no contribution to society. I wanted to witness the results of my labor, but the work I did had no tangible impact on the world around me. I realized that I was headed down a path that I no longer wished to be on.

Luckily through my experiences as a collegiate athlete I was exposed to opportunities that accounting may not have provided. Being involved in collegiate sports was a very challenging, yet rewarding experience. Although I may have missed out on some of the typical extra-curricular activities (due primarily to 5:30am workouts), being a member of highly respected golf program opened the door to an array of service opportunities. Because of my academic success I was allowed to serve as the de facto tutor of my teammates on the UNLV Men’s Golf team, which is what initially sparked my passion for service. I felt a genuine sense of satisfaction when one of my teammates would show marked improvement, a feeling that was foreign to my auditing experience. This led me to seek out other ways to get involved. I represented UNLV on the Mountain West Conference Student Athlete Academic Council, which organized community wide events such as campus blood drives. I mentored middle school students on the importance of sportsmanship and hard work, and helped teach underprivileged children the game of golf through the First Tee of Southern Nevada. In all of these instances I was able to witness the effect of my efforts, and seeing my efforts benefit those around me finally gave me the sense of accomplishment I was looking for. It also made me realize that a career in law is what I desired most, where the work I did could have a direct and profound impact on the lives of others.

I now recognize that above all else, law has the greatest impact on society and the people within it. I understand that my future will be most fulfilling as an advocate for social progress, rather than a proponent of corporate success; working to make a difference, rather than working indifferently. That is why, instead of following the path of never ending Excel spreadsheets and all too frequent coffee breaks, I have decided to attend law school. The _______ Program at ______ Law School is the ideal setting to explore the issues that we face as a society, and acquire the skills needed to respond to those issues. The faculty and alumni of _______ have had an enormous impact on the framework and well-being of our society and will undoubtedly continue to do so. I want expand my horizons and gain an understanding about how the law can influence social change, while continuing to develop my passion for service to the community.

DreamShake
Posts: 366
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:03 pm

Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby DreamShake » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:16 am

jpinjuv wrote:Luckily through my experiences as a collegiate athlete I was exposed to opportunities that accounting may not have provided. Being involved in collegiate sports was a very challenging, yet rewarding experience. Although I may have missed out on some of the typical extra-curricular activities (due primarily to 5:30am workouts), being a member of highly respected golf program opened the door to an array of service opportunities.


The intro sentence is awkward (also, don't need to say "may not have provided." Just say it didn't.). Combine the 2nd and 3rd sentences. For example, "Golf was both challenging and rewarding: although it required immense time commitment, it exposed me to serving others."

blackwater88 wrote:It also made me realize that a career in law is what I desired most, where the work I did could have a direct and profound impact on the lives of others.


How did it make you realize this? Attempting to effect "the greatest [possible] impact" does not necessarily follow from realizing that you want to help others. In that sense, you come off as somewhat immature/your decision seems spontaneous--"I like helping people! If I like that, then I should definitely do the most I possibly can (nevermind the fact that the relationship isn't necessarily linear and is probably subject to diminishing returns)!" It's a good thought, but you need to expound.

blackwater88 wrote:I now recognize that above all else, law has the greatest impact on society and the people within it.


What triggered this epiphany; where/when/how did you learn this?

I understand that my future will be most fulfilling as an advocate for social progress


Again...you kind of arrive at this conclusion without giving us much insight into the journey.


More generally: Ton of grammatical mistakes: comma omissions, lack of parallellism, verb tense issues, etc. If you want, I'll edit the final draft for grammar in Word with track changes on and e-mail it to you. Definitely make sure somebody edits it for grammar, though.

Pip
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby Pip » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:07 pm

I have to agree completely with blackwater88 on how did it make you realize this? You could take your sentence,

"It also made me realize that a career in law is what I desired most, where the work I did could have a direct and profound impact on the lives of others."

exchange medicine or the church or public service for the word law... and the reader would have just as strong a feeling that you should be in medical school or whatever. You didn't explain how a career in law is going to do anything to impact people not just spout out that you've decided it will.

Frankly I still come back to you lose the reader's interest in the first two paragraphs, why not try starting the essay with the conclusion instead of tagging it on at the end when you've run out of space and are left just putting it on as an after thought.

manyu
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby manyu » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:27 pm

Personally, I like your writing style. The story itself isn't amazing, but it's honest and a good personal growth story. I think the part about the elevator climbing into the sky needs to go. It's a bit too dramatic considering you were on the 3rd floor.

Certainly, you could develop more strongly why exactly you want to do law, but I'm commenting mostly because people are giving you a hard time about law not being your original plan. This site is filled with entitled brats that really have no idea why they want to go to school. Stick with your story. It's ok for law school to be Plan B. You show that it's not a default (hey, I can't get a job...may as well go to law school!). I think the adcoms would much prefer to read a story that actually leads someone to law, opposed to saying ever since I was three I wanted to be a lawyer because my daddy is one too.

JJDancer
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby JJDancer » Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:51 pm

Don't know how to say this exactly but I just didn't like the feeling I got while reading the first paragraph. Too much little kid playing businessman-ish? Sorry if that doesn't help much.

This part is fine: "I represented UNLV on the Mountain West Conference Student Athlete Academic Council, which organized conference wide events such as campus blood drives. I mentored middle school students on the importance of sportsmanship and hard work, and helped teach inner city children the game of golf through the First Tee of Southern Nevada. Seeing my efforts benefit the lives of others is what finally gave me the sense of accomplishment I was looking for. "
But I think you need a better transition to talking about your college athletic things.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Fairly normal whiteboy trying to write an interesting PS

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:15 pm

Agree with JJ. Couldn't identify why, at first, until JJ's comment regarding juvenility. Suits are so rarely pressed unless you have only one and haven't worn it in awhile. Ironed? of course, but that isn't a synonym.




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