PS Draft. Comments please!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
lulumore
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:48 pm

PS Draft. Comments please!

Postby lulumore » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:34 am

I have a different cultrual background, so please let me know what you think of my ps because your background is the same as the one who will read it. Any comments are welcome, but be gentle please, as my mother language is not English. Many many many thanks.

====
I had been on the train for almost 6 hours now, and still I was nowhere near home. The view outside was ominously familiar: complete darkness, the same kind that had greeted me just days before — when I was on the same 15-hour train ride. But this time, I was going home.
I had traveled to Beijing with hopes of being hired as an English teaching and research trainee for a company based in Hong Kong. When the bad news was delivered and little money was left, I found myself on the next train home. Overwhelmed with disappointment and frustration, I thought of my mother. What would she think?
Then suddenly, my phone rang. Incredibly, it was Ms. Tann, the head of the company that had interviewed me. The human resources department had made a mistake: I had actually successfully moved to the second round of interviews, and they were taking place the next morning! However, when she learned that I was already on the train back home, her tone suddenly changed. She started to pull back, warning me that I would still have to go through another two rounds of interviews if I chose to come back, after which only eight candidates out of the remaining sixty candidates would be employed.
Did her hesitation imply that I was not among the few candidates that she wanted most? Was she telling me to re-evaluate my situation? Or worse, was she telling me what everyone else had been telling me my whole life — to stay on the train and just go home?
I was born and raised in the southwest most corner of China, Yunnan. Before the rapid growth that started just this past decade, Yunnan was regarded as one of the most underdeveloped provinces in China. Though our people have want for more, the beautiful natural surroundings have endowed us with an appreciation for a peaceful life, of being content with the lives into which we were born. When I was little, I never heard of neighbors or friends ever leaving Yunnan. It was just not done. Even now, the majority of locals want to stay in Yunnan for their entire lives. In fact, tradition is so much a part of Yunnan culture that my grandmother was raised in a family where women’s feet were bound. Today, all six of her children and grandchildren have settled in Yunnan — all except for me.
While on the face of it I may seem to be a family aberration, I know in my heart that I am not. All my life, I have followed in my mother’s footsteps. My mother broke with many of the cultural expectations of her time and was one of few Chinese women from her generation who graduated from university. While many women with similar backgrounds chose the comfort and security of marrying into a wealthy family, my mother chose to pursue true happiness by marrying my father, a member of the Tibetan ethnic minority and man with talent but little financial stability. Sadly, my father passed away when I was seven and my mother took sole responsibility for my upbringing.
Ever since I was a young, my mother taught me to be independent as a woman, to be optimistic towards life, and to be sympathetic towards the those in need. More importantly, she encouraged me to widen my horizons, to push beyond our borders and see things which I, and our family, have never seen before. There is an old Chinese idiom that roughly translates as “children is a reserve to parents when they get old”. My mother threw this idiom out of its head when she encouraged me to leave Yunnan and pursue my life against the repeated warnings from her siblings back home. It was due to her support and encouragement that I turned down admission to Yunnan University and instead decided to attend a university thousands miles away. I needed to learn how to live independently and to see the world differently from how I had seen it my entire life. Ranking top of the class upon graduation, I could easily find a job as a local English teacher. The job would have been well-paid, and to the pleasure of my peers and family back home, it would have been stable. However, I was by nature looking for challenges. I was looking to explore new ideas which would question my beliefs and widen my perspectives. It was this desire and curiosity for life that brought me to Beijing. I never thought it would be easy. I was a 21 year old, 5 foot 2 girl living alone in a new city with no friends or connections to rely on. To make matter worse, I was competing with probably the most ambitious and talented people in the nation for jobs. This could have been disastrous but thanks to the inspiration and support from my mother and the culture and values she had instilled in me, I was both physically and mentally prepared for whatever life and chaotic Beijing threw at me.
Tired but resolved with excitement, I told Ms. Tann from the rocky train car that I would come back for the interview. It was already midnight. Frantically, I rushed out of the train at the next stop with my luggage in hand. The station in the eerie city was filled with a cold midnight air that went straight to my bones. With the little money I had left, I bought a last minute ticket and boarded the train back to Beijing. For the next seven hours, I stood the entire time in a train car that was packed to the brim. It was dark and it was cold, but as soon as I found my place on the train, squished between a coal miner and a school teacher, I was filled with hope. One week later, I was hired.
Years later, I now work as a legal secretary for a prestigious American law firm in Beijing. A small position as you can imagine, but through six years of working I have learned how to solve all types of problems in a professional setting. For years I have strived to challenge myself and to go above and beyond what is expected of me. I have immersed myself in the inner workings of law and legal structures, seeing the ways in which legal regimes can be used to promote efficiency and outline parameters for positive human behavior.
In what began with a midnight train ride back to Beijing, the past few years have been full of experiences that have challenged me professionally and personally and made me become the sort person I want to be. As I have made each decision, I have kept at the root of it my mother. I have taken on each new challenge knowing that this is the life that perhaps could have been for her. I think of the brilliance that she would have brought to bear in each setting I have encountered, and I am at once inspired to live as she has: carving out a path that elevates those in need. Being the best of yourself even when people say you can’t. And, as she would say with the smuggest of smiles, remembering where you come from.
===

User avatar
esq
Posts: 571
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:59 pm

Re: PS Draft. Comments please!

Postby esq » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:23 am

It's very descriptive and reads easily. I do think that you need to develop it more though. You spend quite a bit of time talking about your mother. You also left me foggy as to the importance of the English teaching experience and how it really impacted you. It read a lot like: I love my mom, I ended up getting a couple jobs, I want to study law, and doesn't really give much insight as to why you think you are ready and prepared for the study of law. In the end I say, take this PS, stay on the train and just go home.

User avatar
saltoftheearth
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:28 pm

Re: PS Draft. Comments please!

Postby saltoftheearth » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:40 am

lulumore wrote:I have a different cultrual background, so please let me know what you think of my ps because your background is the same as the one who will read it. Any comments are welcome, but be gentle please, as my mother language is not English. Many many many thanks.

====
I had been on the train for almost 6 hours now, and still I was nowhere near home. The view outside was ominously familiar: complete darkness, the same kind that had greeted me just days before — when I was on the same 15-hour train ride. But this time, I was going home.
I had traveled to Beijing with hopes of being hired as an English teachingteacher and research trainee for a company based in Hong Kong. When the bad news was delivered and little money was left, I found myself on the next train home. Overwhelmed with disappointment and frustration, I thought of my mother. What would she think?
Then suddenly, my phone rang. Incredibly, it was Ms. Tann, the head of the company that had interviewed me. The human resources department had made a mistake: I had actually successfully moved to the second round of interviews, and they were taking place the next morning! However, when she learned that I was already on the train back home, her tone suddenly changed. She started to pull back, warning me that I would still have to go through another two rounds of interviews if I chose to come back, after which only eight candidates out of the remaining sixty candidates would be employedconsider a re-word .
Did her hesitation imply that I was not among the few candidates that she wanted most? Was she telling me to re-evaluate my situation? Or worse, was she telling me what everyone else had been telling me my whole life — to stay on the train and just go home?
I was born and raised in the southwest most corner of China, "in"Yunnan. Before the rapid growth that started just this past decade, Yunnan was regarded as one of the most underdeveloped provinces in China. Though our people have want for more, the beautiful natural surroundings have endowed us with an appreciation for a peaceful life, of being content with the lives into which we were born. When I was little, I never heard of neighbors or friends ever leaving Yunnan. It was just not done"It just did not happen". Even now, the majority of locals want to stay in Yunnan for their entire lives. In fact, tradition is so much a part of Yunnan culture that my grandmother was raised in a family where women’s feet were bound. Today, all six of her children and grandchildren have settled in Yunnan — all except for me.
While on the face of it I may seem to be a family aberration, I know in my heart that I am not. All my life, I have followed in my mother’s footsteps. My mother broke with"free from" many of the cultural expectations of her time and was one of few Chinese women from her generation who graduated from university. While many women with similar backgrounds chose the comfort and security of marrying into a wealthy family, my mother chose to pursue true happiness by marrying my father, a member of the Tibetan ethnic minority and "-a"man with talent but little financial stability. Sadly, my father passed away when I was seven and my mother took sole responsibility for my upbringing.
Ever since I was a young, my mother taught me to be independent as a woman, to be optimistic towards life, and to be sympathetic towards thetake that out those in need. More importantly, she encouraged me to widen my horizons, to push beyond our borders and see things which I, and our family, have never seen before. There is an old Chinese idiom that roughly translates as “children is a reserve to parents when they get old”. My mother threw this idiom out of its head when she encouraged me to leave Yunnan and pursue my life against the repeated warnings from her siblings back home. It was due to her support and encouragement that I turned down admission to Yunnan University and instead decided to attend a university thousands miles away. I needed to learn how to live independently and to see the world differently from how I had seen it my entire life. Ranking top of the class upon graduation, I could easily find a job as a local English teacher. The job would have been well-paid, and to the pleasure of my peers and family back home, it would have been stable. However, I was by nature looking for challenges. I was looking to explore new ideas which would question my beliefs and widen my perspectives. It was this desire and curiosity for life that brought me to Beijing. I never thought it would be easy. I was a 21 year old, 5 foot 2 girl living alone in a new city with no friends or connections to rely on. To make matters worse, I was competing with probablytake this out the most ambitious and talented people in the nation for jobs"for a job. This could have been disastrous but thanks to the inspiration and support from my mother and the culture and values she had instilled in me, I was both physically and mentally prepared for whatever life and chaotic Beijing threw at meconsider "life in chaotic Beijing...
Tired but resolved with excitement, I told Ms. Tann from the rocky train car that I would come back for the interview. It was already midnight. Frantically, I rushed out of the train at the next stop with my luggage in hand. The station in the eerie city was filled with a cold midnight air that went straight to my bones. With the little money I had left, I bought a last minute ticket and boarded the train back to Beijing. For the next seven hours, I stood the entire time in a train car that was packed to the brim. It was dark and it was cold, but as soon as I found my place on the train, squished between a coal miner and a school teacher, I was filled with hope. One week later, I was hired.
Years later, I now work as a legal secretary for a prestigious American law firm in Beijing. A small position as you can imagine, but through six years of working I have learned how to solve all types of problems in a professional setting. For years I have strived to challenge myself and to go above and beyond what is expected of me. I have immersed myself in the inner workings of law and legal structures, seeing the ways in which legal regimes can be used to promote efficiency and outline parameters for positive human behavior.
In what began with a midnight train ride back to Beijing, the past few years have been full of experiences that have challenged me professionally and personally and made me become the sort person I want to be. As I have made each decision, I have kept at the root of it my mother. I have taken on each new challenge knowing that this is the life that perhaps could have been for her. I think of the brilliance that she would have brought to bear in each setting I have encountered, and I am at once inspired to live as she has: carving out a path that elevates those in need. Being the best of yourself even when people say you can’t. And, as she would say with the smuggest of smiles, remembering where you come from.
===


My suggestions are in red.

It's well-written, but you should expand on more salient details about your experience and/or how it's prepared you for law school

Some sentences (and the entire 6th paragraph) are fluff-y

lulumore
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:48 pm

Re: PS Draft. Comments please!

Postby lulumore » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:12 am

These comments are very helpful. Thank you.

When I was writing, I felt like I was talking too much about my mother too. So, if I am going to expand salient points/job impact/connection with law school, which part do you think I should shorten at the same time, otherwise it will be too long. I guess I spent a lot giving background information, but maybe some are unncessary. Please let me know.

Also, I am now a legal secretary in a law firm. It was my fourth job and the first two had nothing to do with law. I didn't think of going to law school until I came to my current firm. So, keeping the current strucuture, which part would the reader like to know more about?

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: PS Draft. Comments please!

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:46 am

I really enjoyed reading your essay. There are some minor word choice errors, such as "rocky" when you probably meant "rocking", but otherwise this writing offers convincing insight into your influences & motivations.
I understand the other comments which encourage you to focus more on yourself & your experiences, yet I think that your personal statement will help your law school applications as it is.

lulumore
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:48 pm

Re: PS Draft. Comments please!

Postby lulumore » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:19 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I really enjoyed reading your essay. There are some minor word choice errors, such as "rocky" when you probably meant "rocking", but otherwise this writing offers convincing insight into your influences & motivations.
I understand the other comments which encourage you to focus more on yourself & your experiences, yet I think that your personal statement will help your law school applications as it is.


CanadianWolf: It is very encouraging to know. Really. Thank you very much.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.