Anyone want to critique my first draft?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
granato
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:56 pm

Anyone want to critique my first draft?

Postby granato » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:39 pm

A new business casual wardrobe? Check. Stainless steel coffee mug proudly emblazoned with my undergraduate alma mater? Check. Pictures of vacations past to personalize my new cubicle? Check. A youthful feeling of omniscience upon beginning my first post-graduate job? Check. It only took me two weeks to realize how humorously naïve I was.

When I graduated college my circumstances dictated that I find a job for a year until continuing my education. I was immensely ecstatic, and fortunate, to learn I had been hired to be a member of the legal team of a Fortune 500 medical devices company. My job as an intellectual property analyst would be to help free up the attorney’s time by searching patent databases, thoroughly reading and comparing patents and patent applications, and writing legal memorandums and briefs about my research. “No problem,” I thought. I chose History as my major because I enjoyed research and writing. I spent the first two weeks learning the absolute basics of the patent system and legal writing. The attorney was pleased enough with my progress to inflate my ego.

After the second week I was asked to conduct research on a competitor’s patent portfolio and assess possible non-infringement positions for one of our products. I applied what I had learned and scoured meticulously over numerous dense patents. I could not find any obvious ways in which our product did not infringe an existing patent. We met later to discuss my findings. I went into vague detail about how xyz patent probably covers this, and 123 patent probably covers that so it’s not worth the risk. After I finished, I learned what being a corporate attorney meant. He said, “Do you understand my superiors expect this product to comprise 5% of our annual growth? Do you understand that if we cannot find a non-infringement position Wall Street’s expectations will not be met, lowering our stock price tremendously? Do you understand this is too important to be probable about?” Of course he would review everything himself, but he wanted me to give him leads, to use intuition and imagination in finding non-infringement positions. His criticism resonated with me; it showed me the importance of seemingly routine tasks in such an environment, and also the need in the legal profession to cunningly find subtle holes in seemingly air tight positions. I started over, but this time I noticed that the competitor’s product had a distinct fulcrum joining two parts of a device, while ours had two parts coming together to form a cohesive fulcrum unit. He agreed with me that this dull distinction was enough in which to build a defense, and I later presented my reasoning to the rest of the team. I learn more and more about patent law and business every day, but that day two weeks in I learned a life lesson.

My job has forced me to learn people, presentation, and business skills, along with a sense of self-efficacy that I did not always possess at earlier points of my life. When I began college, the thought of presenting research to a conference table comprised of an experienced attorney, engineers with PhDs in chemistry, and regional executives would have terrified me. Not because I lacked the intrinsic ability, but because I have been learning to overcome stuttering basically my entire life. I had to learn to grow from and absorb misconceptions and labels some developed towards me. I had to learn that my peers, teachers, and employers would not feel sorry for me.

I had this realization at a young age, and spent every year after working towards set fluency goals. This process has been the most difficult, but self-fulfilling, task in my life. Effectively talking to a new peer turned into leading a semester long study group with much of my Russian class. A non-social job turned into ones where I forced myself to interact often with others. Thoughts of being trapped in an unfulfilling career at my low turned into dreams of being an attorney as my confidence grew. By forcing myself to gradually overcome this personal struggle I feel more prepared and excited than ever to keep growing as a person and developing my talents. I will apply all of the knowledge I have gained by working, along with the personal determination I have developed throughout my life to succeed in my next task: law school.



It seems to me like I have two essays, but I'm trying to mesh them as well as I can. My paragraphs feel too big, my conclusion feels rushed, and due to word limits I had to cut out a lot of details. Any thoughts, criticisms, ideas are greatly appreciated.

granato
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:56 pm

Re: Anyone want to critique my first draft?

Postby granato » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:59 pm

Image


I know stuttering isn't gangsta, but I don't know if this is decent or crap. Any opinions to help me polish this thing would be awesome. Good karma will be shot your way.

TonyBender
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:30 pm

Re: Anyone want to critique my first draft?

Postby TonyBender » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:49 pm

In my opinion I would drop your first paragraph and start with the second paragraph. The first is not necessary and gets the essay going on a slow start.
Your second paragraph looks strong.
Your third paragraph needs some to be tightened up. I would cut down the dialogue between you and your boss and get more to the point.
Other than those few things the essay is strong.

Would you mind doing me the favor of reading over my PS as well? It has had zero responses and is pretty low on the thread at this point. Thanks

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nataliejane38
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:19 pm

Re: Anyone want to critique my first draft?

Postby nataliejane38 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:04 pm

I agree with the poster above but I do not think that the job and the stuttering mesh well together - like you said it feels like two different essays. I would choose one or the other or find a better way to incorporate your stuttering into the section about the job. I actually think the challenges and obstacles overcoming your stuttering would be a more interesting topic for a ps.

antonin
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:44 pm

Re: Anyone want to critique my first draft?

Postby antonin » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:04 pm

You mention that you are short due to page limits.
I agree with previous poster, drop first paragraph.
Second seems strong enough and mature to start with.
I liked your story at your job, I think it is brilliant.

"I had to learn that my peers, teachers, and employers would not feel sorry for me."
This sentence is a no-no, in my opinion. I do not understand it's value, it sounds angry.

I had this realization at a young age, and spent every year after working towards set fluency goals. This process has been the most difficult, but self-fulfilling, task in my life. Effectively talking to a new peer turned into leading a semester long study group with much of my Russian class. A non-social job turned into ones where I forced myself to interact often with others.(this sentence is weak) Thoughts of being trapped in an unfulfilling career at my low turned into dreams of being an attorney as my confidence grew. By forcing myself to gradually overcome this personal struggle I feel more prepared and excited than ever to keep growing as a person and developing my talents. I will apply all of the knowledge I have gained by working, along with the personal determination I have developed throughout my life to succeed in my next task: law school."
I think your next paragraph should be re-written. I like what you bring in the paragraph and I think you should keep for you essay, but it is not as clear as the first paragraphs. Maybe you can have a paragraph about stuttering and then the conclusion.
Good luck




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