Just need a quick once-over..

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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NeighborGuy
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:51 am

Just need a quick once-over..

Postby NeighborGuy » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:34 pm

I think I have my final draft. All I need is a few people to give it a quick objective look to catch anything I missed. Generally speaking, I don't need this PS to help me, just to not hurt me. My scores are sufficient to get into the school I want as long as I don't shoot myself in the foot. Thanks to everyone who has helped me so far.

---

“You mean I have to pay thirty bucks for data on top of everything else? I don't even use the internet!” Here we go again, I thought. I forced myself not to sigh in dismay, because I knew that Mary Cunningham, the 67 year-old widow from Milwaukee could hear me on the other end on the line. I calmly explained to her that in order to be used in the way that the manufacturer intended, the Blackberry Curve required a 29.99 monthly data package. This was one of my standard canned lines, but it was true; the Blackberry was meant for data, and there were plenty of simpler phones that didn't require the extra cost. Of course the salesperson did not mention that, or the extra monthly fees, to Mary.
Once again, I began my Statement of Professional Empathy™. It was a sort of pseudo-apology I had learned from my more experienced friends, and adapted for myself, which made liberal use of the impersonal passive voice and the word “unfortunate”, but did not include the words “we're sorry”. As much as I wanted to fairly admit that the salesperson made a mistake, it wouldn't do to badmouth the company. In any case, my customer's problem wasn't going to be resolved by playing the blame game, and I set about finding a fair solution for her within the confines of my corporate-imposed limits. As I made my notes on her account, I lamented my “unfortunate” position in the customer service call center. Certainly I was annoyed that I was the one who had to clean up the messes all the time, but more than that I felt an impulsive frustration; it seemed like it could have all been avoided so easily.
Surely it couldn't be too difficult to generate the extra sales income from happy customer referrals instead of deceit and trickery? Or perhaps it wasn't as simple as that. I only got half the story. Maybe Mary was the one who insisted on the Blackberry? I'll never know. I did my best to soothe my mind's resentment of the apparent injustice, reminding myself that there was probably more to it that I wasn't seeing from where I was sitting, and that I shouldn't be so quick to judge.
The Oracle at Delphi proclaimed Socrates the wisest man in Athens for the fact that he was fully aware of the things he was ignorant of. One important thing I had learned during my service in the military was that things are rarely simple, and that nothing happens (or is allowed to happen) without reason, even if it is a bad one. When things didn't make sense, I decided, I either needed more information or I was looking at it the wrong way. With all the right data and the proper perspective, there is nothing in the world that doesn't follow some sort of logic. All the same, that has never stopped me from trying to invent a better logic to follow.
Whenever I have gotten involved with a task, whether wireless customer service or my various naval assignments, my first inclination has been to form a holistic understanding of the project at hand, so that I am not missing the forest for the trees. My second inclination has been to look for improvements that could be made. I have no words to explain or lofty personal motivations behind my drive to make a better system; it is simply what I do, as naturally as a dog wags its tail when it is happy. The lesson of Socrates was not as natural; it was something I learned later through my readings, experiences, and reflections. Even today, I am tempted as we all are by the impulse to take things at face value, but I always remind myself of the clarity I gain (and perhaps more importantly, the mistakes I avoid) by looking further, and how the heightened understanding of things through disciplined effort enhances the effectiveness of my endeavors and decisions. It was by applying this skill to my reflections on myself and the direction of my life that I arrived at the decision to attend law school.
I enjoyed the opportunity to apply my analytical mind in troubleshooting electronics for the Navy, as well as the occasional rewarding experience of resolving an “unfortunate” situation for a customer. A legal education would provide me with the chance to improve my understanding of the world around me to otherwise unattainable levels, and offer the opportunity to tackle bigger and more complex issues. I embrace the challenges ahead, and look forward to the satisfaction gained from more rewarding efforts and ever further clarity and perspective.

escapefrom
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:57 am

Re: Just need a quick once-over..

Postby escapefrom » Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:30 pm

At the start of this essay, I sympathized with you. And then I thought you were disingenuous. And then I thought you were pretentious.

I wonder if you'd do better if you got rid of the Oracle and Delphi bit and started off with an anecdote that explained the lessons you learned during your service. I know that we can learn a lot about human nature through customer service, but I bet your military background would better convey who you really are and why you do what you do.

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

Re: Just need a quick once-over..

Postby antonin » Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:56 pm

My first impression was, how can one expect a good essay from this topic.

Then after reading it, I liked it a lot. It is well written, mature, and it shows you understand yourself. I do think that the topic of things coming naturally to you, sounds at times a little annoying, especially the part about the dog with his tail. Overall, I think it is a good essay. I do not think the socrates part is pretentious, your essay to me seems somewhat down to earth.

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CGI Fridays
Posts: 897
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:46 pm

Re: Just need a quick once-over..

Postby CGI Fridays » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:18 am

“You mean I have to pay thirty bucks for data on top of everything else? I don't even use the internet!” Here we go again, I thought. I forced myself not to sigh in dismay, because I knew that Mary Cunningham, the 67 year-old widow from Milwaukee could hear me on the other end on [of] the line. I calmly explained to her that in order to be used in the way that the manufacturer intended, the Blackberry Curve required a 29.99 monthly data package. This was one of my standard canned lines, but it was true; the Blackberry was meant for data, and there were plenty of simpler phones that didn't require the extra cost. Of course the salesperson did not [failed to] mention that, or the extra monthly fees, [all this] to Mary.

Once again, I began my Statement of Professional Empathy™. It was a sort of pseudo-apology I had learned from my more experienced friends, ((drop this comma)) and adapted for myself, which made liberal use of the impersonal passive voice and the word “unfortunate”, but did not include the words “we're sorry”. As much as I wanted to fairly admit that the salesperson made a mistake, it wouldn't do to badmouth the company. In any case, my customer's problem wasn't going to be resolved by playing the blame game, and I set about finding a fair solution for her within the confines of my corporate-imposed limits. As I made my notes on [noted] her account, I lamented my “unfortunate” position in the customer service call center. Certainly I was annoyed that I was [to be] the one who had to clean[ing] up the messes all the time, but more than that I felt an impulsive frustration; it seemed like it could have all been avoided so easily.

Surely it couldn't be too difficult to generate the extra sales income from happy customer referrals instead of deceit and trickery? Or perhaps it wasn't as [so] simple as that. After all,] I only got half the story. Maybe Mary was the one who insisted on the Blackberry? I'll never know. I did my best to soothe my mind's resentment of the apparent injustice, reminding myself that there was probably more to it that I wasn't seeing from where I was sitting, and that I shouldn't be so quick to judge.

The Oracle at Delphi proclaimed Socrates the wisest man in Athens for the fact that he was fully aware of the things he was ignorant of. One important thing I had learned during my service in the military was that things are rarely simple, and that nothing happens (or is allowed to happen) without reason, even if it is a bad one. When things didn't make sense, I decided, I either needed more information or I was looking at it the wrong way. With all the right data and the proper perspective, there is nothing in the world that doesn't follow some sort of logic. ((I disagree with this. It's a pretty all-encompassing statement. Maybe just add an "almost" or a "virtually" before your "nothing"? Furthermore, if you move beyond human-driven phenomena to some aspects of the microscopic world, there are cases where this is demonstrably false.)) All the same, that has never stopped me from trying to invent ((perhaps you might come up with a better logic for example X, but "inventing" would not apply if someone else already came up with the same logic for example Y. I suggest changing "inventing")) a better logic to follow.

Whenever I have gotten involved with a task, whether [in] wireless customer service or my various naval assignments, ((maybe change these last two commas to hyphens?)) my first inclination has been to form a holistic understanding of the project at hand, so that I am not missing the forest for the trees. My second inclination has been to look for [potential] improvementsthat could be made. I have no words to explain or lofty personal motivations behind my drive to make a better system; it is simply what I do, as naturally as a dog wags its tail when it is happy. ((I suggest re-wording this sentence & cutting it down so it's not as cheesy & fluffy)) The lesson of Socrates was not as natural; it was something I learned later through my readings, experiences, and reflections. Even today, I am tempted ((hyphen)) as we all are ((hyphen)) by the impulse to take things at face value, but I always remind myself of the clarity I gain (and perhaps more importantly, the mistakes I avoid) by [to] looking further, and how the heightened understanding of things through disciplined effort enhances the effectiveness of my endeavorsand decisions. It was by applying this skill to my reflections on myself and the direction of my life that I arrived at the decision to attend law school.

I enjoyed the opportunity to apply my analytical mind in troubleshooting electronics for the Navy, as well as the occasional rewarding experience of resolving an “unfortunate” situation for a customer. A legal education would provide me with the chance to improve my understanding of the world around me to otherwise unattainable levels, and offer the opportunity to tackle bigger and more complex issues. I embrace the challenges ahead, and look forward to the satisfaction gained from more rewarding efforts and ever further clarity and perspective.

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NeighborGuy
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:51 am

Re: Just need a quick once-over..

Postby NeighborGuy » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:24 am

Thank you all for your time and input!

CGI, I can't believe I missed that typo in the first paragraph. :x Thanks for getting that, and I'll be considering many of your suggestions.

Whenever I have taken on a task, whether in wireless customer service or my various naval assignments, my first inclination has been to form a holistic understanding of the project at hand, so that I am not missing the forest for the trees. My second inclination has been to consider better ways. I have no words to explain or complex personal motivations behind my constant attempts at improvements; it is simply what I do, as naturally as a dog buries a bone.


Among other little things, I reworded this part. Hopefully it is better. I'm using the dog analogy because I wanted to connote innocence. I realize the risk of being misunderstood and sounding pretentious, and it's really nothing like that. "Dogs wag their tail, and I try to fix things that aren't necessarily broken", is what I was trying to say.




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