Please Critique final diversity draft- will return favor...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
noahzak
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Please Critique final diversity draft- will return favor...

Postby noahzak » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:09 pm

When I was in kindergarten, the school principal told my mother I’d have a wonderful career as a translator. She had overheard me talking to my grandmother and a friend’s father, arranging a playdate for myself. My grandmother, who was born in Afghanistan and didn’t speak English, often relied on me for her everyday tasks, from grocery shopping to deciphering the evening news. From a young age, I’ve understood the power of words and how an otherwise intelligent person can be diminished due to their inability to grasp a particular language. Ultimately, my exposure to this phenomenon as a child shaped my future.
After I graduated from college with a degree in journalism and international relations, I worked as a magazine editor, a freelance newspaper writer, a social media expert and a copy editor, applying my degree into developing the career I thought I wanted. It was working for my father, however, that showed me my true talent, and what I need to do with it.
For the past nine years, my father, an Afghan-American businessman, has been taking frequent trips to Afghanistan. In between these journeys, he communicates with officials via email, in English. Despite the fact that he has lived in the United States for almost 25 years, however, my father has elementary knowledge of the language. So, when I moved back home after college with a writing degree, I became his unofficial secretary.
As the oldest of my parents’ five children, I had become their ambassador to all things American early on. In high school, we learned what the SAT was together and later, as the first member of my family to enter college, it was my job to convince my parents it was appropriate for an Afghan girl to move across the country for her education. When my younger sisters entered middle school, I started picking their classes with them. Later, working with my father, I created a hybrid job description for myself and discovered new strengths: I became a translator, writer, editor, and champion for causes I didn’t even know I cared about.
In the summer of 2010, my father traveled to Afghanistan and hours later, my mother received a call from him during a layover in Atlanta. As we listened to my father, whose anger I’d experienced many times but his embarrassment I’d never encountered, I tried to fight the wave of pity that engulfed me.
Despite the fact that my father had reserved seats near the front of the plane, the airline had inexplicably moved him to the very last row of seats. When he asked why, he was met by unexplainable hostility: From mocking mispronunciations of his name to threats of removal from the plane, the airline had done everything they could to humiliate my father, going so far as to warn him: “Sir, if you ask one more question, you will be thrown off this flight.”
As I fumed on the other end of the phone, my father asked me to call the airline the next day to find out what had happened.
“We need you to call because you don’t have an accent and they will take you seriously,” he said.
Nineteen years after kindergarten, I was relearning the power of words. I called the airline the next day expecting resistance. Over the next two hours, however, I was personally apologized to by three heads of the airline. Ultimately, while I was ecstatic that they were sorry, I couldn’t help but wonder how often an experience that I take for granted, like uncomplicatedly boarding a flight, turns into a gross mistreatment.
I won’t lie and say this is the moment I considered becoming a lawyer. As someone who has always excelled in reading and writing and grew up on the Afghan fringes of American society, I’ve always entertained the idea of working as an advocate. Although my current career as a journalist has offered me the ability to learn more about people than I’d ever imagined, I’d like to do more with words. As a human rights advocate, I want to change circumstances through the law on behalf of the mis- and under-represented in society.
As an international lawyer, my work in human rights will draw on my own experiences as both an Afghan and an American. From my American side, I’ve learned organization, but from my Afghan side, I’ve learned perseverance. I’m American in my belief that anyone can succeed, but I’m Afghan in my stubbornness to prove my personal success. I’m American in my ability to sympathize with all types of people, but I’m Afghan in my deeper understanding of what it feels like to be sympathized with.
I know what it is like to work with people who are disadvantaged, whether that disadvantage manifests itself through social misunderstanding, a language discrepancy, or economic or political differences. While my interest in the laws that govern nations reaches back to my international relations studies in college, I am more interested in these laws as they relate to individuals. I am fluent in three languages (English, Farsi and Spanish) and I think this, with the addition of a law degree, will ultimately head me in the direction of Amnesty International, or similar movements.
In my life, I’ve witnessed an uncountable number of situations get jumbled because of cross-language miscommunication. Justice, I’ve come to realize, doesn’t have to be lost in translation.



Please- harsh criticism wanted! Thank you! (I have posted this before but this is my *final* draft)

noahzak
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Re: Please Critique final diversity draft- will return favor...

Postby noahzak » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:44 pm

please comment! would love feedback from people who don't know me :)

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applepiecrust
Posts: 476
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:38 am

Re: Please Critique final diversity draft- will return favor...

Postby applepiecrust » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:50 pm

I enjoyed reading your statement, but it is far too long. I copied it to Word and it is 4 double-spaced pages with 12pt Times New Roman font. That makes it twice as long as a personal statement should be, and 4 times too long to be a diversity statement.

Pare it down: you have a great story but it needs to be told in fewer words.

noahzak
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Re: Please Critique final diversity draft- will return favor...

Postby noahzak » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:04 pm

Hey ApplePie,

Thanks for the read! I realize it is too long and am hoping to cut down :) As for it being 4 pages though, when I have it in word at 12pt TNR and double spaced, it is only 2.5 pages...Weird. Maybe it is pasting with extra pages? I wish they gave a desired word count instead of page length so I could be more accurate!

Thank you in any case...

And please keep commenting anyone and everyone! I really love this forum and value the feedback I can get.




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