Question about content of a PS

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Mike088
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:10 pm

Question about content of a PS

Postby Mike088 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:39 am

I've read some sampel PS's on here and it seems most of them are some sort of life story or memory that greatly influenced their lives. There is not really a focus on actual undergrad academic achievements or activities.. is that the norm? should i be telling my life story rather than trying to sell my self through telling how amazing i am and all the amazing things i did the last 4 years?

JJDancer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: Question about content of a PS

Postby JJDancer » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:14 am

You can use your achievements but it is not a resume so there has to be some narrative aspect. It could be a real story from your childhood etc but it could also be you crafting a theme like showing how you have the traits to be a good lawyer. So through discussing different instances/accomplishments in a connected way you can show that you are hardworking, or you take initiative or you are honest or whatever.

maddox86
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:33 am

Re: Question about content of a PS

Postby maddox86 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:16 am

I think that basically there are two types of PS, a personal one and a professional one. The reason, I suspect, more people go with the personal one is that it's a space in which you can tell adcoms something about you that they can't find out on their own. Academic and professional achievements are there in your transcript and resume. Think about it this way, would you sit in a job interview and regurgitate your resume? They already have it so you need to tell them something else.

That is not to say that you shouldn't build on something that's already on your resume. Example: Your resume could say that you were in Teach for America 2008-10, your essay then could be based on being a teacher through the program and some amazing things you learned/did. The thing to stay away from though is to list too many accomplishments that the reader gets lost in the essay. Remember you only have 2-3 pages to sell yourself and talking about being a president of a campus group, volunteering with the Peace Corps and interning in the White House all in the same space would do an injustice to each of them. Simply focusing on one you could say so much more knowing that your resume lists everything else and maintaing that narrative aspect.




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