Any thoughts about my updated PS greatly appreciated

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

Any thoughts about my updated PS greatly appreciated

Postby granato » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:28 am

I will reciprocate if anyone wants any thoughts on theirs. This is my third draft, and I am very close to sending everything in.

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 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 research. I went into vague detail about how xyz patent probably covers this, and 123 patent probably covers that so the product is probably not worth the risk. After I had finished, I learned what being a corporate attorney meant. He said, “Do you understand corporate expects this product to comprise 3% 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?” I almost lost my first job after graduation less than a month in. Of course he would review everything himself, but he wanted me to work with a sense of urgency that I had not developed to that point. His criticism greatly affected me. I knew his position carried a lot of responsibility, but the seriousness did not fully resonate with me until then. 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 as time goes on, but on that particular day, as minute as it may seem, I gained an awareness of the type of mindset an attorney (or any professional for that matter) must have to succeed. Everyday I remind myself to avoid complacency in order to meet the expectations my employer has for me, and likewise that I have for myself in all aspects of my life.

My job has forced me to sharpen 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 my entire life.

Gaining fluency has been the most difficult, but self-fulfilling task in my life. Sure, in grade school other kids would tease me and assign to me characteristics like “weird” and “dumb,” but I always knew stuttering did not define me. I took speech therapy until high school, and I improved a little bit each year. I still had trouble giving presentations, and I was not as charismatic as I wanted to be in everyday social situations, but I developed a fairly high level of fluency. During college I would force myself to actively participate in classes, and coordinated study groups for my Russian class. I am still not where I want to be, but I am proud of the progress I have made. I have learned that not being where I want to be provides never ending opportunities for my abilities and confidence to continue to grow. In this light, I do not think I will will ever be where I want to be and I like that idea.

My experiences have made me resilient. I am succeeding in my first job after graduating and gaining valuable professional and life skills every day. I have a clear focus on becoming a patent or corporate attorney, and I have gained knowledge and digested valuable advice about how to make this a reality. I am immensely excited about the experiences I will have, the difficulties I will endure, and the knowledge I will gain during law school.

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WhatSarahSaid
Posts: 293
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:01 pm

Re: Any thoughts about my updated PS greatly appreciated

Postby WhatSarahSaid » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:32 am

I have a headache, so I'm going to tear into your [absolutely acceptable] grammar publicly for no reason.


When I graduated college my circumstances dictated that I find a job for a year until continuing my education. ["Until" is bugging me. Swap it with "before"] 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 [don't capitalize "history" here] 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. [This last sentence isn't doing anything for me. If you want to express that you did good work, just say that the attorney was pleased. I'd suggest sharing exactly what the attorney complimented you for]

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 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 research. I went into vague detail about how xyz patent probably covers this, and 123 patent probably covers that [My assumption is that your actual PS has terms other than "xyz patent" and "123 patent." If I'm wrong, you want to find some other way to indicate that the patents are unnamed] so the product is probably not worth the risk. [This sentence isn't working. You seem to combine a paraphrased quote with the rest of the sentence, and it's grammatically off.] After I had finished, I learned what being a corporate attorney meant. He said, “Do you understand corporate expects this product to comprise 3% 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?” I almost lost my first job after graduation less than a month in. Of course he would review everything himself, but he wanted me to work with a sense of urgency that I had not developed to that point. His criticism greatly affected me. I knew his position carried a lot of responsibility, but the seriousness did not fully resonate with me until then. 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 [don't call it dull! Get the reader excited about fulcrums. Perhaps "minute distinction" works] was enough in which to build a defense [Right now, you're basically saying "this dull distinction was enough to build a defense in. You aren't building a defense in the distinction. Try "...was enough around 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 as time goes on [The present tense here clashes with everything else in this sentence. "I learned more and more...as time went on"], but on that particular day, as minute as it may seem, I gained an awareness ["I became aware"] of the type of mindset [how about just "mindset"?] an attorney (or any professional for that matter) must have to succeed. Everyday I remind myself to avoid complacency in order to meet the expectations my employer has for me, and likewise that I have for myself in all aspects of my life.

My job has forced me to sharpen 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 my entire life. [This last sentence is a fragment. Start it off with "This is not because...", or make it two sentences]
[Is there supposed to be a paragraph break here?]
Gaining fluency has been the most difficult, but self-fulfilling task in my life. [I apologize for my ignorance, but does fluency encompass not-stuttering? If you aren't positive, I'd look it up. Also, I'd reword this a bit. "Gaining fluency has been the most difficult task I've faced in my life, but it has also been the most fulfilling."] Sure, in grade school other kids would tease me and assign to me characteristics like “weird” and “dumb,” [A bit much. "I was called "weird" and "dumb" in grade school..."] but I always knew stuttering did not define me. I took speech therapy until high school, [cut the comma] and I improved a little bit each year. I still had trouble giving presentations, and I was not as charismatic as I wanted to be in everyday social situations, but I developed a fairly high level of fluency. During college I would force myself to actively participate in classes, [cut the comma] and coordinated study groups for my Russian class. I am still not where I want to be, but I am proud of the progress I have made. I have learned that not being where I want to be provides never ending ["never-ending"] opportunities for my abilities and confidence to continue to grow. In this light, I do not think I will will ever be where I want to be and I like that idea.

My experiences have made me resilient. I am succeeding in my first job after graduating and gaining valuable professional and life skills every day. I have a clear focus on becoming a patent or corporate attorney, and I have gained knowledge and digested valuable advice about how to make this a reality. I am immensely excited about the experiences I will have, the difficulties I will endure, and the knowledge I will gain during law school.

I like your anecdote at the start. The jump from that to your stuttering really surprised me, and I think you can do a better job with that. Either cut it completely or integrate it more smoothly. Perhaps start with that and express how that problem made you anxious about your job after graduation? I'm not sure how you do that smoothly, but right now, it's a pretty dramatic leap.

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Campagnolo
Posts: 906
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:49 pm

Re: Any thoughts about my updated PS greatly appreciated

Postby Campagnolo » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:12 am

"to actively participate" is a split infinitive.

Do you mean: During college I would force myself to participate in classes actively and coordinated study groups for my Russian class.

Or do you mean: During college I would actively force myself to participate in classes and coordinated study groups for my Russian class.

Split infinitives introduce ambiguity. Decide what you really mean to say, and put 'actively' where it belongs.

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

Re: Any thoughts about my updated PS greatly appreciated

Postby granato » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:36 pm

WhatSarahSaid,

I love all of the red. Thank you for the advice! Fluency does mean a lack of stuttering. Not too many people know anything about stuttering which is why I'm a bit cautious about making it my central theme. I understand what you're saying about the abrupt shift, but I really feel like I need to talk about both. I'm thinking just discussing the job would be boring and possibly a bit trivial, and just talking about stuttering may give the impression I can't function in the real world or something. I'll play with switching the order around.

campagnolo,

I had no idea split-infinitive was a term. Thanks for pointing that out.




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