First draft- feedback appreciated. tear it apart, please.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ramapolaw11
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:17 pm

First draft- feedback appreciated. tear it apart, please.

Postby ramapolaw11 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:53 pm

“Sinne Fianna Fáil, Atá fá gheall ag Éirin…” Every hurling match starts the same way. The crowd rises to their feet and sings loudly in a language that they seldom speak, but hold close to their heart. I count myself lucky to stand with them, in Croke Park, a stadium packed with eighty thousand supporters facing the Irish flag.

I am first generation Irish-American, and a citizen of both the United States and Ireland. Both of my parents grew up in a small countryside town in County Waterford, the southeast of Ireland. It is there that I spent virtually every summer of my childhood, absorbing a culture and set of values very different from my homegrown Jersey Shore scene. These experiences set me apart from my friends and gave me a unique perspective on life. Instead of playing baseball, I played Gaelic football and hurling. Instead of going to Yankees games, I stood with the roaring crowd in Dublin watching sports my friends from home had never heard of. I spent many years practicing my Irish step dancing and practicing the tin-whistle. These distinctive experiences helped shape my outgoing personality and expand the array cultural interests that I have today.

In the countryside at a young age I also learned the value of hard work, which was instilled upon me by my family. I learned how to drive a tractor and how to herd sheep up through the rolling green countryside, or how to dig up potatoes and pick strawberries all day in a field. At age fifteen, I started my first job back in New Jersey, bussing tables in a small Italian restaurant, moving up to a server and then an assistant manager. It’s a job I have held all throughout high school and college. Around that age I first learned how to lay tile floors and walls, a trade acquired by observing my father work and helping him diligently. At age eighteen, I joined the Tile, Marble, and Terrazzo Union of New York and New Jersey. I worked at different jobsites all over New York City during the summer and whatever days I had free from my college workload, thus steadily increasing my vocational trade skills. Throughout my life I have always sought out new opportunities and experiences, and worked hard to accomplish my goals while balancing my academics and other employment. I found that hard work and savings could pay off and help me achieve my goals such as backpacking Europe, which I was finally able to do for two months this past summer.

My hard work also translated into success academically. I have a passion for reading that began at a young age. Whenever I had time, whether it was in Ireland or at home, you couldn’t tear me away from a good book. I did well in high school, pursuing challenging elective classes such as business and law. I was fortunate enough to be presented with such opportunities, especially because it sparked an interest in law at an early age. I decided to complete the prestigious junior MBA program at my high school; I also interned at a Senator’s office. The program was difficult, and at times I wished that I had taken the easier route, but I learned invaluable lessons during these courses. Over time, my knowledge of politics and the intricacies of how law shapes our society grew.

Nearing graduation, I found that even though I could have a good career in the marble union, continuing my education was what I really wanted, so I became part of the first generation of my family to go on to college. Luckily, my hard work paid off, and I received multiple scholarships, making my goal of attending college a fiscal reality. After weighing my options, I chose to major in Law and Society at Ramapo College, and completed dual minors in Political Science and Sociology. The various courses I completed, as well as an internship with the Family Law Division of Rockland County, solidified my growing desire to attend law school.
At college I worked hard to contribute to the campus and my community. I joined the freshman caucus, giving me the chance to plan events to help incoming freshmen adjust to college life, which I found very rewarding. I also joined the Irish American Club, furthering my cultural ties. I became the president of my fraternity for two years. I organized new events such as the Jaycees Angels Toy Drive, collecting toys for over 300 children in need. Under my presidency, my fraternity also received most improved chapter. In my later years of undergrad, I also became vice president of Phi Alpha Delta, pre law fraternity.

I want to attend law school because I know it is where I can finally combine my varied interests, hard working attitude, and academic pursuits. While I am still undecided as to which type of law I might wish to study in the future, I know that there are many law-related paths I might take. Whether it is pursuing my interest in international and European law, politics, employment law, family law, or public interest law, I know that XYZ Law School will guide me in the right direction. Wherever I end up, I’m confident that my unique experiences and hard work will have ultimately lead me there.

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SullaFelix
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:18 pm

Re: First draft- feedback appreciated. tear it apart, please.

Postby SullaFelix » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:50 pm

ramapolaw11 wrote:“Sinne Fianna Fáil, Atá fá gheall ag Éirin…” Every hurling match starts the same way. The crowd rises to their feet and sings loudly in a language that they seldom speak, but hold close to their heart. I count myself lucky to stand with them, in Croke Park, a stadium packed with eighty thousand supporters facing the Irish flag.

I am first generation Irish-American, and a citizen of both the United States and Ireland. Both of my parents grew up in a small countryside town in County Waterford, the southeast of Ireland. It is there that I spent virtually every summer of my childhood, absorbing a culture and set of values very different from my homegrown Jersey Shore scene. These experiences set me apart from my friends and gave me a unique perspective on life. Instead of playing baseball, I played Gaelic football and hurling. Instead of going to Yankees games, I stood with the roaring crowd in Dublin watching sports my friends from home had never heard of. I spent many years practicing my Irish step dancing and practicing the tin-whistle. These distinctive experiences helped shape my outgoing personality and expand the array cultural interests that I have today.

In the countryside at a young age I also learned the value of hard work, which was instilled upon me by my family. I learned how to drive a tractor and how to herd sheep up through the rolling green countryside, or how to dig up potatoes and pick strawberries all day in a field. At age fifteen, I started my first job back in New Jersey, bussing tables in a small Italian restaurant, moving up to a server and then an assistant manager. It’s a job I have held all throughout high school and college. Around that age I first learned how to lay tile floors and walls, a trade acquired by observing my father work and helping him diligently. At age eighteen, I joined the Tile, Marble, and Terrazzo Union of New York and New Jersey. I worked at different jobsites all over New York City during the summer and whatever days I had free from my college workload, thus steadily increasing my vocational trade skills. Throughout my life I have always sought out new opportunities and experiences, and worked hard to accomplish my goals while balancing my academics and other employment. I found that hard work and savings could pay off and help me achieve my goals such as backpacking Europe, which I was finally able to do for two months this past summer.

My hard work also translated into success academically. I have a passion for reading that began at a young age. Whenever I had time, whether it was in Ireland or at home, you couldn’t tear me away from a good book. I did well in high school, pursuing challenging elective classes such as business and law. I was fortunate enough to be presented with such opportunities, especially because it sparked an interest in law at an early age. I decided to complete the prestigious junior MBA program at my high school; I also interned at a Senator’s office. The program was difficult, and at times I wished that I had taken the easier route, but I learned invaluable lessons during these courses. Over time, my knowledge of politics and the intricacies of how law shapes our society grew.

Nearing graduation, I found that even though I could have a good career in the marble union, continuing my education was what I really wanted, so I became part of the first generation of my family to go on to college. Luckily, my hard work paid off, and I received multiple scholarships, making my goal of attending college a fiscal reality. After weighing my options, I chose to major in Law and Society at Ramapo College, and completed dual minors in Political Science and Sociology. The various courses I completed, as well as an internship with the Family Law Division of Rockland County, solidified my growing desire to attend law school.
At college I worked hard to contribute to the campus and my community. I joined the freshman caucus, giving me the chance to plan events to help incoming freshmen adjust to college life, which I found very rewarding. I also joined the Irish American Club, furthering my cultural ties. I became the president of my fraternity for two years. I organized new events such as the Jaycees Angels Toy Drive, collecting toys for over 300 children in need. Under my presidency, my fraternity also received most improved chapter. In my later years of undergrad, I also became vice president of Phi Alpha Delta, pre law fraternity.

I want to attend law school because I know it is where I can finally combine my varied interests, hard working attitude, and academic pursuits. While I am still undecided as to which type of law I might wish to study in the future, I know that there are many law-related paths I might take. Whether it is pursuing my interest in international and European law, politics, employment law, family law, or public interest law, I know that XYZ Law School will guide me in the right direction. Wherever I end up, I’m confident that my unique experiences and hard work will have ultimately lead me there.


I imagine that every admissions committee memebr reading personal statements has to fight the urge to trash all those that begin with unrelated quoted material. It's unnecessary and overly formulaic.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: First draft- feedback appreciated. tear it apart, please.

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:35 am

CONSIDER: Deleting the entire first paragraph. Next, try to condense the remaining five paragraphs into two paragraphs. Then try to offer revealing insights that should get the attention of the reader.

Overall most of your proposed personal statement just relates many, if not all, of your activities as a young adult without any purpose.

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verklempt
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:59 pm

Re: First draft- feedback appreciated. tear it apart, please.

Postby verklempt » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:29 am

This PS covers a lot of ground in a detached manner. I don't get a sense of you as a person. Unless the application specifically asks for an autobiography, I would take a different approach.

"Throughout my life I have always sought out new opportunities and experiences, and worked hard to accomplish my goals." Terrific! Tell me about one or two of those opportunities or experiences. Illustrate the fine qualities that make you a great candidate for the school.




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