PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
BizOwner
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:16 am

PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby BizOwner » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:40 pm

“It was only going to be temporary”, I told myself. Business was beginning to pick up significantly. The client list was increasing weekly. The school semester was almost over and summer would be here shortly. “Then, I would go searching for a place to live”, I recited over and over. But for the moment, this rental storage unit would do.

I had everything I needed there. A collapsible wardrobe closet to hang a few garments that warranted something better than the trash bags the rest of my clothing was assigned. A desk with a small lamp where I could critique a design or crunch the numbers for my business. A comfortable chair, I found at the end of driveway on trash day, to sit upon while simultaneously studying the intricacies of thermal load calculations for my evening college classes. And a second hand couch, with its exposed innards, that appeared to have lost a battle with a canine. It seems like ages ago that I was awoken from that couch by security, asking if I was living there within that storage unit.

The policies of the storage complex were very specific in prohibiting “tenants” from using the storage facilities as domiciles. On most occasions I spent the night on the living room floor of a buddy’s one bedroom apartment. It wasn’t long before the twenty four hour lobby receptionist grew suspicious of this unknown regular who quickly skirts across the marble foyer in dirty dungarees and exits again moments later, transformed into business casual. “If she only knew that my appearance and behavior was a story of dedication and voluntary sacrifice, and not that of misfortune, then maybe her glares would soften”, I thought to myself.

The sacrifices I made years ago while I was founding, developing, and refining a construction design and build business were numerous. Arduous living conditions, a challenged social life, and failed love connections were all symptoms of my dedication and passion for succeeding in this business. I believed strongly in the efficient function, as well as, the aesthetic qualities of the built environment. But it was the challenge that I sought the most. The challenge of creating something where there was once nothing. The challenge of materializing a concept or idea into a fully functioning tangible. The challenge of overcoming the subconscious barriers that we impose upon ourselves erroneously. It was my hunger for overcoming these obstacles that fueled my motivation.

In the years since the humble beginnings, my business has flourished. From projects showcased on the Home and Garden Network (HGTV) to international humanitarian missions in Nicaragua, the business has been the vehicle through which I have witnessed complementary surroundings. It is through this unique perspective, a dichotomy of environments, that I see the world. During the days, I work amongst the meek and humble who construct the homes and buildings that we spend most of our lives within. In my evenings, I often meet with those who fund and evaluate the financial returns from such endeavors. It would be a rare occurrence if these two groups would ever find themselves in the same room. However, I routinely transcend these two peoples and find myself interpreting each world to the other.
This invaluable understanding, coupled with a boundless passion and dedicated work ethic, are amongst the contributions that I will convey to the (law school) community. I see the legal profession as the vehicle to further develop and implement this understanding into quantifiable results. And, with the help of a legal education, complete what began in a humble storage unit many years ago.

weejonbu
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:48 pm

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby weejonbu » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:52 pm

You have a pretty unique story here, and some good pieces in the mix, but it needs a little more creative narrative.

I think you should start at the moment when you are woken up by security as you are sleeping on the couch (which I think happened? A little confused by the wording here). That might bring some strength to the narrative.

There are pieces that try to be descriptive, but they tend to be unnecessary and don't really add to the story, like your description of each furniture item... what's the point? If you're going to do that, those pieces of furniture better be important for the story, otherwise you've just wasted a paragraph talking about furniture.

Still, overall it's a good story, just needs more directional strength and polishing.

BizOwner
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:16 am

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby BizOwner » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:54 pm

good response. Thank you.

BizOwner
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:16 am

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby BizOwner » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:02 pm

I still have to shave 60 words for a 500 word limit.

Any ideas of which fat to trim off?

Army2Law
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby Army2Law » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:12 pm

I read the thread title and thought it was a recent grad posting about his situation. Oops.

User avatar
esq
Posts: 571
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:59 pm

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby esq » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:35 pm

I agree with wee. You have a good subject matter, but this is just not very well written. I think that you could easily save your 60 words just by cutting the paragraph about your furniture out entirely - it adds nothing to an adcomms ability to understand your potential, which I think should be the bar that you measure everything in your PS against. Also, maybe you have this covered in your resume, but you leave me questioning what the hell your business did. I think that you need to be more specific in your writing style, and less flowery. I would rather see your "dedication, passion, and humble beginnings" through specific examples that allow me to conclude this rather than reading your multiple assertions that these things characterize you - tacky.

BizOwner
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:16 am

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby BizOwner » Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:03 pm

Anyone else care to chime in?

mala2
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:39 am

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby mala2 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:43 am

Very good subject matter. Not terrible writing, but not great. Loose most of the quotations. Those aren't things you actually said, except to yourself in your head.

User avatar
Drake014
Posts: 886
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:22 pm

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby Drake014 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:48 am

BizOwner wrote:“If she only knew that my appearance and behavior was a story of dedication and voluntary sacrifice, and not that of misfortune, then maybe her glares would soften”, I thought to myself.


So people who are fortunate and choose to sacrifice are more deserving than people who had misfortune befall them? I'd change this.

BizOwner
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:16 am

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby BizOwner » Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:50 pm

Drake014 wrote:
BizOwner wrote:“If she only knew that my appearance and behavior was a story of dedication and voluntary sacrifice, and not that of misfortune, then maybe her glares would soften”, I thought to myself.


So people who are fortunate and choose to sacrifice are more deserving than people who had misfortune befall them? I'd change this.



This is a good point that you address. I wondered if it was going to be misinterpreted.

What I wanted the focus to be on was that she didn't understand me based on appearance. This is elaborated on more later in the second to last paragraph. It should be clarified.

LSATclincher
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby LSATclincher » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:24 pm

This a nice story, but I was still confused as to why you're applying to law school. You say you have a profitable business, so why leave it? I think a PS for someone who's been out of school working a non-legal job needs to address exactly "why law?"

I'm not saying don't apply. But I think you need to address your leaving your business, so it doesn't just look like your entering law because you got sick of your business and want to try another challenge.

private_ryan
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:53 pm

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby private_ryan » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:11 pm

why aren't you going to business school?

BizOwner
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:16 am

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby BizOwner » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:45 pm

LSATclincher wrote:This a nice story, but I was still confused as to why you're applying to law school. You say you have a profitable business, so why leave it? I think a PS for someone who's been out of school working a non-legal job needs to address exactly "why law?"

I'm not saying don't apply. But I think you need to address your leaving your business, so it doesn't just look like your entering law because you got sick of your business and want to try another challenge.


Thank you for your comments.

Do you think seeking another challenge to excel in is a weakness in my application?

Your right my business is profitable and has been for several years. However my choice to study law goes beyond just the potential financial rewards. My interest in the law is actually [i]in the law[i]. I know that sounds a bit cliche, but with a financial viable option to fall back on, I may be motivated by less common incentives than other applicants.

BizOwner
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:16 am

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby BizOwner » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:54 pm

private_ryan wrote:why aren't you going to business school?


I've studied business, one way or another, for over a decade (I remember studying business trends prior to "globalization" and even the prevalence of the internet). So I guess Im not as excited about continuing a formal education in something I constantly acquaint myself with currently. Furthermore, I don't see an MBA opening up as many possibilities in my personal situation as a JD.

User avatar
LSATWIZ
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:33 pm

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby LSATWIZ » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:57 pm

BizOwner wrote:“It was only going to be temporary”, I told myself. Business was beginning to pick up significantly. The client list was increasing weekly. The school semester was almost over and summer would be here shortly. “Then, I would go searching for a place to live”, I recited over and over. But for the moment, this rental storage unit would do.

I had everything I needed there. A collapsible wardrobe closet to hang a few garments that warranted something better than the trash bags the rest of my clothing was assigned. A desk with a small lamp where I could critique a design or crunch the numbers for my business. A comfortable chair, I found at the end of driveway on trash day, to sit upon while simultaneously studying the intricacies of thermal load calculations for my evening college classes. And a second hand couch, with its exposed innards, that appeared to have lost a battle with a canine. It seems like ages ago that I was awoken from that couch by security, asking if I was living there within that storage unit.

The policies of the storage complex were very specific in prohibiting “tenants” from using the storage facilities as domiciles. On most occasions I spent the night on the living room floor of a buddy’s one bedroom apartment. It wasn’t long before the twenty four hour lobby receptionist grew suspicious of this unknown regular who quickly skirts across the marble foyer in dirty dungarees and exits again moments later, transformed into business casual. “If she only knew that my appearance and behavior was a story of dedication and voluntary sacrifice, and not that of misfortune, then maybe her glares would soften”, I thought to myself.

The sacrifices I made years ago while I was founding, developing, and refining a construction design and build business were numerous. Arduous living conditions, a challenged social life, and failed love connections were all symptoms of my dedication and passion for succeeding in this business. I believed strongly in the efficient function, as well as, the aesthetic qualities of the built environment. But it was the challenge that I sought the most. The challenge of creating something where there was once nothing. The challenge of materializing a concept or idea into a fully functioning tangible. The challenge of overcoming the subconscious barriers that we impose upon ourselves erroneously. It was my hunger for overcoming these obstacles that fueled my motivation.

In the years since the humble beginnings, my business has flourished. From projects showcased on the Home and Garden Network (HGTV) to international humanitarian missions in Nicaragua, the business has been the vehicle through which I have witnessed complementary surroundings. It is through this unique perspective, a dichotomy of environments, that I see the world. During the days, I work amongst the meek and humble who construct the homes and buildings that we spend most of our lives within. In my evenings, I often meet with those who fund and evaluate the financial returns from such endeavors. It would be a rare occurrence if these two groups would ever find themselves in the same room. However, I routinely transcend these two peoples and find myself interpreting each world to the other.
This invaluable understanding, coupled with a boundless passion and dedicated work ethic, are amongst the contributions that I will convey to the (law school) community. I see the legal profession as the vehicle to further develop and implement this understanding into quantifiable results. And, with the help of a legal education, complete what began in a humble storage unit many years ago.

Congrats on your business - what a great American story!

I disagree with the poster who said the narrative has to be more creative - it has great detail, and moves the story along.

I would like to hear about what made your business successful - right now it just seems too lucky.

I would also take out the failed love connections. I think social life encompasses that, and it can be seen as slightly unprofessional. Law school adcoms should not know anything about your love life unless there was adversity (such as an abusive partner) you overcame, and even then, it's questionable.

BizOwner
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:16 am

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby BizOwner » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:08 pm

LSATWIZ wrote:
BizOwner wrote:“It was only going to be temporary”, I told myself.
Congrats on your business - what a great American story!

I disagree with the poster who said the narrative has to be more creative - it has great detail, and moves the story along.

I would like to hear about what made your business successful - right now it just seems too lucky.

I would also take out the failed love connections. I think social life encompasses that, and it can be seen as slightly unprofessional. Law school adcoms should not know anything about your love life unless there was adversity (such as an abusive partner) you overcame, and even then, it's questionable.


Thank you for your words. The love connection thing does paint a portion of the picture that is probably unnecessary.

fjsms
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:34 pm

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby fjsms » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:21 am

BizOwner wrote:It was only going toThis will only be temporary”, I told myself. Business was beginning to pick up significantly. The client list was increasing weekly. The school semester was almost over and summer would be here shortly. “Then, I wouldwill go searching for a place to live”, I recited over and over. But for the moment, this a rental storage unit would do.

I had everything I needed there. A collapsible wardrobe closetto hang a few garments that warranted something better than the trash bags the rest of my clothing was assigned. A desk with a small lamp where I could critique a design or crunch the numbers for my business. A comfortable chair, which I found at the end of driveway on trash day,to sit upon while simultaneously studying the intricacies of thermal load calculations for my evening college classes. And a second hand couch, with its exposed innards, that which appeared to have lost a battle with a canine. It seems like ages ago that I was awoken from that couch by security, asking if I was living there within that storage unit.

The policies of the storage complex were very specific in prohibiting “tenants” from using the storage facilities as domiciles. On most occasions I spent the night onthea friend's living room floorof a buddy’s one bedroom apartment. It wasn’t long before the twenty-four hour lobby receptionist grew suspicious of this unknown regular who quickly skirts across the marble foyer in dirty dungarees and exits again moments later, transformed into business casual. “If she only knew that my appearance and behavior was a story of dedication and voluntary sacrifice, and not that of misfortune, then maybe her glares would soften”, I thought to myself.

The sacrifices I made numerous sacrifices years ago while I was founding, developing, and refining a construction design and build businesswere numerous. Arduous living conditions, a challenged social life, and failed love connections were all symptoms of my dedication and passion for succeedingin this business. I believed strongly in the efficient function, as well as, the aesthetic qualities, of the built environment. But it was the challenge that I sought the most. The challenge of creating something where there was once nothing. The challenge of materializing a concept or idea into a fully functioning tangible. The challenge of overcoming thesubconscious barriersthat we impose upon ourselves erroneously. It wasmy hunger for overcoming these obstacles that fueled my motivation.

In the years since these humble beginnings, my business has flourished. From projects showcased on the Home and Garden Network (HGTV) to international humanitarian missions in Nicaragua, the business has been the vehicle through which I have witnessed complementary surroundings[I don't understand that line]. It is through this unique perspective, a dichotomy of environments, that I see the world. During the days, I work amongst the meek and humble peoplewho construct theour homes and [office?]buildings that we spend most of our lives within. In mythe evenings, I often meet with those who fund and evaluate the financial returns from such endeavorsof these projects. It would be a rare occurrence if these two groups would ever find themselves in the same room. However, I routinely transcend these two peoples and find myself interpreting each world to the other. [I understand what you are trying to say here, but it's awkward. Transcend doesn't work.]
This invaluable understanding, coupled with a boundless passion and dedicated work ethic, are amongst the contributionsassets that I will conveybring to the (law school) community. I see the legal profession as the vehicle to further develop and implement this understanding into quantifiable results. [How?]And, with the help of a legal education, completecontinue what began in a humble storage unit many years ago.


Just some suggestions. Feel free to use or ignore. In the 2nd paragraph, I think it gets wordy as is. If you pare down the furniture list and add a separate sentence or two about analyzing designs/crunching numbers/thermal load calculations, I think it will work better. In the final paragraphs- I have a similar "bridging two worlds" skill I am trying to figure out how to articulate. I think you could use a little more detail about what you hope to get out of law school (just a couple of sentences or so). Good luck to you!

BizOwner
Posts: 89
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:16 am

Re: PS - Homeless and starting new business - critique pls

Postby BizOwner » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:33 pm

Just some suggestions. Feel free to use or ignore. In the 2nd paragraph, I think it gets wordy as is. If you pare down the furniture list and add a separate sentence or two about analyzing designs/crunching numbers/thermal load calculations, I think it will work better. In the final paragraphs- I have a similar "bridging two worlds" skill I am trying to figure out how to articulate. I think you could use a little more detail about what you hope to get out of law school (just a couple of sentences or so). Good luck to you!


Thanks for the feedback!




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.