My statement seems different...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
jesspaletsky
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My statement seems different...

Postby jesspaletsky » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:53 am

Taken down for rework
Last edited by jesspaletsky on Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cinephile
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby cinephile » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:00 pm

This is a good example of a PS that basically reiterates your resume. This is not what you want to do. Beyond this, it also isn't a good idea to start off explaining that this is your PS and that yours is different from the others they will receive. They know it's your PS, and if it's different than other approaches, then that will show - you don't have to tell them.

What you call a logical approach may be useful for something such as a statement of purpose, but it's not great for the PS. The PS is kind of like an interview. It's an opportunity to show your personality and who you are as a human. You should be showing things that they can't see from your resume, transcript, etc. And I'm pretty sure that you can create a narrative showcasing your personality without "making an emotional appeal."

ETA: I'm not trying to be mean, but this comes off as mechanical. You talk more about what these jobs entailed than about yourself. Even when you describe the qualities that you hold (by saying these are characteristics required to succeed at x job), you should be using the "show, don't tell" method. Maybe you can come up with a specific example of something you've dealt with in your line of work, and then use that to illustrate the qualities you mentioned.
Last edited by cinephile on Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

phillipjg
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby phillipjg » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:01 pm

You don't need to include an emotional appeal, but your first two paragraphs sound arrogant/conceited.

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chem
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby chem » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:04 pm

jesspaletsky wrote:
First paragraph:
When I sat down to write my personal statement I began to look at sample statements on a popular law school forum. What I found was an abundance of narrations employing an emotional appeal.


LOL just outted yourself

freestallion
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby freestallion » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:07 pm

Meh, I really don't like this. It does reiterate your resume quite a bit, and quite frankly it's really boring. I was not even able to sustain interest so do you think adcomms will after reading hundreds of more interesting essays? It just lists all the skills you gained and as another poster said, it does sound conceited as well.

You would do better to scrap this and focus on ONE experience during your work where you actually SHOW, don't tell. Instead of saying "I gained XYZ skills" you'd be better off illustrating how you managed a project or worked with a team during the market chaos to SHOW your skills, rather than just listing them.

So yes, choose an anecdote that illustrates your skills.

jesspaletsky
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby jesspaletsky » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:08 pm

ok I hate my statement too and the whole thing sounds even more arrogant. I agree completely about the first paragraph. But as an app for Baylor is due Friday for spring and I have a 165, 3.7 GPA can I submit this statement for them and still get in. I am definitely retrenching. Im my industry you have to be so conceited but I think its off putting in a ps.

phillipjg
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby phillipjg » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:21 pm

jesspaletsky wrote:I have also dabbled into areas of law with advanced estate planning strategies. I worked with a team of professionals including CPAs and estate planning attorneys on a holistic investment and estate plan for an ultra high net worth client. As a team we put into place advanced estate planning strategies that included the formation of a limited liability corporation, a multi-million dollar life insurance policy held in an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust and heritage trusts for all 3 of their children. I hope that my experience in the securities industry will direct the course of my studies whether that includes estate planning or securities law.

Why don't you tell this story? It sounds interesting. You don't have to include an emotional appeal or get touchy-feely, but tell it as a narrative.

jesspaletsky
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby jesspaletsky » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:24 pm

I'm going to tell the more real story of what happened when I started at Morgan Stanley. This better?

I was filled with pride (when I was hired) and within months I felt like a total loser. Lehman Brothers collapsed, AIG (need I say more), Bernie Maddoff-like scandals, general market chaos and other forces completely out of my control ruled my days. One Friday our office normally filled with crisp white linen shirts, well-manicured men in black suits and quiet voices was filled with disheveled brokers, loosened ties with no jackets and aimless wandering in the halls as people went to office and office whispering to each other, “I hear we are getting bought out by Goldman”, “Oh thank god, I heard we were being bought out by Wachovia!”

phillipjg
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby phillipjg » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:37 pm

That's the right direction. Keep going.

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sach1282
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby sach1282 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:51 pm

The problem with this approach is that it just restates the resume. There's no need for a redundant document. As said above, you could tell the Morgan Stanley story and make it work, but for the love of all things holy, get rid of that first paragraph.

jesspaletsky
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby jesspaletsky » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:49 pm

It is official, I wrote the worst personal statement ever....
Last edited by jesspaletsky on Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sach1282
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby sach1282 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:57 pm

Way better. Might want to reconsider saying saying "Yeah baby".

jesspaletsky
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby jesspaletsky » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:00 pm

Ok its gone

kublaikahn
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:05 pm

You might try something like this.

I am an logical analytic , and when I finished B school I wanted to apply my skills in a practical manner.
I faced a tough job market and despite my lack of experience with relationship building took a job brokering securities markets.
This would allow me to leverage my background and strengths, but required me to step out of my comfort zone and focus on interpersonal skills.
The crash occurred and the trust of the industry was greatly diminished.
I was now tasked with building a book of business using skills I thought I did not possess, and where my credibility was discounted before I said "Hello"
I met CLient X ....
This is how it went and this is how I handled it.
I saved Client X's ass
In the end, I was rewarded with presidents club (whatever you called it)
The analytical skills, the interpersonal skills, and the integrity I displayed will serve me in law school and beyond.

Edited: It seems like your second version more closely matches this outline. I think you are on the right track. You seem to have picked up on the emotional argument thing, interesting. Iwould spend less time on the circumstances and more on your approach to fixing it. Make the real battle an internal one and describe what it feels like to remain focused when the world is crumbling around you.
Last edited by kublaikahn on Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jesspaletsky
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby jesspaletsky » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:25 pm

REDONE!!!!
I would appreciate any suggestions...
Last edited by jesspaletsky on Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:35 pm

OP: Your personal statement needs substantial revision. Your writing style is weak & inappropriate for law students & lawyers. Your opening sentence should attract the reader's attention. Start by determining your primary message. Once you develop a theme, then it is easy to construct an outline. Your conclusion should show that you accomplished what you intended to share with the reader.

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cinephile
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby cinephile » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:40 pm

It's a lot better. The last paragraph is a great conclusion -maybe you can build on that a bit or cut the rest down so it's not noticeably shorter. Might want to eliminate some informal terms like "total loser" maybe say something like my confidence waivered/I lost hope/whatever sounds natural. I would also cut the parenthetical about having no outside windows.

ETA: also cut the reference to expecting caviar, it might sound naive or inappropriate.

CanadianWolf
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:43 pm

Overall, the message of your revised personal statement seems to be that I made a big sale because I charged the lowest fee. This doesn't tell the reader much about who you are, what you want to accomplish or why you want to attend law school.

jesspaletsky
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby jesspaletsky » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:44 pm

Thank you so much for the suggestions, I am taking each one. Can is till say...

When I went back to school to get my MBA the markets were stable and I looked forward to a career filled with bull cycles.


Also, I never address why I am leaving Morgan, should I?

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cinephile
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby cinephile » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:50 pm

jesspaletsky wrote:Thank you so much for the suggestions, I am taking each one. Can is till say...

When I went back to school to get my MBA the markets were stable and I looked forward to a career filled with bull cycles.


Also, I never address why I am leaving Morgan, should I?


First question: yes, this sounds fine.

As for why you're leaving, do you have a good answer? It might be helpful to include something about why law since you're leaving another field (as long as it isn't because the markets aren't doing well).

CanadianWolf
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:55 pm

In your situation, the easiest personal statement to write might be one concerning why you want to attend law school. This should help direct your writing away from a conversational structure & usage of slang expressions. As written, your PS suggests that you may see law school as a haven during slow times because you were unable to follow through with a high level of productivity after landing one big client. Your essay presents the thoughts of a salesperson regarding the circumstances of her biggest conquest without sharing any underlying motivating personality traits.

P.S. Your opening sentence remains very weak, in my opinion.

P.P.S. You do not need to explain leaving a sales position in a tough economy. It's more important to let admissions officers understand why you want to become an attorney in your situation.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jesspaletsky
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby jesspaletsky » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:56 pm

canadian wolf, you are right it seems like he came over for the fee but really it was a lot different than that, fees brokers charge are a big personal grieveance of mine and so I mention it, i am making revisions and also added to my conclusion...

I weathered the storms of the financial crisis and I believe the analytical and interpersonal skills, and most of all, the integrity I displayed will serve me in law school and beyond. I am proud of myself, I did not cave under the pressure of the down market or the financial incentive to sell certain products. I am ready for the next leap. I have conquered what I thought I could never conquer, sales. However, sales is not the great joy of my life and I look forward to the intellectual challenge of practicing law.

What can I add to this to wrap it up?

CanadianWolf
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:58 pm

Wait until you see the fees that lawyers charge.

jesspaletsky
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby jesspaletsky » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:59 pm

I am rewriting but is this revised draft decent enough for baylor admissions for spring semester, I need to get that in by friday.

CanadianWolf
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Re: My statement seems different...

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:00 pm

Show, don't tell. Demonstrate to the reader why you are seeking intellectual challenge in your career as it is not evident in your writing.

P.S. Baylor is fond of hard work & hard working law students. A possible theme is that sales does not necessarily reward hard work or intellect; lawyers are well paid for hard work & intellectual analysis & insight.

P.P.S. To wrap up this personal statement, you need to change your opening line to reflect a theme that convinces readers that law school is a match for your goals & talents.
CONSIDER: The biggest sale of my career led to the realization that I only had a job.




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