First Draft of Personal Statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
gpnm
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:29 am

First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby gpnm » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:35 pm

Just finished working on my first draft - any comments, edits, critiques etc. are VERY welcome!!! (ie: RIP into it!)

As I turned from the escalator to the baggage claim area of the Reagan International Airport, I turned pale white; the Corporals were lining up my fellow Officer Candidates who had already picked up their bags, and I was one of the last to arrive. I grabbed my black duffel bag from the baggage carousel and jumped onto the line. For the next six weeks, in the hell-hole otherwise known as Quantico, Virginia, I was to be be broken down and built back up to start on my training to become an Officer in the Marine Corps. A cruel twist of fate cut my dreams short three weeks in, sending me home on crutches. The irony was almost amusing: a prior injury had resurfaced, and the surgery to fix it would disqualify me from being commissioned.

Moments like these, the greatest disappointments, are also those in which we develop our character. Upon returning home, feeling defeated and seeing my dreams crushed, I could have moped about aimlessly, clinging to a failed dream. Instead, I took this as an opportunity - I used the remainder of my Summer vacation to start researching other fields that I could pursue. As a Political Science major, a natural step would be to take the LSAT. However, I was hesitant - I didn't know if I wanted to commit three more years of my life to studying something I may not enjoy. Fortunately, the Fall semester marked the beginning of my Model UN experience.

Traveling to my first major Model UN conference in Washington, DC, I would have to present in front of 30 other delegates, draft resolutions, and win fellow delegates' support. It was here that I discovered my love for, and talent in, public speaking and negotiation. As soon as I stood up in front of my committee, ready to deliver my speech calling for UN intervention in a brewing conflict, a rush of excitement swept over me, not unlike what I felt in Quantico. Through the nine hours of daily committee sessions over the course of four days, I negotiated, presented, and argued my way successfully through the conference. I came back to New York feeling accomplished, and excited; after speaking with my Professor, an international lawyer, I realized what I wanted to pursue - the study of law.

Through the next semester I continued my participation in Model UN, and continued developing my abilities in negotiation and public speaking, with a twist; I was now at the helm of the team as Head Delegate, and my leadership skills were to be put to the test. My challenge came towards the end of the semester with our biggest conference - I now had to lead a team of 20 delegates at a conference with over 2,000 people from around the world. As I soon realized, being thrown into a leadership role changes a lot. Suddenly, little things like hotel room assignments, travel arrangements, meals, that had magically taken care of themselves before, became my responsibility. Navigating my way through 12-hour days, managing tempers and personalities that flare up during crunch time, representing Somalia's interests in the General Assembly Second Committee, and ensuring that all my teammates made it to their rooms safely was exhausting, to say the least. Nonetheless, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. As soon as the conference ended, I volunteered to stay on the team as Head Delegate for the Fall 2011 semester.

Given the opportunity to attend <School Name>, I bring my public speaking and negotiation skills, as well as my leadership experience, which will only grow as I continue with Model UN. Furthermore, the fact that I have been employed, part-time during school and full-time during breaks, as an Executive Assistant to a CEO consistently since I was 17, is an indication of my diligent work ethic. As an Executive Assistant, I've been exposed to various industries including Healthcare, Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions and many others. I am most interested in pursuing a career in corporate law, preferably focusing on the finance sector. The challenge of navigating the intricate details of mergers, corporate bylaws, balance sheets and SEC statements would force me to fully apply my abilities, and would encourage me to grow personally, and professionally. I rise to any challenge that comes my way, and view it as an opportunity, and I know that this tenacity would only facilitate my success in the practice of law.

gpnm
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:29 am

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby gpnm » Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:58 pm

Any takers??? :)

MumofCad
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby MumofCad » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:59 pm

Hmmmm....

There are a few places where you use words that are hyperbolic, others where your language is really too casual. It is a personal statement, but you should avoid being too folksy in your writing. Let me give you a couple examples...

gpnm
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:29 am

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby gpnm » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:07 pm

MumofCad wrote:Hmmmm....

There are a few places where you use words that are hyperbolic, others where your language is really too casual. It is a personal statement, but you should avoid being too folksy in your writing. Let me give you a couple examples...


Please do!

MumofCad
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby MumofCad » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:17 pm

As I turned from the escalator to the baggage claim area of the Reagan International Airport, I turned pale white; the Corporals were lining up my fellow Officer Candidates who had already picked up their bags, and I was one of the last to arrive. I grabbed my black duffel bag from the baggage carousel and jumped onto the line. For the next six weeks, in the hell-hole otherwise known as Quantico, Virginia, I was to be be broken down and built back up to start on my training to become an Officer in the Marine Corps. A cruel twist of fate cut my dreams short three weeks in, sending me home on crutches. The irony was almost amusing: a prior injury had resurfaced, and the surgery to fix it would disqualify me from being commissioned.Lots of fluff setting the scene here. My attention would be grabbed much more effectively if you put me into a scene of you doing something, maybe where the injury was re-aggravated. A scene at an airport is boring really and seems a little silly in comparison to the tough challenge ahead. The juxtaposition of this scene and the one ahead, along with the use of the word "hell-hole" (even if that is what all who have been there describe it as, I'm with you there, but way too casual and immature for a PS for law school), give the impression to the reader that you opted out with an excuse rather than what you are trying to actually convey. You would be much more effective by putting me in the scene and describing the disappointment that flooded over you in real time. Lose the airport setting entirely. Its fluff, it isn't engaging, and it sets a very flippant tone for a serious event.

Moments like these, the greatest disappointments, are also those in which we develop our characterVery cliche. Upon returning home, feeling defeated and seeing my dreams crushed, I could have moped about aimlesslyover the top again - moping around aimlessly would be a total loser, you could have been somewhere in between right, clinging to a failed dream. Instead, I took this as an opportunity - I used the remainder of my Summer vacation to start researching other fields that I could pursue. As a Political Science major, a natural step would be to take the LSAT. However, I was hesitant - I didn't know if I wanted to commit three more years of my life to studying something I may not enjoy. Fortunately, the Fall semester marked the beginning of my Model UN experience.

TravelingTraveling is not the right word here - you did all of this while you were traveling? to my first major Model UN conference in Washington, DC, I would have to present in front of 30 other delegates, draft resolutions, and win fellow delegates' support. It was here that I discovered my love for, and talent in, public speaking and negotiation. As soon as I stood up in front of my committee, ready to deliver my speech calling for UN intervention in a brewing conflict, a rush of excitement swept over me, not unlike what I felt in Quanticowhere was this rush from the Quantico story? Tie it together with a revision of the beginning and this will be more convincing too. Through the nine hours of daily committee sessions over the course of four days, I negotiated, presented, and argued my way successfully through the conference. I returned feeling accomplished, and excited; after speaking with my Professor, an international lawyer, I realized what I wanted to pursue - the study of law.

Through the next semester I continued my participation in Model UN, and continued developing my abilities in negotiation and public speaking, with a twist; I was now at the helm of the team as Head Delegate, and my leadership skills were to be put to the test. My challenge came towards the end of the semester with our biggest conference - I now had to lead a team of 20 delegates at a conference with over 2,000 people from around the world. As I soon realized, being thrown into a leadership role changes a lot - rewrite sentenceSuddenly, little things like hotel room assignments, travel arrangements, and meals, that had magically taken care of themselves before, became my responsibility. Navigating my way through 12-hour days, managing tempers and personalities that flare up during crunch time, representing Somalia's interests in the General Assembly Second Committee, and ensuring that all my teammates made it to their rooms safely was exhausting, to say the least - to say the least is too casual. Exhausting is a poor word choice. Do you really want the picture of yourself as a leader to be "exhausted." This gives me a really negative picture of your leadership. Nonetheless, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything - another use of a typical cliche phrase. Revise As soon as the conference ended, I volunteered - alright here is a problem now flagged by your word choice again that undermines what you are trying to say. You just had me believing this was a leadership role, which usually means some kind of appointment or election, and now I find out (or am given the impression) that its just whoever volunteers (read sucker). Change it. I immediately knew I would stay on the team as .... to stay on the team as Head Delegate for the Fall 2011 semester.

Given the opportunity to attend <School Name>, I bring my public speaking and negotiation skills, as well as my leadership experience, which will only grow as I continue with Model UN - out. Furthermore, the fact that I have been employed, part-time during school and full-time during breaks, as an Executive Assistant to a CEO consistently - either take this out or move to before employed since I was 17, is an indication of my diligent work ethic. As an Executive Assistant, I've been exposed to various industries including Healthcare, Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions and many others. I am most interested in pursuing a career in corporate law, preferably focusing on the finance sectorYou would better serve yourself to take out this weak, "I was exposed to..." example and instead give me something about why Finance would attract you or a specific example you were confronted with in your job that would give me something about your intelligence . The challenge of navigating the intricate details of mergers, corporate bylaws, balance sheets and SEC statements would force me to fully apply my abilities, and would encourage me to grow personally, and professionallythis sentence is really cliche - be all that you can be. I rise to any challenge that comes my way, and view it as an opportunity, and I know that this tenacity would only facilitate my success in the practice of law.

gpnm
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:29 am

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby gpnm » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:12 pm

Thank you MumofCad!!! I really appreciate the edits and suggestions.

Here's my revision if you, or anyone else cares to look over it!

(A quick note, I wasn't sure which sentence you were referring to at the end when you said it was cliche, I assumed it was the one right before the comments in red).

Thanks again!

------------------------------------------
My heart was racing; a rush of adrenaline, fear, and excitement swept over me. I was covered in sweat and dirt from several hours of training as I struggled over the last wall of the obstacle course. As my feet reached the top of the wall, I lost my balance, and down I went. "Candidate! Medical at 0500 tomorrow!" the Sergeant Instructor barked as I bounced back up from my fall. Four days of hobbling on crutches later, three weeks into my time at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia, my platoon medic asks: "Can you run in your current condition?" And with that, my training to become an Officer in the Marine Corps was cut short. The almost amusing irony became apparent: a prior injury had resurfaced, and the surgery to fix it would disqualify me from being commissioned.

Upon returning home, feeling defeated and seeing my dreams crushed, I could have moped over my failed dream. Instead, I saw this as an opportunity - I used the remainder of my Summer vacation to start researching other fields that I could pursue. As a Political Science major, a natural step would be to take the LSAT. However, I was hesitant - I didn't know if I wanted to commit three more years of my life to studying something I may not enjoy. Fortunately, the Fall semester marked the beginning of my Model UN experience.

At my first major Model UN conference in Washington, DC, I would have to present in front of 30 other delegates, draft resolutions, and win fellow delegates' support. It was here that I discovered my love for, and talent in, public speaking and negotiation. As soon as I stood up in front of my committee, ready to deliver my speech calling for UN intervention in a brewing conflict, a rush of excitement swept over me, not unlike what I felt in Quantico, as I approached the last wall of that obstacle course. Through the nine hours of daily committee sessions over the course of four days, I negotiated, presented, and argued my way successfully through the conference. I returned feeling accomplished, and excited; after speaking with my Professor, an international lawyer, I realized what I wanted to pursue - the study of law.

Through the next semester I continued my participation in Model UN, and continued developing my abilities in negotiation and public speaking, with a twist; I was now at the helm of the team as Head Delegate, and my leadership skills were to be put to the test. My challenge came towards the end of the semester with our biggest conference - I now had to lead a team of 20 delegates at a conference with over 2,000 people from around the world. I was hit with the realization, and reminded of many lessons from Quantico; leadership is not for the faint of heart. Suddenly, little things like hotel room assignments, travel arrangements, and meals, that had magically taken care of themselves before, became my responsibility. Navigating my way through 12-hour days, managing tempers and personalities that flare up during crunch time, representing Somalia's interests in the General Assembly Second Committee, and ensuring that all my teammates made it to their rooms safely was incredibly challenging. Nonetheless, the experience was exhilarating. I welcomed the responsibility of leadership, and as soon as the conference ended, I immediately knew I would stay on the team as Head Delegate for the Fall 2011 semester.

Given the opportunity to attend <School Name>, I bring my public speaking and negotiation skills, as well as my leadership experience. Furthermore, the fact that I have been employed, part-time during school and full-time during breaks, as an Executive Assistant to a CEO since I was 17, is an indication of my diligent work ethic. As an Executive Assistant, one of the most challenging, yet rewarding situations I was faced with, involved devoting two weeks, over 60 hours each week, to reviewing and editing balance sheets, and preparing financial statements for a competitor interested in buying us out. The immaculate attention to detail required made this a daunting task. Yet, my study of economics made this otherwise tedious task enjoyable. From this experience, I realized that the challenge of navigating the intricate details of mergers, corporate bylaws, balance sheets and SEC statements would force me to fully apply my abilities, and thereby grow as a person. I rise to any challenge that comes my way, and view it as an opportunity, and I know that this tenacity would only facilitate my success in the practice of law.

sparty99
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby sparty99 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:28 am

The first essay is poorly written and the revised statement is not very good. The first paragraph can be deleted and the last paragraph should be eliminated. It sounds like a cover letter and does not flow with the personal statement. You are too damn wordy. For example, "As soon as I stood up in front of my committee, ready to deliver my speech calling for UN intervention in a brewing conflict, a rush of excitement swept over me, not unlike what I felt in Quantico, as I approached the last wall of that obstacle cours." JESUS.

s an Executive Assistant, one of the most challenging, yet rewarding situations I was faced with, involved devoting two weeks, over 60 hours each week, to reviewing and editing balance sheets, and preparing financial statements for a competitor interested in buying us out?"

MumofCad
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby MumofCad » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:07 am

This draft is improved. You are still very prone to colloquialisms and cliches in your writing. If it could be prefaced by someone saying, "You know what they say, X," then X is not a good choice for a piece of formal writing.

My heart was racing; a rush of adrenaline, fear, and excitement swept over me. I was covered in sweat and dirt from several hours of training as I struggled over the last wall of the obstacle course. As my feet reached the top of the wall, I lost my balance, and went down (down I went is colloquial again. "Candidate! Medical at 0500 tomorrow!" the Sergeant Instructor barked as I bounced back up from my fall. Four days of hobbling on crutches, three weeks into my time at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia, my platoon medic asks: "Can you run in your current condition?" And with that, (take all this out) my training to become an Officer in the Marine Corps was cut short. The almost amusing irony became apparent: a prior injury had resurfaced, and the surgery to fix it would disqualify me from being commissioned.

Upon returning home, feeling defeated and seeing my dreams crushed, I could have moped over my failed dream. Instead, I saw this as an opportunity - I used the remainder of my Summer vacation to start researching other fields that I could pursue. As a Political Science major, a natural step would be to take the LSAT. However, I was hesitant - I didn't (no contractions and this sentence still needs to be re-worked know if I wanted to commit three more years of my life to studying something I may not enjoy. Fortunately, the Fall semester marked the beginning of my Model UN experience.

At my first major Model UN conference in Washington, DC, I would have to present in front of 30 other delegates, draft resolutions, and win fellow delegates' support. It was here that I discovered my love for, and talent in, public speaking and negotiation. As soon as I stood up in front of my committee, ready to deliver my speech calling for UN intervention in a brewing conflict (we don't actually need to know what the speech is about. Its irrelevant so cut this out, a rush of excitement swept over me, not unlike what I felt in Quantico, as I approached the last wall of that obstacle course. (wordy, say it directly, don't dance around it Through the (remove)nine hours of daily committee sessions over the course of (remove) four days, I negotiated, presented, and argued my way successfully through the conference. I returned feeling accomplished, and excited; after speaking with my Professor, an international lawyer, I realized what I wanted to pursue - the study of law.One warning here. This still strikes me as a little immature sounding since most attorneys will spend loads of time no speaking publicly or even negotiating, but instead preparing briefs and what not. I think its ok because you balance with the stuff below. Still....a token, it was not just public speaking that drew me to law, as an executive assistant...(to let them know you realize you aren't auditioning for an episode of Law and Order

Through the next semester I continued my participation in Model UN, and continued (remove) developing my abilities in negotiation and public speaking, with a twist; I was now at the helm of the team as Head Delegate, and my leadership skills were to be put to the test. My challenge came towards the end of the semester with our biggest conference - I now had to lead a team of 20 delegates at a conference with over 2,000 people from around the world. I was hit with the realization, and reminded of many lessons from Quantico; leadership is not for the faint of heartway overly dramatic again. Really..leading a Model UN team could be perfectly suited to the faint of heart. This is not a combat situation.. Suddenly, little things like hotel room assignments, travel arrangements, and meals, that had magically taken care of themselves before, became my responsibility. Navigating my way through 12-hour days, managing tempers and personalities that flare up during crunch time, representing Somalia's interests in the General Assembly Second Committee, and ensuring that all my teammates made it to their rooms safely was incredibly challenging. Nonetheless, the experience was exhilarating. I welcomed the responsibility of leadership, and as soon as the conference ended, I immediately knew I would stay on the team as Head Delegate for the Fall 2011 semesterMuch better here.

Given the opportunity to attend <School Name>, I bring my public speaking and negotiation skills, as well as my leadership experience. Furthermore, the fact that I have been employed, part-time during school and full-time during breaks, as an Executive Assistant to a CEO since I was 17, is an indication of my diligent work ethic. Here is where I would insert my previous recommendationAs an Executive Assistant, one of the most challenging, yet rewarding situations I was faced with, involved devoting two weeks, over 60 hours each week, to reviewing and editing balance sheets, and preparing financial statements for a competitor interested in buying us out (take this out). The immaculate attention to detail required (out) made this a daunting task. Yet, my study of economics made this otherwise tedious task enjoyable. From this experience, I realized that the challenge of navigating the intricate details of mergers, corporate bylaws, balance sheets and SEC statements would force me to fully apply my abilities, and thereby grow as a personhorribly cliche to reference personal growth. Consider: From this experience, I realized that the challenge of navigating the intricate details of mergers, corporate bylaws, balance sheets and SEC statements was not only difficult, but highly rewarding. I rise to any challenge that comes my way, and view it as an opportunity. I know that this tenacity will facilitate my success in the practice of law.

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shredderrrrrr
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Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby shredderrrrrr » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:29 am

Overall, I think it is pretty good. You have some good stuff to talk about. I feel like you could try to make it more engaging though. The first paragraph is gripping, but from there it sputters out. It goes from a point-of-view description of Marine Corps training to a listing of facts about why you would be good at law. Maybe try to draw more parallels between the training and your ability to be a good lawyer?

At the end of the first paragraph, you say "The almost amusing irony became apparent: a prior injury had resurfaced, and the surgery to fix it would disqualify me from being commissioned." Maybe I am misreading it, but what is ironic about that? I don't see any irony.

You write very well. The main issue I think you have is with sentence structure. You have a lot of run-on sentences. I'm not against complex sentence-heavy writing, but there is a fine line between complex sentences and run-on sentences. You just need to go easy on the commas. Wayyyyy too many of them. Take for instance this sentence:

"As an Executive Assistant, one of the most challenging, yet rewarding situations I was faced with, involved devoting two weeks, over 60 hours each week, to reviewing and editing balance sheets, and preparing financial statements for a competitor interested in buying us out."

6 commas in one sentence without any lists. Many of your sentences use commas correctly but are just too long, but this one inserts commas without thought. Why a comma between with and involved? Between sheets and and? If you rewrite the sentence, it could sound much better. Here is my suggestion:

"One of the most challenging yet rewarding situations I was faced with as an Executive Assistant involved devoting two weeks, over 60 hours each week, to reviewing and editing balance sheets and preparing financial statements for a competitor interested in buying us out."

If you just work on the sentence structure I believe this could be a great PS. Good job!

gpnm
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:29 am

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby gpnm » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:23 pm

Thank you guys for all for your help - I really appreciate it! I'm going to take some time to integrate your recommendations into my PS and make it less wordy.

I guess I'm a little hesitant to place too much emphasis on what I learned at Quantico since I only completed a quarter of the actual program (Two six week sessions, I only completed the first three weeks of the first session), but I'll try to draw some of it in to make it a little less tedious.

EDIT: Shredder: the irony I was trying to get across was that I couldn't complete the training without the surgery (physically incapable), but getting the surgery would make me ineligible to serve. Ha, guess it's a bit unclear there.

gpnm
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:29 am

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby gpnm » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:18 pm

So...third draft! Cleaned it up a bit and integrated your suggestions.

-----------------------

My heart was racing; a rush of adrenaline, fear, and excitement swept over me. I was covered in sweat and dirt from several hours of training as I struggled over the last wall of the obstacle course. As my feet reached the top of the wall, I lost my balance, and went down. "Candidate! Medical at 0500 tomorrow!" the Sergeant Instructor barked as I bounced back up from my fall. Four days of hobbling on crutches later, my training to become an Officer in the Marine Corps was cut short. The almost amusing irony became apparent: a prior injury which prevented me from completing my training had resurfaced, and the surgery to fix it would disqualify me from being commissioned.

Upon returning home, feeling defeated and seeing my dreams crushed, I could have moped over my failed dream. Instead, I saw this as an opportunity - I used the remainder of my Summer vacation to start researching other fields that I could pursue. As a Political Science major, a natural step would be to take the LSAT. However, I was hesitant - I was unsure about committing three more years of my life to studying something I may not enjoy. Fortunately, the Fall semester marked the beginning of my Model UN experience.

At my first major Model UN conference in Washington, DC, I would have to present in front of 30 other delegates, draft resolutions, and win fellow delegates' support. It was here that I discovered my love for, and talent in, public speaking and negotiation. As soon as I stood up in front of my committee, a rush of excitement swept over me, much like the rush I felt in Quantico, when I approached the last wall of that obstacle course. The difference was my success at the conference. Through nine hours of daily committee sessions over four days, I negotiated, presented, and argued my way successfully through the conference. I returned feeling accomplished, and excited. I came to the realization that I was naturally a person that would seek out challenges; after all, part of what drew me to attend Officer Candidate School was the challenge that it presented. My professor, an international lawyer, helped me find the academic equivalent - the study of law.

Through the next semester I continued my participation in Model UN, and developing my abilities in negotiation and public speaking, with a twist; I was now at the helm of the team as Head Delegate, and my leadership skills were to be put to the test. My challenge came towards the end of the semester with our biggest conference - I now had to lead a team of 20 delegates at a conference with over 2,000 people from around the world. I was hit with the realization, and reminded of many lessons from Quantico; leadership is a major responsibility that is not for everyone. Suddenly, little things like hotel room assignments, travel arrangements, and meals, that had magically taken care of themselves before, became my responsibility. Navigating my way through 12-hour days, managing tempers and personalities that flare up during crunch time, representing Somalia's interests in the General Assembly Second Committee, and ensuring that all my teammates made it to their rooms safely was incredibly challenging. Nonetheless, the experience was exhilarating. I welcomed the responsibility of leadership, and as soon as the conference ended, I immediately knew I would stay on the team as Head Delegate for the Fall 2011 semester.

Given the opportunity to attend <School Name>, I bring my public speaking and negotiation skills, as well as my leadership experience. Furthermore, the fact that I have been employed, part-time during school and full-time during breaks, as an Executive Assistant to a CEO since I was 17, is an indication of my diligent work ethic. It was not just public speaking that drew me to law. As an Executive Assistant, one of the most challenging, yet rewarding situations I faced , involved devoting two 60-hour weeks to reviewing and editing balance sheets, and preparing financial statements. The immaculate attention to detail made this a daunting task. Yet, my study of economics made this otherwise tedious task enjoyable. From this experience, I realized that the challenge of navigating the intricate details of mergers, corporate bylaws, balance sheets and SEC statements was not only difficult, but highly rewarding. I rise to any challenge that comes my way, and view it as an opportunity, and I know that this tenacity will only facilitate my success in law.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby sparty99 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:06 pm

gpnm wrote:So...third draft! Cleaned it up a bit and integrated your suggestions.

-----------------------

My heart was racing; a rush of adrenaline, fear, and excitement swept over me. I was covered in sweat and dirt from several hours of training as I struggled over the last wall of the obstacle course. As my feet reached the top of the wall, I lost my balance, and went down. "Candidate! Medical at 0500 tomorrow!" the Sergeant Instructor barked as I bounced back up from my fall. Four days of hobbling on crutches later, my training to become an Officer in the Marine Corps was cut short. The almost amusing irony became apparent: a prior injury which prevented me from completing my training had resurfaced, and the surgery to fix it would disqualify me from being commissioned.

-- your statement is confusing when you begin with, "Candidate! Medical at 0500 tomorrow!" Also, "Four days of hobbling on crutches later" - is written incorrectly.

Upon returning home, feeling defeated and seeing my dreams crushed, I could have moped over my failed dream [color=#FF0000] "Moped over my failed dream" - this is poorly written.

Write clearly. "I returned home with a feeling of defeat. I had invested years of dedication to the military and to see my career end instantly was a shock and somber moment. While resting from my surgery, I began researching other fields that I could pursue. As a political science major, I have always been interested in politics and the American legal system. This led me to Model UN, an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda.. "

At my first major (GET RID OF MAJOR) Model UN conference in Washington, DC, I (presented)

Delete "would have to present" in front of 30 other delegates, draft resolutions, and win fellow delegates' support. It was here that I discovered my love for, and talent in, public speaking and negotiation.

As soon as I stood up in front of my committee, a rush of excitement swept over me, much like the rush I felt in Quantico, when I approached the last wall of that obstacle course. The difference was my success at the conference. ---- Bad paragraph... Write:

"When I presented in front of my committee, I felt a rush of excitement, much like the rush I felt as a military cadet.


RE-PHRASED - "The next semester I continued my participation in Model UN. I attended a number of conferences and workshops on negotiation and public speaking. I worked hard to master these competencies and my dedication was recognized by my superiors when they elected me to serve as Head Delegate."

My challenge came towards the end of the semester with our biggest conference - I now had to lead a team of 20 delegates at a conference with over 2,000 people from around the world. I was hit with the realization, and reminded of many lessons from Quantico; leadership is a major responsibility that is not for everyone. Suddenly, little things like hotel room assignments, travel arrangements, and meals, that had magically taken care of themselves before, became my responsibility. Navigating my way through 12-hour days, managing tempers and personalities that flare up during crunch time, representing Somalia's interests in the General Assembly Second Committee, and ensuring that all my teammates made it to their rooms safely was incredibly challenging. Nonetheless, the experience was exhilarating. I welcomed the responsibility of leadership, and as soon as the conference ended, I immediately knew I would stay on the team as Head Delegate for the Fall 2011 semester.

--- You need to quit with the run on sentences. Step back, speak clearly. Quit the bs. "I managed the logistical responsabilities. I booked air and hotel reservations, organized meals for 2,000 delegates, and _____. This was not an easy task. I worked 12 hour days, dealing with people with difficult personalities and differing goals.....blah, blah, blah.

Given the opportunity to attend <School Name>, I bring my public speaking and negotiation skills, as well as my leadership experience. Furthermore, the fact that I have been employed, part-time during school and full-time during breaks, as an Executive Assistant to a CEO since I was 17, is an indication of my diligent work ethic. It was not just public speaking that drew me to law. As an Executive Assistant, one of the most challenging, yet rewarding situations I faced , involved devoting two 60-hour weeks to reviewing and editing balance sheets, and preparing financial statements. The immaculate attention to detail made this a daunting task. Yet, my study of economics made this otherwise tedious task enjoyable. From this experience, I realized that the challenge of navigating the intricate details of mergers, corporate bylaws, balance sheets and SEC statements was not only difficult, but highly rewarding. I rise to any challenge that comes my way, and view it as an opportunity, and I know that this tenacity will only facilitate my success in law.
--- Bad transition to the last paragraph...Reads like a cover letter.

You spend a lot of time listing what you did (yawn), but this isn't a resume/cover letter. You need to add more meat. What is your overall goal with this personal statement?

gpnm
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:29 am

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby gpnm » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:04 pm

Sparty, thanks for your suggestions - edited them into my draft.

With the last paragraph, though, I guess I viewed it as more of a summary/conclusion than anything else. I'm really not sure how to make reviewing financial statements seem "exciting".

gpnm
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:29 am

Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby gpnm » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:58 am

FYI Draft four:
-----------------------
My heart was racing; a rush of adrenaline, fear, and excitement swept over me. I was covered in sweat and dirt from several hours of training as I struggled over the last wall of the obstacle course. As my feet reached the top of the wall, I lost my balance, and went down. As I bounced back up from my fall, the Sergeant Instructor barked: "Candidate! Medical at 0500 tomorrow!" After four days of hobbling on crutches, my training to become an Officer in the Marine Corps was cut short. The almost amusing irony became apparent: a prior injury which prevented me from completing my training had resurfaced, and the surgery to fix it would disqualify me from being commissioned.

I returned home with a feeling of defeat. I had always dreamed of serving in the the military, and to see my career end before it began was a shocking and somber moment. While resting from my injury, I began researching other fields that I could pursue. As a political science major, I have always been interested in politics and the American legal system. This led me to Model UN, an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda.

At my first Model UN conference in Washington, DC, I presented in front of 30 other delegates, draft resolutions, and win fellow delegates' support. It was here that I discovered my love for, and talent in, public speaking and negotiation. When I presented in front of my committee, I felt a rush of excitement, much like the rush I felt as an officer candidate. The difference was my success at the conference. Through nine hours of daily committee sessions over four days, I negotiated, presented, and argued my way successfully through the conference. I returned feeling accomplished, and excited. I came to the realization that I was naturally a person that would seek out challenges; after all, part of what drew me to attend Officer Candidate School was the challenge that it presented. My professor, an international lawyer, helped me find the academic equivalent - the study of law.

The next semester I continued my participation in Model UN. I attended a number of conferences and workshops on negotiation and public speaking. I worked hard to master these competencies and my dedication was recognized by my superiors when they elected me to serve as Head Delegate. I now had to lead a team of 20 delegates at a conference with over 2,000 people from around the world. I was hit with the realization, and reminded of many lessons from Quantico; leadership is a major responsibility that is not for everyone. I was suddenly responsible for all the team's logistics. I booked hotel accommodations, travel arrangements, and organized meals for the team. This was not an easy task. I worked 12-hour days, dealing with people with difficult personalities and differing goals, represented Somalia's interests in the General Assembly Second Committee, and ensured that all my teammates made it to their rooms safely. The experience was exhilarating. I welcomed the responsibility of leadership, and as soon as the conference ended, I immediately knew I would stay on the team as Head Delegate for the Fall 2011 semester.

Given the opportunity to attend <School Name>, I bring my public speaking and negotiation skills, as well as my leadership experience. Furthermore, the fact that I have been employed, part-time during school and full-time during breaks, as an Executive Assistant to a CEO since I was 17, is an indication of my diligent work ethic. It was not just public speaking that drew me to law. As an Executive Assistant, one of the most challenging, yet rewarding situations I faced , involved devoting two 60-hour weeks to reviewing and editing balance sheets, and preparing financial statements. The immaculate attention to detail made this a daunting task. Yet, my study of economics made this otherwise tedious task enjoyable. From this experience, I realized that the challenge of navigating the intricate details of mergers, corporate bylaws, balance sheets and SEC statements was not only difficult, but highly rewarding. I rise to any challenge that comes my way, and view it as an opportunity, and I know that this tenacity will only facilitate my success in law.

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Moomoo2u
Posts: 349
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Re: First Draft of Personal Statement

Postby Moomoo2u » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:51 am

gpnm wrote:FYI Draft four:
-----------------------
My heart was racing; a rush of adrenaline, fear, and excitement swept over me. I was covered in sweat and dirt from several hours of training as I struggled over the last wall of the obstacle course. As my feet reached the top of the wall, I lost my balance, and went down. As I bounced back up from my fall, the Sergeant Instructor barked: "Candidate! Medical at 0500 tomorrow!" After four days of hobbling on crutches, my training to become an Officer in the Marine Corps was cut short. The almost amusing irony became apparent: a prior injury which prevented me from completing my training had resurfaced, and the surgery to fix it would disqualify me from being commissioned.

I returned home with a feeling of defeat. I had always dreamed of serving in the the military, and to see my career end before it began was a shocking and somber moment. While resting from my injury, I began researching other fields that I could pursue. As a political science major, I have always been interested in politics and the American legal system. This led me to Model UN, an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate participants about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda.

At my first Model UN conference in Washington, DC, I presented in front of 30 other delegates, draft resolutions, and win fellow delegates' support. It was here that I discovered my love for, and talent in, public speaking and negotiation. When I presented in front of my committee, I felt a rush of excitement, much like the rush I felt as an officer candidate. The difference was my success at the conference. Through nine hours of daily committee sessions over four days, I negotiated, presented, and argued my way successfully through the conference. I returned feeling accomplished, and excited. I came to the realization that I was naturally a person that would seek out challenges; after all, part of what drew me to attend Officer Candidate School was the challenge that it presented. My professor, an international lawyer, helped me find the academic equivalent - the study of law.

The next semester I continued my participation in Model UN. I attended a number of conferences and workshops on negotiation and public speaking. I worked hard to master these competencies and my dedication was recognized by my superiors when they elected me to serve as Head Delegate. I now had to lead a team of 20 delegates at a conference with over 2,000 people from around the world. I was hit with the realization, and reminded of many lessons from Quantico; leadership is a major responsibility that is not for everyone. I was suddenly responsible for all the team's logistics. I booked hotel accommodations, travel arrangements, and organized meals for the team. This was not an easy task. (come on Hotel Concierges do this.... secretaries at companies do this, sure it's a pain but come on it's not an amazing achievement, and you characterizing it as such is silly.)

I worked 12-hour days, dealing with people with difficult personalities and differing goals, represented Somalia's interests in the General Assembly Second Committee, and ensured that all my teammates made it to their rooms safely. The experience was exhilarating. I welcomed the responsibility of leadership, and as soon as the conference ended, I immediately knew I would stay on the team as Head Delegate for the Fall 2011 semester.

Given the opportunity to attend <School Name>, I bring my public speaking and negotiation skills, as well as my leadership experience. Furthermore, the fact that I have been employed, part-time during school and full-time during breaks, as an Executive Assistant to a CEO since I was 17, is an indication of my diligent work ethic. It was not just public speaking that drew me to law. As an Executive Assistant, one of the most challenging, yet rewarding situations I faced , involved devoting two 60-hour weeks to reviewing and editing balance sheets, and preparing financial statements. The immaculate attention to detail made this a daunting task. Yet, my study of economics made this otherwise tedious task enjoyable. From this experience, I realized that the challenge of navigating the intricate details of mergers, corporate bylaws, balance sheets and SEC statements was not only difficult, but highly rewarding. I rise to any challenge that comes my way, and view it as an opportunity, and I know that this tenacity will only facilitate my success in law.



Besides the stuff I've highlighted in Red the last paragraph really comes out of left field and is poorly organized. You go from Marine Officer Corps training (the meaning of which is not apparent, other than to set us up for the fact that it brought you to the model UN)

The essay is disjointed and I really think that like me, you are trying to do too much and doing it poorly. You need to think of a focus/topic and after every paragraph you write think "ok how does this fit in with my main idea? How does it contribute or develop my main point? What skills am i trying to highlight?"

I would cut out the first paragraph entirely. As it stands it's unnecessary background and it focuses us to highlight on your failure with the only positive part being that you tried something else. Why bring up the failure at all unless you really tell us why its important (maybe say how hard it is to get in? How hard you worked there?) Bring up the part about the CEO earlier and work it into the whole piece because it is a strong way to display your talents without outright saying "this shows I have x ability".

The UN part should be expanded on to focus on the real challenges or important things you did. How did you feel when they elected you head delegatE? What were some of the challenges you faced? how did you overcome them? How did you represent somalia's interests? Was it challenging representing a country that basically has no official government and has problems with pirates? etc etc etc all of these are more interesting than you making hotel arrangements.

EDIT: Also if I had never seen Criminal Minds I would have no idea what Quantico was. Change it to officer school if you keep it in.




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