Final PS revision.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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hyakku
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Final PS revision.

Postby hyakku » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:14 am

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Last edited by hyakku on Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:27 pm, edited 6 times in total.

BigJohnso
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby BigJohnso » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:48 pm

I would get rid of the quote. That's a hard structure to pull off. Also the first few paragraphs about the UN conference seems to have little to do with what YOU did. Personal statements are supposed to be about yourself. I understand what you are trying to do, but I would condense this part of the statement.

"My undergraduate experience has played an integral role in helping me evolve to develop the drive and mental acuity I now possess. As one who came from disadvantaged socioeconomic conditions, my haughtiness of being one of the only people I knew attending a top university ironically worked to my disadvantage, causing me to neglect homework and rely solely on high test scores to buoy my grades. At the beginning of my sophomore year I would find it laughable if someone would tell me that I would be ending my career applying for law school after returning from a stint interning at the UN., but, I was blessed in that an incredible teacher my sophomore year instilled me with new paradigms to view the world that semester about global society, diplomacy and development. My interest peaked and I redoubled my efforts in philosophy and international relations, committing to double majoring in the two."

I also don't see how this has anything to do with your purposes or decision to attend law school.

You have some very strong things to build on, I would just condense things up and talk more about your actions.

kaiser
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby kaiser » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:50 pm

DO NOT start with a quote

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fltanglab
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby fltanglab » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:38 am

I agree with not starting with a quote. It is indeed difficult to do correctly. You could keep it in the end however.

jmart154
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby jmart154 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:19 am

I'll agree with the others, take out the quote.

kublaikahn
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:40 am

The quote does not even relate to your PS. Further, your understanding of things like codifying law is very superficial. So it feels like you are making these grand statements about something you know next to nothing about. This makes you sound naive and, well, haughty (to quote you).

Start over and tell a real story about spending the a cold, wet summer on Lake Geneva.

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hyakku
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby hyakku » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:04 am

Thanks all, I'm appreciative of the constructive help. I was considering removing the quote and trying to eliminate the paragraph that started with "whether..." for the most part. I've also been thinking about focusing a little bit more on the work I did there like the executive summaries of all the meetings I attended I was responsible for, a relatively large (around 40 single spaced pages) brief on the CSR of Vale, and some other things. I'm just finding it a bit tough to integrate, but at the gym this morning I think I have some ideas. If anyone has any suggestions though, of course I'm open.

To big, I was thinking it was necessary to kind of introduce why I was talking about my majors and the influence they have had, but in retrospect I think you're right; there's no need to really introduce that in the PS as they know my major already greatly influenced me. I may save that for a supplemental question or DS if I decide to write one.

As for kublai, not really sure how you gleaned all of that from a few paragraphs, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the first one to propose such a radical idea as law being a means to preserve order. In any case, after discussing with some other people and getting feedback I'm likely sticking with this subject, and even if I weren't, I'm open to criticism, but I won't be writing about Lake Geneva (and won't miss it either heh).


Finally, for the most part I can help out proof reading other people's PSes and give some basic advice, but as someone seeking help myself I wouldn't rely on me (if I were you) to help you with the finer nuances of conceptual and topical stuff. But I'm always down to return the favor in any way I can.

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Lady in Red
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby Lady in Red » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:33 pm

I agree that the quotation should go.

I love the first two paragraphs. They suggest that you are worldly, that you have unique and valuable experiences with law, international relations, etc. and position you as a mature, interesting candidate with language skills. Lots of points scored here!

The next two paragraphs could be condensced a bit, but they lead you to your important point about diplomacy. This is a natural transition into discussing how diplomacy will figure into your future legal career.

But instead you transition into a discussion of your past. I feel that this is a mistake. Cut the paragraph where you discuss undergraduate experiences and write about your goals instead.

Actually, I think the strength of this PS is the first half. But cutting everything from the "my undergraduate experience" to the end, you would free up a lot of space to clearly define how your future goals relate to what you have learned from your UN experience.

BTW, what a cool experience -- perfect material for a PS!

Good luck! :)

kublaikahn
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:41 pm

hyakku wrote:As for kublai, not really sure how you gleaned all of that from a few paragraphs, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the first one to propose such a radical idea as law being a means to preserve order. In any case, after discussing with some other people and getting feedback I'm likely sticking with this subject, and even if I weren't, I'm open to criticism, but I won't be writing about Lake Geneva (and won't miss it either heh).


I know it is not a radical idea. Nor it is a relevant one, at least not in this PS. When I say to write about your time at Lake Geneve, I am talking about writing about the experience of living with people from every continent and the experience that was for someone from a "disadvantaged socioeconomic status." People who have a little more life experience can see through the haughty rhetoric of tying a 3 month internship into "being an equal with national policy makers."

You do realize that the quote you use "Man is the sole solution to man himself," is a statement that we can fix the problems of mankind only by fixing ourselves, right? (man is the problem in this sentence, my friend, not just the solution) Then you talk about codifying the changes, which is the opposite. In other words, you eschew your own advice and decide, you will write rules that fix the problems in others. In other words, focus on fixing yourself, stop comparing your clothes to theirs, stop inflating your sense of value, stop judging the validity of others emotions, and stop preaching your own solutions.

Also, people may tell you great things because you are smart, but someone capable of 170+ while earning a below median GPA is uninspiring. My advice would be to ignore the patronizing smoke people are blowing up your ass. It will not help you get better.

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hyakku
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby hyakku » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:50 pm

I agree that the quotation should go.

I love the first two paragraphs. They suggest that you are worldly, that you have unique and valuable experiences with law, international relations, etc. and position you as a mature, interesting candidate with language skills. Lots of points scored here!

The next two paragraphs could be condensced a bit, but they lead you to your important point about diplomacy. This is a natural transition into discussing how diplomacy will figure into your future legal career.

But instead you transition into a discussion of your past. I feel that this is a mistake. Cut the paragraph where you discuss undergraduate experiences and write about your goals instead.

Actually, I think the strength of this PS is the first half. But cutting everything from the "my undergraduate experience" to the end, you would free up a lot of space to clearly define how your future goals relate to what you have learned from your UN experience.

BTW, what a cool experience -- perfect material for a PS!


Thanks, I've concluded that you and Johnson are right, that paragraph is just unnecessary and might go better as part of a DS. Instead I'm going to tie in a bit of what I did there and try to make it more forward thinking. It's weird that you say that, because as I was just editing it here at work, the bottom "half" is completely cut up, edited or rearranged so I guess I was (hopefully) already thinking the right way.

Got some editing to do, will hopefully get around to posting another draft up later or later in the week, will continue to check back for criticisms.


Kublai, I have no idea why you keep making random, unwarranted assertions, but you should work on that. Where did you see that I suggested that my internship was equivalent to "being an equal with national policy makers."? (By the way you quote direct statements, just an FYI). You've got some weird notions of what I'm trying to communicate here that no one else has gotten upon reading this, so i'm just going to assume that the problem is with you and wish you luck in solving it.

Thanks again all.

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:57 pm

i skimmed it, but it seems well written. regarding the quote, i think people in our age demographic and with the post baby boomer generational influence are very "cliche sensitive", and are inherently anti-quote much like how we're inherently anti-anything cheesy from pickup lines to lacoste shirts. it seems cheesy to have a quote sum up anyone's personal experience.... just too citizen kaneish, but adcoms are a bit older so might have different taste.

i'd take any notes you get on here about things being "cheesy" with a grain of salt, because of the demographic, but i think the quote.... particularly of that nature is cheesy. it does pin point your theme home, but adcoms aren't dumb, and good writing conveys themes without directly stating them. and you are a good writer.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:12 pm

The writing is awkward & the insights non-existent. Start over & try to write in clear, concise sentences. You need to develop a better--and less superficial--theme.

P.S. I just reread the thread title. My first, and strongest, impression after reading your BS was "what a bunch of garbage". Hope that answers your question regarding "need help deciding whether this is trash or not".
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:15 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:The writing is awkward & the insights non-existent. Start over & try to write in clear, concise sentences. You need to develop a better--and less superficial--theme.

P.S. I just reread the thread title. My first, and strongest, impression after reading your BS was "what a bunch of garbage".

isn't less superficial always better? seems superfluous.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:18 pm

The opposite of superficial is substantial. My intended message was "less superficial" leads to "more substantial"--but, then again, you think that the PS was well written.

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:19 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:The opposite of superficial is substantial. My intended message was "less superficial" leads to "more substantial".

all very interesting.

kublaikahn
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:43 pm

hyakku wrote:Kublai, I have no idea why you keep making random, unwarranted assertions, but you should work on that. Where did you see that I suggested that my internship was equivalent to "being an equal with national policy makers."? (By the way you quote direct statements, just an FYI). You've got some weird notions of what I'm trying to communicate here that no one else has gotten upon reading this, so i'm just going to assume that the problem is with you and wish you luck in solving it.

Thanks again all.

From where you said this, "from having private luncheons with high ranking military officers, to being invited to meet with national policymakers. I have had the chance to work in the UN as an equal amongst some of the very people I’ve studied."

You conflate going to a luncheon with a statement that you are an equal with people you have studied. I guess you mean people you have studied like refugees? Is that who you are an equal among? Not the military leaders and national policy makers you reference in the juxtaposed sentence?

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hyakku
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby hyakku » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:24 pm

The writing is awkward & the insights non-existent. Start over & try to write in clear, concise sentences. You need to develop a better--and less superficial--theme.

P.S. I just reread the thread title. My first, and strongest, impression after reading your BS was "what a bunch of garbage". Hope that answers your question regarding "need help deciding whether this is trash or not".




This is interesting, thanks. I don't mind the harsh criticism, but could you maybe expand a little bit more on the "insights non-existent" part. I'm not really trying to convey some profound realization I have, merely that I had finally confirmed that my interest in law and policy making had evolved from being a desire to study and critique, to one that crafts and formulates such legislation. Besides that, I'm not really sure that my goal was to convey that I had reached some huge insight there, and I'm not sure if you are suggesting that I should try to stress that, or that it appears that I was attempting to and failing at doing so. I'd appreciate knowing which you were referring to.

Also, if you could what exactly struck you as "BS". Again, I don't mind strict honesty, so it's fine, but I can't really see where I really played up anything that didn't occur to me, or thoughts I didn't have. I'd be interested in knowing what comes off that way so I can work on that.

As for kublai, good luck having that argument with someone else man, I don't have time to spend arguing semantics.

kublaikahn
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:28 pm

hyakku wrote:This is interesting, thanks. I don't mind the harsh criticism, but could you maybe expand a little bit more on the "insights non-existent" part. I'm not really trying to convey some profound realization I have, merely that I had finally confirmed that my interest in law and policy making had evolved from being a desire to study and critique, to one that crafts and formulates such legislation. Besides that, I'm not really sure that my goal was to convey that I had reached some huge insight there, and I'm not sure if you are suggesting that I should try to stress that, or that it appears that I was attempting to and failing at doing so. I'd appreciate knowing which you were referring to.

Also, if you could what exactly struck you as "BS". Again, I don't mind strict honesty, so it's fine, but I can't really see where I really played up anything that didn't occur to me, or thoughts I didn't have. I'd be interested in knowing what comes off that way so I can work on that.


I am not arguing. I am trying to help you. Maybe I should try to sugar coat things for you high esteem types. I do lack the ability to bullshit. However, I am ashamedly at the point of encouraging you to submit something like this.

You say you experienced many transformative moments in your 3 months on the Franco-Swiss border. So maybe that is where CW is getting the idea that reached some huge insight there. When you say something like that, the critical reader will be looking for the "ah ha" moment (which never comes).

CanadianWolf
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:23 pm

I think that some of your word choices (e.g., "I mused on", "fringe meetings", the opening quotation & the air of self importance) combined with your statement that you were "an equal amongst some of the very people I've studied" comes off as BS in the sense that you were not in tune with the realities of your role.
Your writing offers no insights into yourself, diplomacy, human nature or anything else that you experienced at this convention. My impression is that you are very impressed with yourself.

P.S. My original use of "BS" was an accident; it should have been "PS".

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hyakku
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby hyakku » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:45 pm

Cool cw, that's exactly what I was looking for from you. I was leaning towards some of those sentiments, and I'm aware of the fact that I often use bombastic speech without noticing, but my writing is just like that which is why I like to present it to people to make certain it doesn't sound too pompous. Obviously this time I didn't temper my speech with enough humility. Thanks man i really appreciate it.

Also, I realize now what you mean by the feeling of self -importance. It's funny because that's actually exactly what I was trying to demonstrate was the most valuable experience of the trip; I learned how to distinctly value the opinions of others far more than I used to.

A Few more questions:

I can't really think of anyway of rewording fringe meetings, but in the revised drafts I think it doesn't come off as cerebral. Im hoping this is the case, as I don't really know how to briefly sum them up so hopefully you'll have time to review my second revision.

I'm also changing up most of the second half to focus on the work I did there and the evolution from a desire to critique and debate to crafting and refining. Any tips on conveying more humility?

Thanks again man, I'm greatly appreciative of your statements. Forgive Any typos, I'm typing from an iPad.

thederangedwang
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:34 pm

hyakku, if i was an adcomm and i saw this thread i would not admit you.

quite frankly, you are patronizing and condescending

"Thanks, I've concluded that you and Johnson are right"
-you are in no position to judge who is right or wrong. You are in a position to accept or reject such advice.

"Kublai, I have no idea why you keep making random, unwarranted assertions, but you should work on that"
-you really like feeling superior to people....

"so i'm just going to assume that the problem is with you and wish you luck in solving it."
-once again, personal attack on a guy who has been respectful and simply offered his opinion of ur ps....

"and I'm aware of the fact that I often use bombastic speech without noticing"
-lol



for what it's worth, your ps needs work. the laungage is florid....overly embellished.

"I had grown accustomed to the brief clashes that took place behind the closed doors there which often had me juggling French, English and the occasional bout of Spanish in the absence of a translator, but this was an entirely different atmosphere from most of the other fringe meetings we had attended over the past three weeks. The meeting, titled "Human rights, Peace and Security in Conflict Affected Regions" was primarily between Moroccan diplomats and those concerned with the nationalist group, the Polisario. After discussing the Moroccan Autonomy proposal and the issue of Sahwari independence, one of the victims of the Sahwari nationalist group, the Polisario spoke in one of the most memorable times I remember there. She told an emotional tale of her brothers being kidnapped to Cuba, a charge often levied against the Polisario, and of being tortured herself.

Whether the Polisario affiliate was defending the claim or merely skeptical, this was the catalyst to his tirade, which now had many in the conference room engaged in a shouting match that the moderator was hopelessly attempting to wrest control from. As the meeting closed, I mused on whether the congregation between the two groups had resulted in even greater obstacles to peace and development. It was then that I realized that I truly was witnessing the effects of diplomacy – or the lack thereof - between people that eluded me when reading texts and composing papers."


these 2 paragraphs say nothing about u, save for the beginning part where you mention your laungage skills....i would recommend u condense this into a a few sentences.

"I believe pursuing law will allow me to finally be a solution"....
does this mean you are the problem now?!..obviously, not being the solution is the logical opposite of being a solution, but still, my first reaction would be...ok, he wants to finally be a solution..does that mean he is a problem now?

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hyakku
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether this is Trash or Not

Postby hyakku » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:28 pm

Lol man, I have no idea how you got me saying thank you to them repeatedly is me trying to be arrogant.

Your first point doesn't even make sense, I just said thank you to them and admitted that they are correct. Of course I'm accepting their advice, why would I be rejecting it?

Your second point, is completely out of context as you are trying to frame this as if I randomly lashed out at him. He partially (falsely) quoted me and then listed off a litany of things he's perceived that I've done from three sentences in a paragraph.

Third, I'm admitting to using large language all the time, and that people are right, I should tone it down. Don't really see how you got arrogance out of this either but alright.

Thank you for the advice, the last two parts I've been working on rewriting.

Edit: for spelling
Last edited by hyakku on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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hyakku
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Re: Updated Revision: Right Direction?

Postby hyakku » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:21 pm

Bump, new comments are appreciated, just put up a new revision.

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hyakku
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Re: Updated Revision: Right Direction?

Postby hyakku » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:55 pm

Unsure whether we are meant to start a new thread with a revision or not, but don't want to clutter up the place so here's a bump in hopes of some feedback, going to try to work on it today since I have time off.

kublaikahn
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Re: Updated Revision: Right Direction?

Postby kublaikahn » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:52 pm

hyakku wrote:The tension in the air excited me and made me uncomfortable at the same time. A slight man glared furiously at the man across from him. My job as a UN intern was to document the unofficial meetings held outside the 17th session Human Rights Council Main Session in Geneva, Switzerland. These meetings brought deep-seeded adversaries together in an informal setting and while I had grown accustomed to the clashes that took place, this was an entirely different atmosphere from most of the others I had attended over the past three weeks. As the man speaking seethed at the end of his rapid French diatribe, I measured the response of the mostly Moroccan diplomats and envoys adorned in flowing, brilliantly colored dashikis, boubous and kaftans.

I knew this job would put me close to the critical conflicts in the developing world, but I was still a bit surprised by how raw and real these conflicts are. This particular meeting brought together Moroccan diplomats and the Polisario, a revolutionary nationalist group. While it had started off with a measure of accord, things quickly turned when one of the victims of the Polsario spoke. The woman recanted an emotional and troubling story. The polisario had allegedly kidnapped her brothers to Cuba, a charge often levied against the Polisario. She described in graphic and emotionally wrought detail the torture she herself had endured. As I was absorbing the heavy burden of the story, the violent reaction from a Polisario affiliate, skeptical of its authenticity, knocked me off my keel. In seconds, his tirade set off a shouting match that engulfed the entire room. Attending these tense meetings, I came to realize the truly unfulfilled need for diplomacy and leglislation in the developing world, an understanding I could not have operationalized in the academic setting. As the meeting closed, I wondered whether the meeting actually did more harm than good.

The conference I attended that day was just one of many influential experiences I had interning in Geneva this past summer. Dashing from each room in Palais des Nations feverishly searching for the next meeting was both unnerving at times and exciting; each day presented challenges to overcome and new insights to glean. Reducing the day’s events into briefs required sifting through mountains of data, arguments, and shouting matches to synthesize actionable information. As I analyzed and extracted the most vital information and themes from the meetings, I found that I was learning a framework for understanding complex conflicts and developing legal foundations for interventions ranging from comprehensive commodity regulation to ... The answers were not always apparent, but they were available from within the details.

In my final week of work, as I reflected upon what had occurred, I realized I had shifted my approach to problem solving. My final project required me to analyze whether the social responsibility policies of a prominent Brazilian mining corporation warranted that a certain institute should affiliate themselves with the company. I spent a month researching and presenting an analysis of the corporation's policies. I enjoyed the opportunity to add my analysis but craved a more prominent role in actually shaping the policies that were vital to development and international diplomacy.

If it can be said that my commitment and drive afforded me with this wonderful opportunity to learn and experience first hand what I had studied in the classroom, it also compels me to continue to learn and seek the opportunities to take on that more prominent role. I see an education in law as the training ground to tangibly contribute to ensuring security and fostering development throughout the world. My studies and my brief international experience have introduced me to objectively analyzing diplomatic rows, measuring the social impact of legislation, and breaking down theories to their component parts. I know law will provide a chance to build upon this foundation.

In the midst of another turbulent meeting and one of my last in Geneva, a sagacious man in a small voice stated, “Man is the sole solution to man himself.” I believe that the solutions we need must take root in the hearts and minds of individuals in order to flourish. Despite being only one man, I have the hope that studying law will allow me to be a part of the solution.




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