My career (or lackthereof) for PS subject matter?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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leche
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My career (or lackthereof) for PS subject matter?

Postby leche » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:34 pm

Since I graduated over 2 years ago, I have been waiting tables and bartending. I wanted to write about it in my personal statement for three reasons: 1. To explain why I haven't held a "real" job in that time 2. To talk up some of the skills I've gained (interpersonal and communication skills) 3. Mention the fact that I was promoted from server to bartender (it's a big deal in the service industry). Is this an ok PS path to pursue?

I also have a decent-sized "why law" chunk, where I focus mainly on my research and writing skills as an undergrad English major (I had a 3.9 GPA with a decent amount of academic awards), in addition to my interest in environmental law.

Background: I'm a white girl from midwest suburbs, and was so involved with school and work that I didn't get involved in a lot of extracurriculars in college. None of my family or friends has had anything awful happen to them, knock on wood. I feel like I've led a painfully normal life, leading to pretty boring PS material.

imjustjoking22
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Re: My career (or lackthereof) for PS subject matter?

Postby imjustjoking22 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:44 pm

Please don't talk about how it was a big thing to be promoted from server to bartender...even if it's true, it sounds fairly ridiculous.

I'd play around with your idea and then pass it around for some feedback and see if it pans out. Gotta start somewhere!

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rinkrat19
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Re: My career (or lackthereof) for PS subject matter?

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:47 pm

There's really no such thing as a bad PS topic, just a badly-executed one.

Some topics are much harder to execute well and take a really skilled writer. But really good writing could make a PS about sharpening pencils compelling.

The only way to find out if it works for you is to try it.

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leche
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Re: My career (or lackthereof) for PS subject matter?

Postby leche » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:54 pm

imjustjoking22 wrote:Please don't talk about how it was a big thing to be promoted from server to bartender...even if it's true, it sounds fairly ridiculous.


I agree it sounds fairly ridiculous, but I've read tips that have said you should play up whatever you have, no matter how minuscule...I wasn't planning on making it a huge focus, but you think I shouldn't even mention it?

Edit/additionally: I'm also having difficulty with the tone. I don't know if I should fully dedicate myself to defending my choice to work in the service industry, or if I should take the "I hate my job and I need a change" path. It's hard to do both, which is sort of what I have right now.

imjustjoking22
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Re: My career (or lackthereof) for PS subject matter?

Postby imjustjoking22 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:42 pm

leche wrote:
imjustjoking22 wrote:Please don't talk about how it was a big thing to be promoted from server to bartender...even if it's true, it sounds fairly ridiculous.


I agree it sounds fairly ridiculous, but I've read tips that have said you should play up whatever you have, no matter how minuscule...I wasn't planning on making it a huge focus, but you think I shouldn't even mention it?

Edit/additionally: I'm also having difficulty with the tone. I don't know if I should fully dedicate myself to defending my choice to work in the service industry, or if I should take the "I hate my job and I need a change" path. It's hard to do both, which is sort of what I have right now.


I don't think it would be bad to mention your promotion, just don't use it as a "brag" moment.

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minnbills
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Re: My career (or lackthereof) for PS subject matter?

Postby minnbills » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:57 pm

It would be ok to use the server-bartender transition if you deployed it properly. I think for most people the PS is purely an opportunity to demosntrate your writing skills while telling the adcomms a little bit about who you are.

So, demonstrate how that transition is particularly difficult to do in the hospitality industry and how you were able to overcome it. If you're having a hard time writing something you like (I wrote 5+ pages before I came up with anything I actually kept) just start writing and evetually you will be able to flesh out the story you want.

If you'd like to PM me a draft when you're ready feel free. Tons of people on TLS helped me out with this and I'd like to return the favor.

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leche
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Re: My career (or lackthereof) for PS subject matter?

Postby leche » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:55 pm

Thanks guys. I really appreciate the input. I've written what is basically 2 pages of stream of consciousness...now the real work begins.

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theadvancededit
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Re: My career (or lackthereof) for PS subject matter?

Postby theadvancededit » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:14 pm

leche wrote: I don't know if I should fully dedicate myself to defending my choice to work in the service industry, or if I should take the "I hate my job and I need a change" path. It's hard to do both, which is sort of what I have right now.


You don't have to "defend" your choice to work in the service industry, but you can definitely talk about how you were successful at it. Be careful with "I hate my job and I need a change" angle, because it can make your choice of law school seem a bit immature (meaning, as an escape route or "just something better to do" rather than a genuine career path). Post your rough draft when you're done and see what happens.

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Helmholtz
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Re: My career (or lackthereof) for PS subject matter?

Postby Helmholtz » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:18 pm

Does not sound like a good PS subject. Seems like you're trying to excuse and give reasons for what you think is a blemish on your resume.




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