I'd love some feedback on my PS!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
ctacoronti
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:23 pm

I'd love some feedback on my PS!

Postby ctacoronti » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:29 pm

I'd love for some people to read this over, let me know what they think, especially regarding:
-Any typos or grammar errors
-How the personal statement speaks: does it seem to convey something about my motivations? the overall strength of the PS -- will it make me stand out? Does it sound like a review of my resume (which I'd be happy to link to)? Is there anything I should add/remove?

THANKS!

If someone had told me ten years ago, or even five years ago, that my life would be completely changed because of poultry, I would not have believed it. Yet there I sat in a small, cramped living room on an unseasonably warm election night in 2008, almost shaking with anticipation and exhaustion. A dozen others surrounded me, and all eyes were glued to the television awaiting the results. In the few short months prior, I had transformed from a first-time volunteer to a campaign employee, sitting among the volunteers I had directed as we waited to see if our efforts changed history. One percent of the precincts reported, then five percent, and finally, ten percent. We had won! For the first time in US history voters had demanded that the treatment of poultry be considered. This new California law, the first of its kind to address the conditions endured by egg-laying hens on large industrial farms, would have a lasting national impact, and the experience of ensuring the passage of the law would provide me with the impetus to discover my calling and act on my passion to contribute to social change.

I first became aware of my inner drive to expose the injustices of the world as a history major at the XXXXXX. For research topics, I often gravitated towards subjects that allowed me to tell the stories of those often underserved by history—Native Americans, the National Liberation Front, the Sinti and Roma. Excellence at finding evidence of inequality and arguing for a revision of history came naturally to me, and did not go unnoticed by my professors and peers as I was the recipient of several awards and honors given by the history department. It was not, however, until after leaving the university that I found what would be my life’s work—and it hit me harder than a box full of petitions.

In 2006, a friend introduced me to many of the issues associated with industrial animal agriculture. I started to make my own conclusions about the abuses found on many farms, and for the first time acted on an ethical imperative that involved something outside of my immediate experience. In early 2008, I started volunteering with a local animal advocacy organization on Proposition 2, a statewide ballot initiative that called for regulating conditions on poultry farms. I quickly found that instead of highlighting historical injustices in hopes of preventing future ones, I could satisfy my inner drive to contribute to society by actively working within the legal system to alleviate existing social problems. My natural abilities leading volunteers during the campaign prompted the organization to offer me a full-time position as we persuaded Californians to implement this historic change.

I left that job as my husband pursued his career across the county, but was happily recruited by another organization, XXXX. Here I expanded my reach by influencing corporate decisions, successfully persuading dozens of restaurants to change their menus, and organizing volunteers across the country to raise awareness about the issues. While my victories were substantial, my impact was less than my capabilities.

The organization I worked for has made groundbreaking strides for animals using the law, prompted historic convictions, petitioned federal agencies to change regulations, and worked with law firms to create class action lawsuits. Similar organizations have lobbied state legislatures to adopt more humane legislation, entered legal agreements with animal agriculture trade groups to change practices, and brought civil and criminal cases against animal abusers. These are the sorts of contributions that I can and will make, and why I look forward to returning to that cramped living room awaiting the results, whether they be from an election, the legislature, or a judge’s decision. Next time, however, as a practicing attorney, I will have the tools necessary to influence the outcome, help determine the issues being considered, and better contribute to changing the lives of those who are often denied fair representation under the law.

ctacoronti
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:23 pm

Re: I'd love some feedback on my PS!

Postby ctacoronti » Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:40 pm

...anyone?

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: I'd love some feedback on my PS!

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:00 pm

This piece was annoying. And not just because it appears you conflate chickens with native americans. And not just because you want to tell the untold story of the Viet Cong. Those things are annoying. But the real problem is you are a self-promoter.

dolphin
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:34 pm

Re: I'd love some feedback on my PS!

Postby dolphin » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:35 pm

um, it's good to be a self promoter...especially on applications where the goal is to sell urself to the ad comms. interesting piece

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JoeMo
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Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:29 am

Re: I'd love some feedback on my PS!

Postby JoeMo » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:37 pm

dolphin wrote:um, it's good to be a self promoter...especially on applications where the goal is to sell urself to the ad comms. interesting piece


My thoughts EXACTLY!

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: I'd love some feedback on my PS!

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:50 pm

dolphin wrote:um, it's good to be a self promoter...especially on applications where the goal is to sell urself to the ad comms. interesting piece


No, it is never good to be a self promoter, at least not in the way I mean it. It is good to give examples of your qualities, but not to tell people "I have these great qualities."

One should never say something like "While my victories were substantial, my impact was less than my capabilities." Or, "My natural abilities leading volunteers during the campaign prompted the organization..." It makes you sound like a jackass.

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MachineLemon
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:47 am

Re: I'd love some feedback on my PS!

Postby MachineLemon » Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:58 pm

kublaikahn wrote:
dolphin wrote:um, it's good to be a self promoter...especially on applications where the goal is to sell urself to the ad comms. interesting piece


No, it is never good to be a self promoter, at least not in the way I mean it. It is good to give examples of your qualities, but not to tell people "I have these great qualities."

One should never say something like "While my victories were substantial, my impact was less than my capabilities." Or, "My natural abilities leading volunteers during the campaign prompted the organization..." It makes you sound like a jackass.


Show. Don't tell. Anybody can tell. Just stick with your concrete accomplishments. Otherwise, seems like a solid statement.
-----
Interviewer: Can you talk about a time you turned a project around?

Applicant: I have great leadership skills.

Interviewer: /self

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crabcakes
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:21 am

Re: I'd love some feedback on my PS!

Postby crabcakes » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:19 pm

well, i liked it! but probably because i know what prop 2 was and am also interested in progressive animal laws :). just out of curiosity, are you aiming for schools that specialize in animal law (i.e. lewis and clark)? if so, they'll love this.

ctacoronti
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:23 pm

Re: I'd love some feedback on my PS!

Postby ctacoronti » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:18 pm

Thank you everyone for your comments!

Thanks, kublaikahn. Your comments are duly noted.

Tyler M - Is there any specific place where I don't "show" my accomplishments well that you think can be strengthened? Within the ones I note I list as examples that I've persuaded restaurants to change policies, received awards I got as an undergraduate, and the fact that I was leading volunteers within a short span of beginning to volunteer during the campaign. I don't mean to sound arrogant when listing those, but they are my accomplishments and seem to me to be decent examples. I'd love to hear if it doesn't come off like that and where this can be strengthened if you would so kindly oblige.

crabcakes - Yes! I will be applying to some schools with animal programs, though likely not Lewis and Clark. My main motivations for which schools to go to are 1) Rank 2) Location 3) Programs. Litigation is so important in animal law that I'm hoping to go to a school with a strong litigation and public policy programs, but that is also in a state I'd like to live in. Thankfully, my employment has left me with strong ties to many non-profits that I can intern at! Are you applying to any schools with animal law programs?

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crabcakes
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:21 am

Re: I'd love some feedback on my PS!

Postby crabcakes » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:31 pm

well, for me animal law is more of a side interest and not one that i'm exclusively pursuing, so it wasn't really a factor in my school selection. i did apply to georgetown, though and they have a fellowship with the humane society's litigation department that sounds pretty interesting! perhaps they should be on your list. good luck!




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