deleted.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
postn0bills
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:09 pm

deleted.

Postby postn0bills » Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:00 pm

dee lee ted.
Last edited by postn0bills on Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:49 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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

Re: Personal Statement draft, please critique!

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:00 am

Am I mistaken to think that Pakistani and East Indian are not the same thing? I thought the indian subcontinent was split and there was a mass migration of muslims both east and west (the west becoming Pakistan and the western frontier states of india and the east becoming Bangledesh and the Eastern Indian province. Help me to understand.

I like this PS better. But can you talk about the experience more personally. For example, instead of "telling" the reader that college was your turning point, take us through the experience. (e.g. tell the story about the design program. "I was afraid to do it because of what my father had told me. I doubted my ability to succeed. I feared I would fail and at the same time be rejected by my family and not be able to go back. But as the more I tried the greater my confidence advanced. When I won the X award, I found myself wondering why I had ever doubted in the first place. No one seemed to focus on my gender. My work product became my armor, and it became my voice. I learned to answer my father, not with rebellion but with results.") Get the idea?

postn0bills
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: Personal Statement draft, please critique!

Postby postn0bills » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:01 am

You're right; they aren't the same thing. During the split, my father's family of Indian/Hindu origin ended up in Pakistan. Because of the Muslim and Hindu extremist groups clashing, he witnessed a lot of violence, some of which directly affected him. Since I'm not sure exactly what you're asking me to clarify here, the term "East Indian" is usually assigned to those of Indian origin to differentiate between Native American Indians and, well, East Indians. Is there something you feel should be added to my personal statement to better clarify the term? I did not intend to use it for geographical relativity within India.

I completely agree with your suggestion. I think I was having trouble picking just one experience to represent the growth, so I ended up talking about a lot of different influences rather than showing any of them. Thank you for your thoughts.

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

Re: Personal Statement draft, please critique!

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:06 pm

postn0bills wrote:You're right; they aren't the same thing. During the split, my father's family of Indian/Hindu origin ended up in Pakistan. Because of the Muslim and Hindu extremist groups clashing, he witnessed a lot of violence, some of which directly affected him. Since I'm not sure exactly what you're asking me to clarify here, the term "East Indian" is usually assigned to those of Indian origin to differentiate between Native American Indians and, well, East Indians. Is there something you feel should be added to my personal statement to better clarify the term? I did not intend to use it for geographical relativity within India.

I completely agree with your suggestion. I think I was having trouble picking just one experience to represent the growth, so I ended up talking about a lot of different influences rather than showing any of them. Thank you for your thoughts.

You talk about your family as being East Indian and growing up in Pakistan which I found confusing. I would talk about it in terms of being of Indian descent (not East Indian), or coming from the Indian subcontinent.

postn0bills
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: Personal Statement draft, please critique!

Postby postn0bills » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:07 am

New draft, I would appreciate any and all feedback! I'd like to finalize this week, and I'm hoping I'm close. Please be nitpicky about grammar, etc. Also, I feel like the conclusion falls apart a bit, would love some advice on that. Thanks! Also, PM me if you'd like me to return the favor.

"On the surface, we appeared to be a typical Indian family. As the first American-born child of my immigrant parents, the traditions of the Indian origin were paramount in how they wanted to raise me. Unfortunately, allegiance to cultural values became twisted into justification for oppression and abuse. My father, a victim of his own upbringing in a tyrannical Pakistan, was caught in his own battles with fear resulting from witnessing the murders of some of his immediate family. Afraid that I would lose my heritage in an American culture he did not understand, he imposed rules that allowed me to do little more than attend school. As a woman, he justified, the Indian culture dictated that I did not have the same freedoms as men, and in order to maintain my status as a woman of integrity, I must abide. Whenever I was in perceived violation of his rules, I encountered physical and emotional abuse. I learned to live in fear of my father, in constant anxious anticipation of the next time he would become incensed by my desire to deviate. As an adolescent dealing with panic attacks, I began to recognize that I was experiencing the same sad reality as my father did in his own childhood, and faced with the decision to allow oppression and violence to perpetuate, I chose to move beyond it.

College was my catalyst. Armed for the first time with the freedom to make decisions for myself, I realized I could let down my defenses. Supportive new friends were willing to guide me in a more positive direction, and I deliberately took on challenges that would help me move forward. When I began to assemble my entrance portfolio for the school’s selective graphic design program, familiar feelings of fear threatened the outcome of my efforts. Should I even try? What will my father think? Am I capable of success? I journeyed through the painstaking process of perfecting each piece, and my submitted portfolio represented more than just my talents; it was the culmination of my growing confidence and determination. By the time I received notification that I was one of just eighteen applicants accepted, I knew the self-doubt had been unwarranted. Successfully taking on the rigorous program, entering my work into national competitions, and being published in a Graphis annual further empowered me. For the first time in my life, my ideas were respected, and my gender was irrelevant. That which I was banned to voice as a child was affirmed; integrity did not require the acceptance of a subordinate social status. Women, Indian or otherwise, could aspire to anything. My panic attacks all but disappeared. Hearing less of my father’s voice and more of my own, I eagerly accepted a position as a Teaching Assistant for an introductory typography class and volunteered, both of which were particularly rewarding as I learned to utilize my newfound confidence to impact others. Within and beyond academia, I was finally shaping myself into the person I wanted to become, and along the way, I had conquered the conditioning of my childhood.

During the time I worked as a graphic designer in New York, I coauthored a piece for the American Institute of Graphic Arts to help students navigate their careers. Professional growth, we wrote, relies heavily on personal growth. Inspired by the feedback from students who benefited from the article, I reconsidered my current profession and decided it was incongruous with my own growth. Design had been the vehicle to better my life, but I had a true passion for making change. Shortly thereafter I accepted a position as a paralegal at a litigation law firm, and have thrived since. Beyond drafting and filing legal documents, I am invested in the clients who entrust me with their stories. As someone with a history of battle scars and victories of her own, it is fulfilling knowing that every day I fight on the front line for those who cannot battle alone. This continues in my volunteer work with animals at a local animal shelter and for the environment as I educate city residents about proper recycling practices.

A legal education will enable me to continue this trajectory. Breaking away from a toxic cycle has shown me that while unjust circumstances certainly exist, there is also remedy. Like in my own life, sometimes it takes a catalyst, and I want to be a catalyst for those who need it. Being an Indian woman of integrity is not about accepting injustices as they exist. True integrity, I have learned, is about working to overcome them."

JasonR
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:09 am

Re: Personal Statement draft, please critique!

Postby JasonR » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:11 am

I'm waylaid by a head cold right now and am not in a position to provide detailed feedback (or perhaps feedback of any kind), but I liked this one much better than what you posted before. I think you're heading in the right direction.

postn0bills
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:09 pm

Re: Personal Statement draft, please critique!

Postby postn0bills » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:14 pm

feel better jasonr. anyone else? any comments are appreciated. thanks so much!

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

Re: Personal Statement draft, please critique!

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:12 pm

Getting better.
postn0bills wrote:"On the surface, we appeared to be a typical Indian family. As the first American-born child of my immigrant parents, the traditions of the Indian origin were paramount in how they wanted to raise me. Unfortunately, allegiance to cultural values became twisted into justification for oppression and abuse. My father, a victim of his own upbringing in a tyrannical Pakistan, was caught in his own battles with fear resulting from witnessing the murders of some of his immediate family. Afraid that I would lose my heritage in an American culture he did not understand, he imposed rules that allowed me to do little more than attend school. As a woman, he justified, the Indian culture dictated that I did not have the same freedoms as men, and in order to maintain my status as a woman of integrity, I must abide. Whenever I was in perceived violation of his rules, I encountered physical and emotional abuse. [tell a story that indicates these things rather than make them as statements. For example, did you ever express yourself in a way that made you proud only to be "disciplined" for being "out of line"?] I learned to live in fear of my father, in constant anxious anticipation of the next time he would become incensed by my desire to deviate. As an adolescent dealing with panic attacks, I began to recognize that I was experiencing the same sad reality as my father did in his own childhood, and faced with the decision to allow oppression and violence to perpetuate, I chose to move beyond it.

College was my catalyst. [get rid of this first sentence.] Armed for the first time with the freedom to make decisions for myself, I realized I could let down my defenses. [remove the war imagery throughout. In an attempt to show you overcoming violence, you should describe you actions in less violent terms.] Supportive new friends were willing to guide me in a more positive direction, and I deliberately took on challenges that would help me move forward. [first describe your desire to enter the program, then discuss the inhibiting fear. Tell us what motivates you. Avoid the cliche that you wanted to pursue design to overcome oppression. We all know that is not the primary motivation. Describe your creative side and how fear and control constricts imagination.] When I began to assemble my entrance portfolio for the school’s selective graphic design program, familiar feelings of fear threatened the outcome of my efforts. Should I even try? What will my father think? Am I capable of success? I journeyed through the painstaking process [journeyed through the process? You are wasting valuable real estate.] of perfecting each piece, and my submitted portfolio represented more than just my talents; it was the culmination of my growing confidence and determination. [not the culmination, but representative/illustrative] By the time I received notification that I was one of just eighteen applicants accepted, I knew the self-doubt had been unwarranted. [Be more succinct. Never start a sentence with by the time... Try: My acceptance into the program invalidated the self-doubt I had felt.] Successfully [meaningless modifier and comes across as self-promoting. Just state the case and it will make the point that you are successful.] taking on the rigorous program, entering my work into national competitions, and being published in a Graphis annual further empowered me. [rewrite more powerfully. This is a resume regurgitation. Make a more general statement about your theme here. Something about moving outside your comfort zone and the reinforcement value of the success that comes when you do.] For the first time in my life [really? for the first time. Be very careful in what you say. I would think it more appropriate to say for the first time you felt like you deserved and were ready to openly recieve the recognition you had earned], [new sentence] My ideas were respected, and my gender was irrelevant. That [The personal expression] which I was banned to voice as a child was affirmed; [new sentence] integrity did not require the acceptance of a subordinate social status. [this statement is confusing and requires too much thought to tie back. Rewrite.] Women, Indian or otherwise like me, could aspire to anything. My panic attacks all but disappeared ended.

[new paragraph] Hearing less of my father’s voice and more of my own, I eagerly accepted a position as a Teaching Assistant for an introductory typography class and volunteered, both of which were particularly rewarding as I learned to utilize my newfound confidence to impact others. Within and beyond academia, I was finally shaping myself into the person I wanted to become, and along the way, I had conquered the conditioning of my childhood. [This paragraph is more like 3 topic sentences strung together and unsupported. Pick one and make a case.]

[oh, a new thesis. You need to find a better segue or cut this out.] During the time I worked as a graphic designer in New York, I coauthored a piece for the American Institute of Graphic Arts to help students navigate their careers. Professional growth, we wrote, relies heavily on personal growth. Inspired by the feedback from students who benefited from the article, I reconsidered my current profession and decided it was incongruous with my own growth. Design had been the vehicle to better my life [cliche], but I had a true passion for making change [cliche]. Shortly thereafter I accepted a position as a paralegal at a litigation law firm, and have thrived since [how so?]. Beyond drafting and filing legal documents, I am invested in the clients who entrust me with their stories. As someone with a history of battle scars and victories of her own, it is fulfilling knowing that every day I fight on the front line for those who cannot battle alone. [facts tell, stories sell] This [what is "this?" Nothing continues unless you continue it. Use the active voice. It will help to avoid starting sentences with it, this, and that.] continues in my volunteer work with animals at a local animal shelter and for the environment as I educate city residents about proper recycling practices. [put this stuff in the resume]

A legal education will enable me to continue this trajectory. [cliche. What trajectory? Are you skyrocketing to the top of your profession? becoming the most self-aware, independent woman on the planet? Stay away from PS cliches about trajectories, journeys, and "life-changers."] Breaking away from a toxic cycle has shown me that while unjust circumstances certainly exist, there is also remedy. Like in my own life, sometimes it takes a catalyst, and I want to be a catalyst for those who need it. Being an Indian woman of integrity is not about accepting injustices as they exist. True integrity, I have learned, is about working to overcome them."

postn0bills
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:09 pm

Personal Statement - close to final?

Postby postn0bills » Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:46 pm

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