Tear it apart

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
tbird
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:09 am

Tear it apart

Postby tbird » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:50 pm

First off, I know my statement is far too lengthy. It also might be all over the place. This is a very rough draft that is more of a brainstorming activity for me to decide what story I want to tell about myself. Basically, I am trying to illustrate the I bring a unique perspective shaped by unique life experiences. And that deep down, I am strongly motivated to prove people wrong, and to exceed expectations. Let me know what parts of this are worth keeping, and what should be cut out. Also, what direction you think I should take this. Thanks. Here is what I have written so far:

Mine is not a flashy story, but there are three life-changing events that set me apart from the pack, and give me a diverse and different perspective than most have. These life events have molded and shaped me into the man that I am. I believe the person that I am brings a one of a kind attitude, perspective, and work ethic, that is destined for greatness.

I grew up in Globe Arizona, where almost everyone graduates high school and then goes to work at the Copper mines. A fine career, but that was not for me. In high school, I felt a strong interest in both the sciences and English. Nobody really ever pushed me towards preparing for college, or talked to me much about my future. I did not know what my future held, but I simply knew I needed to get out of town, and try to gain some life experience on my own. I love my parents and greatly appreciate all that they have taught me and done for me, but the following begins to illustrate how I started to get motivated to become something more than a miner: My parents doubted that I could make it on my own, and did not want me to move out. They stated that if I moved out, they would not give me any funding, assuming this would force me to stay at home. This treatment lit a fire beneath me, and I immediately began to feel the flames of motivation that have fueled me ever since. At the heart of that motivation is the desire to prove people wrong. Exactly one week after graduating, I moved out of my parents’ house in Globe, and moved in with a guy that I didn’t know in Gilbert. I started working and supporting myself at age 18. I spent a year working construction, and seeing what the hard life is like without an education. This time on my own taught me how to fight, struggle, work hard, and survive-and proved my parents wrong in the process that I could make it on my own. They couldn’t be prouder, and applauded my ability to be disciplined and hard working.

At age 19, I elected to serve a church mission to the Dominican Republic. I spent 9 weeks trying to learn the Spanish language, and was then set loose to do service in one of the most remote towns I have ever lived in. I was not paid for my time doing the service, and actually had to pay over $400 a month to be there. I spent two years under the hot sun proselyting, teaching English, doing service projects, and generally being as charitable as I knew how at that point in my young life. Living in a third world country, serving, and learning to love a people so different from myself gives me a completely different perspective than most people have. I saw the lowest levels of poverty and humility, as people lived without running water, with dirt floors, and rarely any electricity. I learned to live in similar circumstances, and learned that you can be happy in any situation. I learned to love these people, and this love for a people so different than myself has allowed me to see all races, and groups differently as I have been back here in the states. I don’t see them any differently than I see my own family, and enjoy serving them and working with them. I believe this perspective has allowed me to open my mind in a way that could not be accomplished in any other way. I gained an utmost level of gratitude for what I have in my life. I also saw that in the states, even the poorest people are pretty well off. This different perspective allows me to bring different viewpoints to any debate, and to see all types of issues from all angles. I think it is extremely valuable in a given situation, to be able to see it from both sides, rather than making immediate judgmental conclusions. This is a key asset and advantage that I would bring to this law school, my unique perspective shaped by years of service to a people very different from myself. I would hope to continue to give and serve the less fortunate throughout my legal career. This desire to serve the underserved motivated me to join ASU Law Schools Innovation Advancement Program, a clinic that offers legal and consulting advice to startups and people who cannot yet afford full-price legal and professional assistance. Serving in this capacity, I have had the opportunity to volunteer over 80 hours of my time to helping these people and companies try to become successful in business, and further their ideas and dreams.(It should be noted that I did take this clinic for credit, but I did not need the credit to graduate, and took the clinic because I wanted the experience and to help others)

The final thing that sets me apart from many other students is my unique background in Chemical engineering. I arrived at this major by a very interesting process. Like most students, I had a hard time committing to one certain major, until I took my Freshmen Chemistry course. I had a great professor who helped me realize how much I enjoy Chemistry. This reminded me of my goals in High School to be an engineer, and I finally dedicated myself to Chemical Engineering. Since working towards my degree, I have realized what a great decision I made. I now spend my time away from studying for my classes trying to learn about the cutting edge alternative energy technologies. In spite of my deep desire to learn all that I could about engineering and technology, I did not feel that engineering alone would allow me to get the type of personal interaction that I want in a career. Throughout the years, I have met many professionals and attorneys, and have formed a close relationship with a certain patent attorney here in Arizona. Hearing about his work, and how he is able to help people protect their ideas sparked my interest in becoming an intellectual property attorney. Unfortunately when I made my decision to go to law school, I had already wasted a lot of time in classes that were not applicable to my major, and were dragging my GPA down in large part. After two years of bouncing around the community college, I had a 3.2 GPA, and did not have a confident outlook on my ability to be a strong candidate for a great law school. In my mind, it must only get worse from there, as I was about to enter the core Chemical Engineering classes, and upper level Mathematics classes. I was sure my GPA would only go down from there. I spoke with more colleagues and attorneys about my ability to get into law school, and many said things like “hope for all A’s on the way out”, or “ yeah good luck with that studying engineering”. Once again, doubts and negative comments from others rekindled that fire within me to prove them wrong. Over the last two years at ASU, taking by far the hardest courses I have ever taken, I have maintained a 3.96 GPA. My Chemical Engineering GPA in core classes is 4.15. I have honestly worked my tail off to earn nearly straight A+’s in my chemical engineering courses. I have neglected my job, sleep, at times my wife, and have worked with one major goal in mind-attend a top tier law school. What I am trying to illustrate, is that when I set my mind to it, and when I am driven, I feel that there is no ceiling to what I am capable of accomplishing. The past ten or so years have shaped me into a man driven to attend a top quality school. I want to become a patent attorney, and I won’t stop working until I achieve that goal. I want to be in a position where I can serve and help the less fortunate.

I hope that I have illustrated that by admitting me into your school, you will be getting a hard worker, who brings a different type of diversity than what might be typically sought after. I don’t bring racial or ethnic diversity, but I do bring a diversity of perspective. I have lived in the hardest of circumstances, and have loved a people completely different from myself. I literally spent two years in their service, and that has opened my eyes to treating all people differently regardless of race or beliefs. I also bring a diversity of undergraduate study background. I don’ believe that most applicants for law school are Chemical Engineers. This allows me to view laws, beliefs, and the mechanisms of how things function, including logic, differently. By admitting me, you are getting one of the most driven and motivated people, who is destined to achieve. I have, and I will continue to prove people wrong. You are admitting a candidate with strong leadership abilities. And most of all, you will not find a person that will work harder at exceeding expectations
Last edited by tbird on Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Tear it apart

Postby thederangedwang » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:08 pm

please edit the post and break it into paragraphs. NOBODY is gonna read that thing as is

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CorkBoard
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: Tear it apart

Postby CorkBoard » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:22 am

Paragraphs should typically only be 4-5 sentences long.

HTH

Bgibbs
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:07 am

Re: Tear it apart

Postby Bgibbs » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:27 am

"I believe the person that I am brings a one of a kind attitude, perspective, and work ethic, that is destined for greatness."

I read that and stopped. You are not a special snowflake.

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Tear it apart

Postby thederangedwang » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:39 am

CorkBoard wrote:Paragraphs should typically only be 4-5 sentences long.

HTH


edit:

In other news for actual feedback of your PS. You talk about a few good topics but manage to frame it in a way thats very bad. In short, you have solid themes but horrible execution.

I would delete all the parts about going to the dominican republican and expand on the copper mine theme. Make it interesting, dont frame it in a I'm better than everybody in my small town type attitude which is what you do. Also delete all the parts where you talk about your chemical engineering. This is a personal statement, you have a good idea with the copper mine, now make it personal since chem engineering type stuff will be reflected in your resume/transcript.

I would also take a look at these links if you havent yet

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4353

http://www.top-law-schools.com/personal-statements.html
Last edited by thederangedwang on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

JetsFan1990
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:41 am

Re: Tear it apart

Postby JetsFan1990 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:40 am

Bgibbs wrote:"I believe the person that I am brings a one of a kind attitude, perspective, and work ethic, that is destined for greatness."

I read that and stopped. You are not a special snowflake.

RodneyBoonfield
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:54 pm

Re: Tear it apart

Postby RodneyBoonfield » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:54 am

tbird wrote: This treatment lit a fire beneath me, and I immediately began to feel the flames of motivation that have fueled me ever since.


Avoid cheesy stuff like the above.

tbird wrote: I learned to love these people, and this love for a people so different than myself has allowed me to see all races, and groups differently as I have been back here in the states. I don’t see them any differently than I see my own family, and enjoy serving them and working with them. I believe this perspective has allowed me to open my mind in a way that could not be accomplished in any other way. I gained an utmost level of gratitude for what I have in my life.


Avoid conclusory, general/nondescript language that doesn't help the reader learn about you

tbird wrote:This is a key asset and advantage that I would bring to this law school, my unique perspective shaped by years of service to a people very different from myself.


I could be wrong but I dont think this sentence is structured correctly. I would say "My unique perspective.....is a key asset..."

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CorkBoard
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: Tear it apart

Postby CorkBoard » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:17 am

OP, you should either focus on the copper mine experience or your mission work (you can do this without talking too much about the religious aspect). Mormon mission stories are usually pretty cool. 8 weeks in the MTC and out in a new country could have PS potential.

Definitely DON'T do the chemistry topic. Snoresville.




But seriously, this is daunting to read due to the lack of paragraph breaks.

bmccaslin
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:06 pm

Re: Tear it apart

Postby bmccaslin » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:12 pm

I am almost scared to put my personal statement on this site. I am confident it is a decent ps, but I'm certain you ps nazis will rip into it. Lol

thederangedwang
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Tear it apart

Postby thederangedwang » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:26 pm

bmccaslin wrote:I am almost scared to put my personal statement on this site. I am confident it is a decent ps, but I'm certain you ps nazis will rip into it. Lol

its probably a piece of shit, please post it so i can confirm this to you

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Yukos
Posts: 1775
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: Tear it apart

Postby Yukos » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:59 pm

bmccaslin wrote:I am almost scared to put my personal statement on this site. I am confident it is a decent ps, but I'm certain you ps nazis will rip into it. Lol


Either we will tear it apart, or the adcomms will.

Your choice.

tbird
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:09 am

Re: Tear it apart

Postby tbird » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:37 am

HAHA for reals. I am a little dejected after receiving feedback. I feel like I need to start all over now, but don't like any of my ideas.

I do appreciate the feedback though, brutal as it may be. I knew what I had was rough, I just didnt realize how "terrible" my execution was....

I'm sure I'll be posting more later to be shredded




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