Please have at it!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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tsr92
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:52 am

Please have at it!

Postby tsr92 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:54 am

:D
Last edited by tsr92 on Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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thelawschoolproject
Posts: 1364
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:58 am

Re: Please have at it!

Postby thelawschoolproject » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:05 am

Your PS is much more put together than most of the ones that I read, but there are a few things that you may want to take under consideration.

1). When you begin talking about Matthew, I am somewhat drawn into his story, but at the same time I'm really focused on him and on what is "wrong" with him such that he doesn't want to interact with anyone and that he doesn't talk. I think that the first two paragraphs are a bit wordy. I believe you could make that section of your PS more concise and direct by combining this information into one paragraph and perhaps shift the focus to you rather than it being on Matthew. For example, are these the first words he's spoken at all? Or just to you? Maybe he spoke to others and just didn't like you? Also information about your schedule and Michael coming in the mornings isn't really necessary to include. Also you suggest that you spent a lot of time doing mini-projects and tasks and that you shared toys, but at the beginning you say "I rarely worked in the classroom at the same time that Matthew as there." This seems a bit contradictory to me.

2). You do a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. You say that you "helped them build the skills necessary to succeed in school." Well, what did you do? How did you do it? Don't just tell us about it, use this opportunity to show us.

3). Here's where you start walking a thin line. You shift our focus away from the pre-school to the work you did in DC. I think this could come off as "Oh, look his interest in this sparked his interest in policy. Great." OR "He's mentioning way too many things and I'm not getting a good picture of either." I feel like in regard to your time in DC I don't get enough of the picture. You say you had an opportunity to speak? Who did you speak to? You say "congressional aids" but does that mean you went door to door on the Hill meeting with different LAs or did you have a series of scheduled meetings with multiple aids in them? I'd just like a better picture of what you actually did. Also you say that you shared "your own personal experiences," but which experiences were those? Is this somewhere where you can tie the information about Michael back into your statement?

4). When you move on to discussing a second term of service with AmeriCorps I have now had three giant shifts in topic since starting your PS. 1). Michael 2). DC 3). Jumpstart Manager...Is there away you can better connect these at this point? For example as manager did you find a way to have more contact with those in DC? Were you able to help Matthew more? Were you able to expand the help you gave to Matthew to all kids? You're still very vague in your statements "the children were progressing," "the families were satisfied with our work," "the workload was heavy."

5). To some degree by the end this feels slightly like a resume dump because you don't really connect the things you discuss. You do, however, do a nice job of showing which thing led to the next so it seems as if it fits, but I feel like there's not enough information presented in any of the settings. My advice when writing a PS is to pick one small situation and exploit it so that the adcomm can really see what you did. My fear with your PS is that you are, in fact, treading that fine line between giving us a nice whole picture and not giving us enough information.

Don't take this as an indication that I think your PS needs to be rewritten, it just needs to be finely tuned. Also, be sure to have someone edit it for you. There are several episodes of redundancy and incorrect uses of language that you'll want to clear up.

Best of luck!

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tsr92
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:52 am

Re: Please have at it!

Postby tsr92 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:49 pm

Wow, thanks for all the feedback!! That was above and beyond what I expected and I really appreciate it :D




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