First draft personal statement critique/swap please.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
Posts: 273311
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

First draft personal statement critique/swap please.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:18 pm

Stats:
GPA: 3.74
LSAT: to be taken on the 6th, currently testing at a 172.

This is a very raw first draft and already know I need to fix a lot. I know I focused a lot on the story and not so much its relation to law school admittance. I also know that I at times the flow feels weird. I am posting this, however, to have as much criticism as possible before heading into a second draft. Thanks in advance.

If you want to swap, just indicate it in this topic and I'll PM you.

As I showered the night before leaving for an internship in London, I found myself nervous. I had never been to Europe and now I was scheduled to stay there alone for two months while working for an investment bank. I conjured situations of grandeur, where I’d wow my seniors into eagerly requesting me to stay on full-time. As I daydreamed, I noticed something on the window beside the shower. A lizard scurried fitfully towards a fluttering moth that clung to the screen. The lizard struck once, twice, and a third time. All the while the moth, perfectly capable of fleeing its attacker, remained. On the fourth try, the lizard took the moth into its mouth and the fluttering ceased. I shut off the water and wondered: Would I be the lizard attacking until I succeeded? Or would I be the moth, being struck several times until eventually faltering? Despite my nerves, I was convinced I’d pull through unscathed with a cushy job waiting for me. That was destined to be far from the truth.

​The first day of the internship was not what one would call auspicious. Suffering from severe jet lag, I struggled simply to keep my eyes open on the Fixed Income trading floor, let alone understand the complex and foreign terminology the salesmen and traders used so easily. This was the general tone of the first week, and although I can confidently say I wasn’t the only intern lost in the sea of financial jargon, it didn’t make me feel any more secure.

​The first few days were a whirlwind of financial terms and training sessions that would usually be scheduled for before the internship began (they cut the internship short two weeks to get as many interns out prior to the Olympic influx of tourists and performers). I tried my best to keep up, but every time I thought I had finally had the “Aha!” moment that cleared up all my troubles, there was always another level of confusion beyond.

​As if I didn’t have enough adversity to endure in the internship, I seemed destined to be pressed to the end of my rope. In just the second week of the internship, I was informed that my grandfather passed away. Once again in the shower, I pondered on why such the thing would happen now, and realized that there is never a good time for bad news. It was this realization that helped me withstand the failures and hardships that were waiting for me in the coming weeks.

In the third week, I got sick. Refusing to take leave, I shouldered the stomach pain and medicated the sore throat until it was too numb to hurt. It was during this week that I made my first presentation and I also realized the true depth of the lack of knowledge I had. I walked out of the presentation thinking I’d done great. I was shocked when I was clearly told in my review that “the presentation didn’t go well, but you speak confidently.” I suppose I should’ve been happy that I was a confident ignoramus rather than a timid one.

​When I moved to the second desk of my three-desk rotational, I was hopeful that the fresh start would foster better results. I had, after all, gotten past the stage of learning the extent of what I didn’t know so that now, I could begin learning it. At this desk I performed far better, being praised for my understanding of the difference between foreign, domestic, government, and corporate bonds, but taking a line from Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, “there can be no true despair without hope.”

​My project for this desk involved an understanding of all of Russia’s traded securities. I produced what I thought to be a thorough presentation with examples and went confidently towards my ruin. At the end of a very rough questioning period from my desk-head, the feedback I received involved telling me that although I was “a good bullshitter”, I did not display the granularity necessary for a strong presentation. His words devastated me and I could barely make it to an empty conference room before the tears from the consistent barrage of bad news flooded out.

In the face of constant failure, I went to my final desk somehow still hopeful. This was the Credit Solutions desk, where we worked on solving the difficult problem many institutional clients and other banks had in both understanding and following the many new banking laws and regulations created in the aftermath of the 2008 global economic crisis. Utilizing the tools I had picked up in the previous five weeks, I focused on understanding the new regulations on the banking system and the legislation that had led to and resulted from the euro-crisis. In my final presentation, I prepared harder than I had believed possible before going to London, and when my desk head had only positive things to say, I remained wary thinking she was just leading up to the big critique. It never came, and in my final review, I was informed that I was the intern that displayed the most growth through the course of the internship.

​The internship had systematically removed all any preconceived notions I had of myself. Only the basics remained, and since then I have taken those basics and developed new habits that reflect the growth those at the internship recognized. Over the course of the internship, I continued to view my performance in the scope of the lizard and the moth. I believed I was destined to be the moth, but in the end I realized I was neither. I may not have achieved what I viewed as success before the internship began, but I came out with a feeling of accomplishment and self-understanding that I find may be more valuable in the future. I look forward to facing new lizards, one of which I hope will be law school, but unlike the moth, I believe I will continue to withstand the hardships to eventual success.

User avatar
smustang
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:22 pm

Re: First draft personal statement critique/swap please.

Postby smustang » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:50 pm

I'll swap.

VasaVasori
Posts: 573
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:36 pm

.

Postby VasaVasori » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:43 pm

.
Last edited by VasaVasori on Sat May 02, 2015 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

canarykb
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:56 am

Re: First draft personal statement critique/swap please.

Postby canarykb » Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:11 pm

As I showered the night before leaving for an internship in London, I found myself nervous. I had never been to Europe and now I was scheduled to stay there alone for two months while working for an investment bank. I conjured situations of grandeur, where I’d wow my seniors into eagerly requesting me to stay on full-time. As I daydreamed, I noticed something on the window beside the shower. A lizard scurried fitfully towards a fluttering moth that clung to the screen. The lizard struck once, twice, and a third time. All the while the moth, perfectly capable of fleeing its attacker, remained. On the fourth try, the lizard took the moth into its mouth and the fluttering ceased. I shut off the water and wondered: Would I be the lizard attacking until I succeeded? Or would I be the moth, being struck several times until eventually faltering? Despite my nerves, I was convinced I’d pull through unscathed with a cushy job waiting for me. That was destined to be far from the truth. [I would remove this paragraph. The whole moth/lizard thing is a little weird for a PS. Also opening your essay in the shower is kind of weird too.]

​The first day of the internship was not what one would call auspicious. Suffering from severe jet lag, I struggled simply to keep my eyes open on the Fixed Income trading floor, let alone understand the complex and foreign terminology the salesmen and traders used so easily. This was the general tone of the first week, and although I can confidently say I wasn’t the only intern lost in the sea of financial jargon, it didn’t make me feel any more secure. [I like this. It's relatable and honest.]

​The first few days were a whirlwind of financial terms and training sessions that would usually be scheduled for before the internship began (they cut the internship short two weeks to get as many interns out prior to the Olympic influx of tourists and performers) [Remove parenthetical asides, they're unnecessary and disrupt the flow of your essay.] I tried my best to keep up, but every time I thought I had finally had the “Aha!” moment that cleared up all my troubles, there was always another level of confusion beyond. [I like this, so many PSs make the mistake of showcasing an "Aha!" moment rather than change over time. Firstly, I think actually aha! moments are rare. And secondly, making it seem like all of a sudden something clicked and your life changed actually takes away from all the hard work and effort that goes into making real change in your life.]

​As if I didn’t have enough adversity to endure in the internship , I seemed destined to be pressed to the end of my rope. [Nothing you've described so far really feels like adversity to me. Yes, it was probably difficult, but you already mentioned that many others were in your same shoes. Don't try to come across like a victim or like you're making excuses.]
In just the second week of the internship, I was informed that my grandfather passed away. Once again in the shower, I pondered on why such the thing would happen now, and realized that there is never a good time for bad news. It was this realization that helped me withstand the failures and hardships that were waiting for me in the coming weeks. [Hmmm... again I don't think you need to let us know you were in the shower. I like the realization that "there is never a good time for bad news" and learning to withstand hardships, but I think this paragraph needs to be entirely rewritten.]

In the third week, I got sick. Refusing to take leave, I shouldered the stomach pain and medicated the sore throat until it was too numb to hurt. [I would skip describing being sick. It just feels like an excuse/being a little whiny.] It was during this week that I made my first presentation and I also realized the true depth of the lack of knowledge I had. I walked out of the presentation thinking I’d done great. I was shocked when I was clearly told in my review that “the presentation didn’t go well, but you speak confidently.” I suppose I should’ve been happy that I was a confident ignoramus rather than a timid one. [Hah. I like this anecdore. You sound like a real law student.]

​When I moved to the second desk of my three-desk rotational, I was hopeful that the fresh start would foster better results. I had, after all, gotten past the stage of learning the extent of what I didn’t know so that now, I could begin learning it. At this desk I performed far better, being praised for my understanding of the difference between foreign, domestic, government, and corporate bonds, but taking a line from Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, “there can be no true despair without hope.” [Skip the batman quote. Also the switch of desks feels kind of mundane to me. I don't really care about this detail I guess, so I think it can probably be removed.]

​My project for this desk involved an understanding of all of Russia’s traded securities. I produced what I thought to be a thorough presentation with examples and went confidently towards my ruin. At the end of a very rough questioning period from my desk-head, the feedback I received involved telling me that although I was “a good bullshitter”, I did not display the granularity necessary for a strong presentation. His words devastated me and I could barely make it to an empty conference room before the tears from the consistent barrage of bad news flooded out. [This anecdote is almost exactly the same as a previous one. I wouldn't use both - saying it twice doesn't tell us anything new.]

In the face of constant failure, I went to my final desk somehow still hopeful. This was the Credit Solutions desk, where we worked on solving the difficult problem many institutional clients and other banks had in both understanding and following the many new banking laws and regulations created in the aftermath of the 2008 global economic crisis. Utilizing the tools I had picked up in the previous five weeks, I focused on understanding the new regulations on the banking system and the legislation that had led to and resulted from the euro-crisis. In my final presentation, I prepared harder than I had believed possible before going to London, and when my desk head had only positive things to say, I remained wary thinking she was just leading up to the big critique. It never came, and in my final review, I was informed that I was the intern that displayed the most growth through the course of the internship. [I think if this is going to be the final shining moment of success, you need to describe how you prepped for this presentation in more detail. What were your specific failures before and how did you change them. What tools did you utilize, specifically?]

​The internship had systematically removed all any preconceived notions I had of myself. Only the basics remained, and since then I have taken those basics and developed new habits that reflect the growth those at the internship recognized. [Good conclusion/statement of thesis.] Over the course of the internship, I continued to view my performance in the scope of the lizard and the moth. I believed I was destined to be the moth, but in the end I realized I was neither. I may not have achieved what I viewed as success before the internship began, but I came out with a feeling of accomplishment and self-understanding that I find may be more valuable in the future. I look forward to facing new lizards, one of which I hope will be law school, but unlike the moth, I believe I will continue to withstand the hardships to eventual success. [The moth lizard thing is just kind of silly, sorry. You don't need a metaphor to describe facing challenges and overcoming them.]

I agree with the above poster, you are a very strong writer, but it is a little dry. I got kind of bored, and I think that mostly has to do with the choice of topic. Going from struggling to being the best in the pack is a nice achievement to show the adcomm, but it doesn't make for that compelling of story. I might add some more specificity in terms of the actions you took to improve, rather than just your mindset (although that is important too.) You're a good writer and have an achievement to highlight, but your challenge here is punching up the narrative so that the adcomm will read until the end.

Becky

PS. I'd like to swap so PM me!

User avatar
Elahrairah
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:07 am

Re: First draft personal statement critique/swap please.

Postby Elahrairah » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:38 pm

I, too, will swap.

User avatar
CorkBoard
Posts: 3216
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: First draft personal statement critique/swap please.

Postby CorkBoard » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:12 pm

VasaVasori wrote:I think you're a very good writer, but cut the first paragraph and anything tht has to do with moths, spiders, lizards, bats, or knights. I'd say this is a good topic, but it's too dry. Throughout the whole read, all I could think was, why is he telling me this?

Same, I don't know what it is I'm supposed to be getting out of this.




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.