Help with PS? Go nuts.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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twenty
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Help with PS? Go nuts.

Postby twenty » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:24 pm

The woman did a double-take, her eyes as obvious and blue as the massive cape she was wearing. “You’re… Robert?”
I held out my hand. “I am. You’re Donna, I believe?”
She didn’t shake it. “You’re-- well. Really young.”
When you receive a letter in the mail notifying you that you’ll be losing your home to foreclosure in the next ninety days, and you attend the San Diego County Home Preservation Event in the hopes of discussing your options with a housing counselor, you don’t expect the housing counselor to be sixteen years old.
As we sat down at the table, our conversation progressed from my age to her foreclosure. Donna’s situation seemed hopeless. In ninety days, she, her toddler, and her two dogs would all be living out of their minivan. Finally, she stopped talking and began sobbing.

The word “foreclosure” doesn’t mean much, if anything, to someone who hasn’t experienced the reality of that word. My grandparents on both sides of my family have. My aunts, uncles, and even parents have. From the violent and threatening phone calls to the feeling of helplessness that comes with realizing you have enough money to feed either yourself or your children, “foreclosure” is a word that describes the slow, yet devastating process of losing one’s dignity.

For me, there was no shining moment when I realized I wanted to work in foreclosure prevention – rather, it was something I lived throughout my childhood. By age fifteen, I knew more about housing law than many of my friends’ adult parents. It was around this time I began volunteering at home preservation events in San Diego, California. At first my volunteer duties consisted of escorting attendees to their respective lenders, but as time progressed, I was tasked with identifying special foreclosure cases and handling them directly.
Towards the end of my junior year in high school, I was approached by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) representatives who asked me to work under the agency’s newly-formed student volunteer program. A week after my 18th birthday, I was offered a full time job with HUD, where I worked full time throughout college, and now continue to work during my graduate studies.
The next step in my professional life is to solidify a long-term career in public interest law, and I believe attending law school can help me achieve exactly that. I look forward to participating in a legal aid/public interest clinic for low income and disadvantaged clients during my time in law school, and hope the skills I will acquire during law school will prepare me for serving America’s underprivileged population.



Right now it's about a page and a half double-spaced. Should I add in extra stuff about what I want to go to XYZ school specifically?

Younger Abstention
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Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: Help with PS? Go nuts.

Postby Younger Abstention » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:33 pm

The length is fine -- it doesn't have to be long. I really like the PS. It could use some editing -- the writing isn't the best but it's not horrible. If you have relevant information regarding why you want to go to a specific school, absolutely include it. But don't force it just to make the statement longer -- that's unnecessary.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Help with PS? Go nuts.

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:51 pm

I don't like the first 3 lines. The quotes don't add anything. Start with the 4th line, and re-write it so that it reads "someone" or "a person," not "you." At first I thought you were the one losing your house.

Overall, it's a little superficial. The topic is very interesting (a 16yo housing counselor, that's awesome), but you basically say "I was a 16yo housing counselor. I got more duties, which are the same as you saw on my resume. I want to go to law school. The end." There should be some more detail and personal development/realization in there and less listing of bullet points on your resume. It's a PERSONAL STATEMENT. The reader is trying to get to know YOU, not get a description of your job. You can certainly use experiences/anecdotes/details/etc from your job to illustrate the qualities that make you, as a person, a good candidate for law school, but it needs to be more than the bare facts that the adcomm can get off your resume.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Help with PS? Go nuts.

Postby laxbrah420 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:03 pm

In addition to rinkrat's comments and the comment about editing (punctuation problems), I'll add that I hated the sentence about you knowing more than your friends' parents. Also, some may disagree, but I feel like quotes are good for news articles and fiction, but not great for what you said at a convention to some lady when you were 16.

Also, your father's parents, your mother's parents, your parents, and multiple aunts and uncles all got foreclosed on? Dafuq?

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Br3v
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Re: Help with PS? Go nuts.

Postby Br3v » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:09 pm

read first half, seemed not bad. I second the statement that the first 3 sentences seemed a little awkward. Good topic though I feel.

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twenty
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Re: Help with PS? Go nuts.

Postby twenty » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:33 pm

Thank you all for your help. A lot of what you guys are saying kind of confirms for me that I need to delve a little deeper into the personal side and move away from reiterating my resume. Also, I'm cutting the first three lines and some of that other mumbo jumbo.

I'm going to keep the same topic idea, but make the whole thing a lot more narrative. Not sure if this is a good idea or a bad idea, so I guess we'll see when I'm done with that version. Thanks again!

Dafuq?


It ain't easy being brown... ;)

lawprospie
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:50 pm

Re: Help with PS? Go nuts.

Postby lawprospie » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:53 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:
The word “foreclosure” doesn’t mean much, if anything, to someone who hasn’t experienced the reality of that word. My grandparents on both sides of my family have. My aunts, uncles, and even parents have. From the violent and threatening phone calls to the feeling of helplessness that comes with realizing you have enough money to feed either yourself or your children, “foreclosure” is a word that describes the slow, yet devastating process of losing one’s dignity.

At first my volunteer duties consisted of escorting attendees to their respective lenders, but as time progressed, I was tasked with identifying special foreclosure cases and handling them directly.


It's a good topic, but I don't think the writing is all that great (Refer to the first paragraph from the section I quoted). Sentences like "My grandparents on both sides of my family have." <-- It's late in the day and I've been crunching numbers all day....but isn't this a fragment

Also, watch your comma usage! Refer to the last sentence I pulled out in the quoted area. It should be "At first (COMMA) my volunteer duties"

lawprospie
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Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:50 pm

Re: Help with PS? Go nuts.

Postby lawprospie » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:02 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:For me, there was no shining moment when I realized I wanted to work in foreclosure prevention – rather, it was something I lived throughout my childhood.


Comb through your PS and avoid extraneous words that actually hinder the quality of writing.

I would delelte "for me." The sentence should be "There was no shining moment when I realized wanted to work in foreclosure prevention...." Actually, this whole sentence is a bit confusing. Wanting to work in foreclosure precent was lived throughout your childhood?

perhaps something like... There was no shining moment when I realized I wanted to work in foreclosure prevention. Forclosure prevention has been a continued interest and career consideration throughout my childhood.




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