FIRST DRAFT OF PERSONAL STATEMENT..would love any critique.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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FIRST DRAFT OF PERSONAL STATEMENT..would love any critique.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:24 pm

That warm August day I packed up my car and the next thing I knew I was headed on my first of many trips up & down I-75. I had just graduated as the valedictorian and was ready to take on the world, so I thought. I finally arrived in Toledo, OH and unpacked enough stuff to fit into three dorm rooms and managed to cram it into one room. My parents gave their little girl what seemed like an endless amount of extremely embarrassing hugs and kisses, and like that I was all alone. I had looked forward to this day for years and here I was in a 10*12 room staring at blank walls. This was my chance to embrace the new found freedom that college has to offer and spend time discovering myself. That is exactly what I have done my three years at the University of Toledo, found myself.
Just like every high school graduate I was forced to choose a major for college practically blind. I always was good at science and wanted to help people so being a pharmacist seemed like a dream career to me. During my freshman year I had plenty of time to realize and ponder that I wasn’t happy with the major I had chosen, pharmacy just wasn’t for me. I spent a lot of time deciding what my new major should be. I had grown to really love chemistry and calculus. After exploring possible majors in chemistry, engineering, and mathematics I chose chemical engineering.
After transferring to chemical engineering I was terrified that I wouldn’t like it either and I would become just another college student who was stuck in an endless loop of changing my major over and over again. Fortunately, I experienced the exact opposite. I instantly fell in love with the small close knit department and found myself passionate about my coursework. I became actively involved with many organizations and immediately formed great relationships with both the faculty and my classmates. I have had the opportunity to attend multiple conferences all around the country, participate in co-op experiences in the oil industry, and perform undergraduate research. All of these experiences have helped me create and shape the path I plan to take after I walk across the stage with my newly earned diploma in hand.
The first time law school came up on my radar was on a trip to a Society of Women Engineers national conference when one afternoon I decided to attend a session called “Life After Undergrad”. I was expecting an hour full of conversation about how to adjust to working as an engineer in industry but what I got was quite the opposite. The hour was over before I knew it and I had taken four pages of notes on what possibilities there are for women engineers after they receive their undergraduate degrees; this list ranged from pursuing a career as an engineer, engineering graduate school, business graduate school, intellectual property law school, patent agent, entrepreneur, and many more. I was interested in a few of those options and began doing research on the possible alternatives once I returned from my trip. After countless web searches, reading a couple of books, and speaking with some people involved in intellectual property law, I knew law school was for me. I love and appreciate engineering and everything that it has to offer, but I feel that I can best utilize my engineering skills by pursuing a law degree and focusing on intellectual property.
Once I decided that the law school was the destination of my future I still had two years of my undergraduate education left which allowed me plenty of time to experience other possible options that I could pursue with my chemical engineering degree. I was fortunate to complete multiple co-op rotations with a refinery as a process engineer. These experiences allowed me to work as an engineer in the industry and solve problems that I had previously only seen in textbooks. During the time I spent working at the refinery engineering finally came to life for me, all of the time I spent deriving equations finally paid off because I used this information to troubleshoot issues in the plant. Although I did see the real world applications of engineering and how important it is in everyday life, I also learned that it wasn’t the career path I wanted to pursue.
Another invaluable experience that helped me confirm that law school was the place for me was the opportunity to work as an undergraduate researcher in a chemical engineering lab. This allowed me to see engineering at the very beginning steps of research and development and also to watch these ideas transform into full scale practical technology. While working on research projects of my own I learned to appreciate taking an idea that was written on paper and transforming that idea into something real and tangible. I feel that as a lawyer, in the intellectual property field, one of the many things I’ll be able to do is to help people who have developed these great ideas and assist them in gaining the ownership rights that they deserve for their hard work.
As my time at the University of Toledo comes to a close, I feel confident in my choice to attend law school. I cannot wait to begin the next step in my intellectual journey transitioning from engineering to law school. I would be honored to call The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law my new home for the next three years.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: FIRST DRAFT OF PERSONAL STATEMENT..would love any critique.

Postby NoodleyOne » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:32 pm

This may be personal taste, but I don't like the idea of a PS that revolves around you trying out ten different career fields and then settling on Law School. I just think as an adcom it would highlight indecisiveness and youth, which probably isn't a good look. Also, there isn't much about you in this (I feel like I've written this five times today). The intro is rather... eh, I guess I would say it feels like an intro to an essay rather than the beginning of a story. Basically, reading this I think you come off as a typical K-JD that just decided to go to law school. There doesn't seem to be much of a narrative here, which personally I think would be far more effective.

Anonymous User
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Re: FIRST DRAFT OF PERSONAL STATEMENT..would love any critique.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:35 pm

Would it make more sense if I made it clear that doing internships and undergraduate research were REQUIRED for me to get my undergraduate degree, it wasn't an option.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: FIRST DRAFT OF PERSONAL STATEMENT..would love any critique.

Postby NoodleyOne » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Would it make more sense if I made it clear that doing internships and undergraduate research were REQUIRED for me to get my undergraduate degree, it wasn't an option.


Eh, clarity isn't the issue. It just needs to be more about you. Remember, you're trying to set yourself apart from the thousands of other applicants at this school. This just shouts K-JD without real experience. Maybe focus on the women's conference you attended? Choose someone that spoke there, and how it started you on the path to law school. As it stands, this is a very forgettable essay.

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LoveLife89
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Re: FIRST DRAFT OF PERSONAL STATEMENT..would love any critique.

Postby LoveLife89 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:59 pm

I agree with Noodley. You don't want to come off as someone who is all over the place. This might not even be the case, but it certainly comes off that way. Also, I would try to fix the first paragraph. There are syntax issues and grammatical errors that made it quite difficult for me to know who or what you were referring to.

jgconte
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Re: FIRST DRAFT OF PERSONAL STATEMENT..would love any critique.

Postby jgconte » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:03 pm

I feel like your statement could use some work. The first part is about how you are a typical college student, which the admission committee already knows and wont really give you any advantage. I feel the strongest part was when you talked about using your engineering degree in the practice of law towards the latter part because this IMO gives you an advantage and something different to bring to the table'. I would focus primarily on this, you dont need to go into depth about selecting engineering major. A lot of the statement could be condensed and shortened. Each sentence should have a purpose, its about efficiency. A friend of mine studies film, he said the key to a good movie is that every line has some importance, and that bad scripts have too much unnecessary dialogue. The same can be applied to the personal statement.


I would cut out this paragraph:
"Just like every high school graduate I was forced to choose a major for college practically blind. I always was good at science and wanted to help people so being a pharmacist seemed like a dream career to me. During my freshman year I had plenty of time to realize and ponder that I wasn’t happy with the major I had chosen, pharmacy just wasn’t for me. I spent a lot of time deciding what my new major should be. I had grown to really love chemistry and calculus. After exploring possible majors in chemistry, engineering, and mathematics I chose chemical engineering."

You can condense that into something like: Science has always been a strongpoint of mine. After experimenting with different majors I found that chemical engineering was (*dont just say perfect for me, instead say:) a field which I had a passion for and could excel in.
Then go onto tying in how you are going to apply your expertise in engineering to law.

Lastly remember Its not about what the law school can do for you, its about what you can bring to the table for the law school. Why should they admit you? Bottom line.
Thats how I'd do it, hope it was somewhat helpful and best of luck.




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