2nd Draft, but will they throw it in the bin?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

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2nd Draft, but will they throw it in the bin?

Postby privatemember2012 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:07 pm

Here is a slightly modified draft - looking for honest thoughts. Any comments much appreciated.

Romanians are a curious people, so whenever I return to my second home, friends and family never fail to inquire about my plans for the future. My response has been unwavering – I would like to build up knowledge and experience abroad and later return to lend a hand in development at home. When I was younger, people would smile and commend me for my optimism. Now that I have matured yet reiterate my desire to return home, some have expressed their surprise and even indignation. Why would I do such a thing when all of the best and brightest are leaving? And what would I, as an American, be able to contribute to a country that I left when I was a mere toddler? These questions began to trouble me just at the time when my career plans started to come into focus. I was baffled by the blatant contradiction: on the one hand, Romanian society was bemoaning the crippling brain drain that was affecting all professions, yet on the other, the community, including my own friends and colleagues, were ridiculing those wanting to do something about it. It seemed like half a century of dictatorship had imbued a national sense of fatalism that was paralyzing progress and snuffing out hope wherever it appeared. What is more, it had bred hostility towards the outside, towards those who ‘could never understand.’ Whereas the community was always proud of the accomplishments of the diaspora – they were Romanian achievements away from home – the fear of uncomfortable change meant resistance towards their return. Normally seen as a Romanian living abroad, I rapidly became an American with Romanian roots when bringing up the possibility of return. As I have grown, I have come to attach little importance to nationality, so this play on identities was less hurtful than the haunting fear that I might not be accepted at home despite my best intentions and efforts.

Fortunately, this has only reinforced my commitment to return in the long term. Significant amounts of time spent in the country in the past three years, including a stint interning at a governmental organization, have shown me that attitudes toward development and the role of the diaspora are changing, and optimism is starting to take root. Even more significantly for me, reflecting on the challenge of return has led me to more cultural sensitivity and respect for history. I have delved deeper into the history of my home, for example by attending a week-long academic conference dedicated to the victims of communist dictatorship held at a harrowing former prison. What is more, I am now much more aware of the difficult road ahead and the challenge, while at times daunting, is as exciting as ever.

My commitment to return is rooted both in an ambition to overcome challenges and in respect for my origins. I owe my position to my nurturing ‘Romanian’ upbringing in an open and accepting environment in the United States. Though I have spent fifteen years in the US, I cannot forget the defining role my home away from home has played. I have grown up alongside both my parents and grandparents speaking Romanian, listening to the stories of their childhood, and maintaining a strong bond with the culture despite the distance. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed my time both in the US and in Britain, I yearn to return to Romania because it is an opportunity waiting to be taken. The country needs my generation to return, and I am preparing to answer that call.

I have spent the last few years preparing for this move, both directly and indirectly. I have done my undergraduate studies in Europe and have traveled during my time off in order to get a better sense of people’s experiences of growth and change around the world. I have also made a point of returning to Romania regularly in order to build links for the future, for example by working at the central bank over the summer. In my studies, I have focused on politics and economics in preparation for my goal of working in public policy. Aiming to broaden my intellectual horizons and build legal expertise, I hope to return to the US to attend law school. I believe a strong legal foundation in a stimulating environment will prove invaluable for my work at home, especially given the central role the rule of law plays in transitioning states. Furthermore, the diversity of experiences afforded by an American graduate education coupled with my British undergraduate degree will add important perspective to my studies. While I know the task in front of me will not be easy and requires serious commitment and perseverance, this is how I hope to prepare for the road home.


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Re: 2nd Draft, but will they throw it in the bin?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:36 pm

The first paragraph is the best. The second paragraph needs to be condensed (the "for example" portion), while the final two need to be revised. The final three paragrahs suffer from wordiness & repetition. Start in the second paragraph by finding a more appropriate word than "fortunately".

Nevertheless, this PS should help you application get into the acceptance bin.

P.S. Try to reduce the third paragraph to just two sentences to avoid unnecessary repetition. Also, the final paragraph might be better as two, rather than as one, paragraphs.

Mister Gold

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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:54 pm

Re: 2nd Draft, but will they throw it in the bin?

Postby Mister Gold » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:23 pm

"As I have grown, I have come to attach little importance to nationality, so this play on identities was less hurtful..." -End of 1st paragraph

This sentence just didn't sound right as I read it, specifically "I have come to attach". I would suggest trying to reword that.

Also, in the big picture, the entire essay is about your Romanian heritage, so this sentence contradicts the main point of the PS.

I think the admissions committee would be curious as to how you believe a JD from the U.S. would be beneficial to you in the Romanian legal system. That was the #1 question I had as I was reading your PS, and I assumed an answer would formulate, but it never did. You mentioned that it would help you to gain perspective, but I think that a less generic answer would help your case in this situation. It's safe to assume that most Americans know nothing of the Romanian legal system, so adding a bit more detail in this section of your PS would help to clear things up.

Best of luck to you.

*If you have any spare time, my PS is also up on these forums for review!

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