Is this ready for submittal?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
wwUSMC84
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:56 pm

Is this ready for submittal?

Postby wwUSMC84 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:42 pm

I did yet another edit, checking my math of years and pounds and I believe that this is ready for submittal. Yet, at the risk of being to close to notice flaws, I have decided to ask for some additional comments/advice/criticism. I will make every attempt to offer the same review in return to anyone who provides assistance. Here it is:

I am a Marine Officer, and I intend to remain one as long as the Marine Corps will have me. However, I never would have imagined that I would actually end up here. After all, obese young men don’t become Marine Officers.

In 2005, I was a junior at the University of North Texas studying for a career in the film industry. The combination of long hours studying, working in a darkroom or editing lab, tendencies to stress eat, and a lack of exercise quickly took their toll. I gained 150 pounds in my first two years at school, severely impacting my confidence. I had made several half-hearted attempts at weight loss, but abandoned them quickly when they became difficult or inconvenient. It was not until a yearly physical revealed signs of diabetes and hypertension, conditions I have seen family members struggle with, that I finally realized that I had to stop my self-destructive habits. The prospect of a shortened life tethered to syringes and pills frightened me to my core.

Confronted with the frailty of my health, I began to doubt the path I had chosen for my life. Ensnared by the prospect of making a lot of money in the film industry, I felt like I had forsaken my values. Raised in a family where all but one male in three paternal generations has served in the military, I had been regaled with stories of military life and values since birth. Lessons learned in the service had trickled down; and hard work, honesty, sacrifice, leadership, and service to others above personal gain became the measure of right and proper conduct in my mind. Through reflection, I came to realize that a film career was unlikely to provide me a chance at positively affecting the world and leading others in manner which reflected my values. This, coupled with the fact that I would be responsible to my comrades for remaining physically fit, led me to seek a new direction for my life at a recruiting office.

In my first meeting with the Officer Selection Officer (OSO) he literally laughed in my longhaired, rotund, film student face. “Son, you’re in the wrong place. You will never be a Marine Officer.”, he quipped as I sat my 6 foot 2, 350-pound frame uncomfortably in his office. The OSO’s statement confirmed that I was exactly where I needed to be. Some might consider his statements to be inconsiderate and crass; however in the war fighting business there is no room for procedural niceties when it comes to those who might be responsible for the lives of others. I had chosen the Marines because they were everything I wanted to be, but was not. They were overtly confident, physically hard, mentally tough, and completely disciplined. More importantly, as President Regan once said, they did not have to wonder if they had made a difference in the world. Despite his efforts to the contrary, the OSO had me hooked. I decided that I would do whatever it took to prove him wrong and earn a place amongst them. I would pay any price; suffer any inconvenience, in order to achieve my new goal.

I changed my diet and started an intense exercise regimen; little did I know this would prove to be a catalyst for a more substantial transformation. Though my body would slowly change, so did my mind and character. Meticulous attention to detail, discipline, and unwavering determination were developed and etched into my being by every french fry forgone; every bead of sweat shed; and every aching muscle endured. I learned what it meant to set goals, to be disciplined in their pursuit, and to see them through to fruition. Two years later, I had lost 165 pounds. It was, at the time, the hardest thing I had ever done, but the lessons I learned would provide foundations for future successes. I applied to and was selected for Officer Candidate School. The OSO who had dismissed me 24 months earlier shook my hand as I signed my contract. He couldn’t believe it.

Nearly seven years later, I am a completely different man than that person who awkwardly sat in the OSO’s office. I am in great physical condition, no longer constructing a personal gallows with pizza boxes and soda cans. I have been reared in the unforgiving school of a Marine Corps that has been at war for eleven years, enduring the most rigorous training our nation has to offer its junior military officers. I have prepared Marines for, led them in, and seen them safely home from combat situations in Afghanistan. The tenacious resolve I forged reshaping my life served me well as I over came those challenges. As a result, I possess a confidence that is difficult to explain to those who have not shared in those burdens. Gone forever is that overweight, insecure individual, and in his place is a self- disciplined, determined, and capable leader. Now I have set a new goal; once again redirecting the course of my life. I believe the study of law will allow me further opportunities to serve others, protect and improve this nation, and develop my leadership skills; for my remaining time in the Marine Corps and following my departure from its ranks. I will do whatever it takes to achieve it.

WhiskeynCoke
Posts: 372
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:12 am

Re: Is this ready for submittal?

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:54 pm

Hey man, I remember reading an earlier draft of this PS. You've really turned it into a very well-written statement. Great Job. There's very little room for criticism / improvement but I'll take a swing.

- You seem to contradict yourself in a statement you make in your first paragraph vs your last.

I am a Marine Officer, and I intend to remain one as long as the Marine Corps will have me.


vs.

I believe the study of law will allow me further opportunities to serve others, protect and improve this nation, and develop my leadership skills; for my remaining time in the Marine Corps and following my departure from its ranks.


Are you staying in the Marines or leaving? It seems ambiguous."As long as they will have me" implies that you're staying in the Marine Corps through law school (and forever beyond that). If so are you only applying to part time programs? If not, you should reword that first sentence.

- Though its not required and not always necessary, I suppose you could give a few more hints as to "why law." For example, what is it about the field that attracts you intellectually? Admissions committees love to see a PS demonstrate some "intellectual curiosity."

- Finally, I think you should reword your last sentence
I will do whatever it takes to achieve it.


What is "it?" Obviously you're referring to your "goal" here but you don't seem to articulate exactly what that is. Is it to serve others by studying law? This isn't something one really "achieves." Without articulating precisely what it is that you will "achieve" I think you should leave it out.

Overall this is a great job. Would you be willing to glance mine over if I PM it to you?

quixotic
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:55 pm

Re: Is this ready for submittal?

Postby quixotic » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:04 pm

Just noticed a typo: you should change "Regan" to "Reagan."

Good luck!!

wwUSMC84
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:56 pm

Re: Is this ready for submittal?

Postby wwUSMC84 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:07 pm

quixotic wrote:Just noticed a typo: you should change "Regan" to "Reagan."

Good luck!!


Good catch, Thanks.

wwUSMC84
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:56 pm

Re: Is this ready for submittal?

Postby wwUSMC84 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:07 pm

WhiskeynCoke wrote:Hey man, I remember reading an earlier draft of this PS. You've really turned it into a very well-written statement. Great Job. There's very little room for criticism / improvement but I'll take a swing.

- You seem to contradict yourself in a statement you make in your first paragraph vs your last.

I am a Marine Officer, and I intend to remain one as long as the Marine Corps will have me.


vs.

I believe the study of law will allow me further opportunities to serve others, protect and improve this nation, and develop my leadership skills; for my remaining time in the Marine Corps and following my departure from its ranks.


Are you staying in the Marines or leaving? It seems ambiguous."As long as they will have me" implies that you're staying in the Marine Corps through law school (and forever beyond that). If so are you only applying to part time programs? If not, you should reword that first sentence.

- Though its not required and not always necessary, I suppose you could give a few more hints as to "why law." For example, what is it about the field that attracts you intellectually? Admissions committees love to see a PS demonstrate some "intellectual curiosity."

- Finally, I think you should reword your last sentence
I will do whatever it takes to achieve it.


What is "it?" Obviously you're referring to your "goal" here but you don't seem to articulate exactly what that is. Is it to serve others by studying law? This isn't something one really "achieves." Without articulating precisely what it is that you will "achieve" I think you should leave it out.

Overall this is a great job. Would you be willing to glance mine over if I PM it to you?


Thanks, man. I really appreciate the help.

I am applying to a program that will permit me to attend law school, pay for it, and allow me to return as a judge advocate, all while remaining on active duty. In effect LS will be my job, and they will pay me my normal salary on top of tuition/books/etc. After that I'll owe them 6 years which will put me near 15-16 years in, approaching the 20yr retirement requirement.

Good point on the last sentence.

Ill try to make both points more obvious.

Send me yours and I'll most defiantly take a look and try to be helpful.

Anyone else?

WhiskeynCoke
Posts: 372
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:12 am

Re: Is this ready for submittal?

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:45 pm

I am applying to a program that will permit me to attend law school, pay for it, and allow me to return as a judge advocate, all while remaining on active duty. In effect LS will be my job, and they will pay me my normal salary on top of tuition/books/etc. After that I'll owe them 6 years which will put me near 15-16 years in, approaching the 20yr retirement requirement.


If it's not in an addendum I think this should definitely be incorporated into your PS. It eliminates the ambiguity of your continued enlistment and also establishes a very coherent and powerful connection between the marines and "why law." I think a single sentence could suffice.

Just sent you a PM.

transfer2014
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:54 am

Re: Is this ready for submittal?

Postby transfer2014 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:57 pm

Very powerful, well written personal statement. One minor change: in the second to last sentence I would use an em dash rather than a semi colon because it is not a complete sentence.

User avatar
Cobretti
Posts: 2560
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:45 am

Re: Is this ready for submittal?

Postby Cobretti » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:11 pm

Very polished, all the revisions have paid off!




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.