Need help for PS draft! Foreign volunteer experience and WE

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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hohenheim
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Need help for PS draft! Foreign volunteer experience and WE

Postby hohenheim » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:37 pm

Thanks for the help and PMs!
Last edited by hohenheim on Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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hohenheim
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Re: Need help for PS draft! Foreign volunteer experience and WE

Postby hohenheim » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:19 pm

Any thoughts?
Last edited by hohenheim on Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

brittanynicole_4
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Re: Need help for PS draft! Foreign volunteer experience and WE

Postby brittanynicole_4 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:50 am

A notification window flashed across my computer screen from my boss asking when the remittance memo would be ready for submission. This project was one of my first forays into our firm’s pro bono practice and I was excited to help a needy client. Remittances are money transfers by foreign workers to their home country; remitted funds often provide basic necessities and represent a significant source of income for many developing countries. I had analyzed scholarly papers and existing federal regulations in order to show how proposed consumer protection rules would positively impact remittance levels; I now needed to finish writing a memo that would convince policy makers of the importance of remittance protections. As I put the finishing touches on the memo, I thought about why I had been selected for this assignment.This transition into the next paragraph could be better. You say you thought about why you were selected for the assignment, but then in the next para. you talk about what you did a few years earlier....seems to be a bit of a disconnect.

Just a few years earlier, I would not have even been interested in taking on such a project. During high school, I volunteered at nursing homes and in homeless outreach efforts, but I lacked conviction in what I was doing. I helped people because it was a “good” thing to do, not because I understood their struggles or felt motivated by their plights. This attitude began to change when I was forced to personally organize a service activity for my Eagle Scout project. Allowed to choose any direction of service, I decided to address an issue that I understood: vision services.

Since I was born with exceptionally poor vision, I understood the importance of proper eyeglasses. Without them, a child might not be able to succeed in school or an elderly woman could be unable to see her grandchildren. I decided to organize a community drive to gather used eyeglasses for Hondurans too poor to buy their own. After collecting hundreds of pairs, I led volunteers through the process of using lensometers to validate the prescriptions and then cleaning, packing, and shipping the glasses to an eye clinic in Honduras. Even though my hands were tired from loading the glasses into bags and I smelled like cleaning fluid for the next few days, I was excited and proud to be helping people with a problem I had personally dealt with.

I realized the limitations of relying on personal experience, however,I would put "however" at the beginning of the sentence. It reads awkward the way you have it. several years later while I was serving a two-year Latter-Day Saint (LDS) mission in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. I was living in an older part of Dnepropetrovsk, a part of the city that felt like time had left it behind. The factories that dominated the skyline and had once produced soviet rockets, were empty and silent. Old Ukrainian men congregated near corner stores, nursing bottles of vodka and talking of what might have been; women hawked sunflower seeds from ramshackle stands; packs of dogs fought viciously in the street over whatever scraps they could find. While some parts of Dnepr had the new gleam of western investment and the smell of freshly-minted euros, the lives of most Ukrainians were desperate, especially during the ongoing global financial crisis and Georgian War. In this unstable and foreign atmosphere, I struggled to connect and make a difference.

As I taught free English classes and organized donations to hospitals and orphanages, I felt the same disconnection that had struck during my early high school service. I was helping people, but never finding out if that was the help they most needed. I had never been destitute, never relied on ailing government services to survive, never needed to learn English so that I could emigrate to support my family, so I could not rely on my own experience. Instead, I began learning the stories of the people I met.

Alexei, a student in my large English class, wanted to work in Germany so that he could support his younger siblings. After talking with Alexei about his goals, I crafted specialized English lessons for him, focusing on the necessary business vocabulary, and he was able to secure work translating documents at a German firm later that semester. Similarly, after talking with the director of a local nursing home, I learned that interaction with residents was just as important as the donations we provided. I soon organized a singing group to go to the facility and laughed along with the residents as we sang some of the holiday tunes of their childhood This sentence is a little awkward and confusing.. By taking time to understand the people I was helping, I was better able to meet their needs.

My ability to recognize and meet people’s needs has helped me in my current job as an economic consultant. In the case of the pro bono remittance project, I used these skills to write on behalf of remittance senders; I did so convincingly enough to help our firm win a XXXXXXXXX award from the XXXXXXX foundation for our pro bono efforts. Most of my work deals with large-scale antitrust litigation, not poor migrant workers, but the same principle applies: understand the client’s needs and then tell their story. If admitted to XXXXXXX law school, I will similarly be able to apply these skills both as a law student and attorney. This sentence should be omitted. If you can easily replace the school's name with another I would not include it.


Overall, I like the topic. I believe it demonstrates your ability to speak for others when needed. It shows you have diverse cultural experience, which is a plus. It also shows you have some good practical work experience which I believe will work in your favor. I have made notations within the text.

brittanynicole_4
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Need help for PS draft! Foreign volunteer experience and WE

Postby brittanynicole_4 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:51 am

Please take a look at mine I posted a few days ago...look for it under my username brittanynicole_4. I would appreciate any feedback you have. :)

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bluepenguin
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Re: Need help for PS draft! Foreign volunteer experience and WE

Postby bluepenguin » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:49 pm

Honestly I don't love it. The open and close just seem like an excuse to brag about your big project by choosing that as a framing device. (Assuming you played a major role, it's not necessarily bad to use it to sell yourself. You just never want to seem forced in doing so). You could make the connection between I, C, and body clearer, but I think you'd benefit from a different direction. Namely, a clearer thesis (presumably about recognizing and meeting peoples needs) that connects the whole thing.

That said, from this you look smart, capable, interesting, and experienced, both personally and professionally. The writing is essentially good, it just doesn't quite come off, IMHO. But it is strong, don't get me wrong.

I don't know why you're transitioning from what seems like a good job into law school. I also feel like this tells me a lot more about *what* you are than who you are.




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