Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

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Jacq2212
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Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby Jacq2212 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:57 pm

I am still working on this statement, several schools say the length is up to you so its currently at 3 pages, but Penn & Harvard require 2 pages Max, so I need some advice on how to cut it down, or wether to write a different story for those schools. Any advice appreciated :)

To be honest, it was my hunger that was the catalyst. I saw a flyer for free pizza and found myself at a meeting for the University’s Entrepreneurship Club. Being surrounded by all of these driven and successful people awakened the passion for business I held since I was young. I chose to study philosophy because I had a passion for critical thought, but this meeting reminded me how much I missed being surrounded by people driven for achievement. The next day I spent hours negotiating to switch my major to business management and enroll in classes three weeks into the semester.

My passion for business began in my mother’s re-sale store for children where I learned to run the cash register by the age of eight and autonomously purchase inventory from customers by the age of thirteen. In our store, we didn’t have a black book of rules for making purchases; it was a nuanced skill that depended on strict attention to detail, an understanding of current fashion trends and prices, and an appropriate risk analysis estimation to determine how much to pay. Instilled with the ethics of value, business became a practice outside of my mother’s store. In middle school, I capitalized on my peers’ penchant for snacking throughout the day by selling individual candies between classes for a profit. In high school, after my parents divorced, my mother and I devoted extra time to garage sales to supplement the store’s inventory as well as my savings. On most weekends I would purchase household items, books, gifts, and clothes for myself, as well as clothes to re-sell for a total of barely $20 and would walk out of a women’s re-sale store the next day with at least a profit of $100. My academic studies became devoted to business as well, as I took high school courses in accounting, investments, and marketing. Competing in DECA after school exposed me to a world of peers with similar business passion and savvy and the ability to creatively solve problems.

As I sat in the advisor’s office completing the necessary forms to switch over my majors I was finalizing which class sections I would enroll in. A Dr. Carmond taught the only section open for the required management course. ‘You don’t really want to take his class,’ my advisor warned me, ‘most students don’t like him…. he’s a very difficult teacher, and his methods are rather…unique’. After pulling out all the stops to convince her to even allow me to enroll, I didn’t want to be picky and so I enrolled in Dr. Carmond's management course.

It was the best decision of my college career.

Dr. Carmond certainly was the strangest professor I had ever met, humming odd tunes as he waltzed through the door, weaving his way through the classroom as he asked questions, stopping to face a wall or gaze out the window for significant lengths of time and sporadically leaving and re-entering the room. He was also the most demanding professor I had ever had, requiring commitment, hard work, and vigilance to uphold the credibility of our university by renouncing training whenever it took the place of learning. Dr. Carmond demanded each student to sign a detailed academic contract, complete daily quizzes, perform in-depth analyses connecting distinct topics, create their own personal dictionary, write a research paper that required over twenty sources, and take exams that lasted three to four hours. As an undergraduate sophomore, and truthfully throughout my college career, it was the most any teacher expected out of me. He required us to come prepared to class and refused to repeat himself verbatim, making sure to always change his phrasing so that we would learn to use our own words rather than merely re-iterating his. I accepted his offers to join our outside study groups, utilized his weekly office hours, and made several extra appointments to review the material I missed in the first few weeks. Dr. Carmond emphasized long-term understanding, and his efforts to help us succeed struck a note with me and carried over into my other classes. Every day he started the lesson with two quotes, sources of inspiration he chose that emphasized actualizing one’s potential, demanding high expectations from oneself, one’s professors, and peers, and living life to the fullest.

Dr. Carmond taught business with an emphasis on the sociological and psychological studies and theories that helped shape models of management. I was drawn to his methods because he stepped away from the profit driven model of business and focused on exposing us to alternate theories of management. He reminded me of why I chose philosophy in the first place, stemming from my high school English class where I learned about the Transcendentalist Movement. Reading Emerson & Thoreau I felt inspired to analyze on a deeper level the meaning and reasons for our actions in life. This search is what led me to the study of the subjects of philosophy, psychology, and sociology during my college years. Reading books such as ‘Walden Two’, by psychologist B.F. Skinner, ‘Ishmael’ by philosopher Daniel Quinn, and ‘For Us, The Living’ by science fiction writer and social activist R.A. Heinlein, I learned that the fields of critical thought do not have disciplinary boundaries. I spent my time reading, discussing, and researching, trying to figure out the fundamental strings that I believed tied together the problems of humanity, which I desperately wanted to help alleviate. Outside of business, my studies focused on such diverse topics as charter schools, consumer health, female aggression, and gendered parenting.

I discovered the meaning of true respect for myself, for my professors, for education as well as the process of learning from Dr. Carmond. Despite succeeding within his class I decided to transfer back to philosophy at the end of the semester. I still continued to pursue courses that represented the fundamental areas of knowledge I sought, including another management course with Dr. Carmond. I have come to realize through time that I will never find business or philosophy alone fulfilling. The analytic and logic skills I developed through studying philosophy have paved my way to pursue a law degree. Opening my own business this past year has taught me that without action and passion nothing can be achieved. I am interested in continuing my education within the legal field because I believe it represents the foundational influence of society that I have been seeking. Any great social critique or new model of society begins by drawing out the laws that shape and guide that society. While law requires great intellectual ability it also requires strong action. I am very interested in pursuing a law degree at Northwestern University because you are one of the few schools in the nation that offers a program of study emphasizing law as it shapes society, as opposed to adjudicating disputes. I have always sought a way to influence society and my interdisciplinary background has reflected my understanding that our actions are shaped by numerous areas of influence. This includes the law, and the way we create and interpret it can have drastic real life influences. This is what motivates me to pursue not only a law degree, but specifically the Law & Social Policy focus that Northwestern offers.

B90
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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby B90 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:00 pm

Jacq2212 wrote:I am still working on this statement, several schools say the length is up to you so its currently at 3 pages, but Penn & Harvard require 2 pages Max, so I need some advice on how to cut it down, or wether to write a different story for those schools. Any advice appreciated :)

To be honest, it was my hunger that was the catalyst. This is a horrible way to start. First, you are basically saying that normally, you lie. Secondly, you sound pretentious and condescending. Wanting pizza is not just about hunger and is insensitive to the millions of people who experience genuine hunger on a daily basis. I saw a flyer for free pizza and found myself at a meeting for the University’s Entrepreneurship Club. Being surrounded by all of these driven and successful people awakened the passion for business I held since I was young. I chose to study philosophy because I had a passion for critical thought, but this meeting reminded me how much I missed being surrounded by people driven for achievement. The next day I spent hours negotiating to switch my major to business management and enroll in classes three weeks into the semester.

My passion for business began in my mother’s re-sale resale doesn't need to be hyphenated store for children where I learned to run the cash register by the age of eight and autonomously purchase inventory from customers by the age of thirteen. In our store, we didn’t have a black book of rules for making purchases; it was a nuanced skill that depended on strict attention to detail, an understanding of current fashion trends and prices, and an appropriate risk analysis estimation to determine how much to pay. Instilled with the ethics of value, business became a practice outside of my mother’s store. In middle school, I capitalized on my peers’ penchant for snacking throughout the day by selling individual candies between classes for a profit. In high school, after my parents divorced, my mother and I devoted extra time to garage sales to supplement the store’s inventory as well as my savings. On most weekends I would purchase household items, books, gifts, and clothes for myself, as well as clothes to re-sell Remove this phrasefor a total of barely $20 and would walk out of a women’s re-sale store the next day with at least a profit of $100. My academic studies became devoted to business as well, as I took high school courses in accounting, investments, and marketing. Competing in DECA after school exposed me to a world of peers with similar business passion and savvy and the ability to creatively solve problems.

As I sat in the advisor’s office completing the necessary forms to switch over my majors change this to "switch my major" I was finalizing which class sections I would enroll in. A Dr. Anstey taught the only section open for the required management course. ‘You don’t really want to take his class,’ my advisor warned me, ‘most students don’t like him…. he’s a very difficult teacher, and his methods are rather…unique’. After pulling out all the stops to convince her to even allow me to enroll, I didn’t want to be picky and so I enrolled in Dr. Anstey’s management course.

It was the best decision of my college career. This does NOT need to be a separate paragraph!

Dr. Anstey certainly was the strangest professor I had ever met, humming odd tunes as he waltzed through the door, weaving his way through the classroom as he asked questions, stopping to face a wall or gaze out the window for significant lengths of time and sporadically leaving and re-entering the room. He was also the most demanding professor I had ever had, requiring commitment, hard work, and vigilance to uphold the credibility of our university by renouncing training whenever it took the place of learning. Dr. Anstey demanded each student to sign a detailed academic contract, complete daily quizzes, perform in-depth analyses connecting distinct topics, create their own personal dictionary, write a research paper that required over twenty sources, and take exams that lasted three to four hours. As an undergraduate sophomore, and truthfully throughout my college career, it was the most any teacher expected out of me. He required us to come prepared to class and refused to repeat himself verbatim, making sure to always change his phrasing so that we would learn to use our own words rather than merely re-iterating his. I accepted his offers to join our outside study groups, utilized his weekly office hours, and made several extra appointments to review the material I missed in the first few weeks. Dr. Anstey emphasized long-term understanding, and his efforts to help us succeed struck a note with me and carried over into my other classes. Every day he started the lesson with two quotes, sources of inspiration he chose that emphasized actualizing one’s potential, demanding high expectations from oneself, one’s professors, and peers, and living life to the fullest. Ok, here is where you really need to change your tone. You do realize that the people reading this are likely professors too, right? Be respectful. Don't refer to your mentor as "strange," especially behind his back.
Dr. Anstey taught business with an emphasis on the sociological and psychological studies and theories that helped shape models of management. I was drawn to his methods because he stepped away from the profit driven model of business and focused on exposing us to alternate theories of management. He reminded me of why I chose philosophy in the first place, stemming from my high school English class where I learned about the Transcendentalist Movement. Reading Emerson & Thoreau I felt inspired to analyze on a deeper level the meaning and reasons for our actions in life. This search is what led me to the study of the subjects of philosophy, psychology, and sociology during my college years. Reading books such as ‘Walden Two’, by psychologist B.F. Skinner, ‘Ishmael’ by philosopher Daniel Quinn, and ‘For Us, The Living’ by science fiction writer and social activist R.A. Heinlein, I learned that the fields of critical thought do not have disciplinary boundaries. I spent my time reading, discussing, and researching, trying to figure out the fundamental strings that I believed tied together the problems of humanity, which I desperately wanted to help alleviate. Outside of business, my studies focused on such diverse topics as charter schools, consumer health, female aggression, and gendered parenting.

I discovered the meaning of true respect for myself, for my professors, for education as well as the process of learning from Dr. Anstey. Despite succeeding within his class I decided to transfer back to philosophy at the end of the semester. These sentences are unnecessary. Aside from taking up valuable space, it makes you sound wishy-washy. I still continued to pursue courses that represented the fundamental areas of knowledge I sought, including another management course with Dr. Anstey. I have come to realize through time that I will never find business or philosophy alone fulfilling. The analytic and logic skills I developed through studying philosophy have paved my way to pursue a law degree. Opening my own business this past year has taught me that without action and passion nothing can be achieved. I am interested in continuing my education within the legal field because I believe it represents the foundational influence of society that I have been seeking. Any great social critique or new model of society begins by drawing out the laws that shape and guide that society. While law requires great intellectual ability it also requires strong action. I am very interested in pursuing a law degree at Northwestern University because you are one of the few schools in the nation that offers a program of study emphasizing law as it shapes society, as opposed to adjudicating disputes. Remove this sentence. First, don't refer to a university or it's staff as "you." It is too familiar. Secondly, it is untrue and makes you sound disingenuous. I have always sought Maybe change the verb tense here to "seek." This will show that it's a continuing process, and your search is not over a way to influence society and my interdisciplinary background has reflected my understanding that our actions are shaped by numerous areas of influence. This includes the law, and the way we create and interpret it can have drastic real life influences. This is what motivates me to pursue not only a law degree, but specifically the Law & Social Policy focus that Northwestern offers.


My edits and comments are in red. Aside from Berkeley (who encourages a longer PS), I believe there is no need for a PS to be over two pages. Make sure each sentence (and particularly each adjective) actually adds value. Above all, keep in mind that this is NOT a creative writing assignment. That is what makes it so difficult; it is a style that we do not normally write in. Remember that you are applying to a professional school, and you are about to become professional. All of your writing from this point on must reflect that fact.
Also, there is a fine line between "mature professional who commands respect" and "insufferable douche." Please do not cross that line. :wink:
In all seriousness though, best of luck. I am happy to edit further revisions, if you would like.

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Jacq2212
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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby Jacq2212 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:36 pm

B90 wrote:
Also, there is a fine line between "mature professional who commands respect" and "insufferable douche." Please do not cross that line. :wink:

Haha, thank you! I appreciate the edits thus far and will try to avoid crossing that line...

B90 wrote: To be honest, it was my hunger that was the catalyst. This is a horrible way to start. First, you are basically saying that normally, you lie. Secondly, you sound pretentious and condescending. Wanting pizza is not just about hunger and is insensitive to the millions of people who experience genuine hunger on a daily basis.


I didn't even think about the first line coming across that way. It was further in the paragraph before and its intention was to provide, some semi-comedic relief, and to be somewhat self-joking that it is merely by chance I got back into business, not as if I was actively seeking that out, trying to show that I'm human and sometimes get hungry, but it lead to this great experience. I see what your saying and would hate to have it misinterpreted as offensive, but would like to keep some of my intention in there, whether by another phrase or better wording.

B90 wrote: Ok, here is where you really need to change your tone. You do realize that the people reading this are likely professors too, right? Be respectful. Don't refer to your mentor as "strange," especially behind his back.


Ok, now this, I don't think is disrespectful. First of all, my professor does not deny that he is strange, nor does he ignore the fact that most students don't like him. What I think is important and that I'm trying to get across is that even the business advisor attempted to dissuade me from this teacher, there must be a reason for that. So I spent that paragraph trying to explain how he is strange and a difficult teacher. If I can do that in a different way more effectively that would be great, but obviously I am also trying to get across that I responded well to his methods.

B90 wrote: I am very interested in pursuing a law degree at Northwestern University because you are one of the few schools in the nation that offers a program of study emphasizing law as it shapes society, as opposed to adjudicating disputes. Remove this sentence. First, don't refer to a university or it's staff as "you." It is too familiar. Secondly, it is untrue and makes you sound disingenuous.


I get what you're saying with 'you', however are you saying that it is untrue about what they emphasize versus other schools. I was drawing this last paragraph from their website here: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/academi ... al_policy/

Thank you for your suggestions!

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby B90 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:05 pm

You are more than welcome. As far as your description of your professor, I don't think you were BEING disrespectful, I think you sounded disrespectful. I also had, and continue to have, friendly relationships with many of my professors. I do not doubt that he refered to himself as "strange," nor that he is in fact strange. I also don't think "strange" is an insult. I, however, am not the one holding your future in my hands. :D

My point is that you should cut out a lot of your description of your professor because
1) some adcoms may find it disrespectful. They already have jobs. They are allowed to be "pretentious and insufferable" if they so choose. We are lowly 0Ls, and haven't earned that priviledge...yet.
2) It focuses too much on your mentor, and not YOU. The point that I am trying to drive home is that the longer your PS is, the more each phrase will be questioned to make sure it is vital.

Also, you are doing a great service by posting in this thread and allowing others to see your editing process. With this in mind, my comments are designed to benefit not only you but anyone else suffering through this grueling process.
Last edited by B90 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby B90 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:30 pm

As far as your final paragraph, my comments were a bit tongue-in-cheek. I realize that you took your information directly from NW's website. My use of the word "untrue" was my own snark in reference to the fact that EVERY law school goes on and on about they are "unique" in their approach because they focus on more than just the study of law and how THEIR graduates are special snowflakes because they have practical experience...etc, etc...
Law schools are businesses and their websites, catalogs, etc. are advertisement. I mean seriously, how can they be unique when all 200 accredited law schools claim to offer the same thing?! :roll:
All snarkiness aside, I am not sure you need to tailor your PS at all. The key to a good PS is to show, not tell. It doesn't have to be overt. Specifically in reference to NW, we all know they value work experience. Your PS already addresses this. Let your resume and undoubtedly stellar numbers speak for themselves. This is, of course, just one opinion. Others may disagree. I didn't apply to NW, and I am certainly not an expert on what they are looking for.

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Jacq2212
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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby Jacq2212 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:06 pm

Yeah NW specifically tells you to tailor your PS to their school and show you have researched their programs and know your stuff.

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby B90 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:10 pm

Jacq2212 wrote:Yeah NW specifically tells you to tailor your PS to their school and show you have researched their programs and know your stuff.


Fair enough. In that case, you might want to add a sentence to expand on what you have. As it stands, you could remove NW and the name of its program, and replace it with just about any other school/program name.
Clearly, I am striving for perfection here. This may not be necessary in your particular situation.

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby bluepenguin » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:40 am

Jacq2212 wrote:
B90 wrote: To be honest, it was my hunger that was the catalyst. This is a horrible way to start. First, you are basically saying that normally, you lie. Secondly, you sound pretentious and condescending. Wanting pizza is not just about hunger and is insensitive to the millions of people who experience genuine hunger on a daily basis.


I didn't even think about the first line coming across that way. It was further in the paragraph before and its intention was to provide, some semi-comedic relief, and to be somewhat self-joking that it is merely by chance I got back into business, not as if I was actively seeking that out, trying to show that I'm human and sometimes get hungry, but it lead to this great experience. I see what your saying and would hate to have it misinterpreted as offensive, but would like to keep some of my intention in there, whether by another phrase or better wording.


lol, this is basically the only part of this thread I've read, so apologies if you've fixed this, but you could just say "appetite."

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby B90 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:39 am

bluepenguin wrote:
Jacq2212 wrote:
B90 wrote: To be honest, it was my hunger that was the catalyst. This is a horrible way to start. First, you are basically saying that normally, you lie. Secondly, you sound pretentious and condescending. Wanting pizza is not just about hunger and is insensitive to the millions of people who experience genuine hunger on a daily basis.


I didn't even think about the first line coming across that way. It was further in the paragraph before and its intention was to provide, some semi-comedic relief, and to be somewhat self-joking that it is merely by chance I got back into business, not as if I was actively seeking that out, trying to show that I'm human and sometimes get hungry, but it lead to this great experience. I see what your saying and would hate to have it misinterpreted as offensive, but would like to keep some of my intention in there, whether by another phrase or better wording.


lol, this is basically the only part of this thread I've read, so apologies if you've fixed this, but you could just say "appetite."


I never said that I didn't appreciate the joke. I have just met too many adcoms who are "humor challenged." :wink:
Also, the comment about "to be honest," being basically a way of saying "normally, I lie" was told to me by a judge. :shock:

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby iShotFirst » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:02 pm

Jacq2212 wrote:
B90 wrote: Ok, here is where you really need to change your tone. You do realize that the people reading this are likely professors too, right? Be respectful. Don't refer to your mentor as "strange," especially behind his back.


Ok, now this, I don't think is disrespectful. First of all, my professor does not deny that he is strange, nor does he ignore the fact that most students don't like him. What I think is important and that I'm trying to get across is that even the business advisor attempted to dissuade me from this teacher, there must be a reason for that. So I spent that paragraph trying to explain how he is strange and a difficult teacher. If I can do that in a different way more effectively that would be great, but obviously I am also trying to get across that I responded well to his methods.


Why dont you say "most unique" instead of strangest?

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby suralin » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:57 pm

iShotFirst wrote:
Jacq2212 wrote:
B90 wrote: Ok, here is where you really need to change your tone. You do realize that the people reading this are likely professors too, right? Be respectful. Don't refer to your mentor as "strange," especially behind his back.


Ok, now this, I don't think is disrespectful. First of all, my professor does not deny that he is strange, nor does he ignore the fact that most students don't like him. What I think is important and that I'm trying to get across is that even the business advisor attempted to dissuade me from this teacher, there must be a reason for that. So I spent that paragraph trying to explain how he is strange and a difficult teacher. If I can do that in a different way more effectively that would be great, but obviously I am also trying to get across that I responded well to his methods.


Why dont you say "most unique" instead of strangest?


That's problematic as well, since "most unique" is a redundant phrase--or at least runs the risk of being perceived as such. Why not "most unusual" or "eccentric" or maybe even "quirky"? Lots of adjectives that convey your meaning without having a negative connotation.

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby Jacq2212 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:33 pm

I have fixed some of the things mentioned, but now I have some questions for what to cut. I am trying to get this down to two pages. Do I need to explain why I chose philosophy in the first paragraph? Is there anything I can take out of my experiences in the second paragraph or ways to shorten the sentences? Is the third paragraph integral and convincing to show that not only did I sign up for a class and it turned out great, but I was discouraged by the advisor to sign up for the class? Do you remember, while reading my description of his class that I signed up three weeks late and had to complete this heavy course work on a shorter timeline? Do I need to describe his quirks to justify why the advisor said he was weird? Do I need to describe the detailed list of his requirements to explain that it was a hard coursework heavy course? Right now those are my questions, if anyone can address them it would be much appreciated!

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:55 pm

Jacq2212 wrote:I have fixed some of the things mentioned, but now I have some questions for what to cut. I am trying to get this down to two pages. Do I need to explain why I chose philosophy in the first paragraph? Is there anything I can take out of my experiences in the second paragraph or ways to shorten the sentences? Is the third paragraph integral and convincing to show that not only did I sign up for a class and it turned out great, but I was discouraged by the advisor to sign up for the class? Do you remember, while reading my description of his class that I signed up three weeks late and had to complete this heavy course work on a shorter timeline? Do I need to describe his quirks to justify why the advisor said he was weird? Do I need to describe the detailed list of his requirements to explain that it was a hard coursework heavy course? Right now those are my questions, if anyone can address them it would be much appreciated!


This personal statement makes you come across as wishy-washy. A pizza event with a business club made you switch majors 3 weeks into the semester? (To answer your above question on this point: No, this was not very clear from your personal statement that it was three weeks into the semester when you made the switch.) And then you switched back to philosophy after the end of the semester? I'm not sure that is something you want to highlight, let alone make the focus of your personal statement. The impression I got from the last two paragraphs is that you like interdisciplinary approaches to problems. But your personal statement up to that point doesn't reflect that. I would consider rewriting a lot of it to put the focus immediately on how you are interested in X, Y, and Z and business and philosophy classes allowed you to explores these areas in different ways. (And, thus, a legal education provides you another tool in exploring these topics.) Right now, your PS feels like you like business a little, you like philosophy a little, but you don't like either enough. An admissions dean might very wonder if you will just end up like the law a little and decide to move on to something else after a year or two.

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby Jacq2212 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:09 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:This personal statement makes you come across as wishy-washy. A pizza event with a business club made you switch majors 3 weeks into the semester? And then you switched back to philosophy after the end of the semester? I'm not sure that is something you want to highlight, let alone make the focus of your personal statement. Right now, your PS feels like you like business a little, you like philosophy a little, but you don't like either enough. An admissions dean might very wonder if you will just end up like the law a little and decide to move on to something else after a year or two.


I understand your concern and appreciate the advice. It is on my transcript and I know it is normal for people to switch their majors several times. What I want to show, and probably haven't done so well, is that I can succeed no matter what I do? That sounds douchy...I just want to emphasize that I have this history with business but I chose philosophy because I felt business was immoral and people focused on profit too much for my taste, but then going to this meeting I realized that these people were driven and actually achieved goals, where you don't get much of that from your peers in philosophy. I am like that, I am driven, and I like achieving things, so I went into it, three weeks late, and still was greatly successful, but from this professor I learned that I didn't need business to achieve, and knowledge is based on the foundations across the disciplines anyway. So I went back to philosophy and continued my interdisciplinary studies carrying his methods with me. Now I graduated, opened my own business, but decided I want to go to law school instead because I believe I can achieve more of my goals through this method than through any other.

So.....any suggestions on whether any of that comes across or can be brought in if it's not? :)

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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby Jacq2212 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:11 pm

Here's another revision thus far, 2 pages and 6":

It was my appetite that was the catalyst. I saw a flyer for free pizza and found myself at a meeting for the University’s Entrepreneurship Club. Listening to the achievements of these driven and successful people awakened in me the passion for business I held since I was young. I was studying philosophy because I enjoyed the ability to question what is given, but this meeting reminded me how much I missed being surrounded by people driven for achievement. The next day I spent hours negotiating to switch my major to business management and enrolled in classes three weeks into the semester.
My passion for business began in my mother’s resale store for children where I learned to run the cash register by the age of eight and autonomously purchase inventory from customers by the age of thirteen. In our store, we didn’t have a black book of rules for making purchases; it was a nuanced skill that depended on strict attention to detail, an understanding of current fashion trends and prices, and an appropriate risk analysis estimation to determine how much to pay. In middle school, I capitalized on my peers’ penchant for snacking throughout the day by selling individual candies between classes for a profit. In high school, after my parents divorced, my mother and I devoted extra time to garage sales to supplement the store’s inventory as well as my savings. On most weekends I would purchase books, gifts, and clothes for a total of barely $20 and would walk out of a women’s re-sale store the next day with at least a profit of $100. I devoted my academic studies to business as well, taking high school courses in accounting, investments, and marketing. Competing in DECA after school exposed me to a world of peers with similar business passion and savvy and creative ability to solve problems.
As I sat in the advisor’s office completing the necessary forms to switch my major I was finalizing which class sections I would enroll in. A Dr. Carmond taught the only section open for the required management course. ‘You don’t really want to take his class,’ my advisor warned me, ‘most students don’t like him…. he’s a very difficult teacher, and his methods are rather…unique’. After pulling out all the stops to convince her to even allow me to enroll, I didn’t want to be picky and so I enrolled in Dr. Carmond's management course.
It was the best decision of my college career.
Dr. Carmond certainly had his quirks: peering over our shoulders as he gasped with concern or hummed encouragement irrelevant of the work in front of us, sporadically leaving and re-entering the room to prove the connection between the doorknob and the hallway, and refusing to repeat himself verbatim, making sure to always change his phrasing. He certainly was the most demanding professor I had ever had, as well, requiring each student to sign a detailed academic contract, complete daily quizzes, create a personal dictionary, write a research paper that required over twenty sources, and take exams that lasted three to four hours. He demanded commitment, hard work, and vigilance to uphold the credibility of our university by renouncing training whenever it took the place of learning. As an undergraduate sophomore, and truthfully throughout my college career, it was the most any teacher expected out of me. I accepted his offers to join our outside study groups, utilized his weekly office hours, and made several extra appointments to review the material I missed in the first few weeks. I began to realize that his classroom methods emphasized long-term understanding; he was encouraging us to pay attention, be active participants, and think in our own words. I continue to hold myself to the standards put forth in his class along with the goals of actualizing one’s potential, having high expectations for yourself and others, and living life to it’s fullest that were expressed in his daily quotes.
Dr. Carmond taught business with an emphasis on the sociological and psychological studies and theories that helped shape models of management. He reminded me of why I chose philosophy in the first place, stemming from my high school English class where I learned about the Transcendentalist Movement. Reading Emerson & Thoreau I felt inspired to analyze on a deeper level the meaning and reasons for our actions in life. This search is what led me to the study of the subjects of philosophy, psychology, and sociology during my college years. Reading books such as ‘Walden Two’, by psychologist B.F. Skinner, ‘Ishmael’ by philosopher Daniel Quinn, and ‘For Us, The Living’ by science fiction writer and social activist R.A. Heinlein, I learned that the fields of critical thought do not have disciplinary boundaries. I spent my time reading, discussing, and researching, trying to figure out the fundamental strings that I believed tied together the problems of humanity, which I desperately wanted to help alleviate. Outside of business, my studies focused on such diverse topics as charter schools, consumer health, female aggression, and gendered parenting.
I learned that true knowledge was a process of discovery that required you to look into the root meanings, histories, and fundamentals of a subject. Despite succeeding within his class I decided to transfer back to philosophy at the end of the semester. I still continued to pursue courses that represented the fundamental areas of knowledge I sought, including another management course with Dr. Carmond. I have come to realize through time that I will never find business or philosophy alone fulfilling. The analytic and logic skills I developed through studying philosophy have paved my way to pursue a law degree. Opening my own resale business this past year has shown me that while business can shape a community, the goals I have to help society will be better aimed through the legal field. Any great social critique or new model of society begins by drawing out the laws that shape and guide that society. I am very interested in pursuing a law degree at Northwestern University because you are one of the few schools in the nation that offers a program of study emphasizing law as it shapes society, as opposed to adjudicating disputes. I have always sought a way to influence society and my interdisciplinary background has reflected my understanding that our actions are shaped by numerous areas of influence. This includes the law, and the way we create and interpret it can have drastic real life influences. This is what motivates me to pursue not only a law degree, but specifically the Law & Social Policy focus that Northwestern offers.

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Jacq2212
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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby Jacq2212 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:32 pm

Complete new revision of the personal statement....tried to put more of 'me' in this and tie together my interests more strongly and why I want to study law....Also it's only 2 pages

I didn’t always want to be a lawyer. Growing up in my mother’s resale store for children I spent my days learning the business. At the age of eight I was running the cash register and autonomously purchase inventory from customers by the age of thirteen. In our store, we didn’t have a black book of rules for making purchases; it was a nuanced skill that depended on strict attention to detail, an understanding of current fashion trends and prices, and an appropriate risk analysis estimation to determine how much to pay. In high school I continued to study business, taking extra courses in accounting, investments, marketing, and competing in DECA after school.

However, I began to question the ethics of business and our society when I was introduced to the Transcendentalist Movement in my English class. Reading Emerson and Thoreau I began to envision a separatist movement, contemplating starting an intentional community instead of going to college. Outside of business, my studies shifted to such diverse topics as charter schools, consumer health, female aggression, and gendered parenting. Reading books such as ‘Walden Two’, by psychologist B.F. Skinner, ‘Ishmael’ by philosopher Daniel Quinn, and ‘For Us, The Living’ by science fiction writer and social activist R.A. Heinlein, I learned that the fields of critical thought do not have disciplinary boundaries. I spent my time discussing and researching, trying to figure out the fundamental strings that I believed tied together the problems of humanity, which I desperately wanted to help alleviate. The intentional community plan became my first motivation to study law, because I figured a legal background would allow me to best persuade and influence the laws of this self-contained society.

As I began my undergraduate career I studied philosophy, seeking inspiration from the voices that have questioned, challenged, and influenced culture. UNO’s course book was a candy store for me as I read through every major’s class offerings. I cherry picked the areas I felt would provide me with the best holistic understanding of people’s behaviors, thoughts, and actions in society. As I studied more, I realized that a separatist movement is not sustainable and that if I was strongly motivated about helping humanity the only appropriate choice would be to work within society. I continued to pursue an interdisciplinary focus that has exposed me to a number of areas that will allow me to maximize the value of a law degree.

The analytic and logic skills I developed through studying philosophy have created a solid foundation through which I continue to analyze and discover new areas of study. I haven’t completely abandoned business though, for I recognize that it is an integral part of any society. Throughout my past few years in college I began to study the concept of social entrepreneurship and have watched it become not only a common word, but also a field of study at many major universities. The management and entrepreneurship courses in college have led me to follow in my parent’s footsteps and open my own business, a vintage store, this past year. It is an experience through which I have learned a lot not only about putting a plan into action and the responsibility of being fiscally independent, but also about community involvement and influence.

I am coming to law from a diverse and broad background, but my focus has always been the same. I am interested in changing society in the areas of education, parenting, health, gender, and the media. I understand that one person cannot always make a difference or even live to see the results of their work, but I believe that the best we can do is make an attempt. Becoming a lawyer would allow me to study and work within the foundations of society. Any great social critique or new model of society begins by drawing out the laws that shape and guide it. While I do not plan to be a traditional lawyer, I am very serious about the pursuit of law and the fact that it is an integral component of my goals.

I am very interested in pursuing my degree at Northwestern University because it is one of the few schools in the nation that offers a program of study emphasizing law as it shapes society, as opposed to adjudicating disputes. There are many influences that shape our lives. This includes the law, and the way we create and interpret it can have drastic real life influences. This is what motivates me to pursue not only a law degree, but specifically the concentration in Law & Social Policy that Northwestern offers.

wifeofsamseaborn
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Re: Near Final Edit- Mentor, Philosophy, Business

Postby wifeofsamseaborn » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:15 am

Hi OP,

I think you were right to cut out the in-depth discussion of your professor in this latest revision. That being said, I think you have potential with this draft but that it needs more focus.

1. You start the essay off with a statement that, though it seems to express a novel concept (what? a law school applicant who hasn't always wanted to be a lawyer?!), ends up a bit feeble. Unless you have an extremely unique and compelling reason that changed your mind about the law (something more than just "I learned more about the law and its power to help humanity and the more I learned, the more I embraced it"), I would avoid using this as your first impression on the admissions committees.

2. You discuss two large themes: your initial interest in business and then your developing passion for philosophy. How would you summarize how these two large themes interact with each other and then ultimately, build your desire to study the law? Does the law represent the best of both worlds? Or does the law offer something that neither of those two disciplines could provide on its own? Think carefully about how your discussion of your interest in two non-law-related themes can strengthen your overall argument that you have a passion for studying the law.

3. There are vague and unrelated statements throughout the essay that I think detract from your main message. Phrases like "separatist movement" and "motivated about helping humanity" come to mind. What exactly do you mean by "working within society"? How would law allow you to "work within society" in a way that business wouldn't? Also, your interest in education, parenting, health, gender, and the media seems to come out of nowhere. As the reader, I'm confused about whether you developed these interests through your experiences with philosophy and business, or whether these are newfound interests that you can only pursue by studying the law. The leap from business to philosophy, and then to social policy left me feeling a little bit unsettled, because I don't know how we got from one to the other.

Hope this helps!




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