Personal Statement - plz critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
znotch
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:09 pm

Personal Statement - plz critique

Postby znotch » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:16 pm

First post on this site! I'm glad I found this resource before I finally submitted my applications. Feel free to let me know how this sounds, and no need to be polite!


Marines always accomplish their mission; failure is not an option. These are the words that repeatedly ran through my head as we approached the outskirts of the city. My heart pounded so loud in my chest that it almost felt as though it was ready to pierce through my ballistic body armor. Enemy rockets and mortars exploded all around our trucks as my team drove closer to the city. One Marine made a comment over the roaring sound of the truck’s diesel engine saying, “Nice shot buddy, too bad you missed,” and we all let out a nervous chuckle. Here I was, nineteen years old and thousands of miles away from home, about to engage in what would become the largest urban battle since Hue City, Vietnam – The Battle of Fallujah.

I was not new to combat. Prior to my deployment I had spent several months training, simulating desert and urban combat scenarios. Before our assault on Fallujah, I had also been in Iraq five months and had engaged in dozens of skirmishes with the enemy. At our destination just outside the city, tanks and other armored vehicles were already firing their guns in an attempt to soften our entry point. A voice came on through one of the Mosque’s loudspeakers inside the city calling for Jihad, or holy-war, against the infidels of whom they were referring to us. When we stop, my team dismounts and we stage behind a mound of dirt. A few minutes later my team was given the order to lead my group into the city. At this point there was no more room for fear or nerves. I had a job to do and people’s lives depended on my doing that job right.

U.S. forces during the assault consisted of about 4,000 troops. The fighting within the city remained at high intensity for a month or so, as we went house to house, searching for enemy in each building in the city. I witnessed firsthand the atrocities of war. Yet, even though I was in such an awful and terrifying place, I was not afraid. My reassurance came by my witnessing brave actions from the people who surrounded me. I saw intelligence and strength from my leaders and continuous selfless acts from everyone around me. I can truly attest to the fact that, throughout this battle, uncommon value was a common virtue. This is what fueled, and continues to fuel, my drive to endure and succeed. Following this deployment, I would deploy back to Iraq two more times, with my third deployment coming in the form of a voluntary extension to my contract. Being a Marine requires perseverance, dedication, and self-sacrifice. I volunteered for a third tour because I knew that I would not be able to live with myself if I did not see the job through until the end.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that the values and traits that are necessary for leaders in combat – key elements to my own successes throughout my service – also helped me to excel as a student. My interest in studying law stems from my desire to continue seeking additional ways to better myself, which in turn, gives me the ability to continue serving others. My experiences have taught me to set ambitious and attainable goals. I fully understand that law school is extremely difficult and demanding, but I also have a clear picture of what my potential is. I have learned how to take certain events of my life and garnish strength and inspiration from them. In the past, when I’ve encountered tough times, I think back and remind myself of the selfless acts I witnessed and of the people who gave their lives for what they believed in – freedom. I feel a duty to continue fighting for freedom and justice, this time by upholding the constitution and defending the rights of those who otherwise could not defend themselves.

Law school is rigorous but I am prepared to dedicate as much time and effort as needed to succeed. Marines always accomplish their mission; failure is not an option. For me, the bar has already been raised to this stringent standard. While at first law school seems like a daunting task, I am confident in my ability to shift my nerves and fears and focus on the job at hand. I am ready and willing to undertake the challenges of law school and look forward to demonstrating my abilities both as student of the law and as an attorney.

znotch
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: Personal Statement - plz critique

Postby znotch » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:21 pm

I'd like to also post another, more meaty version that i have written. It's almost identical to the one above except that I've chopped a couple paragraphs off in order to meet a two page limit requirement. I probably have around 10 different variations of personal statements, but I've narrowed it down to this one, and the first one that I posted. Experts, please tell me how they sound



Marines always accomplish their mission; failure is not an option. These are the words that repeatedly ran through my head as we approached the outskirts of the city. My heart pounded so loud in my chest that it almost felt as though it was ready to pierce through my ballistic body armor. Enemy rockets and mortars exploded all around our trucks as my team drove closer to the city. The moon had almost no illumination which provided concealment, keeping the enemy from taking well aimed shots at us. One Marine made a comment over the roaring sound of the truck’s diesel engine saying, “Nice shot buddy, too bad you missed,” and we all let out a nervous chuckle. Here I was, nineteen years old and thousands of miles away from home, about to engage in what would become the largest urban battle since Hue City, Vietnam – The Battle of Fallujah. Absolutely nothing could have prepared me for what I experienced in the month that would come following this day.

I was not new to combat. Prior to my deployment I had spent several months in training, simulating desert and urban combat scenarios. Before the assault on Fallujah, I had been in Iraq for five months and had engaged in dozens of skirmishes with the enemy. My accomplishments during that time had even led to my being promoted to a leadership position consisting of a four member team, something not typical of a young Marine with my limited experience. When we arrived at our destination just outside the city, tanks and other armored vehicles were already firing their heavy guns in an attempt to soften our entry point. A voice came on through one of the Mosque’s loudspeakers inside the city calling for Jihad, or holy-war, against the infidels of whom they were referring to us. When we stop, my team dismounts and we stage behind a mound of dirt. A few minutes later my team was given the order to lead my group into the city. At this point there was no more room for fear or nerves. I had a job to do and people’s lives depended on my doing that job right.
U.S. forces during this assault consisted of about 4,000 troops. The fighting within the city remained at high intensity for a month or so, as we went house to house, searching for enemy in each building in the city. I witnessed firsthand the atrocities of war. Yet, even though I was in such an awful and terrifying place, I was not afraid. My reassurance came by my witnessing brave actions from the people who surrounded me. I saw intelligence and strength from my leaders and continuous selfless acts from everyone around me. I can truly attest to the fact that throughout this battle, uncommon value was a common virtue. This is what fueled, and continues to fuel, my drive to succeed for after all, marines never quit and failure is not an option.
Following my first deployment I was once again promoted, this time as the squad leader of a 13 member team. I also would deploy to Iraq an additional two more times, with my third deployment coming by form of a voluntary extension to my active duty contract. The majority of the combat experienced leaders, including myself, were going to miss this deployment because our contracts were also about to expire. This meant that most of the people in leadership positions would consist of members who had never experienced combat, and for me, this was unacceptable. For that reason I volunteered for a third tour back to Iraq. At that time, my mission was not accomplished and so it wasn’t my time to quit yet.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that the values and traits that are necessary for leaders in combat – key elements to my own successes throughout my service – also helped me to excel as a student. The ability to adapt and overcome in ever-changing situations; the ability to analyze and critically think “outside the box” to find solutions to difficult problems; the ability to persevere and not quit when dealing with complex and tedious tasks, and perhaps most importantly; the ability to demonstrate intelligence and not be overcome by emotion, were all important to my accomplishments in college. It is with these skills that I managed to complete my bachelor’s degree in three and a half years.

My interest in studying law stems from my interest to continue seeking additional ways to better myself, which in turn, gives me the ability to continue serving others. Through my accomplishments, I have learned to set ambitious and attainable goals. While I fully understand that law school is extremely difficult and demanding, I also have a clear picture of what my potential is. I have learned how to take certain events of my life and garnish strength and inspiration from them. In the past, when I’ve encountered tough times, including times when I’ve struggled with my academic work, I think back and remind myself of the selfless acts I witnessed and of the people who gave their lives for what they believed in – freedom. I feel a duty to continue fighting for freedom and justice, this time by upholding the constitution and defending the rights of those who otherwise could not defend themselves.

My experiences have taught me to not take life for granted. Law school is rigorous but I am prepared to dedicate as much time and effort as needed to succeed. Marines always accomplish their mission; failure is not an option. For me, the bar has already been raised to this stringent standard. While at first law school seems like a daunting task, I am confident in my ability to shift my nerves and fears and focus on the job at hand. I am ready and willing to undertake the challenges of law school and look forward to demonstrating my abilities both as student of the law and as an attorney.

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bluepenguin
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:33 pm

Re: Personal Statement - plz critique

Postby bluepenguin » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:50 pm

V1 is substantially better as a piece of writing. There are some tense, word, and grammar issues, but otherwise it's fine. I'm a little busy atm but I can find some time for a VFW. PM forthcoming.

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CorkBoard
Posts: 3216
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: Personal Statement - plz critique

Postby CorkBoard » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:06 am

I'm going to take a stab at the first one:

znotch wrote:Marines always accomplish their mission; failure is not an option. These are the words that repeatedly ran through my head as we approached the outskirts of the city What city? You don't have to write it ITT, but it might be a nice touch in the actual PS. My heart pounded so loud in my chest that it almost felt as though it was ready to pierce through my ballistic body armor. Enemy rockets and mortars exploded all around our trucks as my team drove closer to the city. One Marine made a comment over the roaring sound of the truck’s diesel engine saying, “Nice shot buddy, too bad you missed,” and we all let out a nervous chuckle. Here I was, nineteen years old and thousands of miles away from home, about to engage in what would become the largest urban battle since Hue City, Vietnam – The Battle of Fallujah. Oh, nevermind, you added the city in here.

I was not new to combat. Prior to my deployment I had spent several months training, simulating desert and urban combat scenarios. Before our assault on Fallujah, I had also been in Iraq for five months and had engaged in dozens of skirmishes with the enemy. At our destination just outside the city, tanks and other armored vehicles were already firing their guns in an attempt to soften our entry point. A voice came on through one of the Mosque’s loudspeakers inside the city calling for Jihad, or holy-war, against the infidels of whom they were referring to us. When we stopped, my team dismounted and we staged behind a mound of dirt. A few minutes later my team was given the order to lead my group into the city. At this point there was no more room for fear or nerves. I had a job to do. and People’s lives depended on myme doing that job right.

U.S. forces during the assault consisted of about 4,000 troops. The fighting within the city remained at high intensity for a month or so, as we went house to house, searching for enemy in each building in the city. I witnessed firsthand the atrocities of war. Yet, even though I was in such an awful and terrifying place, I was not afraid. My reassurance came by my witnessing brave actions from the people who surrounded me. I saw intelligence and strength from my leaders and continuous selfless acts from everyone around me. I can truly attest to the fact that, throughout this battle, uncommon value was a common virtue. This is what fueled, and continues to fuel, my drive to endure and succeed. Following this deployment, I would deploy back to Iraq two more times, with my third deployment coming in the form of a voluntary extension to my contract. Being a Marine requires perseverance, dedication, and self-sacrifice. I volunteered for a third tour because I knew that I would not be able to live with myself if I did not see the job through until the end. Pretty intense statement, may want to tone it down just a notch! Not a bad thing, maybe just say "I knew I had to see the job through until the very end" or something similar.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that the values and traits that are necessary for leaders in combat – key elements to my own successes throughout my service – also helped me to excel as a student. My interest in studying law stems from my desire to continue seeking additional ways to better myself, which in turn, gives me the ability to continue serving others. My experiences have taught me to set ambitious and attainable goals. I fully understand that law school is extremely difficult and demanding, but I also have a clear picture of what my potential is. I have learned how to take certain events of my life and garnish strength and inspiration from them. In the past, when I’ve encountered tough times, I think back and remind myself of the selfless acts I witnessed and of the people who gave their lives for what they believed in – freedom. I feel a duty to continue fighting for freedom and justice, this time by upholding the constitution and defending the rights of those who otherwise could not defend themselves.

Law school is rigorous, but I am prepared to dedicate as much time and effort as needed to succeed. Marines always accomplish their mission; failure is not an option. For me, the bar has already been raised to this stringent standard. While at first law school seems like a daunting task, I am confident in my ability to shift my nerves and fears and focus on the job at hand. I am ready and willing to undertake the challenges of law school and look forward to demonstrating my abilities both as student of the law and as an attorney.



Great overall. Just made a few minor edits, but I really like it for the most part.

znotch
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: Personal Statement - plz critique

Postby znotch » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:59 pm

CorkBoard: Thanks for taking the time to edit, you've brought up a few things I looked over.

Any other takers at reading my statement before I finally submit would be greatly appreciated.




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