Old Fart PS Critique Please

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
tsatorius
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:59 pm

Old Fart PS Critique Please

Postby tsatorius » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:12 pm

I just finished writing my personal statement. I am not satisfied with the ending and am going to try to take the next few days to tidy this up. Any help on this would be greatly needed. I need a bit of luck here, as I have so-so GPA and LSAT scores, and was going to try to improve my test score last month, when my car's axle broke on the way to the test center. I missed the test so I am stuck with what I got, so hoping for a little non traditional love from admissions.


It is the phone call that no parent wants to take. My mother had just finished talking to my school teacher, and they had set up a meeting in order to discuss my recent behavior in class. During the six block car ride to the school, I franticly tried to think of what I possibly could have done in order to call for such drastic action. Upon entering the Mrs. Franko’s classroom, my parents immediately started to apologize for any uncalled behavior I had done in class. However, my teacher stopped them in mid sentence to state that no apology was needed. The issue was that in class, I would often raise my hand during her lectures in order to question why the information presented had to be true, or why I should believe the merits of it. While she appreciated the eagerness, a second grade classroom was perhaps not the best forum in order to conduct such lengthy debates. After my parents reassured her that I would limit my questions in class, Mrs. Franko ended the meeting by saying, “well the good news at least, is that .... is going to grow up to be a heck of lawyer one day!!”

Twenty years ago, I entered college trying to make Mrs. Franko’s prediction come true. During high school, I had thrown myself into any program that I thought would prepare me for a future career in law. I had won numerous awards in debate and forensics and had even scored perfect scores on the English and Reading sections on my ACT test.

While academically I had set myself up to succeed at college, financially I had not. During the beginning of my senior year of high school, my parents allowed me to move out on my own. Having to support myself without the benefit of financial aid, I worked as many hours as I could after school in order to pay my bills. Those long hours were recognized by my employer and I was soon advancing to management roles. By the time that I had entered college, I was awarded the position of general manager of a large local restaurant. While my peers were discussing their expectations of salary levels coming out college, I realized that I had surpassed their salary goals in the job that I was currently employed at. The lure of money changed my opinion of college, and I decided that I wanted to explore a career in food and hospitality.

I quickly realized that I excelled at managing restaurants. My work was being noticed in town, and soon began to be approached by other restaurant owners to gauge my interest in overseeing their facilities. What intrigued me about their offers was not the financial package they were offering, but instead the challenge of turning around a restaurant that had some flaws. I soon became a bit of a managerial gypsy, going from one restaurant test to another. These opportunities ranged from upscale dining, golf course operations, nightclubs, and even local pubs. In all of these situations, I was fortunate enough to be given the full reigns of operations from the owner of the establishments. I was able to diagnose the ills of the company, propose my plan of action, and was given the resources to accomplish the turn around. These plans often took several years, but when they were completed, I soon looked for some new test from another business.

For almost twenty years, I repeated this cycle within the food and beverage industry, and from those experiences I am most proud of two facts. First, I take pride in the fact that I was trusted enough by these business owners to be given complete control of their businesses. In some cases, these were establishments with close to a million dollars of sales annually. Often I had to think outside of the box in order to create a plan of action that would improve the financial standing of the company. Those owners saw enough in me to trust my vision, and for the most part, I always delivered for them. The part that I am most proud of however is not the financial turnaround, but the job I did with the staff that I oversaw. In an industry that is known for high turnover, I was able to keep most of my staff intact throughout the years. I wanted to create a work environment that the employee looked forward to coming to every day. Communication was the key for this fact, as workplace gossip was eliminated, and replaced by a sharing of ideas between employee and management, and praise given freely. I often would pull the owners into the kitchen to wash dishes to show how we are all part of this team and all need to pitch in for the restaurant to succeed.

Three years ago, my parents were discussing their upcoming retirement during Christmas dinner. When reflecting back at their jobs, each had stories that involved them helping those in the community that were often overlooked. My father was a nursing home administrator, and told stories about setting up softball leagues and a produce market on site as a way to allow the residents to get outside and be active. My mother was a social worker put in charge of the Hmong migration into the area, and recalled the Sunday dinners in our home that we would have with new immigrating families in the area as a way to make the transition less scary. This discussion made me think about what my work legacy would someday be. I felt that if I continued working in hospitality that I would never have such stories. Three days later, I gave notice to work and submitted my application to college.

My mind went back twenty years ago, and why I wanted to go to college in the first place. I wanted to practice law in order to help people that were intimidated by the legal process. I sought to continue my parent’s tradition of reaching out to those people that needed a hand. As an older student, I feel that I can now give a unique perspective on measuring the success of a career in terms of finances compared to personal achievement. My goal is to leave a lasting mark in the community, and I believe law school gives me the best chance to achieve this. After researching all that is offered, I believe …………. Gives me the best opportunity to complete this objective.
Last edited by tsatorius on Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
spleenworship
Posts: 4421
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Re: Old Fart PS Critique Please

Postby spleenworship » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:21 pm

Stopped after the first paragraph.

No one wants to hear how you asked a bunch of irrelevant questions in the second grade. This isn't about how you were then, but who you are now and why you want to be in law school now. This first paragraph should be a sentence at most.

I'll try again if you fix that.


Also, take your name out of there when you post it on the forum.

Also Also, consider using your third take on the LSAT and improving your score.

tsatorius
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:59 pm

Re: Old Fart PS Critique Please

Postby tsatorius » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:13 pm

Did a quick change....perhaps this is better?



The Japanese have a saying: a man is whatever room he is in. Twenty years ago, I had the choice of immediate financial security, or the path towards law school. I made my choice then, and for better or worse, I am a changed man because of that decision. Still, I always wondered, what if? Today, I realize that path that I need to take, and that I belong in a law school room.

Two decades ago, I entered college knowing that ever since I was five years old, I had wanted to become a lawyer. During high school, I had thrown myself into any program that I thought would prepare me for a future career in law. I had won numerous awards in debate and forensics and had even scored perfect scores on the English and Reading sections on my ACT test.

While academically I had set myself up to succeed at college, financially I had not. During the beginning of my senior year of high school, my parents allowed me to move out on my own. Having to support myself without the benefit of financial aid, I worked as many hours as I could after school in order to pay my bills. Those long hours were recognized by my employer and I was soon advancing to management roles. By the time that I had entered college, I was awarded the position of general manager of a large local restaurant. While my peers were discussing their expectations of salary levels coming out college, I realized that I had surpassed their salary goals in the job that I was currently employed at. The lure of money changed my opinion of college, and I decided that I wanted to explore a career in food and hospitality.

I quickly realized that I excelled at managing restaurants. My work was being noticed in town, and soon began to be approached by other restaurant owners to gauge my interest in overseeing their facilities. What intrigued me about their offers was not the financial package they were offering, but instead the challenge of turning around a restaurant that had some flaws. I soon became a bit of a managerial gypsy, going from one restaurant test to another. These opportunities ranged from upscale dining, golf course operations, nightclubs, and even local pubs. In all of these situations, I was fortunate enough to be given the full reigns of operations from the owner of the establishments. I was able to diagnose the ills of the company, propose my plan of action, and was given the resources to accomplish the turn around. These plans often took several years, but when they were completed, I soon looked for some new test from another business.

For almost twenty years, I repeated this cycle within the food and beverage industry, and from those experiences I am most proud of two facts. First, I take pride in the fact that I was trusted enough by these business owners to be given complete control of their businesses. In some cases, these were establishments with close to a million dollars of sales annually. Often I had to think outside of the box in order to create a plan of action that would improve the financial standing of the company. Those owners saw enough in me to trust my vision, and for the most part, I always delivered for them. The part that I am most proud of however is not the financial turnaround, but the job I did with the staff that I oversaw. In an industry that is known for high turnover, I was able to keep most of my staff intact throughout the years. I wanted to create a work environment that the employee looked forward to coming to every day. Communication was the key for this fact, as workplace gossip was eliminated, and replaced by a sharing of ideas between employee and management, and praise given freely. I often would pull the owners into the kitchen to wash dishes to show how we are all part of this team and all need to pitch in for the restaurant to succeed.

Three years ago, my parents were discussing their upcoming retirement during Christmas dinner. When reflecting back at their jobs, each had stories that involved them helping those in the community that were often overlooked. My father was a nursing home administrator, and told stories about setting up softball leagues and a produce market on site as a way to allow the residents to get outside and be active. My mother was a social worker put in charge of the Hmong migration into the area, and recalled the Sunday dinners in our home that we would have with new immigrating families in the area as a way to make the transition less scary. This discussion made me think about what my work legacy would someday be. I felt that if I continued working in hospitality that I would never have such stories. Three days later, I gave notice to work and submitted my application to college.

My mind went back twenty years ago, and why I wanted to go to college in the first place. I wanted to practice law in order to help people that were intimidated by the legal process. I sought to continue my parent’s tradition of reaching out to those people that needed a hand. As an older student, I feel that I can now give a unique perspective on measuring the success of a career in terms of finances compared to personal achievement. My goal is to leave a lasting mark in the community, and I believe law school gives me the best chance to achieve this. After researching all that is offered, I believe …………. gives me the best opportunity to complete this objective.

User avatar
spleenworship
Posts: 4421
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Re: Old Fart PS Critique Please

Postby spleenworship » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:30 pm

Too much on the restaurants. I feel like I should leave you where you are to make my dining experiences better.

A paragraph max.

At least I got through the whole thing this time.

Also, I would add more about how you want to use your legal career to make a difference. Too vague right now.

User avatar
MarcusAurelius
Posts: 155
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:49 pm

Re: Old Fart PS Critique Please

Postby MarcusAurelius » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:41 pm

Suggested edit:

"A man is whatever room he is in," and right now, I belong in a law school classroom.

Axe the rest of the first paragraph and move right into paragraph two.

Big Dog
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:34 pm

Re: Old Fart PS Critique Please

Postby Big Dog » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:01 am

I would ditch the first couple of pars, and start with "During..."

Perhaps combine the next two pars into one. While a good story, it is 3/4 years old. Maybe a par on college experiences? Talk about how your experience will enrich the LS class. But yes, the 'Why Law, Why Now?' is weak.

btw: your ACT scores are not relevant, particularly 20+ years later.

tsatorius
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:59 pm

Re: Old Fart PS Critique Please

Postby tsatorius » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:30 pm

Thank you so far for your help. I tried to use your advice, and here is my updated example.

"A man is whatever room he is in," and right now, I belong in a law school classroom.

During the beginning of my senior year of high school, my parents allowed me to move out on my own. Having to support myself without the benefit of financial aid, I worked as many hours as I could after school in order to pay my bills. Those long hours were recognized by my employer and I was soon advancing to management roles. By the time that I had entered college, I was awarded the position of general manager of a large local restaurant. While my peers were discussing their expectations of salary levels coming out college, I realized that I had surpassed their salary goals in the job that I was currently employed at. The lure of money changed my opinion of college, and I decided that I wanted to instead explore a career in food and hospitality.

I quickly realized that I excelled at managing restaurants. My work was being noticed in town, and soon began to be approached by other restaurant owners to gauge my interest in overseeing their facilities. What intrigued me about their offers was not the financial package they were offering, but instead the challenge of turning around a restaurant that had some flaws. I soon became a bit of a managerial gypsy, going from one restaurant test to another. These opportunities ranged from upscale dining operations with sales exceeding a million dollars annually to local pubs trying to survive on shoestring budgets. In all of these situations, I was fortunate enough to be given the full reins of operations from the owner of the establishments. I was able to diagnose the ills of the company, propose my plan of action, and was given the resources to accomplish the turn around. These plans often took several years, but when they were completed, I soon looked for some new test from another business.

For almost twenty years, I repeated this cycle within the food and beverage industry, but that all changed one day while sitting down to enjoy a holiday dinner. Three years ago, my parents were discussing their upcoming retirement during Christmas dinner. When reflecting back at their jobs, each had stories that involved them helping those in the community that were often overlooked. My father was a nursing home administrator, and told stories about setting up softball leagues and a garden with a produce market on site as a way to allow the residents to get outside and be active and engaged with the community. My mother was a social worker put in charge of the Hmong migration into the area, and recalled the Sunday dinners in our home that we would have with new immigrating families in the area as a way to make their transition into the community less scary. These stories, filled with such laughter and pride, made me think about what my work legacy would someday be. I felt that if I continued working in the hospitality industry that I would never have those same rewarding experiences that my parents shared with us that night. Three days later, I gave notice to work and submitted my application to college.

Three years later, I sat down with my capstone director in order to discuss my final grade on my paper. He stated that in his thirty years of teaching, he had never seen a generation of students that were able to find facts so easily and put them on paper. However, he pointed out the fact that made my paper so unique was my ability to break down those facts, make them relevant, and make him care about my conclusions. Communication was the key in that paper, and it is a skill that I developed working in hospitality for the past two decades. In order to be successful in such a competitive industry, you need to be able to think outside of the box and be an innovator and not a spectator. I brought that same competitive desire to the classroom, where I was not afraid to challenge a professor on why we had to accept the given norms of a case we were reading. Also, the same skills that I developed in forming efficient and effective work staffs in hospitality, I have brought to classrooms in group projects that were well received.

I will admit that it is a bit scary to transition from an industry that I know so well, to tackling a new frontier in law school. However, I am confident that I have the capabilities and confidence to become a leader in a law school classroom environment. My parent’s examples have motivated me to the fact that my future rests in helping those that need a hand in the community. Perhaps I am too naive, but I have a goal of using the skills that I will learn in law school as a way to break through the assembly line aspect of law. I want to break down the intimidation aspect of law to clients, and be able to listen and give a voice to those who most need help. One day, perhaps I too can sit down with my children over a holiday dinner, and reflect on my legal career and share stories on how I helped those in the community that are so often overlooked.




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