Personal Statement Critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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logical seasoning
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Personal Statement Critique

Postby logical seasoning » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:53 pm

Alright here is the second draft of my personal statement.

About 6 months ago, people told me that it was too dramatic and the second part was boring. Here is a a revision where I try to account for the advice given to me.

Tell me what you think! Any thoughts are greatly appreciated
____________________________________________________


:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

~~ here I still have one more paragraph, were I plan to talk about the specific school that I am applying to and why they should let me in. I will bring up their strong public interest law department, as well as notable alumni that have gone on an pursued a life of public office~~
Last edited by logical seasoning on Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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t-14orbust
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Re: Personal Statement Critique

Postby t-14orbust » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:55 pm

The era we live in today

edit: still sounds a little weird. I'd rephrase

era in which we live today?

mmbt123
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Re: Personal Statement Critique

Postby mmbt123 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:06 pm

With my eyes glued to the computer screen, teeth aching from hours of nail biting, and a knot of cold tension rising in my stomach, I watched with dismay as hundreds of comments appeared on a website looking for ways to slander my name and reputation. People across the country whom I have never met were calling me an idiot, immature, incapable, and a terrorist. As I try to ignore the confidence crushing insults and check my email, I discover that my inbox is flooded with investigative reporters asking questions that aim to incriminate me and hinder my career. I try to ignore the emails and head back to my room to find solace and assurance with my friends; yet, all I receive are cold stares and words of indifference. And so began my lifelong dream of holding public office. I think this paragraph is too long. Cut down on the descriptive stuff because while it draws me in, it goes on for awhile (I just kept wondering where this was going) and doesn't reveal much about you.

On the night of March 11th 2012, my name was entered into the California public record as a candidate for Davis City Council. I was in Washington D.C. at the time participating in the University of California Washington program as a Robert T. Matsui Foundation Fellow, and with the help of some close friends and $200 write out "two hundred" of overnight fedexing, I was able to submit my declaration of candidacy materials just before the open deadline. To my astonishment, almost as soon as my name entered the public record, local blogs, newspapers, and social media outlets began to cover me as the sole student candidate in a college town where the majority of residents are student-affiliated. While I received some positive encouragement, the dark side of running for office was hasty to rear its head<--I would try to find a better way to phrase this, attacking my religious affiliation with the UC Davis Muslim Student Association, age, and even height. Given this experience, one might expect an aspiring public servant to be drawn away from service. However, given my life background and history, my aspirations for a life of public service has never been stronger. Maybe say something else like "instead, I drew on my background to reentrench my commitment to public service.

My father, a first generation Japanese immigrant, was raised in the harsh social climate of post World War II Japan, where after losing his entire family to the Tokyo fire bombings, he learned about the bare necessities of life, including food, shelter, and healthcare. Maybe give a specific example; like what he had to do to get clean water or food. I'm sure you can come up with a more colorful and gripping way to show this, rather than to tell.Similarly, as my mother graduated from nursing school in Lebanon, air raids destroyed her family’s estate, forcing her family into homelessness and turmoil. Both my parents immigrated to the United States with no money in their pockets, but with a firm desire to create a better life for themselves and their future generations. However, their success would not be possible without the aid of various public servants who have enabled their achievement within America. From the help of Congressman Tony Coelho who provided green card status checks for my parents, to the social worker who supplied food stamps that fed me throughout my youth, it was these public servants that enabled my family to exist.

However, the era in which we live in today depicts a threat to decrease the amount of public funding for social welfare, coupled with a broken U.S. immigration system. Because my family depended on public services in order to survive, I am proud to say that I will devote my life to securing these traditional American benefits. Running for Davis City Council was the first step in achieving my life goals of influencing policy to benefit struggling American families. Even though my campaign was unsuccessful, my first glance at running for public office has shown me the importance of a law degree in influencing public policy. In developing my analytical, creative, and logical reasoning skills, law school will provide the necessary skills to direct and analyze the ever changing state of law and public policy. In essence, law is still a man made entity that can be capable of great benefit or harm to the society in which it rules. As with any construct, it requires specialized technicians I don't know if you want to refer to lawyers as technicians to service it and make sure that it still protects the greater public good. As a law student, I expect to learn the skills that will make me a qualified technician so that I can achieve my lifelong ambitions.

Overall, I think this has good potential as a first draft. You spend alot of time talking about things that don't reveal much about who you are...online comments, your parents, etc. I don't think you need that first paragraph because you don't really come back to it in the end so it doesn't serve a purpose. You might want to think about other ways your experiences with politicians helping your family inspired you to enter public service, or at least go into more detail about this because you only devote a little space to this.

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logical seasoning
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Re: Personal Statement Critique

Postby logical seasoning » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:42 pm

mmbt123 wrote:Overall, I think this has good potential as a first draft. You spend alot of time talking about things that don't reveal much about who you are...online comments, your parents, etc. I don't think you need that first paragraph because you don't really come back to it in the end so it doesn't serve a purpose. You might want to think about other ways your experiences with politicians helping your family inspired you to enter public service, or at least go into more detail about this because you only devote a little space to this.



Thank you very much for the comments and edits. Do you think it would be worth it to try and find a way to tie my first paragraph in at the end? ("therefore, even though I may have faced negativity from my first attempt at holding office, my live experiences push me to persevere, and a law degree would be indispensable to my goals...)--some thing like this, or should I just scrap the first paragraph all together?

persimmon
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Re: Personal Statement Critique

Postby persimmon » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:26 pm

Why do you think you need a law degree to hold public office? Most legislators aren't lawyers. I am truly puzzled about why you are applying and what exactly you think your career path will look like. (Are you planning to run for office right out of law school without ever practicing?)

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/02/24/the ... e-decline/

This is a good story, though. If you do actually want to be a lawyer, you could use this story to illustrate your broader desire to stand up to controversy and fight for what you believe in, etc., as a lawyer, with the desire to run again for public office at some point. Or something like that.

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logical seasoning
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Re: Personal Statement Critique

Postby logical seasoning » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:29 pm

persimmon wrote:Why do you think you need a law degree to hold public office? Most legislators aren't lawyers. I am truly puzzled about why you are applying and what exactly you think your career path will look like. (Are you planning to run for office right out of law school without ever practicing?)

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/02/24/the ... e-decline/

This is a good story, though. If you do actually want to be a lawyer, you could use this story to illustrate your broader desire to stand up to controversy and fight for what you believe in, etc., as a lawyer, with the desire to run again for public office at some point. Or something like that.



Interesting article. However, while it is true that most legislators are not lawyers and being a lawyer is neither necessary nor sufficient in going into politics, it certainly does help--- as i try to explain in my statement (technician of the law)

Also, the data from the article shows that lawyers in congress are on the decline, but is still the most common profession held by congress members: ~25% in the House and ~38% in the senate.

Nonetheless, your advice is very helpful. Maybe I can use that last paragraph to talk about how I would enter law school with a desire for immigration law, and then seek to run for office later on, pushing for reform of our broken system...

mmbt123
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Re: Personal Statement Critique

Postby mmbt123 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:37 pm

logical seasoning wrote:
mmbt123 wrote:Overall, I think this has good potential as a first draft. You spend alot of time talking about things that don't reveal much about who you are...online comments, your parents, etc. I don't think you need that first paragraph because you don't really come back to it in the end so it doesn't serve a purpose. You might want to think about other ways your experiences with politicians helping your family inspired you to enter public service, or at least go into more detail about this because you only devote a little space to this.



Thank you very much for the comments and edits. Do you think it would be worth it to try and find a way to tie my first paragraph in at the end? ("therefore, even though I may have faced negativity from my first attempt at holding office, my live experiences push me to persevere, and a law degree would be indispensable to my goals...)--some thing like this, or should I just scrap the first paragraph all together?


yeah definitely, I think you can keep one or two sentences that sum up the negativity/obstacles but don't spend an entire paragraph on it b/c that's space you can devote to you more specifically.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Personal Statement Critique

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:29 pm

Unlike some here, I actually like the angle of starting out with the sudden realization that running for office puts you in everyone's crosshairs. However, cut down on the cliched descriptions (the thing about teeth aching from hours of nail biting sounds particularly ridiculous).




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