Please critique

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:02 am

Please critique

Postby multitasker » Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:07 am

Thank you everyone!
Last edited by multitasker on Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:23 pm

Re: Please critique

Postby ALF » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:48 pm

It's up to you whether to use this as your PS or a diversity statement. If you have a worthwhile alternative topic for your PS and submit this topic for your DS instead, then you will be have to opportunity to tell more about yourself to the admissions committee.

Up front I would say that once you think you are close to a final draft of this essay, you will definitely need a native English speaker to help you review for grammar and awkward sentence structure. I'm sure your English skills are excellent, but competitive schools won't cut you a break for otherwise understandable non-native errors.

Intro: Some details, such as "I grew up in a large city," are unnecessary. They might be different from your children's experience, but do not necessary make you unique to the admissions committee. I suggest streamlining this paragraph and tying in a thesis statement introducing the theme/message of the rest of the essay.

This essay has vivid and moving visuals, but your descriptions take up far too much of your essay. You would gain more from these images if you cut back on your wordiness and reflected more on what you learned from your experience. Remember, a personal statement is about you, not just a description of somewhere you've been.

You did a good job tying history and your environment to why you needed strong communication skills for you job. You do NOT need a whole paragraph describing old ladies and their houses. Try to convey the image with half the number of words.

Your willingness to help old ladies back in college is worth mentioning, but your more recent creation of a charitable foundation deserves more attention. This is where you can show that you are a proactive leader. Do you have any statistics about how many people your foundation has helped? Any description of what it took to make your foundation a reality? The committee won't make assumptions about what you've accomplished, you have to be explicit. How does the committee know your foundation isn't just you and your friend sending your own clothes back to some relatives in Russia? Also, rather than leaving a big gap between past and present, find a way to tie the first part of your essay to your current project more meaningfully.

Finally, you will need a stronger conclusion. Right now your last two sentences are a bit brief and cliche. Make sure the admissions people see your communication skills, leadership, real world experience, tangible impact on others, etc. Conclusions should summarize the main message of the essay and introduce something new or memorable. (For me this is by far the hardest part of writing an essay!)

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:02 am

Re: Please critique

Postby multitasker » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:16 pm


Thank you! I thought about doing both DS and personal statement, but it's so hard to make an interesting topic and make it an engaging PS (especially with full-time work and three kids), so I decided to do just PS.

I'll definitely rewrite it and spend more time on foundation and less time on elderly ladies :)

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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:47 pm

Re: Please critique

Postby sighsigh » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:32 pm

If you're going to start off by saying you grew up in Russia, and then immediately after say the country you grew up in doesn't exist anymore, that might raise some eyebrows. :lol:

Kind of reminds me of a Michael Scott quote from The Office.

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