Diversity Statement relevant and/or salvageable?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
mwhuzain
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:27 am

Diversity Statement relevant and/or salvageable?

Postby mwhuzain » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:24 pm

Basically I'm looking for a "keep it as is," a "tweak it here here and here," or a "don't submit this it's pointless." Thanks for reading.


Upon thinking what I would write in my diversity statement, my ethnic background came to mind. As a Palestinian-American born to a father from the Middle East, this is what diversifies me from others on paper—H*******h isn’t a common or easily pronounceable name.
But instead of focusing on where I come from and how growing up in the town of C*********s with a large group of Jewish and Israeli friends taught me to appreciate cultural diversity while disregarding the labels that divide some parts of this world, I’ve decided to write about where I am. This I mean in its most literal sense. As I write this, I sit in the library of France’s Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, colloquially referred to as Science Po.
As is being able to reside in Paris for one full year, attending this prestigious university is nothing short of an honor and privilege. Countless diplomats and politicians (including the current and previous three French presidents) have graced the halls in which I walk almost everyday. When introducing myself as a student of Science Po, the French immediately understand what that entails. I am learning about the world, today’s world.
For example, I just completed a course on what the west has affectionately dubbed “The Arab Spring” and am in the midst of writing a final essay on modern voting rights for my US Constitution class. I excelled in both courses on China, the first comparing their revolution to that of the French and the other analyzing their economic threat to the US. My first A+ was earned discovering Pinochet’s Chile and his resounding residual effects on the country today. And my final Psychology class as an undergraduate, Psychology of Public Opinion, will forever change the way I look at opinion polls and the way in which they’re conducted.
Supplemented with as much travel as my budget allows and new friends from all over the planet, every day I become more of a world citizen. To its credit, UC Davis (and even P***** College) catalyzed this personal evolution. But it is Science Po and the city in which it’s located that has taken it to soaring heights. This is a quality I feel is important to highlight. This is something that I believe truly diversifies me from most.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Diversity Statement relevant and/or salvageable?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:37 pm

1) I don't think starting off by saying "I was going to write about X (and by the way, here's info about X), but then I decided to write about Y instead" is a good way to structure a statement - it feels like you're trying cheat and talk about two different topics when you know you should be writing about one thing. If you decided not to write about a particular subject, why include it at all by telling the reader that? Just write about what you think is the best topic. If you really do want to include both, then just say something like, "There are two ways in which I contribute to diversity at University of X" [except worded better] and talk about both.

2) I don't think studying abroad and talking about the content of your courses says very much about diversity. You could take courses on those subjects anywhere and I suspect a number of other students have. If you want to use study abroad as part of a diversity statement, then talk about how it's actually changed you, in a way that's different from your transcript. This just says you did well in courses that happened to be in France. Oh, and that you became a "world citizen," but what does that even if mean? If that's the quality you "feel is important to highlight," you need to say more specifically about what it means and what happened to cause you to become a world citizen.

3) "This is something that I believe truly diversifies me from most." doesn't work because "diversify" as a verb doesn't really apply to a person, only to a stock portfolio. Usually the general idea is how you bring diversity to School X, or you could say this "makes me different from most."

mwhuzain
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:27 am

Re: Diversity Statement relevant and/or salvageable?

Postby mwhuzain » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:58 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:1) I don't think starting off by saying "I was going to write about X (and by the way, here's info about X), but then I decided to write about Y instead" is a good way to structure a statement - it feels like you're trying cheat and talk about two different topics when you know you should be writing about one thing. If you decided not to write about a particular subject, why include it at all by telling the reader that? Just write about what you think is the best topic. If you really do want to include both, then just say something like, "There are two ways in which I contribute to diversity at University of X" [except worded better] and talk about both.

2) I don't think studying abroad and talking about the content of your courses says very much about diversity. You could take courses on those subjects anywhere and I suspect a number of other students have. If you want to use study abroad as part of a diversity statement, then talk about how it's actually changed you, in a way that's different from your transcript. This just says you did well in courses that happened to be in France. Oh, and that you became a "world citizen," but what does that even if mean? If that's the quality you "feel is important to highlight," you need to say more specifically about what it means and what happened to cause you to become a world citizen.

3) "This is something that I believe truly diversifies me from most." doesn't work because "diversify" as a verb doesn't really apply to a person, only to a stock portfolio. Usually the general idea is how you bring diversity to School X, or you could say this "makes me different from most."


Great advice, although I challenge anyone to find courses on the Arab Spring or Pinochet's Chile (or either of the China courses) being taught anywhere but there, especially within the same institution (that school really prides itself on offering courses otherwise nonexistent). Regardless, I can see how they don't belong.

I do have something here, though?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Diversity Statement relevant and/or salvageable?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:10 pm

(Actually, googling "Arab spring" + syllabus gets a bunch of courses. And there are also quite a few courses comparing the Chinese and French revolutions.)

I don't think what you have here is especially helpful, honestly. I think you could do something with your ethnic background and/or experience abroad (and not to be cliched about diversity, but I think the former is probably more relevant), but I would probably scrap this and start over. And given the hardship statement you talk about in another post, I don't know if this adds enough to be necessary.




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