PS V2.0: Good, bad, or ugly?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
am_s27
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:12 pm

PS V2.0: Good, bad, or ugly?

Postby am_s27 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:01 pm

Here is V2.0 of my personal statement. I took the advice that I received on here and tried to communicate one common theme throughout. Hopefully it made the personal statement better overall! Hoping to not have to rewrite it again!

I would appreciate any and all opinions.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meet, first, my father, Abbas. He is forty-eight now and has not seen his mother, father, or two sisters in over thirty years. By leaving Iran in 1978 at the age of twelve, at the time a group of Iranian students took more than 60 American hostages in what is known as the Iranian Hostage Crisis, he immigrated to the United States. He values American education; graduating from the University of California Davis at the age of 20; and he constantly reminds me … I do not know how good I have it.

Now let me introduce you to an elementary school classmate of mine that once told me “your people are responsible” for the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centers. Then to a passerby, in the halls of my high school that chanted “Praise Allah!” every weekday as I went to class. Next to the countless mispronunciations of “Ahmadi” and associations to terrorism when I inform people that I am Iranian. These are family members, friends, and teachers, and they are motivation to further my education and rise above all the small-minded prejudices in the world.

My father has stressed the importance of an education from a very young age. Repeatedly, he would tell me: “Just when you think you know it all, there is someone out there who is one step ahead of you--smarter, better, faster. Never settle on simply what you already know”. This quote has kept me in pursuit of higher education where my focus has been primarily finance related: financial markets and security investment decisions, business valuations, and the operation and management of a commercial banking institution. I observed, for example, in valuation of Southwest Airlines Co., trends that suggest the company is undervalued 18.30%. The acquisition of AirTran Airways and further root network optimization enable Southwest Airlines Co. to improve profitability margins. Meanwhile, improvement in economic conditions and the decrease in jet fuel prices positively affect airline industry performance. In opposition of using strictly one valuation method, I wonder: Is an analyst’s ability to combine market and company research with valuation methods to create meaningful results an exact science or an art?

In my pursuit of higher education, I have attempted to be as well rounded as possible. To achieve this I have not confined my financial analysis to the classroom. Summer work with the Chief Financial Officer and the SVP Chief Credit Administrator of Umpqua Bank taught me the ever changing landscape that is commercial banking. I surveyed over one hundred banks, across the United States, with regards to their mix of deposits, loan growth, and interest rate sensitivity in hope of improving Summit Bank’s management behaviors towards pricing and structuring deposits. With the knowledge regarding the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, I prepared financial spreads, using tax returns and financial statements provided by the prospective clients, knowing that Summit Bank would limit their extension of credit to consumers based on the rising costs and strict regulations being put in place now and within the next year.

Unlike my father, who lived in Iran and immigrated to the United States at an early age, I had not experienced various cultures. I grew up in Salem, Oregon, the plain vanilla culture that I have been accustomed to is very different from that of my father’s and that of the rest of the world. Traveling around the world, to which I consider an extension of a well rounded education, provided insight not only into various food, entertainment, and people but my focus on finance. In Copenhagen, Denmark, the city provided a different perspective on financial analysis. I was exposed to international exchange rates, interest rates on certificates of deposits, loans, and discount rates, and various rules and regulations effecting the European banking system. Meanwhile, my term at the Copenhagen Business School refined my financial leadership abilities. Through the readings of Donna Ladkin, Sun Tzu, and Nick Obolensky, I benefited in knowing the responsibilities within the leadership development process as well as refining my individual leadership style with insights regarding the “authentic leader”. I aspire to be just that, a leader who is genuine to his followers, driven by results rather than money or power, and one who is focused on the long-term value of a project or company.

Law school is the next logical step in my ongoing pursuit of higher education in order to solidify a robust foundation for the future. My goal is to practice business and tax law. Reaching this goal will show my father that: I value “how good I have it” and I am never satisfied “with what I already know” all while rising above the stereotypes and prejudices that we have both faced throughout our lives.

User avatar
Domke
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:47 pm

Re: PS V2.0: Good, bad, or ugly?

Postby Domke » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:36 pm

am_s27 wrote:Here is V2.0 of my personal statement. I took the advice that I received on here and tried to communicate one common theme throughout. Hopefully it made the personal statement better overall! Hoping to not have to rewrite it again!

I would appreciate any and all opinions.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meet, first, my father, Abbas. He is forty-eight now and has not seen his mother, father, or two sisters in over thirty years. By leaving Iran in 1978 at the age of twelve, at the time a group of Iranian students took more than 60 American hostages in what is known as the Iranian Hostage Crisis, he immigrated to the United States. He values American education; graduating from the University of California Davis at the age of 20; and he constantly reminds me … I do not know how good I have it.

Now let me introduce you to an elementary school classmate of mine that once told me “your people are responsible” for the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centers. Then to a passerby, in the halls of my high school that chanted “Praise Allah!” every weekday as I went to class. Next to the countless mispronunciations of “Ahmadi” and associations to terrorism when I inform people that I am Iranian. These are family members, friends, and teachers, and they are motivation to further my education and rise above all the small-minded prejudices in the world.

My father has stressed the importance of an education from a very young age. Repeatedly, he would tell me: “Just when you think you know it all, there is someone out there who is one step ahead of you--smarter, better, faster. Never settle on simply what you already know”. This quote has kept me in pursuit of higher education where my focus has been primarily finance related: financial markets and security investment decisions, business valuations, and the operation and management of a commercial banking institution. I observed, for example, in valuation of Southwest Airlines Co., trends that suggest the company is undervalued 18.30%. The acquisition of AirTran Airways and further root network optimization enable Southwest Airlines Co. to improve profitability margins. Meanwhile, improvement in economic conditions and the decrease in jet fuel prices positively affect airline industry performance. In opposition of using strictly one valuation method, I wonder: Is an analyst’s ability to combine market and company research with valuation methods to create meaningful results an exact science or an art?

In my pursuit of higher education, I have attempted to be as well rounded as possible. To achieve this I have not confined my financial analysis to the classroom. Summer work with the Chief Financial Officer and the SVP Chief Credit Administrator of Umpqua Bank taught me the ever changing landscape that is commercial banking. I surveyed over one hundred banks, across the United States, with regards to their mix of deposits, loan growth, and interest rate sensitivity in hope of improving Summit Bank’s management behaviors towards pricing and structuring deposits. With the knowledge regarding the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, I prepared financial spreads, using tax returns and financial statements provided by the prospective clients, knowing that Summit Bank would limit their extension of credit to consumers based on the rising costs and strict regulations being put in place now and within the next year.

Unlike my father, who lived in Iran and immigrated to the United States at an early age, I had not experienced various cultures. I grew up in Salem, Oregon, the plain vanilla culture that I have been accustomed to is very different from that of my father’s and that of the rest of the world. Traveling around the world, to which I consider an extension of a well rounded education, provided insight not only into various food, entertainment, and people but my focus on finance. In Copenhagen, Denmark, the city provided a different perspective on financial analysis. I was exposed to international exchange rates, interest rates on certificates of deposits, loans, and discount rates, and various rules and regulations effecting the European banking system. Meanwhile, my term at the Copenhagen Business School refined my financial leadership abilities. Through the readings of Donna Ladkin, Sun Tzu, and Nick Obolensky, I benefited in knowing the responsibilities within the leadership development process as well as refining my individual leadership style with insights regarding the “authentic leader”. I aspire to be just that, a leader who is genuine to his followers, driven by results rather than money or power, and one who is focused on the long-term value of a project or company.

Law school is the next logical step in my ongoing pursuit of higher education in order to solidify a robust foundation for the future. My goal is to practice business and tax law. Reaching this goal will show my father that: I value “how good I have it” and I am never satisfied “with what I already know” all while rising above the stereotypes and prejudices that we have both faced throughout our lives.


I'm sorry but I think you need to rewrite this again. I know you tried to make a common theme through the whole thing I don't know what it is. Pick one story and focus on it. If you want to talk about your father you need to have a specific story of how he affected you. The "You don't know how easy you have it." is very generic. Also never ever ever say "Law school is the next logical step" it makes it sound like you don't really want to go to law school but you have nothing better to do.

am_s27
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:12 pm

Re: PS V2.0: Good, bad, or ugly?

Postby am_s27 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:40 pm

I appreciate the response and will take a long hard look at it tonight.

Anyone else? Agree? Disagree?

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Ramius
Posts: 2005
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:39 am

Re: PS V2.0: Good, bad, or ugly?

Postby Ramius » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:19 pm

Yes, you need to scrap this as written. Without going into too much detail, I basically felt like you lacked any connection with the reader. If I can't identify with you, I can't really see you in a positive light. It's kind of weird, because your topic is the type to elicit empathy and yet you approach it overly analytically. You need to decide what you want to highlight in your app, because it reads right now like you have no idea how you want the reader to see you. Be very purposeful in your intent.

As an aside, get rid of the confirmation bias in your mind. You want people to instinctively like what you write, but that might not be the case. Be willing to accept third party observation openly, because those observations are more germane than anything else you might rely on. These third party readers are very similar to the adcomms who will be evaluating your application.




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