Diversity Statement, rip it to shreds.

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Anonymous User
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Diversity Statement, rip it to shreds.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:32 pm

Hey guys, started writing a diversity statement today and kinda rolled with it. Not sure if I'm on the right track with this, kind of feel like it's too long and rambley....tear it apart for me okay?

---

I was born on a pleasant November morning in New Delhi. My parents had been hoping for a girl to compliment their 3 year old son. Pre-natal sex determination was, and still is, illegal in India. My mother’s blood pressure surged during her C-section, the doctor yelled at the nurse to put her under but my mother yelled even louder, “Is it a girl?” I was. She smiled and went to sleep. Whenever I hear that story, I am reminded of how lucky I am to be who I am. The odds were against me, a girl in India. My family wanted me instead of thinking of me as a burden, they sent me to college instead of marrying me off, they told me that I could do anything I wanted.

I owe everything to my father. He came from an extremely modest family, a chubby dyslexic boy who was always dubbed as the ‘slow’ kid. He defied all expectations by attending a prestigious engineering college. He was the first person ever to be hired by Unilever from his school. He diligently worked his way up the corporate ladder, sacrificing so much of himself so he could set up his children for success. We began to move into bigger houses, buy bigger TVs, plan fancier vacations. When everything was going perfectly, my dad came home early one day, something he never did, smiling. He announced that he was getting promoted and we were moving to Shanghai. I was devastated, at the age of 12, having spent 8 years in the same school with the same people the last thing I wanted to do was move to China. I never thought it would be the best thing that ever happened to me.

My first day in the Shanghai international school was terrifying. I had spent months perfecting an American accent, looking up American fashion trends, trying to blend in seamlessly. At my old school, differences were mocked. I soon realized however, that the international community valued differences. The other kids were fascinated, asking me about my life in India. They told me about their own lives, we bonded over our unusual stories. As I grew into my teens, I came to appreciate the vibrant city I lived in. The crowded metro stations with the Chinese signs terrified me at first, but now felt like second nature. The men who claim to give you a good price on bootleg DVDs because “You’re beautiful,” are in fact overcharging you. In the mornings, the bridge over the Huangpu river is the way to go, but in the afternoons the tunnel is invariably faster.

When I was 16, my father relocated back to India with his family in tow. This time, I was excited for my new adventure. I joined the international school to finish off the remainder of high school, and through the people I met there I was able to experience India a way I never had before. When college applications came around, I applied to the George Washington University because of it’s incredibly diverse student body, and I spent 4 incredible years in Washington DC, a place that was on the other side of the world from my family, a country I had never lived in before, a city I had never been to before, on my own for the first time ever, meeting people from all over the world and every rung of life and hearing their stories.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ramius
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Re: Diversity Statement, rip it to shreds.

Postby Ramius » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:38 pm

This was a good DS all in all, but the last paragraph was a pretty weak ending. Going to an American University won't really make you diverse; everything else before that truly does. I would consider lopping off the last paragraph or at least revising it somehow. Not totally sure how I would do that, but I think it needs to be done.

Also, one or two instances of missing words (which is pretty common), so just read it out loud and make sure you read it slowly and methodically to make sure every word is there and you didn't inadvertently miss an 'a' or 'the.'

Anonymous User
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Re: Diversity Statement, rip it to shreds.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:44 pm

This was a good DS all in all, but the last paragraph was a pretty weak ending. Going to an American University won't really make you diverse; everything else before that truly does. I would consider lopping off the last paragraph or at least revising it somehow. Not totally sure how I would do that, but I think it needs to be done.


Despite the fact that I was an international student? I get that it's not diverse in comparison, but going to America for UG was a pretty big move for me, so I thought I should end with it. That being said I do agree that it's a weak paragraph, I definitely need to work on it.

Also, yeah sorry about the grammar stuff I didn't proofread after editing a couple sentences out. Consider it a rough draft.

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Ramius
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Re: Diversity Statement, rip it to shreds.

Postby Ramius » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:29 pm

Remember that diversity is about how you bring a unique voice to a law school classroom, not how your experience is somewhat different from the average applicant. It's a subtle difference, but a difference nonetheless. I'm not saying your experience in going halfway around the world to study wasn't a big experience, but just that it doesn't provide any additional context to your voice as it's written. If you want to use it, you need to explain how that experience provided YOU a unique experience from what you've already experienced. Without explaining it better, it serves no purpose for you.

Just my opinion of course, but I think you would do well without the last paragraph.

Rt887
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Re: Diversity Statement, rip it to shreds.

Postby Rt887 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:39 pm

As already written here, you definitely need to better tie your experiences with the unique perspectives-and how they would be beneficial to the student body's richness-you might have picked up from them.

Also, I think you are trying to put way too much in there and some parts can be cut for sure. The part about your dad for example doesn't quite go with the rest of the essay, not to mention that it doesn't explain why YOU are unique. Same goes for being born as a girl in India. So long as you don't tie this to unique perspectives you gained it just sounds like a way to squeeze out emotional points from the committee, which I am sure they will be able to see through. Just focus on one or two meaningful experiences, I am sure you have a lot. Also, I recommend you try to make it sound less dramatic, it would make it seem far more genuine.

Some sentences you should consider changing: My family wanted me instead of thinking of me as a burden, they sent me to college instead of marrying me off, they told me that I could do anything I wanted.

Thats a really confusing sentence

When college applications came around, I applied to the George Washington University because of it’s incredibly diverse student body, and I spent 4 incredible years in Washington DC, a place that was on the other side of the world from my family, a country I had never lived in before, a city I had never been to before, on my own for the first time ever, meeting people from all over the world and every rung of life and hearing their stories.

break this up into 2 sentences

Sorry if I seemed brutal, I really am trying to be constructive! There are for sure a lot of things you can do with this essay given your unique experiences that would make it amazing. Feel free to ask if you have any quesitons! :)

Anonymous User
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Re: Diversity Statement, rip it to shreds.

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:11 am

Hey thanks for the tips! I actually had no idea where to go with this, I read a few that were on here and noticed people had gotten kinda flowery with their writing style, so I went with it. My PS i going to be pretty flowery, so I imagine my DS doesn't need to be as well.

psbebe
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Re: Diversity Statement, rip it to shreds.

Postby psbebe » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:14 pm

Your statement flows nicely! I think perhaps you could contrast your different cultural experiences a little more, and explain what lessons you learned from this experience. You did a good job of doing this in your second paragraph, so perhaps look at the conclusion again. Good start, it sounds like you have had an interesting life!!

Anonymous User
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Re: Diversity Statement, rip it to shreds.

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:57 am

Okay so here's a question for you, I made a list of the things that I believe I can write about in my diversity statement, but I obviously don't wanna write about all of them like some diversity slut, so what your opinion on stuff that should, could and shouldn't be included.

- Girl in India (this is probably going to be explored my personal statement, in which case I wont write about it)
- Religious Minority in India (under 1% of the population, a tiny ancient religion with interesting (sometimes cooky, but always well-intentioned) philosophies)
- Running the gamut of lower middle class to upper class during the course of my lifetime (which has really given me the ability to understand situation for a variety of perspectives, but I'm worried that it'll come off as snobby)
- Living in both north and south India (basically two different countries)
- Moving to China and adjusting
- Moving back to India and adjusting differently, plus the changes in the way I viewed my own country
- Travelling the world extensively (Again, worried it will come off as some rich kid going on vacation)
- Going to America for undergrad, alone and immersed in an unfamiliar culture.
- While in DC, gaining an interest in Deaf Culture, learning ASL, developing a keen interest in helping children in India with special needs.

Thoughts?

socraticmethod
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Re: Diversity Statement, rip it to shreds.

Postby socraticmethod » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:33 pm

Well, that's a lot of factors you've listed out there.
Here's the things you should include:
- Interest in deaf culture
- Keen interest in helping children in India with special needs (If your interest is demonstrable on your resume and not a one-off workshop)

Just let the rest of the statement be covered in diversity without saying it. I mean, paint a portrait of China, your religion (Parsi or Jain I assume), and your experiences in an international school. Going to an international school for a big chunk of your growing years must have rubbed off on you. Was it a UWC ?
I'd work on the international school angle.
Do keep in mind that the schools are looking for a diversity that is acquired over time, rather than merely being innate. I wouldn't count it as diverse if someone was from a unique, one of his kind tribe of Papua New Guinea. Rather, the practices of the culture, the differing perspectives would perhaps inform the mixed cultures.
As a fellow Indian who has lived all over the country, I can attest to how compelling the different cultures seem and how it feels like you should write about that and the 'girl in India' angle. However, I'd advise against it because it doesn't seem like you've personally been the subject of any drastic oppression. Living in a country that ill treats it's women doesn't count as diverse unless it applies to you personally.
The reason I think you should exclude the rest of these elements is because they're not really unique. Traveling to different places with your family doesn't really seem much too challenging when a lot of applicants would have traveled independently as working professionals and adapting to different countries.

Good luck. It looks like you've got a pretty decent story but I'd let the story be diverse instead of trying to actively demonstrate it.




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