PS, is this a good topic? I got concerns I tell ya, CONCERNS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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PS, is this a good topic? I got concerns I tell ya, CONCERNS

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:30 am

I've been brainstorming ideas for personal statements but I wanted to run this one by you guys before I started working on it.

You may have heard about the serious women's rights issues in India, they have been in international news lately. I wanted to write my PS about my desire to work on women's rights legislation in India, as well as how these issues have personally affected me. I have a rough draft in mind, it's hopefully gonna tug at some heartstrings. It is a subject I feel passionately about.

Now here's the problem, I'm an Indian citizen, and I'm worried that this statement will make schools question why I want to go to America to study. The answer to that is, I have been in American schooling most of my life. Middle school, high school, under grad, all american. Switching to Indian schooling now would basically mean retaking undergrad, adjusting to a completely different kind of schooling environment and curriculum. I want to set myself up for success, if I were to join the indian stream of education right now I would be going to mediocre schools and doing mediocre programs (top programs have no reason to accept me over a 17 year old kid with a 96% in his 12th grade exams). If I can however, do well in a good law school in America, I can get a good job in a related field and make some powerful connections, and maybe 10 years down the line I can come back to India in a blaze of glory and actually make a difference, as opposed to getting trapped in the bowels of an NGO that may never actually make a difference. It's definitely a more convoluted path to my goal, but I have to think in terms of my career.

Obviously I don't want to spend a portion of my PS describing the nuances of Indian education and the reasons I'd rather do a JD in America, so what do? Do you think it's even worth mentioning? I just feel that, If I were an admissions officer in America who's reading a PS about an Indian girl who wants to fight for social justice in India, I would wonder why she would want to come to America at all. '

Side note- A couple of school I'm applying to are accredited in India, and I feel that my PS gives me a good jumping off point for the 'Why X?' essay, so this question is mainly for the schools that are not accredited in India.

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Re: PS, is this a good topic? I got concerns I tell ya, CONCERNS

Postby socraticmethod » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:14 pm

It's a great theme in principle. Being able to connect the dots is going to be hard. That being said, I think you should re-consider this path if your final goal is to work for women's rights in India. As I understand, your plan is to go to law school, work in a related field and go work on women's rights in India thereafter. Simply state that. It most definitely is not a convoluted path. However, I'd suggest you express how you'd like to work on these issues from the time you graduate instead of drawing the work elsewhere for 10 years and go to India in a blaze of glory. It's seldom actually the case because there are tons of grassroots activists who've been engaged in these fields for their entire life and explore the problems and possible solutions with a far more pragmatic eye on the ground.

Also, it would be a bad idea to tie in how some schools are accredited in India. The legal system, processes and culture are entirely different and while it would enable you to practice law in India, I don't see how that would be a moot point in deciding which school to go to. It's relatively easy to get licensed to practice in India by getting an LL.M and/or making an application to the Bar Council to sit for the Bar. Being licensed would enable you to litigate in courts and I just don't see the connect. I say this because I have some experience in the legal field in India and it's not going to be a problem.
Given your objectives, you should think of getting a graduate degree in related fields and working in India right after that unless you want to secure your baseline options. Making 'powerful connections' at a law firm/Government/Consultancies won't really help in your aspirations.
And if those 'powerful connections' were sought to be made, it should be with an NGO (think Ashoka, USAID, UNIFEM) which would facilitate your ambitions. Alternatively, there are tons of consultancies that work exclusively on development issues (EY, BCG, Deloitte, and help local governments in developing countries). You could try them.

In any case, good luck. It's a good theme in principle and you should stick with your ideas as opposed to your prospective career paths.

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