Please give me some feedback on my personal statement!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
bisanch
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:19 pm

Please give me some feedback on my personal statement!

Postby bisanch » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:19 am

A typical day in the Yoon’s household consisted of dealing with parents who sought out every opportunity to bark at each other. When I began to understand my parents’ relationship, most of my days were like walking on thin ice. The relationship my parents shared was neither functional nor passionate, as it originated from a local matchmaker in Seoul. The lack of communication disseminated any opportunities to understand each other. A small crack in their opinion became a crevice, a fissure, then an impasse – compromise became a strange concept. As the last resort, my parents tried to glue whatever they had left of their marriage by having a child – me.

My birth marked a fresh start in a damaged environment. Unfortunately, my parents’ leap of faith fell short, and their renewed hope sputtered into disappointment, producing a tense setting to grow up in. Living in this household meant coercion in every action and suppression of every expression, a constant reminder to think before acting or speaking became the norm. This volatile household became essential to my growth of adaptability and maturity. I learned to shift my perspective and body language to accompany each parent, manifesting the illusion of happiness and cohesion. In addition, I had to acquire the skill of extracting relevant information from emotional baggage as I continue to mediate negotiating splitting twenty-five years’ worth of marriage after the divorce. I became the bridge between my parents.

The skills gained from an unsuccessful marriage continue to benefit me, in both formal and informal situations. The expedited maturation and developed adaptability translated into my internship by allowing me to handle potential clients during my internship. Because the firm I interned at focused on personal injuries and medical malpractice, many clients were emotionally distressed from physical harm to themselves, or close relatives. Sorting out necessary information for a case versus empathetically listening to a story became a balancing game, which I excelled at. However, the lack of legal education limited what I could do for the clients. What I could do to resolve their problems ended with being an active listener.

Recognizing the value of a legal education dawned on me again when my friend was charged with plagiarism. Due to the strict honor code, my friend faced expulsion. I could only be a comforter, a passive supporter. However, I attended the initial meeting with the editors of the newspaper to get a grasp of the situation as a member of the section. As expected, high emotional level of my friend restricted effective communication. I naturally took on the role of mediator to sort relevant statements and pacify my heated friend. The meeting ended when the accusations and actions to be taken had been written on the whiteboard, organized into a nonpartisan perspective. Both parties understood that legal counsel was inevitable, and my friend had to hire help. I truly wish I could have advised him with more technical and concrete courses of action, but all I could do was support him at the trial as a friend.

I learned early in my life that everyone will have conflict, even those closest to each other. It is the method of solving these problems that determines who you are. My childhood constructed me into a bridge, able to close schisms between conflicting parties. It developed my character to be more empathetic and capable of managing biases. These experiences also taught me humility, drawing limits to what I can offer. Reflecting back on my undergraduate experiences, I came to understand that my tendency to take others’ problems as my own has become a habit. I hope to continue to nurture this habit into helping others, strengthening it and giving it direction with a strong legal education.

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lastsamurai
Posts: 978
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:17 am

Re: Please give me some feedback on my personal statement!

Postby lastsamurai » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:51 pm

I think you need to do some serious editing, but it's always good to get something out on paper so you have somewhere to start.

The topic presented as is just isn't really that interesting or relevant. With the divorce rate where it is, you're not going to get any points for uniqueness, but if you write it well, it could pass as a PS. I think there's a somewhat viable topic here for a safe PS, but you've gotta consolidate the first two paragraphs and talk more about yourself.

I get the idea that trying to bring your parents together makes you want to be a lawyer who helps to bring people together, but it just came across very disjointed. There is way too much time spent on your parents divorce and nowhere near enough time spent on you. Also, it seemed chronologically out of order at the beginning with discussing how you saw your parent drift apart but then they had a child - you. How could you see it if you were still in the womb?

I'd also have a friend who is maybe an English major read over this prior to applying.

Just really do some editing, and take any other comments that you get seriously. Good luck!

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scoobysnax
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:51 pm

Re: Please give me some feedback on my personal statement!

Postby scoobysnax » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:07 pm

This reminds me a little of my own PS!

I would combine the first two paragraphs (or cut out the first one...) and focus less on your parents and more on the skills you learned. Would definitely expand more on your time at the law firm. I'm sure you did more than just listen!

Overall, I think this is a good foundation, but you need to cut out the irrelevant parts and add more to make it stronger.

bisanch
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Please give me some feedback on my personal statement!

Postby bisanch » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:39 pm

Thank you for the feedback. I made some revisions, please let me know what you think of the changes.

My childhood dislike for going to English cram school in Seoul evolved into an interest in education. At the time I wanted to change the system because I wanted to go to the arcade, but now I see privatized educational institutions as a vehicle perpetuating inequality. My dream of becoming an education policymaker in South Korea gained structure as I declared sociology as my major. My undergraduate focus and my personal life established a pertinent background and a set of skills, but I needed to be certified as a professional in today’s society to be acknowledged. Observing my older brother, I realized pursuing a legal career as most relevant and effective next step.

The relationship my parents shared was neither functional nor passionate, as it originated from a local matchmaker in Seoul. The lack of communication disseminated any opportunities to understand each other. A small crack in their opinion became a crevice, a fissure, then an impasse – compromise became a strange concept. Living in this household meant coercion in every action and suppression of every expression, and I was constantly reminded to think before acting or speaking. A blessing in disguise, this volatile household became essential to my growth of adaptability and maturity. I learned to shift my perspective and body language to accompany each parent, manifesting the illusion of happiness and cohesion. In addition, I had to acquire the skill of extracting relevant information from emotional baggage as I continue to mediate negotiating splitting twenty-five years’ worth of marriage after the divorce. I became the bridge between my parents.

The skills gained from an unsuccessful marriage continue to benefit me, in both formal and informal situations. The expedited maturation and developed adaptability translated into my internship by allowing me to handle potential clients during my internship. Because the firm I interned at focused on personal injuries and medical malpractice, many clients were emotionally distressed from physical harm to themselves, or close relatives. Sorting out necessary information for a case versus empathetically listening to a story became a balancing game, which I excelled at. However, the lack of legal education limited what I could do for the clients.

Considering this my first office experience, adapting to the new environment was fairly smooth. I quickly recognized what the attorneys wanted from me and became aware of the small office dynamics. Because I lacked legal expertise, what I could contribute to the firm was clearly limited. I saw that as an intern, meeting expectations mostly meant demonstrating attractive character. By bringing enthusiasm, initiative, and intellectual curiosity, I adjusted to generate a favorable image in the small office. However, I crossed the line by becoming too personal with a co-worker. Talk about weekend plans broadcasted to the whole office due to its modest size. My unbridled persona increased susceptibility to unprofessionalism, teaching me that even personality is a balancing game necessarily adjusted accordingly to setting.

Recognizing the value of a legal education dawned on me again when my friend was charged with plagiarism. Due to the strict honor code of my university, my friend faced expulsion. I attended the initial meeting with the editors of the newspaper to get a grasp of the situation as a member of the section. As expected, high emotional level of my friend restricted effective communication. I naturally took on the role of mediator to sort relevant statements and pacify my heated friend. The meeting ended when the accusations and actions to be taken had been written on the whiteboard, organized into a nonpartisan perspective. Both parties understood that legal counsel was inevitable, and my friend had to hire help. I truly wish I could have advised him with more technical and concrete courses of action, but all I could do was support him at the trial as a friend.

My childhood constructed me into a flexible bridge, able to close schisms between conflicting parties. It developed my character to be more empathetic, capable of managing biases, and adaptable. Undergraduate experiences allowed me to cultivate and apply these qualities, testing my limits and teaching me humility. I am excited at the prospect that law school will be a new, challenging arena that can further hone these qualities by placing me in multifaceted environments, letting me take one step closer to my dream.




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