2nd draft needing some critique

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2nd draft needing some critique

Postby bcbias » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:51 pm

Please feel free to pick to pick this apart. Any criticism and/or critique is welcome!

At the start of my final undergraduate semester, I stood in bewilderment before my esteemed professor and his French research technician in their laboratory. The clarification of the pioneering genotype research project that I was about to undertake left me lost in translation from the first sentence. Their mentioning of “oligonucleotide microsatellite markers” might as well have been in French. The addition of unfamiliar lab equipment, spectrophotometer images, and taxonomic names surrounding us only aided the notion that I was in over my head.

The opposing challenges seemed insurmountable: I had a poor academic history in genetics, I struggled with quantitative concepts, I had forgotten all relevant lab procedures, and I was to be the only undergraduate working on the project or in the lab. Knowing intelligence is malleable, I refused to be discouraged. With prior coursework, textbooks, lab notes, and the internet at my disposal, I devoted myself to grasping as much relevant methodology and conceptual understanding as possible. I was a knowledge-drinking sponge that could not be quenched.

I hit the ground running, quickly picking up new lab skills along the way. To the delight of my new colleagues I was churning out reactions and precipitating DNA in no time. The project’s groundbreaking nature forced most of our effort on identifying viable microsatellites and optimizing reaction conditions. Through strong teamwork, communication, and a lot of elbow grease we achieved feasible reaction states. I generated the genotypic relativity data from our work and prior to graduation presented them to the professor. Subsequently I was hired by the department to broaden our research and perform high throughput sequencing for agro-science sponsors. Unbeknownst to me, the opportunity would ignite a burning passion within me.

Learning from my colleagues that sponsored funds for our sequencing maintained the lab and shifted its focus on securing them was a bit surprising, but the underlying implications I discovered by scouring journal databases were even more so. I gathered that the current technology transfer model, spawned by the Bayh-Dole Act, encourages universities to seek research sponsors for income. However university trends of limiting lab funds, faculty patent ownership, and patent licensing often exploit research faculty by leaving them to the facilitation of industry interests. Venturing outside university concerns I found that the current intellectual property (IP) laws inadequately incentivize the major biotechnology innovators, research dependent start-ups companies, and their investors by creating a high cost-high risk situation in an uncertain market. Ultimately I feel that our IP climate in bioscience unnecessarily marginalizes proliferation of new ideas, indicating a dire need for reform.

Coming to terms with these issues made it that more difficult to return home and expand my family’s real estate holdings due to my parent’s job uncertainty, since I’m the only child. In the two months I could stay, I nearly finished the next phase of analysis, despite the workload being fourfold that of the first phase. With my colleagues certain they could finish what little remained, I left an accomplished and soon to be published researcher.

My passion for law has only grown since my laboratory days, still devouring as much insight as possible and even interning in a small bustling firm for experience. Law is a natural fit for my analytical nature and I recognize a need for more individuals of my background in the profession. I am fascinated with patent law’s handling of innovations in so many disciplines but as my project has sat untouched due to further budget cuts and sponsor workloads, I can personally attest to the need for changes in our IP system that are cognizant of the unique nature of biological research. With the healthcare job sector slated to expand the most this decade according to the Department of Labor Statistics and the ability of biological innovations to improve quality of life, I see the potential of improving millions of lives through successful implementation of these breakthroughs. I want to help revise the current IP debacle to make this possibility a reality but I cannot do it alone. ________has the curriculum, faculty, and network for me to practice patent law and aid in its revision.

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Re: 2nd draft needing some critique

Postby ThetaX » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:08 pm

I generally like the direction of your statement. You tell the reader why it is that, after your work and schooling, you have decided to pursue the law. The ability to overcome intellectual barriers can draw a parallel to your abilities as a lawyer. However, there is a lot of tell not show here. Yes, it is ok to say you are analytical, but it is far better not to say it and show it. Much easier said than done of course. Weed out of some of the attributes that you describe, and instead find some more relatable components in your life that will succinctly depict the qualities you are trying to attribute to yourself. Also, your conclusion seems a little insincere, but it is only because there are so many like it. Try and stand out a bit more than just saying that the growing IP sector will have a place for you. Make it more PERSONAL. That is all I can think of at this time, let me know if I can help some more.

Why is it so much easier to critique other's statements rather than your own, jeez!?

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