Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:50 pm

Hey all, hoping you could help me out with this one. Simple 1 page diversity statement.

If afforded the opportunity to attend XXXXXXXXXXX, I believe my varied background including military service and public advocacy will aid me in enhancing the diversity of the XXXXXXXXXXX community both in and out of the classroom.

Within a week of graduating high school I left to complete my initial training for service as an infantryman in the Marine Corps reserves. In addition to my duties as a reservist, my education was interrupted for a year as I completed additional training and served in Afghanistan, spending part of my time as a military adviser for the Jordanian Armed Forces, and the remainder of the time serving as a member of a mobile assault platoon conducting daily patrols in the local villages. After over six years of service I left the Marine Corps as a Sergeant, partially responsible for the training and care of over twenty Marines.

Outside of the military I also have been involved in some unconventional activities, including doing mechanic work, customizing firearms and loading ammunition, working as a state certified firearms instructor, and volunteering with a Second Amendment organization.

Whether or not one's experience is enriching to a community depends largely on if they desire to be an active member of that community. During my undergraduate career I was involved in starting activities on campus, and also in conducting outreach and becoming involved in debate and discussion on subjects I am passionate about. I have called into radio shows and spoken with the governor, been a participant on a local access station in my home town on a panel discussing school safety, was featured as a regular guest on a local student run radio show, and provided my testimony on multiple occasions to state legislative committees.

If I am fortunate enough to attend XXXXXXXXXXX I will continue to be outspoken about issues I am knowledgeable and passionate about. I believe I can be a strong contributing member of the community, getting other students involved in activities they may not have had an interest in.


Thanks

Mike

User avatar
encore1101
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:13 am

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby encore1101 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:55 pm

not really diverse, tbh

ETA: is this being used for a PS or DS? If its DS, then I'd say no-go. Speaking as former active-duty USMC.

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:22 pm

Prompt was basically "Describe how your background or experiences will enhance the diversity of the university community." It goes on to mention this can be on the basis of employment, ideology, age, race, etc. So I guess it's not simply a diversity statement, but more asking what can be brought to the table. Obviously from the military side of the fence I'm not some HSLD operator, but the main point of the essay is I want to convey that not only do I have some varied background, but also I'm not shy about speaking up about various issues. My PS statement touches a little more on OEF, but its not by any means central to the paper.

Mike

serein
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:32 am

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby serein » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:25 pm

i'd be careful pounding my chest about gun rights. while it will certainly make you a minority at a top school, i'd bet that isn't the sort of diversity many on an admissions committee are looking for.. whether they'd admit it or not.

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:35 pm

Yeah I thought about that. It is included with more context in the personal statement I have been using... In the sense that I started a gun club at my undergrad in Massachusetts that has now had close to 500 members, and also that I have been pretty involved in 2A issues including an ongoing volunteer/internship with a state version of SAF that includes doing legal research and proofing briefs. I wasn't going to not include it because "guns are scary." Its a fine line between chest pounding and demonstrating a reasonable position I suppose.

I can certainly pull that out of this paper though. Or just scrap it and start from square 1. If I'm not that interesting then so be it haha.

Mike

JustDuke
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby JustDuke » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:39 pm

Good material I would say. But too much "I I I" especially in third paragraph

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:42 pm

I used to go through printed papers and circle all the "I"s in red I've found that eliminating them usually makes the paper more verbose, and there isn't much room for those on to grow and stay within the constraints. I'll take another look and see what can be done.

Mike

JustDuke
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby JustDuke » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:47 pm

mike0331 wrote:I used to go through printed papers and circle all the "I"s in red I've found that eliminating them usually makes the paper more verbose, and there isn't much room for those on to grow and stay within the constraints. I'll take another look and see what can be done.

Mike


Dont change the grammar construction. Just make it floe like a story rather then resume. I feel like I can put bullet points (lol) there.

User avatar
encore1101
Posts: 641
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:13 am

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby encore1101 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:54 pm

Fair enough. If its for a specific prompt and it lists employment as a factor, then I stand corrected.

In that case, I echo the sentiments of the person who said to cut down on the Second Amendment talk. Depending on which school this is for, it can be a pretty divisive issue.

For example:
Outside of the military I also have been involved in some unconventional activities, including doing mechanic work, customizing firearms and loading ammunition, working as a state certified firearms instructor, and volunteering with a Second Amendment organization.


Can be better worded to express that you're trying to bring awareness and knowledge by starting the club at your undergrad, and not some crazy vet that's one tick away from a murder spree (looking at recent news.. again...).


I'd also remove the line "I will continue to be outspoken about issues I am knowledgeable and passionate about." and try to replace it with something that implies collaboration and how that will benefit the student body. As it is, it sounds like you're just going to yell loudly.

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:56 pm

Hows this:
If afforded the opportunity to attend the XXXXXXXXXXX, my varied background including military service and public advocacy will aid me in enhancing the diversity of the XXXXXXXXXXX community both in and out of the classroom.

Within a week of graduating high school I left to complete my initial training for service as an infantryman in the Marine Corps reserves. In addition to my regular duties as a reservist, my education was interrupted for a year for additional training and service in Afghanistan, where part of my time was spent as a military adviser for the Jordanian Armed Forces, and the remainder was spent in a mobile assault platoon conducting daily patrols in the local villages. After over six years of service I left the Marine Corps as a Sergeant. This experience has largely shaped my interests and outlook on the world.

Outside of the military I also have been involved in some unconventional activities, including doing mechanic work, customizing firearms and loading ammunition, working as a state certified firearms instructor, and volunteering with a Second Amendment organization.

Regardless of background, to enrich a community one must be involved in that community. During my undergraduate career I was involved in starting activities on campus, and also in conducting outreach and becoming involved in debate and discussion on subjects that are important to me. I have called into radio shows and spoken with the governor, been a participant on a local access station in my home town on a panel discussing school safety, was featured as a regular guest on a local student run radio show, and provided my testimony on multiple occasions to state legislative committees.

If fortunate enough to attend XXXXXXXXXXX I will continue to involve others in issues I am knowledgeable and passionate about. My contribution will be what it has been in the past: Exposing others to novel perspectives and activities.

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:19 am

Here's the latest

If afforded the opportunity to attend the XXXXXXXXXXXXX, my varied background including military service and public advocacy will aid me in enhancing the diversity of the XXXXXXXXXXXXX community both in and out of the classroom.

Within a week of graduating high school I left to complete my initial training for service as an infantryman in the Marine Corps reserves. In addition to my regular duties as a reservist, my education was interrupted for a year for additional training and service in Afghanistan, where part of my time was spent as a military adviser for the Jordanian Armed Forces, and the remainder was spent in a mobile assault platoon conducting daily patrols in the local villages. After over six years of service I left the Marine Corps as a Sergeant. My service overseas and leadership experience gained abroad and at home have greatly shaped who I am today.

As a civilian my work experience and interests are varied and stray from what is popular among most recent college graduates. I have worked in manufacturing, automotive repair, and firearms instruction, and my interests include semi-competitive shooting and political involvement including work with a local non-profit.

No matter how interesting or varied one's background, to enrich a community they must be involved in that community. During my undergraduate career I was involved in starting activities on campus, and also in conducting outreach and becoming involved in debate and discussion on subjects that are important to me. I have called into radio shows and spoken with the governor, been a participant on a local access station in my home town on a panel discussing school safety, was featured as a regular guest on a local student run radio show, and provided my testimony on multiple occasions to state legislative committees. If fortunate enough to attend XXXXXXXXXXXXX I will continue to involve others in issues I am knowledgeable and passionate about.

WordPass
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:56 am

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby WordPass » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:55 am

The statement (your latest) very much reads like a list and because of that, lacks a certain substance. I don't think it'd be a negative by any means, but I don't see it being the plus that you want it to be.

You say your "varied background including military service and public advocacy will aid me in enhancing the diversity" of _____ law. HOW?

Then you end with "If fortunate enough to attend XXXXXXXXXXXXX I will continue to involve others in issues I am knowledgeable and passionate about. "

Everything in between those two statements is just ....stuff. Stuff you've done before. The takeaway is that you've been very involved in the military and other jobs and you promise to let people know about it?

I think you should probably grab one of the things you've described in your statement and extrapolate. You have a wealth of experience, is there anything, in conjunction with your experiences of course, that truly displays your ability to involve others (as that's what you end with)? If you really want to add all these things you've done, you could even cleverly drop it in small places throughout the statement. I'd even say you should add it, but it should very much flow. Have a strong framework, add the things that make it look really pretty later, but don't overdo it.

Phew, thank goodness I don't have all that experience, talk about a 10 pager.

JustDuke
Posts: 110
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby JustDuke » Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:50 am

You are allright wordpass. You'reallright

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:25 am

That's good, I'll try making it more applicable.

The point I am trying to get accross is I have a background beyond just being an undergrad, and I also know how to involve others in that background, hence why I was trying to demonstrate that I am not shy. For example, lets say I was an astronaut, that would not be very enriching if I also never talked or discussed anything I learned from it.

Mike

User avatar
RCSOB657
Posts: 2272
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:50 am

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby RCSOB657 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:29 am

Marine, can I send you mine, it may give you some ideas about how to incorporate what you want.

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:36 pm

Go for it.

User avatar
RCSOB657
Posts: 2272
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:50 am

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby RCSOB657 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:45 pm

Mine is a PS, not a specific DS, but plays the same dual role I think you're going for. If you give me an email I can send you a copy of my resume and activities addendum. Easier to read all this if left in word.

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:56 pm

This is not a final draft, but do you think this is a better direction to be going?

If afforded the opportunity to attend the XXXXXXXXXX, my varied background including military service and public advocacy will aid me in enhancing the diversity of the XXXXXXXXX community both in and out of the classroom. In order to contribute to a community one must be able to take their own unique experiences and share them in a meaningful way with others.

Although not much older than many of my fellow recent graduates, at twenty-five I have not led the typical college life. My education was interrupted for a tour in Afghanistan as a Marine infantryman, which has taught me an immense amount about not only myself, but the harshness that exists in this world. Since returning home I have become very politically involved, and become familiar with the legislative process, for better or worse. However, experience alone is not adequate in enriching a community; one must also work to engage others in activities or conversation.

As an undergraduate I took advantage of opportunities to use my personal knowledge or expertise to educate others or simply provide a less common perspective on various issues. Examples of this include my regular appearance as a guest on a local radio show hosted by a friend and my taking part in a round table discussion on my hometown's local news station. I have also taught multiple classes with the campus police department to hundreds of students interested in becoming involved recreational shooting sports.

As a prospective law student there is still much for me to learn, and I have found that learning best occurs through being involved in activities and discussion. My objective as a student and member of the XXXXXXXXXXX community will be to seek out others with varying perspectives and backgrounds and work to learn as much as possible from them, while also offering what I have learned from my experiences when appropriate.

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

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby Ramius » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:24 pm

Classic case of show, don't tell.

You have many reasons to suggest you have a diverse background (deployments to Afghanistan, etc.), but you don't show it at all. Instead of trying to follow this, "Because of this, I am diverse for X, Y, Z," you need to take an experience that framed your experiences either in Afghanistan or whatever and show why you see the world differently because of it. As a third party reader, I want to be immersed in your experience and feel why you'll add to the classroom discussion. This statement does nothing for that.

What formative experiences did you have while you experienced your diverse background?

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:31 pm

My PS does touch more on that, so I didn't want to beat a dead horse. I suppose my objective with this paper (which I guess I am still failing at completing) is to say hey look, I'm diverse (they have my resume and my PS if they want more details), but I also have an ability to become involved in discussion, rather than just sit on the sidelines.

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

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby Ramius » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:40 pm

mike0331 wrote:My PS does touch more on that, so I didn't want to beat a dead horse. I suppose my objective with this paper (which I guess I am still failing at completing) is to say hey look, I'm diverse (they have my resume and my PS if they want more details), but I also have an ability to become involved in discussion, rather than just sit on the sidelines.


If this is your goal with your DS, then you should just scrap it. Remember that a DS is a nice-to-have, not a need to have. If your PS and resume already hit on everything you talk about in your DS, then the DS serves no purpose. Scrap it.

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:43 pm

I'm thinking that may be right... they have some other optional essay options that I guess I can look over.

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:42 pm

So I decided to go with another prompt. Here's the prompt: Describe a time when, as a member of a team, you particularly excelled or were especially frustrated. What was your role within that team? What was the outcome?

I haven't talked about this in the rest of the app/PS, so thought this was a good prompt. Here is my rough draft:

For the first month of my tour in Afghanistan I volunteered as a military advisor in an embedded training team for the Jordanian Armed Forces. The objective of our team was to prepare a battalion of JAF soldiers (approximately 500) to take over some parts of the security mission around the perimeter of Camp Leatherneck, freeing up Marines to join the fight in the more kinetic areas of the country. My role in this team specifically was to aid others in providing instruction on basic weapons and infantry tactics to the Jordanians, as well as serve as the primary instructor on various machineguns that the United States had provided to them.

One thing that is often taken for granted by members of the U.S. Military is our work ethic and level of professionalism. This became apparent as we started our training mission with what we were told was the best military in the Middle East. Unfortunately from the command on down the JAF refused to train for much longer than four hours a day, and what limited time we had with them was slowed as all instruction required the use of interpreters.

Once training got underway, as a junior enlisted Marine at the rank of E3 I was told I would be in charge of teaching four companies of Jordanians how to properly setup, maintain, and employ two different types of machineguns, and then help to oversee them during actual use. Despite my age, rank, and being overseas for the first time I was the only school trained machinegunner on the team, so the responsibility of providing instruction on the M2 heavy machinegun and M240 medium machinegun rested on my shoulders. I was also responsible for verifying the guns were properly setup once on the range, a task that specifically with the M2 can result in the gun exploding if not done correctly.

Ultimately, through stressing the most important aspects of the course, the Jordanians were able to demonstrate a basic understanding of how to setup and use the machineguns. More importantly, however, during all of the live fire ranges, there were no accidents or injuries.


There is a 1 page limit, though I do have some pictures. Would it be a mistake to include a couple captioned pictures on a second page?

Thoughts? Feel free to rip it up!

Mike

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby mike0331 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:30 pm

More recent draft:

For the first month of my tour in Afghanistan I served as military advisor for the Jordanian Armed Forces. Our training team's mission was to prepare a battalion of JAF soldiers (approximately 500) to take over minor parts of the security mission around the perimeter of Camp Leatherneck, freeing up Marines to join the fight in the more kinetic areas of the country. My individual role in this team was as the primary machinegun instructor.

As Marines we often take for granted the work ethic and discipline required of us. This became very apparent as what we were told was one of the best units from the best military in the Middle East demonstrated a lack of motivation to train hard and for more than a few hours a day. As our time was limited, it was especially frustrating working to accommodate their desired training schedule, break periods, and lack of motivation.

Despite this, my proudest accomplishment on this team was my role as the primary instructor of machineguns and machinegunnery. This was emphasized by my being one of the junior members of team in rank, age, and time in service. As the only school-trained machinegunner on the team, my responsibilities included teaching classes, overseeing practical application, and overseeing use and employment on the firing line. Though the Jordanians were far from Marine Corps machinegunners at the conclusion of their training, they demonstrated a basic understanding of the new weapon systems they received, and most importantly there were no accidents or injuries as hundreds of them shot thousands of rounds.

One of the most valuable lessons the Marine Corps teaches about team work is to always know the job of those above you. Things that can go wrong almost certainly will go wrong. Despite my age and rank, and the less than ideal situation with those I was tasked with training, as a 21 year old Lance Corporal I was able to instruct and supervise over 500 students across a language barrier on the proper and safe use of items they had no significant experience with.

User avatar
ChemEng1642
Posts: 1239
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:26 pm

Re: Thoughts/Critique on diversity statement

Postby ChemEng1642 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:16 pm

mike0331 wrote:
There is a 1 page limit, though I do have some pictures. Would it be a mistake to include a couple captioned pictures on a second page?

Thoughts? Feel free to rip it up!

Mike


yes - don't do that




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.