Help with my PS

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Help with my PS

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:38 am

Ill try again...

“歡迎學生們,來到國防語言學院”! Six turbulent months which saw the birth of my first child, Basic Military Training, two moves, and separation from all of my friends and family culminated in this sentence. My eyes raced around the room, searching the faces of my fellow classmates. I was looking for confirmation that I was not alone in this overwhelming sense of panic and inadequacy. The teacher continued, speaking completely in Chinese, for the next 30 seconds. She paused and looked around at the 15 students that sat in front of her before reaching for a marker. Quickly, I mimicked her movements. I uncapped the marker laying on the table and prepared to write. “Write your name and rank,” she said. I quickly penned Airman Basic NAME, before capping the marker and placing it down. I know I can do this, I reassured myself. This is where I belong.
* * *
I was recruited for by the Air Force for one reason: I was able and willing to do things that others couldn’t or wouldn’t. After months of background checks and physical examinations, aptitude tests and paperwork, I inked a six-year contract with the Air Force. Throughout the process, the Air Force had refined what they determined to be my strengths and weaknesses. The listed of Air Force specialty codes they considered for me dwindled until, upon my performance of the Defense Language Aptitude Battery, the committed me to linguistic training.
Military linguist is one of the most difficult jobs to fill. Only 1% of military recruits qualify to go the Presidio of Monterey- the Army post that houses the Defense Language Institute. DLI boasts an 80% rate of attrition and that number continues to grow once the graduates receive orders to their first permanent duty station. Through the extensive process of background checks and aptitude tests, the recruiting class of which I was a part of yielded only two prospective linguists.
I was not deterred by the statistics and odds that seemingly condemned me to failure. I
worked to internalize my oath of enlistment, which committed me to success and perseverance. I dedicated my every action and thought to meeting the needs of the Air Force. Through my enlistment, the Air Force made it clear that they needed professional linguists and I was obligated to fulfill this need.
As I sat in class, I was initially overcome with fear. The 63-week journey that lay at my feet appeared quite daunting and, frankly, nothing short of impossible. I decided then and there that I would make it through. I owed it to myself, the Air Force, and my country. As my eyes moved from student to student I realized that we would all be pushed to our limits. Ten of us would not graduate and, of the five who did, four would not make it through a 20-year career in the military. I understood that I needed to become the one who did.
I woke up and dedicated the next eight hours to being the best student I could be. I did this for five days every week, for 63 consecutive weeks. My reward was a diploma, honors, a handshake from the school’s Commandant, and the promise of the most intellectually taxing career the military has to offer.
I have continued this mindset into my operational career. I have spent seven years as a military linguist working missions for the Air Force, Joint Service Commands, and the National Security Agency. I have discovered that the key to serving is to identify a need that the military has and pursue it with all your efforts. It is this lifelong pursuit that has landed me at the steps of Law School.
The military’s diverse workforce and operational environments present a host of legal issues that stand in the way of mission success. It is paramount that the military adhere to laws regarding rules of engagement, the Law of Armed Conflict, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Furthermore, the legal hurdles of individual members are equally diverse. Government contracts, civil court, and foreign laws (for members living abroad) play a daily role in our lives. To ensure that all legal measures are implemented and adhered to by military units and their members, the Air Force relies heavily on the expertise of JAG officers.
Currently, the Air Force has an incredible need for JAG officers and, as an Airman, I bear the responsibility to fill this need. Just as I stepped up to learn Chinese and meet the military’s operational needs as a linguist, I would like to attend George Washington’s part-time Juris Doctorate program to continue my work in the Air Force while obtaining a top-quality education to meet the present and future legal needs of the Air Force. George Washington’s commitment to excellence and public service align with my priorities as a service member and a legal education would enable me to continue and elevate my service to the Air Force.

Thanks for looking at this and constructive criticism only please. "You are garbage" won't really help me!
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:55 am

Re: Help with my PS

Postby Smantz » Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:55 am

I think your personal statement needs lots of work and I think you should get professional assistance with it. Here are some things that stood out for me:

1) Your first paragraph is about how the purpose of military training is lost by comparative arguments. However, your key message is that "The difficulties of military training have prepared me to be a law student." (Or something, which I think is somewhat misguided and cliche, but we'll get to that later.) Considering how precious the real estate is, I would delete this first paragraph because the sub-message detracts from the greater message. You have about 750 words to personify yourself and make a point. Build up to and stick to the key message only.

2) In my opinion, I think your PS message should focus on why you want to be an attorney. How it will make you a better law student can be perceived very negatively. Also, I haven't read every veteran PS there is (in fact yours and mine are the only two), but basic training and it's inherent difficulty indicating success in law school is a) a stretch b) low-hanging fruit (too easy to come up with) c) has probably been done by lots of vets.

3) Your descriptions, though somewhat vivid, start to drag.

I think you should reconstruct or reconsider your message. If you are borderline on numbers, I think this PS could really break you at your stretch schools. Try to connect the experience to why you want to go to law school or be an attorney, NOT how it will make you a better law student.

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