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Unusual Personal Statement, Please Critique Roughly!

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:40 am
by technomedic
Technology has always been second nature to me. My first time using a computer was at two years old. It was an old IBM ThinkPad. My first job at home was formatting floppy disks. I got ten cents per disk. My second job was installing Windows 3.1. It took thirty-two floppy disks to install Windows in 1994…I was seven. My first attempt at programming was age nine. Quick Basic was a popular language when I started.

Fast-forward ten years….

My first two college semesters had finished. I was home for the summer. Actually, I was home for the foreseeable future. I had gotten into a spot of trouble. I knew it was time for a lifestyle change. My father’s ideal solution to being troublesome was a job. Under the circumstances, I thought being given a job was a lucky break. He was an independent IT for Medical and Dental Offices scattered across the Chicago-land area. The job was too active for him so I was going to help out. He was little more than a year out of the hospital. He recently had a valve replaced in his heart. Now it ticks with his heartbeat. It sounds like he has a giant Conductor’s watch in his shirt pocket.

The first week on the job was not exactly fun. Most calls were about computers that were unwilling to boot up. I was able to sort out simple issues on the spot. I began habitually checking if the computer was even plugged in. Every so often they were really broke. Dentists’ office waiting rooms can be awfully attentive. Daytime Soaps do not hold peoples’ interest well enough. It only takes one afternoon having an audience to learn to be proactive. I started keeping a spare computer in my car to swap quickly. Avoiding common problems became a simple matter of preparation.

I was convinced I had the best job in the world. I always felt like a hero. People would call me with problems they had no way of solving. My job was to tell them I was on my way and then I would solve their problems. People have come to depend on me to solve larger problems since my first week.

I got a call recently about a medical server that would not boot. I had encountered situations like this before. Except for the failure of my onsite backups. After a forty-eight hour rebuild of the server, the first thing I thought of was sleep. Instead I poured over failed hard drives filled with patient data. I found that an ex-employee had erased the drive remotely from his home computer. Giving a report to the police gave me a new feeling of heroism.

I want to solve much larger problems using my technical abilities. I spent the earning from my professional work towards a degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Computer Science. I learned a great many things about software development. I want to continue solve problems professionally. Intellectual Property is a large problem for many companies that I am already helping. Please help me to help companies in a larger way by considering me for admission.

Re: Unusual Personal Statement, Please Critique Roughly!

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:22 pm
by MAHamlin
After reading this I'm left wondering why law school versus continuing in the IT world, especially considering your statement that you were convinced you had the best job in the world. Also, I would leave out details such as your father's heart ticking like a conductors watch and leave it at your father's illness made room for you to gain experience with his IT business. The details surrounding the dentist office and the soaps doesn't move me either. It doesn't feel like the unfun week you reference at the beginning of the paragraph.

Having read your other statement, I feel like this one is headed in the wrong direction. I get less of a feeling of who you are and why you have interest in law. The other statement wanders a bit and probably overshares, but I think with significant editing it has a better chance at being persuasive. Building on that thought, perhaps after briefly outlining your legal problems you might focus on the small business you knew which went under due to IP issues and see if there is a compelling personal story somewhere in there which gives a clear sense of who you are now and why you want to leave what had felt like the greatest job in the world for a new profession.

I'm confident you have an interesting story to tell, though.