Please Tear Apart this PS

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Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:51 pm

Please Tear Apart this PS

Post by orangeorangutan » Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:28 pm

Walking into my boss’s office, I could feel my heart pounding. Is this really the right decision, I thought to myself? I have friends who would practically kill for this job. Why would I give this up voluntarily? Resolute in my decision, I steadied myself and explained to my boss why I had made the decision to leave before the start of my final year as an undergraduate student. in my pursuit of a career in law.

For the better part of 2019, I worked at a hedge fund exploring my interest in the field of finance. Working in that fast-paced environment was a true eye-opener for me. Before I began, I had little to no experience at dissecting analyst research or producing models. But in just a few months, I had folders with hundreds of pages of research summarized and had begun work on supplementing and creating some of the Fund’s projection models. My time at the hedge fund helped me to develop, not just new technical skills like programming and modeling, but also helped me to grow into a more creative, analytical, and outside-the-box thinker.

As the summer neared its end, however, I needed to make a decision. Over the past month, the proposal for my thesis as part of my university’s honors program was approved; this was the product of months of research, writing, and revisions. I knew, given the paper’s expansive topic, investigating not just the legality of the classification of a certain product as an investment contract, but also, if said product could legally comprise the core holdings of an investment fund, it would require a significant amount of time for it to be of high quality. I knew that getting this time would be especially difficult. As a member of Fordham’s Honors Program, I was required to overload my course schedule if I wanted to graduate on time. I realized that a choice had to be made. Do I choose a job which has helped me grow as a professional and as a person, or do I delve more fully into my thesis which promised to provide me exposure to a blend of my two interests, law and finance? After days spent soul searching, I made my decision – I would devote myself to my thesis and law.

For someone on the outside looking in, my choice of law might have come as a surprise. In truth, it was a decision long in the making. My first exposure to law came in the summer before my senior year of high school. That summer, I interned for Judge Zayas of the Queens County Supreme Court. During my time there, I had the opportunity to read through case files, attend trials, and assist Judge Zayas in any capacity he needed. This experience opened my eyes to pursuing a career in law.

At Fordham, I continued this pursuit. Researching different avenues in the legal field, I particularly gravitated towards scholarly work in the area of securitization, helping me realize that my interests in finance and law do not need to be mutually exclusive. This became the inspiration for my thesis and the key factor which helped me arrive at my choice.

As I started writing my manuscript, I was surprised by how well my experiences complimented each other towards completing the work. Through my time at a hedge fund, I had a strong understanding of how the hypothetical fund would have to operate, and the programming exposure I got there helped me automate away some of the research gathering process. Additionally, my time at the courthouse helped me to navigate through cases more readily, greatly reducing the time spent to get the information I needed. The finished product, 43 pages in length with over 70 citations, is something that I am truly proud of.

I still remember the feeling of relief when I informed my boss of my decision, and his reaction to what I told him. Though he expressed disappointment in seeing me leave, he trusted that I would be ready to face this new challenge head on and succeed. I do not doubt that I will.


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Re: Please Tear Apart this PS

Post by decimalsanddollars » Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:00 pm

I think your writing is generally pretty good. Three quick points:

1) This topic is fine and does a decent job showcasing some of your strengths and interests. I don't think it's all that interesting, compelling, or unique to talk about how you chose to leave a hedge-fund gig (internship? part-time during school? not super clear) in favor of an academic pursuit that was vaguely more law-related. That said, there's nothing *wrong* with the topic, and if this is your most interesting and compelling story to tell that allows you to weave in relevant strengths and interests, great.

2) There are several weird or awkward sentences here and there (last sentence of paragraph 2, second sentence of paragraph 3, and most of paragraph 5 especially) that could use rewriting or revising. Breaking things down into shorter, clearer sentences might help generally.

3) "This experience opened my eyes to pursuing a career in law. " is the least helpful sentence in any personal statement; find a different, more specific or descriptive way to say this. What was your favorite part of the experience? What made the law light-bulb go off? Digging into this more if you have space would be good.

As a postscript, I'd suggest a thorough mechanical edit of your final version to make sure you haven't left in any typos, like a spare period or comma, before submitting your PS.

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