Personal Statement for review - Please feel free to comment with any constructive criticism

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Hi-So - ArshavinFan
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Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:51 pm

Personal Statement for review - Please feel free to comment with any constructive criticism

Postby Hi-So - ArshavinFan » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:54 am

There are experience or events which strike one so deeply that to ignore them is excruciatingly impossible, or at the least, deeply uncomfortable. My time at xxx is such a phenomenon.

Attending xxxx was a direct result of both my underwhelming (some would even say mediocre) academic performance in high school, coupled with my insistence of paying my own way through university. My father being a professor at xxx certainly influenced my decision as I was somewhat familiar with the university culture. But initially, I saw attending xxxx as a symbol of my forthcoming redemption, the place where I would essentially rise from mediocrity and be born again as a student of boundless intellectual curiosity.

I can happily say that I fulfilled most of my goals. While I encountered rough patches - due mostly to my commitments outside the classroom (I worked 25-40 hours a week throughout college to afford tuition, room and board), I was able to graduate with a degree in Economics while participating in a various medley of experiences of such that without certain faculty, I would have been unaware of to this day.

Unfortunately, I know that my experiences and sentiments were not shared by many of my fellow students, particularly students of color. With many students of color at xxxx being first-generation, there is a lack of knowledge that afflicts some of these students when it comes to navigating the maze that university can be – particularly when it comes to such topics as major selection and how students should go about pursuing their careers. As a student worker, I witnessed countless instances of advisers shoehorning many of these students away from the majors of their choice, and guiding them towards majors which required much less work, offered much bleaker employment prospects, and which were completely misaligned with the student’s academic interests or passion.

As I’ve come to discover, such actions have various implications which one could describe as a negative feedback cycle. Due to such a lack of students of color within certain majors or departments, internships and scholarships at xxx specifically targeting students of color are often low in number, and subsequently have a low number of eligible students. This in turn leads to companies and organizations being heavily discouraged, which prompts them to often suspend their various offerings. This leads to even lesser opportunities, and even greater amounts of students suffering as result. However, the most severe effects are the changed hiring practices of many companies in the area. I was told in confidence after the completion of one my internships that the stated company had been searching for a suitable student of color to intern for them for almost five years to no avail. The students either weren’t there, were there in such low numbers that their odds were low to begin with, or had performed poorly through the interview process. As intelligent as I may be, I find it highly unlikely that I was indeed the only suitable candidate in a university of over xxxx undergraduates, of which almost 40 percent of students of color.

Of course, I was somewhat insensitive to cases of such discrimination until experiencing it firsthand. On one lackluster autumn day, I walked into the advising area of the business school after requesting an exemption from taking a particular business course. As I walked into the advisers office, the adviser was seated. She then took one long look at me and then excused herself, only to return with numerous pamphlets which detailed various alternative majors in the business school and other schools at xxxx. I became very hesitant, but I was there to accomplish something, so I sat down. The next words she uttered to me were “Transferring out of xxxx isn’t the end of the world, you have multiple alternative options you can pursue.” Now as you can probably imagine, I was quite confused. This wasn’t standard practice for advisers – normally advisers at the business school would print out your academic performance report to re-acclimatize themselves with a student’s current standing. I brushed it off, and mentioned to her that my meeting was for a class exemption, and not a change of major. She then stared at me quizzingly for a long while, and then proceeded to print out my academic record. Upon returning to speak with me, she looked quite frazzled and softly apologized, but I believe my facial expression divulged the fact that the damage was done. I subsequently withdrew from the business school, and was admitted to the xxx.

Now, I’m not impervious to the alternate explanations that my adviser may have been having a bad day, or that many students may have been transferring out during that period, among many others. Unfortunately, I had heard much too many similar stories from other students of color, and upon my inquiry to many of of the Caucasian students within my economics and finance cohort, I learned that they had never experienced anything of the sort. Coupled with the fact that the middle of the semester isn’t a usual time for intra-department transfers, I was forced to face reality.

Discrimination on the basis of race is explicitly prohibited by the American Constitution, but alas, it still does occur today. Such instances don’t entirely mar my college experience of attending xxx, but knowledge of the fact there are numerous people, (no less numerous students) defenseless against such actions has fortified a strong sense of action within me to correct not only the inefficiencies which result from such practices but also the constructs which allow for such discrimination to occur. I know that my knowledge of these occurrences will motivate me while attending law school to not only acquire thorough knowledge of the law, but will also enable me to serve as a legal advocate for those who undergo similar situations as I did, regardless of whether they are regardless of their title. In addition, I know that a legal degree will provide me an opportunity to inform other people of color (in particular African-American males) that there is indeed a legal process which one can utilize to advance their platforms and welfare, and long as they are deemed legal. With the rise of Black Lives Matter, there has been a rise in the awareness of various injustices committed against African-American nationwide, but accompanying this has also been an increasing polarization regarding the best course of action to resolve such issues. I believe that it is of the utmost importance that African-American males are more aware of those who look like them who are able to advocate for them, for I believe that social change is a long and tenuous process, which requires compromise and multiple years of hard work.

vmxnn
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:30 pm

Re: Personal Statement for review - Please feel free to comment with any constructive criticism

Postby vmxnn » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:25 am

Correct me if im wrong. This is just a compilation of your experiences. Plus, I thought it is a sensitive topic, isn't it?

dsthrawy1
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:04 am

Re: Personal Statement for review - Please feel free to comment with any constructive criticism

Postby dsthrawy1 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:53 am

This doesn't really work as a personal statement. Very little of it lets me know about who you are as a person. If there is a specific instance you felt you were discriminated against (like the moment with the acedemic adviser... I am assuming you are a "person of color", although it is hard to tell) and then repurpose your last paragraph to say why this compelled you to pursue the law that could potentially work. A lot of the material runs close to being a diversity statement tho, so that is something you want to be careful of if your also submitting one of those. Otherwise, I would consider choosing a different topic. Just remember to keep the focus on yourself or something that shaped you as a person.

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mjb447
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Re: Personal Statement for review - Please feel free to comment with any constructive criticism

Postby mjb447 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:35 pm

I agree with most of the comments already made, although I don't think it's necessarily problematic to write about a controversial or sensitive subject. Also, a lot of the sentences are very long and difficult to parse, and some of them could be omitted entirely. See, e.g., "...I was able to graduate with a degree in Economics while participating in a various medley of experiences of such that without certain faculty, I would have been unaware of to this day." (The opening paragraph, which should usually be attention grabbing, lay out a road map for your PS, or both, is quite weak.)

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sethnoorzad
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:28 pm

Re: Personal Statement for review - Please feel free to comment with any constructive criticism

Postby sethnoorzad » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:44 pm

This seems like a first draft. You're getting your ideas on paper so that you can shape them into something more polished and probably shorter. You talk about facing underhanded discrimination in the academic advising office. You could talk about overcoming the "negative feedback cycle" and your academic success despite that challenge. Frame your academic career as a success, while also acknowledging the challenges along the way. This is a good start. The next step is to look at your own writing and distill the most interesting and essential points, come up with other details as they seem important. Then rewrite. With every rewrite you should aim to make your statement shorter, clearer, more polished etc.

Just some ideas. GL.

DrGlennRichie
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Re: Personal Statement for review - Please feel free to comment with any constructive criticism

Postby DrGlennRichie » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:08 pm

While it is sad that such evens happened, PS needs to be re-written:

1. First two paragraphs need to go

2. Try to avoid saying anything bad about your college, even if it did you bad. Try to explain situation in a different view.

3. Show how you changed and helped others in this situation

So far I didnt get to know anything about you

Hi-So - ArshavinFan
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:51 pm

Re: Personal Statement for review - Please feel free to comment with any constructive criticism

Postby Hi-So - ArshavinFan » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:15 pm

sethnoorzad wrote:This seems like a first draft. You're getting your ideas on paper so that you can shape them into something more polished and probably shorter. You talk about facing underhanded discrimination in the academic advising office. You could talk about overcoming the "negative feedback cycle" and your academic success despite that challenge. Frame your academic career as a success, while also acknowledging the challenges along the way. This is a good start. The next step is to look at your own writing and distill the most interesting and essential points, come up with other details as they seem important. Then rewrite. With every rewrite you should aim to make your statement shorter, clearer, more polished etc.

Just some ideas. GL.


You're right. it was a super first draft.

I followed your advice and i made it much much better, Thanks for the help




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