Feedback on Personal Statement (Chemical Engineer)

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Feedback on Personal Statement (Chemical Engineer)

Postby lawschool2018! » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:48 pm

Hello guys,

I'm applying for the 2018 admission cycle and needed some help with my PS. I have writen one and was wondering if someone could provide feedback on it. Any help will be appreciated! I have posted my PS below:

The room smelled of turpentine. Specks of yellow paint lay splattered on the floor; blobs of red and black mixing discreetly not so far. Napkins soaked in water, oil, and colors piled up in the overflowing garbage bin close-by. My grip tightened as I finished the final strokes. I finally put the brush down and stepped out into the spring night of NYC. I needed some fresh air. After all, I had been standing in a small room for the past two hours working on my new project: wet on wet oil painting. Car honks, loud music, and people’s indistinct chatter meshed together in the background as I enjoyed the warm pleasant breeze of the night. My project was coming along well, I thought. My first attempt with oil paints was not the disaster I dreaded it would be. I had explored the world of watercolors and acrylics and finally dared to step into the territory of oil paints. 
  Jogging down the memory lane, I recollected the first memory I had of my paintings. I was around six years old when I got my first painting set and painted throughout my childhood in the United Arab Emirates. Growing up, my family moved a lot. While everything else changed around me, my paintings remained constant and familiar. In painting I found joy and solace. When I painted, I lost track of time and my surroundings and focused on what I created—still lives and animals with acrylics or watercolors.  It didn’t matter where I was, my paintings made me feel at home.
Still reminiscing about my childhood paintings, I walked back into my apartment to analyze the canvas one last time before I retired for the night. The scenery needed some more work, but was shaping up well. Looking at the canvas mounted on the easel in front of me, I realized what value my paintings truly hold for me. It was through my paintings that I internalized the necessity of patience and perseverance. Mistakes are only a natural part of painting for hobbyist painters like me. Sometimes my color contrast is not as appealing on canvas as I visualized it to be. Other times my characters do not come to life as I want them to. Spending hours on a canvas and still being far from my expected outcome mounts to frustration. At this point, the thought of discarding the canvas and starting fresh always seemed like a more appealing and easier alternative to me than rescuing the painting. However, more often than not I re-painted the tree to make them fit the picture better, added more reflection to the water, or added more shadows to the mountains. By breaking the process into smaller parts and working piece by piece, I arrived at a finished product that met my expectations. This attitude of patience, and the technique of breaking a larger task into its components, instilled in me by my paintings, has helped me in many areas of life.
One such example is when I started my first job after graduation in the regulatory department of X, a spice company. Most of my work involved understanding FDA and USDA regulations and then ensuring compliance across all the company’s products. I was new to the world of regulatory affairs, so reading the various FDA and USDA regulations on food safety and importation seemed like an impossible feat. In the beginning, the thought of giving up on the major project and working on an easier task always crossed my mind. Instead I did what I had learned to do: be patient, and break down the task in front of me into smaller solvable parts. I categorized the various regulations and assigned them priority levels. I first familiarized myself with the regulations that our company was absolutely dependent on. Then I went on to tackle areas less relevant to our field. In doing so, I was able to able to understand the seemingly daunting regulations and successfully apply them to ensure compliance of  our food products.
My paintings have also taught me the value of proactively building my knowledge. When I first started to paint, I knew little about painting and had very limited resources. I used everything at my disposal to learn to paint. This included checking out books from the library on painting, taking high school electives in arts, and watching YouTube tutorials. I was in a similar situation recently at my new job at X as a materials compliance specialist. I am well versed in various regulations applicable to the food industry, but knew little about medical device regulations that my new job required. With limited knowledge about this new industry, I did not wait around for new projects to be assigned to me to learn the numerous regulations. I decided to take a proactive approach to learning. I used the various resources around me including FDA, ISO, EU websites and manuals, and FDA conferences on the subject matter to expand my knowledge and understanding of this field. It was my proactive learning style acquired through my paintings that helped me undertake a proactive approach at my new job.
My hobby of painting has taught me many valuable life lessons and has continually helped me to grow personally and professionally. At this juncture in my life, I seek more challenge and personal growth in a field that calls on my educational background and work experiences. I am interested in becoming a biotech compliance attorney. My diverse work experience in the food, drug, and medical device industry will provide a perfect foundation to tackle the issues faced by a biotech compliance attorney. By pursuing a law degree, I intend to enter a profession that aligns with the interests and aptitudes I have discovered and developed through real work experience. I also hope to bring the lessons that I have learned through my paintings to my study of law. I paint when I’m happy, when I’m sad, and when I’m stressed; it connects me to all the places I’ve lived and all the people I’ve been. Even if I must put down my brush as I devote myself to my legal studies, I know that it will be there for me when I graduate, waiting for me to create.


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