Personal Statement Urgent Help!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Anonymous User
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Personal Statement Urgent Help!

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:39 pm

Hi all,

I'm applying to schools in a week with a February LSAT! All my application materials are due on Feb. 1st. Any chance you all can take a look at my personal statement? Thanks so much. Brutal opinions welcome.

“I just need to know what I have to do to become an electrician,” Ashraf shouted in Dari, laying his forehead bare against the cold wooden table in frustration. His son tugged persistently at his coat, but Ashraf was motionless.

It was Paris in 2015, and my Farsi proficiency had qualified me to volunteer ad-hoc at several Parisian refugee agencies and help Afghan refugees search for jobs. I had just finished thumbing through Ashraf’s application for the fourth time in two weeks. I felt the growing impatience of the three other applicants waiting in the reception room, and my eyes grew bleary from scrolling through the same words. Ashraf’s resume noted that he was trained as a physician at Kabul University, the most prestigious in Afghanistan, but because his degree would not be accepted in France, he wanted to work as an electrician. I sighed and returned his file into the manila envelope. I told him again that there was nothing I could do for him: becoming an electrician in France requires two years of training.

Ashraf could be demanding and uncompromising; he never hid his irritation at my struggles with Dari grammar. “The adjective comes after, not before.” Most times, though, he was jovial and easily animated, especially when telling stories about the dancing parties he hosted in his spacious home in Kabul. A few sessions in, I realized how much Ashraf reminded me of my own father.

Like my own father, he wore darker shirts to hide his quickly emerging gut. Ashraf’s story of escaping a war-torn Afghanistan mirrored my father’s story as an immigrant to America, whose memories of fighting in the Iran-Iraq War compelled him to move to Houston to protect me and my brother from compulsory military service in Iran. My father, despite his training as a cardiologist, also had spent the first five years of his life in America working odd jobs. Most of all, they constantly spoke of their pride in contributing to societies like America and France. Both felt they had the chance to be citizens in a country that finally gave them the chance to show their worth and talents.

When I told Ashraf that I couldn’t help him, I realized that I had denied him the opportunity that had been given to my father and me. My father landed his first job as a handyman from a contracting supervisor who ignored his lack of qualifications because he believed in my father’s boundless desire to contribute. When I met with Ashraf the next week, I went outside the scope of my duties as a resume translator and searched for 6-month electrician programs with less stringent prerequisites. I met personally with the supervisors of the programs and pleaded for them to ignore the prerequisites, citing Ashraf’s knowledge of medical technology and drive to succeed. After several rejections, one supervisor reluctantly agreed to enroll Ashraf. I called bi-weekly to check on Ashraf’s progress. As expected, Ashraf had begun to annoy the supervisors of the program with his constant after-hours questions and his critiques of the manuals they provided. But his aptitude for the work and his passion for France impressed everyone.

My experience with Ashraf gave me a newfound duty to help immigrants and refugees. I realized that many of the immigrants that I met were like Ashraf and my father, escaping from troubled pasts and eager for an opportunity to contribute to their new homes. As I’ve explored the ways I could fulfill that duty, I realized that the advocacy I found most significant was unfolding in courtrooms across the nation. While I was an intern in Vice President Biden’s office working on immigration issues, I learned about the lawyers who served as undocumented immigrants’ last line of defense against the administration’s push to deport recent unauthorized border crossers. When I was conducting pro-immigration research at New American Economy, I deeply admired those brave individuals who rushed to airports and provided legal advice to those impacted by the administration’s Travel Ban, a policy that would’ve prevented me from immigrating two decades prior. The more work I did at those organizations, the more I aspired to emulate these lawyers, to defend immigrants against deportation and to litigate cases that would expand their access to resources. By expanding those opportunities, I hope to repay the debt I owe to the individuals, the immigration officers, the contracting supervisors, and the lawyers, that gave me that chance decades earlier.

DrGlennRichie

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Re: Personal Statement Urgent Help!

Postby DrGlennRichie » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:34 pm

Remove:

1. "the most prestigious in Afghanistan". It is irrelevant and shows that you are prone to prestigewhorism

2. " to hide his quickly emerging gut". Smacks of bodyshaming. You never know what kind of gut the reader will have. But personal touch is good. Can it be wearing dark clothes (without a reason) grey hair, etc.

Other than that it is OK.

paperworkjim

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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:18 am

Re: Personal Statement Urgent Help!

Postby paperworkjim » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:41 pm

DrGlennRichie wrote:Remove:

1. "the most prestigious in Afghanistan". It is irrelevant and shows that you are prone to prestigewhorism

2. " to hide his quickly emerging gut". Smacks of bodyshaming. You never know what kind of gut the reader will have. But personal touch is good. Can it be wearing dark clothes (without a reason) grey hair, etc.

Other than that it is OK.


Thanks, DrGlenn! Just ok? Is there anything radical I can do, you think, to make it more than OK?

DrGlennRichie

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Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:22 pm

Re: Personal Statement Urgent Help!

Postby DrGlennRichie » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:58 pm

paperworkjim wrote:Thanks, DrGlenn! Just ok? Is there anything radical I can do, you think, to make it more than OK?



"OK" is actually good grade. A lot of stuff I read was not OK. I wouldn't change anything as it feels complete to me. It is a good read.

From your PS I learn few qualities about you.

First I appreciate the honesty. You did write that you didn't help him immediately. You did write that he was annoying in some ways. You didnt trust him 100% and followed up biweekly and again, he was annoying there as well. That was nice and honest, and didnt fall into the cliche "I helped immigrants they are all so awesome".

Second you show high level of maturity. You did take a calculated risk with that guy, but it was logical, not emotional. Instead of complaining about injustices you did have "That's how it is" approach and eventually fixed the situation. Also working in Paris, without being a EU citizen, helping immigrants being a foreigner there, shows some adventurous nature. You valued that your father and Ashraf contributed to society, and it leads me to believe that you will be contributor as well.

Third, you sounded like a well rounded person, who knows what he wants and why, and I got the feeling that you actually will be good for that job.

So, I wouldn't change anything.



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