The Personal Statement.

This week, we wrote personal statements. I thought it was very interesting, but I noticed that a lot of statements had this one annoying thing about them–people would basically re-list their accomplishments. I found this to be a useless waste of time. Unless an experience really made you want to be in your chosen profession, or impacted you, there really is no need to write down that you have that experience.

I tried not to do that in my paper by only writing about relevant experiences that made me want to enter veterinary medicine. My essay was a little too sentimental, but I thought I did better than I would’ve if I just listed my volunteer work and skills. Personally, I enjoyed essays that really gave me a look at someone’s life. The ones I did not enjoy weren’t personal at all or didn’t elaborate more on the experiences that made them want to join their profession of choice.

What I found funny were the pre-med personal statement forums that are apparently a way for cunning people to steal personal statements. Apparently people pretend to be medical school admissions officials and offer to review personal statements for free, only to steal them and use them in their own applications…yikes.

Overall, personal statements seem to be a way to find out about why you chose your field of study/profession and what makes you a good candidate for it.

I looked into Cornell, and they didn’t have any requirements for a personal statement, but let you know that it was worth 5% of your admission.

Another school I looked into was UC Davis — they were a little more specific about what they wanted, which was to know why you were interested in veterinary medicine and if you can show them that you understand the job and its importance, and what your career goals are.

The University of Pennsylvania vet school was the only one that had a limit. I thought it said 5000 words so my essay was much longer. It actually limited the essay to 5000 characters (a little over a page). Their prompt was for the applicant to describe why they chose to go into veterinary medicine.

Michigan State wanted applicants to write about what makes them different from the other applicants, and what drives us to practice veterinary medicine.

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2 Responses to The Personal Statement.

  1. klucenko says:

    Yikes indeed. Never a good idea to steal/copy/plagiarize a personal statement. What’s the point of that?

  2. amandaweng says:

    I got a little bit annoyed too when I read personal statements that focus more on accomplishments rather than the reason why these individuals want to pursue their future career. I saw this especially in the essays that we read during last Thursday’s workshop. The personal statement is not there to reiterate one’s accomplishments that are already described in great detail in other parts of the application, and I feel like it’s really arrogant for those that do list those accomplishments in their personal statement if it doesn’t contribute in any part to why they want to pursue their desired careers. I think the most interesting personal statements are the ones that draw on personal experiences; everyone has their own experiences and rationale for pursuing a higher education in their own interests, and it’s compelling to read about how these experiences have shaped the writer and enabled him to mature or have a changed perspective. Don’t worry about your essay being a little bit more sentimental than you had wish! I think it’s a great start to polishing your own personal statement since we have a glimpse of who you are as a person.

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