Universities often require applicants to submit a personal statement along with the other basic requirements such as the transcript, letter of recommendation, and the results of qualifying exams. A personal statement is an essay that discusses the applicant’s goals in terms of higher education and their chosen career path. The essay is meant to measure certain capabilities of the student such as critical thinking and the ability to analyze issues. It is also used to see the student’s goals, aims, and interests. As much as possible, students must keep the essay short and clear. Generally, universities allow applicants to write their own personal statements without subjecting them to any limitations. Also, you have to know about personal statements writing while applying for MBA program. However, some universities impose word counts on the essay and may issue a set of questions to be answered by the applicant in his or her essay. These specific questions must be answered clearly and concisely.
What are the aims of a personal statement?
Due to the number of applicants, a university gets in a year, the admission committee may not have enough time to interview all of the applicants. This is why a personal statement is required for some of the schools. Since your transcript Letter of Recommendation and are out of your control, then your personal statement is the only aspect of the application that you can do something about. The personal statement may be the only thing that will set you apart from the rest of the applicants, especially if there are a number of applicants for the course and all of them have equally impressive transcripts.
Preparing yourself before starting to write a personal statement
Before you start writing your personal statement, be sure to think about a few things in order to set your mind to the task. You may be able to write your essay in one sitting or it may take you several tries. What is important is that you remain focused on what you have to do. The following are a few things you have to determine in order to create a rough outline of what you have to write for your essay:
- First, think about what sets you apart from the rest of the applicants to the same university or the same program. It may be a personal experience or something about your family or something that is unique to you. Think of how you can describe this particular experience or family history and how you can relate this to your goals in life.
- Enumerate your positive characteristics and qualities that you think will be useful when pursuing advanced education. If you have any work experiences, then you may also want to list them down, including the tasks you were asked to do and how successful you were in performing such tasks. Most importantly, you must be able to identify how these work experiences contributed to your growth both personally and professionally.
- Think about the university and the program you want to apply for. Why did you choose this particular university? Why did you choose that particular program? What is it about the program that interests you the most? When you have finished the program, what are your plans after? Where did you learn about the program? Did you do your own research to learn more about it? Answering these questions will be able to show your interest in the program and your eagerness to be a part of it. It is also important to be able to link this interest to your future career path.
- Determine your career goals. What line of work do you want to pursue after completing the program? Are there any special training involved or qualifying exams for you to be able to enter such a profession? Relate these requirements to the program you have chosen to apply for. Be sure to enumerate how you plan to achieve such career goals. If you can, you may want to come up with a timeline.
- Take a look at your transcript or the results of the SAT or ACT. You should be able to come up with a general overview of your academic track history. You should be able to explain the high points and low points of your grades. For example, if your GPA was initially high but became average during the end of your high school years, then you should be able to say why that happened. Maybe you needed to get a job and you were not able to spend more time for school. However, do not dwell on this, but focus on how you surpassed this challenge and how you intend to do better.
Also Read: Criteria of a Perfect Essay