Albert R Turnbull

Associate Dean for Admissions and Placement University of Virginia School of Law UNTIL ABOUT FOUR YEARS AGO, we used the stimulus, Give us in 200 words or so your reason for wanting to go to law school. We became dissatisfied because the responses we were getting, particularly from undergraduates, were repetitive, bland, and not very helpful in getting a handle on the individual involved. Eventually, the stimulus became, Write on a matter of interest to you, the purpose to be quite open-ended....

Applicants Should Take The Time to look at

What the law school is asking them to write about. At UCLA we say, We know you have lots of extracurricular activities we want to know how you differ, what makes you unique. What can you bring to the first-year class that's going to make you distinct from the other 99 people who are already there The fact that you were active in your fraternity or sorority is really not going to do it. What we're looking for is people who, in their personal statement, stand out as being so unusual, so diverse,...

Concentrate on Your Opening Paragraph

Keep in mind when composing your statement that the lead or opening paragraph is generally the most important. It is here that you grab the reader's attention or lose it. Once you figure out this first paragraph, the remainder of the essay should be less problematic because you will have a framework for what you're going to say. If there's drama to your statement, it will be introduced in the opening paragraph so that the reader is eager to continue. If you're telling some sort of story, you'll...

Dr Donald Martin

Director of Admissions The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business I THINK FIRST AND FOREMOST we want to get some sense of the inside of an applicant's head and in particular what it is that is prompting this person to pursue a graduate education in business what has led them to this point, what they think the MBA will do for them in terms of their educational desires and objectives as well as their career goals. That is certainly important to us. We want to know not only what they...

Dr Gerald S Foster

Director of Admissions Harvard Medical School I LOOK FOR AN ESSAY that's neat, literate, and not too long. We count the personal statement a lot more than the essay written on the AM CAS test, which turns out not to be very helpful. So you should give a personal statement some thought. I think there are all kinds of approaches. I think the important thing is for the essay to be_aj efkcuorijof.the s.tud ni and demonstrate good written communication skills. Some applicants try to include much too...

Evaluative Questionnaire

I have composed ihe attached personal statement(s) for submission to __which 1 hope to attend. If you could take some time to read what I have written and answer the following questions, 1 would be most grateful for the benefit of your perspective. 1. Did my opening paragraph capture your attention 2. Did you find the statement as a whole to be interesting 3, Did you find it to be well written 6. Do you regard it as an honest and forthright presentation of who I am 7. Did it seem to answer the...

First Off Were Looking For a personal

Statement that's very well written and well focused. There are a variety of things an applicant can write about it does not have to be about why he or she wants to go to law school. I tell applicants who are in the process of writing that this is their one opportunity to tell the admissions committee why they're different from every other applicant in the pool, what makes them special and how they can stand out from the 4,000 other applicants we look at every year. It's not an easy task, but if...

First Became Interested in medicine when

When it came time to choose my major, I selected psychobiology and, accordingly, studied a curriculum with a strong emphasis on science and psychology. Then, early in 1981, my mother became terminally ill with cancer. Although there are five other children in the family, the responsibility for caring for my mother fell to me. She needed constant care, and it was up to me to provide it. I had to withdraw from one of my classes at school, while commuting to campus for...

Grew Up In Circumstances that provide a classic

Example of the frequent disparity between appearance and reality. To any outsider, my family might have seemed to be enjoying the ideal upper-middle-class existence peaceful, pretty, and privileged. In actuality, however, alcohol and domestic violence were creating an environment within our house that, for me, was both difficult and frightening. My mother had a drinking problem, and the encounters between my father and her often escalated into violence. I spent a great deal of time trying to...

Look For A Wellwritten statement that conveys

Coherent thoughts and ideas and that helps me know the applicant better. 1 hope it will be interesting and that after reading it 1 will have a better sense of who the person is and what kind of student that person will be when he or she joins the class. The more a statement conveys how a person thinks, what he or she thinks is important, or other such insights, the better. You should think of the statement as an opportunity to round out pieces to the puzzle that makes up your application. Write...

Originally Became Interested in the health

Care field at a very early age because my mother was a nurse and I spent considerable time in my childhood observing her at work. I was attracted to the idea of helping people with physical problems, although 1 had no thought about any specific specialty. However, in time physical therapy became the logical focus of my attention for a number of reasons. For one, I have memories from a very young age of my grandfather in Czechoslovakia, disabled by a stroke, his problems unmitigated by any...

Jean Webb

Director of Admissions Yale Law School YALE LAW SCHOOL DOES NOT require a personal statement. We ask for a 250-word essay on a subject of any interest. If an applicant also wants to submit a personal statement, he or she is welcome to do so. We don't consider the application incomplete without the 250-word essay if the applicant sends something longer or sends a personal statement instead, but that's not what we've asked them to do and faculty readers have varying opinions on the importance of...

Mary Miller

Director of Admissions and Aid The Stem School of Business, New York University OUR ESSAY QUESTIONS are a little different from many other schools'. The first one, in which we ask about goals and career aspirations, is very similar. But we try to be a little more creative and relevant in our other two questions. In general what we're looking for are people who have well thought-out ideas, can express those ideas in an articulate, concise way, and can follow our directions (page limits). The...

One Of My Most

Important accomplishments occurred during my association with a restaurant chain, for which 1 served as director of real estate. As a relatively new corporation, this business realized that it could only grow by opening more outlets. 1 played a key role in helping it achieve that critical objective. 1 was responsible for opening nine additional stores (there were six when I joined the company), which brought company sales from just under 10 million to 27 million by the time 1 left. It was my...

Preface

Of all the tasks you face when applying to graduate or professional school from choosing universities to preparing for and taking standardized tests, from soliciting recommendations to having transcripts sent out writing the personal statement(s) is among the most formidable. With the keen competition for admission to graduate schools, the personal statement or autobiographical essay often becomes a crucial element of the application package. This book provides a wide array of information and...

Preparatory Questionnaire

I am applying to _______ and must prepare a personal statement as a part of that process. 1 want to be sure to include all relevant data about myself and my background, so I am soliciting information from various individuals who know me and whose judgment 1 value. Thank 1. What do you think is most important for the admissions committee to know about me 2. What do you regard as most unusual, distinctive, unique, and or impressive about me (based on our association) 3. Are you aware of any...

Professor Paul Green

Director, Master's Degree Program Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University WE LOO K FO RS OME RESEARCH exPenence.and. some ability to assign proper ya uesjo various kinds of activities. In other wordsTcan they distinguish important problems from trivial problems We don't care particularly what _th_gyVe done, but_ they should provide some evidence of judgment. They need to have some sense, of proportion about the structure of the scientific community, the academic community, or the...

Reviewing Whats Been Said Plus a Few New Points

Let's review some of the points we have presented up to now, as well as a few additional thoughts (and questions) for you to consider. Remember that, in a general sense, what's most important is what you say and how you say it. Whatever else you do, be sure to answer the question(s) the admissions committee is asking. Determine what you would tell an admissions committee member if you had five minutes to answer the question What's most important for us to know about you This exercise will force...

Set Yourself Apart

By nongeneric 1 mean a personal statement that only you could have written, one that does not closely resemble what all other applicants are likely writing. You come up with this type of statement by being personal and analytical You could achieve the former by including information rarely shared with others and the latter by assessing your life more critically than usual. In any event, a personal and analytical approach is key to success in this endeavor. In order to begin writing your...

Several Years Ago I Was accepted into an MBA

However, I decided to postpone my graduate business education until a later date. In the intervening years, I have used my law degree and background in accounting to fill a variety of management positions with a company with annual revenues exceeding 100 million. Working for various subsidiaries of this firm, I have been involved in reorganizing financial systems, developing and implementing new management reporting systems, negotiating union contracts, and...

Tell Who You

Beyond the first paragraph or two, there might be an elaboration on material introduced earlier, or simply further distinguishing information relating to your background and experiences. The committee should be getting a sense of who you are, what makes you tick, and how you are different from other applicants. They should be interested in you by now, eager to hear more, impressed that what you're saying to them the story you're relating is not simply what they've read a thousand times before....

The Anderson School At Ucla is interested in

Admitting people, not credentials, and the essays are where you meet the people. We look for the degree of personal insight and energy that is demonstrated by applicants through the essays. From the essays we are able to discern who the applicants are, what they have accomplished, and the impact they have had on others, and we get an overall sense of how they will add value to and fit within our environment. The essays require serious reflection. They play a critical role in placing other parts...

The Essays Generally Are the method by which the

Candidate introduces himself to you because, for the most part, we know nothing about them except what the LSAT score is and what their academic record is like. Additionally, you may have a resume in front of you or a series of questions whose answers approximate what they would put on a resume. One of the first things you look for is who the person is and some sense of where they've been, what they've done, why they've done it, and some sense of why they're interested in going to law school....

The Most Important Thing ifor me to do is

Communicate what we're not looking for, which is to say that there is no magic formula for admission, there are no right answers. 1 think it's absolutely critical that prospective students avoid the trap of trying to tell us what they think we want to hear. I am attempting to get to know the prospective student as an individual. 1 want the prospective student to provide me with sufficient context for an appropriate evaluation by the admissions committee. In addition, I'm looking for perspective...

Theres No Single Type Of Essay we re looking

For there's no correct response to the essay questions we pose. What are we looking for First, we're looking for information to fill in the blanks in a person's resume. We want to know what our applicants have done and what they want to do in the future, what their values are, and how they relate their values to their work. We're also interested in how they write. The form of the essays can be important, as well as the content. How applicants handle the English language is important the ability...

We Break Out The Applications into four

Separate categories the interview personal characteristics the professional promise and last, but certainly far from least, the academics. What we look for in the evaluatory interview is very much what a recruiter will look for in an MBA candidate when he's looking to hire someone. We're also looking for anything that will be in addition to what's on paper. Personal characteristics have to do with outside activities, leadership, motivation, what makes a person individual or unique. The next...

We Look For Several Things The statement

Provides some insight into how capable a student is in the English language. It's the first thing that jumps out when you read it, but it's the see vvhether the student is aware of and has thought about the field to which he.jQL j5,apj ying .these are graduate applicants so I think this is a reasonable issue to try to discern. Does he or she know anything at all about it, has this person identified some of the key issues that are active in research, and does he or she have some familiarity with...

We Simply Ask For A Personal profile which is

It allows applicants to say whatever they want to say about themselves, what they would like to bring to the attention of the admissions committee. Most of the time people discuss their reasons for being interested in medicine. Others may discuss particular interests or hobbies or accomplishments. People also use it to explain deficiencies in their application. We view the personal profile as a supplement that the student perhaps can use to enhance his or her application. People...

Were Looking For Quality of writing And in

Terms of substance, we're looking for things that set the applicant apart from everyone else who will essentially have that individual's identical GPA and LSAT score. We view the personal statement as the applicant's opportunity to inform us of anything in particular that he or she might want the admissions committee to know. We don't have a standard form we leave it pretty open-ended. We do warn applicants that our job is to choose law students, not lawyers, so to that extent we're interested...

My Community Activities Have been greatly

Circumscribed by the fact that, as an officer in the merchant marine, 1 have spent months at a time at sea. My leisure activities, on the other hand, have been both regular and varied, reflecting my interest in sports and exercise. Weight lifting, which I began when 1 graduated from college, has transformed my lanky 150-pound frame into a somewhat more mesomorphic 170-pound physique. Previously I would have to head to the nearest gymnasium whenever my ship entered port in order to lift weights....

Its Possible To Redeem Yourself in certain

Cases) or to kill your chances of admission with the personal statement. What's most important to me is for the candidate to make a compelling case for himself or herself. 1 want to be persuaded that 1 should admit this person. Good writing is important in this regard. Secondly. I look for the person's sense of what our program is all about and why it makes sense in terms of his or her career plans. We ask for two essays. One is a personal statement of motivation why you want to come. It's...

In Three Years Before I was born in

Diego, my parents fled their native Cuba to escape Communism and the repression of Fidel Castro's regime. They spoke barely a word of English and started their new life in America with little more than the clothes on their backs. There were no provisions in the 1960s in area schools for Spanish-speaking children, so my early years in the educational system were difficult. Eventually, though, my academic progress enabled me to take the California Proficiency Exam and score sufficiently well that...

Questions to Ask Yourself

What's special, unique, distinctive, or impressive about you or your life story What details of your life (personal or family problems history, any genuinely notable accomplishments, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants When did you originally become interested in this field and what have you since learned about it and about yourself that has further stimulated your interest...

At First Glance The Most remarkable thing about

Me might seem to be the fact that I have the temerity to apply to law school in the first place. I have a blemished academic record that includes both withdrawals and failing grades, and by the time I receive my degree in May, I will have spent six years as an undergraduate. Looking beyond these statistics, however, to the harrowing circumstances of my personal life, it quickly becomes clear that what is much more remarkable is the fact that 1 have survived at all. In retrospect, 1 see that I...

As A Native Of Los Angeless inner city where

Gang violence and drugs are key aspects of the landscape, 1 was one of the lucky few to survive childhood with spirit and ambitions intact. The poverty and despair that were all around me crushed the hopes and dreams of many of my peers few finished high school, and even fewer went on to college. Most are now unemployed, in jail, or dead. This sad circumstance is something that is never far from my consciousness even now, as I face the exhilarating prospect of entering law school and beginning...

My Longtime Fascination with politics and

International affairs is reflected in my participation, starting in high school, in activities such as student council, school board meetings, Vietnam war protests, the McCarthy campaign, and the grape boycott. As each new cause came along, 1 was always ready to go to Washington or the state capital to wave a sign or chant slogans. Although 1 look back on these activities today with some chagrin, 1 realize they did help me to develop, at an early age, a sense of concern for social and political...

David Trabilsy

Assistant Dean for Admissions The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine IN TERMS OF CONTENT, there's nothing specific that we're looking for. I strongly feel this is entirely within the purview of the applicant to determine. In meeting with premed students I do not make specific suggestions concerning the content of the essay. The essay may be used any way the applicant wishes, and we do see a variety of central themes and writing styles. With respect to the very hasir ronsmicrion of rhp...

Dr Andrew G Frantz

Chairman, Committee on Admissions College of Physicians and Surgeons Columbia University WE LOOK FOR HONESTY as far as we can discern it , simplicity, straightforwardness. 1 lend to be put off by too many self-congratulatory statements, such as, I'm an excellent candidate for medical school 1 have great compassion that kind of thing. One person wrote, As part of my personality, I radiate a high degree of warmth and sincerity and that was not good. Try to sound natural A lot of students would...

Not Every Dental School Applicant has

Supported himself for five-and-a-half years jousting and swordfighting in a Las Vegas show. This colorful and physically demanding work is actually just one of a number of nontraditional elements of my background. My academic history in particular is likely quite different from what you normally see. I am 26 years old and will not be completing my undergraduate work until next spring. Working each night, for a total of 42 hours a week, has forced me to structure for myself an educational...

Judith Goodman

Student Services University of Michigan School of Business Administration WE'RE LOOKING FOR A CLEAR, concise response. We're also looking for appropriate or correct English, good writing skills, and some indication of focus in career objective. We do not want to bring in someone who doesn't know yet what he or she wants to do. If the applicant is not sure if the next step should be the MBA degree, then that needs to be given careful consideration before he or she becomes a really viable...

Stephen Christakos

Kellogg Graduate School of Management Northwestern University I'M GOING TO TALK MOSTLY about one essay that is fairly common among schools, the one that deals with why you're applying to a certain professional program and school and where you're headed careerwise. In this we're looking for students who show good self-awareness and a good sense of career awareness. We want students whose motivation for pursuing an MBA is clear, who seem to understand well what...