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D application. Every sentence should be carefully thought out, and every single word should contribute to your overall statement of purpose. The previous words leading up to this sentence only took me 15 minutes to compose; but your personal statement must be taken more seriously. You should also allow time to double- and triple-check your statement for any glaring mistakes.
Send it to a colleague, your thesis mentor, a teaching assistant, or your friendly neighbourhood copyeditor to have them look over it for clarity. The personal statement is your opportunity to get, well This is an opportunity for you to reflect on what led you to apply for this programme.
Research the programme you are applying to Part of doing post-graduate research especially in a Ph. D is proving that you understand the field you are entering ; and there are ways for you to prove how familiar you are with the scholars who work in that subject. Use this information to your advantage. Show that your interests align with those who already work in that department and that your research will find a comfortable home there.
My grandmother has always been a huge inspiration to me, and the reason why a career in public health was always on my radar. This is an attention-grabbing opening anecdote that avoids most of the usual cliches about childhood dreams and proclivities. This story also subtly shows that I have a sense of public health history, given the significance of the AIDs crisis for public health as a field. Paragraph Two: Recent years have cemented that interest.
In January , my parents adopted my little brother Fred from China. If I were to take another pass through this paragraph, the main thing I would change is the last phrase. Paragraph Three: It is not right that some people have access to the best doctors and treatment while others have no medical care. I want to pursue an MPH in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia because studying social factors in health, with a particular focus on socio-health inequities, will prepare me to address these inequities.
The interdisciplinary approach of the program appeals to me greatly as I believe interdisciplinary approaches are the most effective way to develop meaningful solutions to complex problems. In this paragraph I make a neat and clear transition from discussing what sparked my interest in public health and health equity to what I am interested in about Columbia specifically: the interdisciplinary focus of the program, and how that focus will prepare me to solve complex health problems.
This paragraph also serves as a good pivot point to start discussing my academic and professional background. Paragraph Four: My undergraduate education has prepared me well for my chosen career.
For example, in a culture where most illnesses are believed to be caused by witchcraft, as is the case for the Zande people of central Africa, any successful health intervention or education program would of necessity take into account their very real belief in witchcraft. In this paragraph, I link my undergraduate education and the skills I learned there to public health.
The very brief analysis of tailoring health interventions to the Zande is a good way to show insight and show off the competencies I would bring to the program. Paragraph Five: I now work in the healthcare industry for one of the largest providers of health benefits in the world.
In addition to reigniting my passion for data and quantitative analytics, working for this company has immersed me in the business side of healthcare, a critical component of public health. This brief paragraph highlights my relevant work experience in the healthcare industry. Paragraph Six: I intend to pursue a PhD in order to become an expert in how social factors affect health, particularly as related to gender and sexuality. I intend to pursue a certificate in Sexuality, Sexual Health, and Reproduction.
Working together with other experts to create effective interventions across cultures and societies, I want to help transform health landscapes both in America and abroad. This final paragraph is about my future plans and intentions. Switching those two sentences and discussing my certificate goals within the MPH and then mentioning my PhD plans would make a lot more sense.
This was a successful personal statement; I got into and attended! It has strong examples, clear organization, and outlines what interests me about the program its interdisciplinary focus and what competencies I would bring a background in cultural analysis and experience with the business side of healthcare. However, a few slight tweaks would elevate this statement to the next level. It's important that students remember to keep anecdotes relevant to the specific programs to which they are applying and to make it clear how the experiences led them to those programs.
A prospective engineering student who volunteered abroad might set the scene by writing about how working with members of the local community who had their own innovations based on supplies that were readily available in their area, like flip phone batteries and dismantled mopeds, challenged her exclusively Western understanding of infrastructure and exposed holes in her knowledge. She could follow up with brief but concrete examples that showcase both hard and soft skills relevant to her program of study, like how experience as a resident assistant affirmed her desire to help people, and her senior thesis project pushed her to reach out to others and collaborate for the sake of better research.
Along with a focused narrative, grad school applicants should demonstrate for the admissions committee why they want to attend this program and how doing so relates to their place academically, locally and globally. Radunich notes that strong personal statements show that candidates understand the "big picture" of the profession and the true meaning and impact they will have in their communities.
Applicants often feel as if they have to show how highly accomplished and impressive they are in their personal statements, but Radunich stresses the significance of being honest and vulnerable.
Admissions deans read enough essays from year-old applicants who brag about their accomplishments and think they have life figured out. Her personal statement was phenomenal as a result. Strong personal statements demonstrate awareness of audience and how content may be received. Radunich advises applicants to think about their essays from admissions deans' perspectives: What would and wouldn't you want to read it if you were in their shoes?
As they write, students should remember that admissions personnel must read many personal statements and sort through thousands of applications. Being conscious of how words or stories may be perceived by those with experiences different from their own can be invaluable to students.
Radunich cites a time when she worked with a student who wrote about her experience providing medical care in a developing country as part of her medical school application: "The student had good intentions, but in writing she sounded patronizing and even condescending when describing her interactions with patients.
She had no idea. Remember that people who see the world differently from you will be reading this essay. This essay is meant to be personal and completely unique to the writer. You're not going to be a perfect fit for every single graduate program. Be you, and if a graduate program doesn't get it, you most likely aren't going to be happy in that program for the next three or more years. Students should commit to their experiences and own them rather than err too far on the side of safety, something Radunich says is a common pitfall.
For example, medical students tend to cite experiencing illnesses, watching family members struggle with their health or wanting to help people as the reason why they want to become a doctor. Admissions deans have to read thousands of these. Make it personal and offbeat. Give them something new to read. Radunich stresses the importance of proofreading. This personal statement is a reflection of the quality of work you will submit for the program.
These steps and strategies can help prospective graduate students push through the initial hesitation and get on their way to writing winning personal statements. Read the instructions. Some applications provide little in the way of guidance, asking prospective students to expand on why they want to apply to the program or supply information on their backgrounds and interests.
Others, however, give specific guidelines on content, format, word count and submission method. It's crucial that applicants read and understand what is expected of their personal statements. It won't matter how beautifully crafted the statement is if it doesn't address the prompt or disregards stated length requirements.
Before sitting down to write, students should spend a good amount of time thinking about their strengths and what they want to convey to admissions committees. Radunich says it's essential for students to really dwell on what makes them special. What qualities do you bring to a cohort of graduate students that this program doesn't know they need? Talk to friends and family.
Sometimes figuring out how to write about oneself or what elements to highlight can be tough. Radunich says that this is where friends and family can be extremely helpful. She recommends talking those who know you best. Use them to provide feedback on what you have to offer a graduate program. How would they describe you in five words? They know when you're using words outside of your vocabulary or when you're exaggerating what an experience meant to you.
Send it to a colleague, your thesis mentor, a teaching assistant, or your friendly neighbourhood copyeditor to have them look over it for clarity. However, generic essays have no place in the graduate school application process.
Specifically, I want to work toward developing inexpensive and accessible adaptive technology for special needs children in educational settings. Finally, we provided a list of other sample grad school personal statements online. I wish to pursue graduate study to build a stronger foundation in a skill set I love. We listen to your story. Why Use Helpful Samples? This was a successful personal statement; I got into and attended!