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Graduate_School_Personal_Statements

Graduate_School_Personal_Statements - Graduate School...

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your future in focus Graduate School Planning Graduate School Personal Statements www.utexas.edu/student/cec 512.471.1217 Jester A115 The Career Exploration Center has interviewed various professionals involved in the graduate school admissions process. These are among the suggestions they have made regarding the content of graduate personal or goal statements. Academic Experience - Don’t be repetitive by describing a project you described elsewhere. Write about what you have learned from working with this project and how this has piqued your interest in further research. This may also be the place to mention any personal qualities, which would make you a good researcher. If you choose to do this, however, be sure to back up those statements with specific examples documenting your skills in these areas. Research Interests - This is most appropriate for people applying to a research program and not for fields like law. Again, be as specific as possible and point out how this particular program to which you are applying for fits with your research interests. Extracurricular Experiences - This may be particularly important in business and law, where leadership qualities are given priority. Again, don’t just describe experiences. Show how these experiences relate to your goals and what they have taught you about your skills in these areas--in other words, analyze these experiences. Look for any experience which sets you apart from the crowd: e.g., conducting a science project in high school, editing the college newspaper, being an officer of a student organization. Career Goals - Indicate how you plan to use your graduate training. You don’t need to have your life mapped out in detail, but be able to delineate some general goals. Admissions committees are interested in knowing that you have thought about what you want to do with your life, and that a graduate education fits in with these plans. Whenever possible, point out how your goals are congruent with the training you will receive in that particular program. Personal Attributes, Situations - This is the place to mention anything special about your background or extenuating circumstances relative to your application, such as reasons for a low GPA during a particular semester, etc. The important thing is to explain them in a non-defensive, non-apologetic manner. A few more comments about your statements: Be aware that this is a sample of your writing skills. Therefore, watch for grammatical errors, typos, poor writing, etc. Graduate school committees are interested in knowing more about you as a person, and whether or not you fit the kind of advanced degree program they offer.
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