Almost every graduate program you apply to will require a personal statement or a series of short essays. Not only does this serve as a writing sample but it is also an opportunity to convince the admissions committee that they want to meet with you in person. It is an opportunity to showcase your strengths, personal stories, and your passion and committment to your chosen field. Because it is such an important aspect of your application, you must devote a lot of time and thought into your statement. Here are some tips for a successful personal statement:
- Your personal statement could take you a full month to write so give yourself enough time. Create a schedule for yourself that includes several drafts and edits.
- Utilize your resources! At UWB there are many people on campus that can help you shape your personal statement. The Writing and Communication Center, Merit Scholarships, The Career Center, the pre-health advisor, and maybe even some of your faculty will be willing to read your essay and give you suggestions for improvement.
- The first draft is the "down draft," which means, just get everything down on paper. Try not to overthink it or worry about how bad it is, just write. Once you have something on paper, then you can start to shape it into the personal statement that you will ultimately submit.
- Do your research! Look at the website, read the mission statement, and get to know the program you are applying to.
- The reader needs to feel enthusiastic about you as an applicant. Reflect on the ways in which you will bring value to this program and this field. Getting admitted into your program of choice needs to be mutually beneficial to you and the program admitting you.
- Think about showing versus telling. Anyone can can say that they want to be a health professional, but how are you going to show the reader this in your essay?