Guide to writing personal statements
Good day people, I own a writing services business in Nigeria, and I was recently given a job to write a personal statement for someone seeking admission to a university in the United Kingdom. That was a first, as I am mostly involved in executive writing, proofreading, writing company profiles, teaching and training manuals, business proposals, business plans, press releases, sales letter, product review, and so much more.
Writing the personal statement was a wonderful experience, and though I had to undertake thorough research, I was very satisfied when my client secured the admission to the university. So today I decided to write a simple guide that helped me prepare the personal statement, and also show a random sample of a personal statement to my esteemed readers.
Follow the following steps to write an effective personal statement to secure your admission to that top program.
Step 1: Identify the course you wish to read and think about how challenging, interesting, useful and benefiting the course can be to you and the society.
Step 2: If it is challenging, how challenging can it be? Can the challenges, difficulty or problems involved in studying it be compared with any phenomenon outside or alive? What analogy can you draw between the phenomenon and the proposed course of study?
Step 3: What are the available benefits, uses and importance of the course. Explain why you are so eager or enthusiastic to study it, what you look forward to getting after the course, details of the circumstances or things that made you conclude or decide to go for the course. Have you been influenced by someone, is there any successful person you know who did the course and whom you wish to emulate. Are you going for the course to acquire some special skills to help you in solving people’s problems, business issues, consulting for business etc?
Step 4: Explain what anyone with the knowledge you wish to acquire is capable of doing with the knowledge in terms of acquiring wealth, helping humanity, solving sundry problems, being a reference point (consultant) etc.
Step 5: Think about what you’ll be doing after acquiring the skills/ knowledge. Have you ever had the opportunity to do any work relating to it at all; as vacation job, during your youth service primary assignment, internships etc. What is / was the experience like? Remarkable, unique, memorable etc. What is your dream about your future and how does the course relate to the dream? Would the course enhance the fulfillment of the dream?
So guys, as I promised, please see below a sample personal statement submitted by an international student to gain admission for further study in medicine at a UK university.
Recently, I climbed Idanre hill which is a tourist centre in Ondo state, Nigeria. The climbing was challenging because it had not been developed as a modern tourist centre and there were lots of obstacle along the way. The experience, though challenging was worthwhile as I became happy and got overwhelmingly satisfied with my achievement after overcoming the obstacles. An analogy could be drawn between this experience and that of studying medicine. Undoubtedly, studying medicine will expose me to a life full of challenges as each day will come with its own variety of problems or issues. But I am sure that it will eventually be a career path which will keep me intrigued, give me life-long satisfaction and above all, pride of achievement.
As a course of study, Medicine will not only make me understand the complex working of the human body but also the different ailments that afflict the body organs as well as the remedies for such ailments. In my Advanced level study of Biology for example, I enjoyed learning about the circulatory system and the heart which is undoubtedly the most important organ in the human body. Also, during my internship as an advanced level graduate, I worked with a cardiologist. I learnt and understood the different heart complications that could arise, especially in older patients, such as an aortic aneurysm, congestive heart failure and valve failure and their corrective measures. I had the opportunity of talking with a patient who had mitral valve regurgitation and who as a result got a valve replacement. His mitral valves were replaced with pig valves and although there were ethical issues concerning the use of pig valves, the patient was extremely happy. He explained how his quality of life got greatly improved; he got less easily tired and he no more experienced conditions of breathlessness. He was grateful. This type of little moment of gratitude is what I look forward to in my career.
The possession of communication skills by a medical Doctor cannot be overemphasized. During my work experience with a general practitioner, I learnt that the ability of a doctor to interact well with his patient is a key factor on which the quality of care he is giving depends. I also learnt that the hospital, just like the human body, is a very complex place and without teamwork, it would be chaotic. For 6 months, I volunteered service at an after school prep learning centre. I was able to take care of the children and develop my leadership skills by tutoring some of the children in mathematics. This helped me develop my communication skill further as I interacted with both the children and their parents. I was part of the group of volunteers from Nigeria. As a unit, we visited orphanages. We assisted the orphanages by performing simple tasks like cleaning and cooking. Although there were children with very sad stories which brought our spirits down a number of times owing to our compassionate disposition, we mostly enjoyed just talking to them and being extra company to them. The experience helped me in writing my report on child care and mortality rate in Nigerian as I was able to see the significant improvements in child care by myself.
Suffice to say that I completed my Duke of Edinburgh sliver expedition which I enjoyed. I contributed occasionally by map reading and bringing up team morale. In my last year in secondary school, I was elected a leader (prefect). I was given the responsibility of keeping the students body in order and organised. I was also a student body representative. I was able to develop a sense of responsibility from these roles. Studying as an international student has given me the opportunity to interact with people of diverse personality and culture. As a result, I am very open-minded, independent and interactive and eager to learn about different life perspectives.
In my free time I enjoy playing table tennis. I was a member of the basketball team of my secondary school which my colleagues and I pioneered.