How to Write a Successful Personal Statement

Posted by Grace H. on 1/25/19 9:31 AM

The personal statement is an integral part of a job or school application because it showcases the applicant’s personality in an intimate way. The resume is a list of objective accomplishments and successes that the applicant has earned, but the personal statement highlights passion and aspirations that cannot be listed in simple bullet points. Although the personal statement should further boost the applicant’s strengths and qualifications for the program, it should not be a summary of the resume. A successful personal statement is one that tells a story which ties the person’s history and life events to their current desires and future goals if accepted into their applied program. Although there is no cookie cutter approach to drafting the perfect personal statement, it should be a concise essay that gives specific anecdotes leading up to your desired career path, explains why you would be a good fit in this field and ultimately demonstrates your capacity to exceed at the position you are pursuing.

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Tags: college admssions, graduate admissions

Writing a Thesis and Topic Sentences in your Personal Statement

Posted by Martha C. on 10/10/18 5:51 PM

Every applicant who needs to write a personal statement for their high school, college, or graduate admissions struggles with structuring their personal statement.  It is hard enough to muster the courage to brainstorm your most salient life experiences on paper; now, the most important part is structuring your personal statement with your thesis and topic sentences.

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Tags: graduate admissions, medical school admissions, college admssions, high school, MBA admissions, law school admissions

How To Decide If You Should Pursue A Gap Year Before Graduate School

Posted by Grace H. on 8/27/18 3:39 PM

It is hard to imagine remaining a student after graduating from college, yet it is increasingly popular these days as the working field becomes more selective and applicants more experienced. Although most students are confident in their decision to pursue graduate school, there is uncertainty when deciding whether to pursue a gap year. As a current third year dental student, I was faced with the same options and felt conflicted because both sides have their fair share of pros and cons. Although I decided to start school immediately after graduating, taking a gap year would have been an equally fine choice and there ultimately is no wrong direction!

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Tags: graduate admissions

What No One Told Me About Grad School: Setbacks Aren't Always Bad

Posted by Kristin on 7/30/18 6:08 PM

I tell this story because it seems to be the most encouraging thing I tell aspiring or freshly minted graduate students.

The summer before my senior year of undergrad, I was accepted to the MIT Summer Research Program. I had an amazing experience, met incredible people, and gained a lot of confidence in my abilities. But in the midst of the program, I had a crisis akin to what many grad students will experience in their careers.

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Tags: graduate admissions, graduate school

What No One Told Me About Grad School Programs: Long Distance Means Far Away

Posted by Kristin on 7/13/18 6:48 PM

To say that I underestimated moving across the United States is an understatement.

I grew up in a small-ish town in Southern California and went to college a short 50-minute drive away. I thought this meant that I had “moved out,” like a real adult. But I would soon learn that going to your childhood home every other weekend to do laundry doesn’t count.

Like most Californians, I was certain that I was never leaving California. I planned to go to grad school programs somewhere close, but not too close, like San Diego or Los Angeles. I wasn’t even letting my imagination venture as far as Davis or Berkeley. It’s almost endearing to look back at how naïve I was.

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Tags: graduate school, graduate admissions

How to Prepare for Dental School: Prerequisites & the DAT

Posted by Aida on 12/18/17 5:52 PM

Congratulations! You have successfully identified that you want to join the exciting field of dentistry and begin preparing for dental school. You will be joining a community of healthcare professionals that care about their community’s oral health and general well-being. It’s truly a rewarding career that will offer your many opportunities to grow a as a professional and as an individual.

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Tags: graduate admissions

What to expect during interview weekend for PhD Biomedical programs

Posted by Anita on 11/13/17 5:44 PM

Congratulations! If you have been selected to interview at a Biomedical PhD program (e.g. Biology, Neuroscience, Biophysics) that means you were selected from a pile of hundreds of applicants. The program is willing to fly you in for interview weekend and take the time to show off its program and city. Let that act as a confidence booster, but you still have to survive interviews!

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Tags: biology, graduate admissions

The 3 Essential Steps to Finding the Right Graduate School

Posted by Hannah on 4/17/17 6:54 PM

I always knew I wanted to get a graduate degree. At first, I thought I might want to be a lawyer. I studied for the LSAT, applied to Law schools, and got in. After some thinking, I decided I didn’t want to be a lawyer. Then, I thought I might want to be an academic. This was a deeper desire, one I had always considered throughout college. I studied for the GRE, interviewed with schools, and ended up getting acceptances to several Master’s programs. I decided, again, that none of this was for me.  I finally ended up at Wharton, pursuing an MBA.

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Tags: graduate admissions

Graduate School: How to Get the Best Financial Aid Package Possible

Posted by Andrew S. on 4/12/17 1:52 PM

We’ve all been there. After months of anticipation, we get the letter, either digitally or via “snail mail”, that will dictate the course of our lives for the next 1,2, 4 or in some cases (e.g. doctoral programs) 10 years. Sure, getting through all the applications, soliciting letters of recommendation, and polishing our statements of purpose like our lives depended on them was nerve-wracking enough. And now, everything has come to a head: “We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted…” 

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Tags: graduate admissions

Doing Summer Research to Boost Your Ph.D. Application

Posted by Sandra Jones on 1/20/16 3:52 PM

scene from Moonrise Kingdom

If you’re interested in applying to Ph.D. programs, you should most definitely plan to do summer research. Even if you’re involved in research at your home institution during the academic year, use the summer as an opportunity to explore a new topic, work in a different lab environment, or learn a new technique. Summer research programs exist across all fields of research from the humanities to the life sciences ranging from 8 – 12 weeks. Here are 5 reasons why you should take advantage of them.

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Tags: graduate admissions