Graduate School: Writing a Convincing Personal Statement

Filed in Graduate School by on November 14, 2014

Hello Everyone!

A few days ago, I started looking at the graduate school application because I really think that this is something I would like to do. There are a few integral parts to the application: make sure you are prepared for graduate school, research schools and programs, gather application materials such as taking the right test (GRE, GMAT, etc.), getting letters of recommendation, requesting an official transcript, and writing an amazing personal statement.

Looking at the application, its seems the personal statement can be the the most difficult and stressful part. If you are having a writer’s block like myself, a good way to get started is by making a list of points to cover; your background, your interests, why this school, and your future career goals.


Common Parts of a Personal Statement:

1] Introduction – include who you are, the school and degree you are applying to, and start introducing your interests like how did you get interested, etc. Since a statement of purpose is very concise, make sure to not have a very long introduction.

2] Relevant Experience – showcase your experience and include action verbs. Make sure that the experience is relevant, either helping enhance soft skills like responsibility, leadership, or experience directly related to your field of study and don’t forget to connect all this back to your current interests. This will probably be the lengthiest portion of your statement.

3] Research Plan and Long Term Objectives – identify areas of interest that you would like to conduct research in. If you are not sure, turn back to your relevant experience and see what you enjoyed the most, or just go to the professors’ websites to see what they are working on. Be sure to discuss some of your long term plans, objectives, and how this program will benefit you.

4] Program of interest – close by talking about specifics about the program you are applying to and why. What attracts you and who are some of the faculty you might be interested in working with? Summarize and make sure you have met the criteria of the essay question.

Final Steps:

  • Revise, polish, add, subtract; just be ready to make changes to your statement of purpose
  • Have others read it to check reading ease, catch typos, and get feedback
  • Feel free to go online and look for advice or examples, but make sure you make the personal statement YOUR OWN.

Also, you should definitely check out WPI’s Graduate Programs and also the CDC’s Tipsheet for “Writing a Personal Statement”.

Thanks for reading and until next week!




About the Author ()

Hi everyone! My name is Omesh Kamat and I am a senior at WPI, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I am also working towards getting minors in Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science. I am a Senior Peer Advisor at the CDC and I am here to help you and provide you with awesome tips! If you have any questions or suggestions for topics, please feel free to contact me!

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