One of the biggest mistakes when writing grad school admission essays is not thinking about your audience, or thinking about them in a wrong way. Since the admissions panel are composed of esteemed members of the academe, your essay may be fashioned toward writing for the experts or the intellectuals. But this can get you into more trouble than earn you more points.
Give the admissions panel some credit. They’ve skimmed thousands of applications by now and would know instantly if you’re faking it. So you can urge them to finish reading the whole thing, avoid trite expressions and know the things they’ve probably grown tired of seeing in every essay. Here are some of them:
Graduate studies offer a lot of benefits not only to your career but even to your personal well-being. Even so, you cannot tell the admissions panel that the degree will help you “change the world” and will be used for the “betterment of the society or even mankind.” Avoid stating vague reasons or those that sound nearly impossible. Instead, focus on your passion and the developments in your chosen career field.
Be honest. Some people go to graduate school to advance their career. But instead on focusing on this topic alone, you can mention skills you wish to improve so you’ll adapt to the changing times. That would sound sincerer than trying to sound like a missionary. For instance, you can say that with more advanced skills, you can initiate better policies in your department or improve the research system of your office.
There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic or enthusiastic. However, it’s best to state goals that are achievable. When setting goals, make sure that they’re S-M-A-R-T (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely). Don’t be just another dreamer. Make an impression that you’re actually heading somewhere. For instance, you may say that IT skills can help you improve the company’s management system or compete in an Internet-based business world.
When presenting goals, go into details. Don’t just tell your readers what you want to do, but how they should be done.
Entering grad school for the wrong reasons
While graduate studies present numerous advantages, they’re not golden tickets to sure success. Not all people with graduate degrees get higher salaries instantly, as much as not all graduate students may qualify for promotion.
Grad school will create a big dent on your savings or monthly budget. You may even have to take out a loan just to pursue your studies. After you earn your degree, there’s no sure guarantee that the job market will be favourable to you. Your degree can only give you an advantage or the competitive edge.
Reading sample graduate school essays won’t just help you get started in crafting your own personal statement. Based on other people’s stories and accomplishments, you can see more clearly if you’re cut out for grad school. Only when you do believe it yourself can you convince the admissions panel about your qualifications.