Case Studies Samples Mba Personal Statements

We hope our collection of UCAS Business personal statements provides inspiration for writing your own. Please do not plagiarise them in any way, or UCAS will penalise your application. Our Personal Statement Editing & Review Services are available if you feel you need a little extra help.

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Academically, I have always been a very determined and studious individual, hence why I knew that a degree at University would be the definite next step. I have a broad interest in many subject areas yet feel drawn towards a law or business orientated degree...

There is a rapid growth in global organisational concepts, crystallised in Japanese business philosophy, to be as effective as possible in the most efficient way. New technology involving networking information and automation influences the behaviour of business and enables significant transformation...

My decision to apply for a degree in Business is due to my desire to aim for a career in the promotion of electronic music. This initiated from a visit to London, where I had the opportunity to experience the deeply fascinating influences of the local club scene to the culture of our times...

Human Resources Personal Statement

I am currently working full time as an administrator in a Hospital in my gap year after sixth form. I chose to take a year out after my A-Levels to gain some true life experience away from the security net of full time education...

Accounting & Finance/Business Personal Statement

Business, finance and accounting has been a passion of mine for some years now. I first had the idea of becoming a chartered accountant when my uncle told me about what he does in his role as finance manager of a local hospital; he inspired me to look deeper into the field and that was where my interest in finance and economics was first rooted...

Business & Languages Personal Statement

Since I first started studying business at GCSE I have been interested by how businesses operate and function, considering how they are able to become successful not only on a local scale, but how they are able to expand and grow to eventually operate on a global scale...

Management & Accounting Personal Statement

I have decided to apply to Msc Accounting and Management because I want to do career in this field and I am pretty sure that this program will equip me with lot of tools and skills required to do so. In addition, through this program I will have the chance to sink into the world of economy and profit of the high demand that is there currently for management and accounting graduates in the jobs market...

In today’s world of survival of the fittest, one has to be equipped with knowledge, experience, as well as ambition. It has been my goal to further my knowledge and ambition through studies at a leading UK university...

Business Personal Statement

Business has become one of the most important aspects of our life and from my perspective it has more influence on our world than any other disciplines. Business is what I want to do study to degree level because I am naturally passionate about it...

Early in my childhood, the Internet became more than just a luxury--it became a necessity. My father moved from Singapore to Indonesia to start a textile company when I was four years old, leaving me alone with my mother...

I have chosen a business related course as I have been interested in this field from GCSE level & I believe that I have the qualities to forge a successful career in this area. I have been inspired to fulfil this path by my Uncle, a director at a successful company in England I feel I am a good motivator and I enjoy travelling which I believe are integral factors of business at the highest level I participated in work experience at Haldane Fisher Ltd, a local building supplies firm that not only operates in my home town but also has key branches throughout Northern Ireland, and they also deliver goods throughout Ireland...

Ever since I can remember, I recall always wanting to organise everyone and give them certain tasks to do. In fact, even when I was just playing with my friends. I remember how I used to organise all the plays and concerts that we did, and that was pretty often, and to want to have everything close to perfection...

Have you ever climbed a mountain 1474 meters high? By your own limbs without any help from any vehicle? Well, this was one of the most unforgettable and valuable experiences I have ever had, and I will cherish it all my life...

Management has always been my ultimate goal and a desire to master new concepts and techniques has influenced my choice to involve maths, computing and business as my A-Levels. A combined degree in both Maths and Management would provide me the skills and knowledge to fulfil my long-term ambition of managing a business in the computer related sector After growing up in a local convenience store, my interest and involvement with business has been high and by studying business at both GCSE and A-Level this hands on experience has been reinforced by learning new concepts and theories During my summer break between school and college I travelled to Birmingham and did some voluntary work in a small but growing computer course company that used ILA (Individual Learning Accounts) as its main source of income...

I have always been interested in businesses and how they operate, as well as being fascinated by other languages and cultural differences My passion for the subject increased when I chose business studies as part of my main education at school...

I come from a background where my family has been in the retail trade for the last hundred years. Whist I was growing up I have been actively taking part in the running of the business. My family has given me the opportunity to further myself in achieving my goals...

Business and Management Personal Statement

I currently attend Peter Symonds Sixth Form College. During my first year, I gained 5 grade A AS levels in geography, computing, business studies, maths and biology. I choose these as they are subjects that I both perform well in and which also interest me...

Business and Management Personal Statement

Seven years ago, I decided I wanted to run a business. The idea of managing an organisation, with the vast breadth of competence that such a job requires, the sheer variety of activity that it entails and the stimulating challenge it poses, holds great appeal for me...

I am a Human Resource Co-ordinator. My long-term goal is to practice as a Human Resource Manager. In order to pursue this goal, I would like to enrol in a university that emphasises putting theoretical concepts learned in the classroom into practice with a work-placement My career goals were shaped by my experience at British Airways during my break from university in the summer of 1990...

Business and Management Personal Statement

My interest in current affairs, politics and the way in which the global economy operates, has fuelled my intentions to read economics at university. Furthermore, I am longing to be able to answer questions such as, how do various stock markets function, for example such as the FTSE 100 and other stock markets, and what effects do they have upon our everyday lives, as well as on businesses and companies? How is it possible for multi-million pound companies, such as Enron, to go into liquidation? I eventually plan to pursue a career in international trade or within the civil service...

My motivation to study Accounting /Information Business at degree level develops from my enjoyment from the single Business Studies at AS, currently converted into a double award at A2. For me, Business Studies has proved to be a fascinating subject, one that offers unlimited professional opportunities...

Aquent was in a perilous condition. The 1,800 sales representatives at the company had contracted far too many high-risk, low-profit project orders related to network construction. The resultant deficit at Aquent, one of the world's biggest communications companies, had swollen to nearly USD150 million and threatened to bring the company down...

"We don't need to take this analysis any further, especially since the client isn't paying for additional work." I was dumbfounded. An idealistic graduate of Dartmouth College, I had imagined that the business world would provide an excellent learning environment in which to explore and apply my theoretical training...

After graduated from the college, I plan to go onto postgraduate studies and work on an MBA. A strong performance in Business and Marketing study will allow me to move onto an MBA and only then shall I be satisfied From 2001 to 2003 I was working at an International trade company...

Business and Management Personal Statement

For as long as I can remember it has been my fondest dream and my furthest goal to attend college. From the beginning, I knew it would be an uphill climb to gain admission into a prestigious university...

Hello! I'm a student of Production Engineering: Marketing and Management and Production Management. During tha last 3 years I gained a lot of experience in the field of production. I was taking part in many presentations made by older students at our University...

My interest in economics, business, finance and banking has been long standing as I am interested in how important decisions within these fields have everyday affects. I feel I have a sound and enthusiastic response to this aspect...

Academically, I have always been a very determined and studious individual, hence why I knew that a degree at University would be the definite next step. I have a broad interest in many subject areas yet feel drawn towards a law or business orientated degree...

I have always wanted to go to university young because feel that going to university will give me a good sense of direction and help me to define who I can be, and what career I will pursue in the future...

I would like to study Business Management at university, as I am interested in current affairs and am curious about the real world Business management will teach and help me how to manage people; how to make and carry out decisions; and how to assess markets...

Business and Management Personal Statement

My decision to study project management in construction and other business related subjects stems from developing an interest in business as a career aim. This interest is almost certainly the result of growing up in an entrepreneurial family where I was constantly exposed to discussions about all aspects of enterprises, from new business ideas to running a firm efficiently and managing projects...

Business and Management Personal Statement

For the past year I have been studying subjects relating to business on the Internet. I have chosen to apply for a course in business relating to the Internet because it is a very interesting and exciting area to work in...

Marketing Personal Statement

A degree in marketing is something which interests me; it's exciting and stimulating and will provide me with the key requirements to begin a successful career in the field. The marketing profession requires individuals with good interpersonal skills, who are dedicated, quick thinking, robust, diplomatic, articulate and have a competitive flare, all of which are skills and attributes that I recognise in myself Marketing appeals to me because it is arguably the most invigorating and vital department of any business with a responsibility to initiate new challenges and opportunities My experience in the workplace and in non academic activities has helped me develop a strong interest in working in the corporate world In 1999 I was the youngest successful applicant to become a member of the Youth Council for the Millennium Dome...

I am a clear headed, ambitious individual who has taken the time to think about my future and my goals. I have undertook and completed my first degree in two years as opposed to the normal three or four year programmes...

Business and Management Personal Statement

Since moving on to further education I have always shown a keen interest in Business studies, studying a wide variety on the subject during my A Levels. This has helped feed my enthusiasm and dedication towards the subject grow stronger and gradually has made me want to study it in more depth...

Business and Management Personal Statement

Throughout this last term I feel I have continually furthered my abilities and competency surrounding the learning process. More specifically I have gained a deeper knowledge surrounding management as well as substantially building on many skills One of my biggest achievements this year has been my drastic improvement in my presentation giving ability...

Business and Management Personal Statement

I am very interested in studying a business management course with the addition of legal and financial studies. From a young age I have always had a keen interest in monetary matters and have also been intrigued by legal systems and how they work...

Business and Management Personal Statement

I believe I am very capable of organising people and managing the logistics of running a company. I am keen on all aspects of business, but am particularly interested in Business Management. I feel I am a good communicator and wish to develop my teamwork and leadership skills I was lucky enough to be a guest at the Institute of Directors 2001 Annual Convention in the Royal Albert Hall...

My aim is to study management in two possible fields, events and sport. This is because my career goal is to work as part of a company organising events Taking part in a vocational course in the 6th form has enabled me to develop my organisational skills...

Business and IT Personal Statement

Ever since I was young I have always been interested in businesses and how they operate, as well as being fascinated by other languages and cultural differences. My passion for the subject expanded when I chose business studies and french, as part of my A-level education...

Business and Languages Personal Statement

While studying Performing Arts at Lambeth College, I developed an interest in business related subjects which were: Starting work in the Performing Arts and Financial Management, during the course I had lots of paperwork and practical work...

Business & Politics Personal Statement

Since arriving in this country, I have become much more aware of current affairs and the world around me, locally and globally. I have chosen to study politics because I seen as a way of acquiring the skills and knowledge that will give me an edge in the job market...

What would life be without technology? In this world that we live in it is impossible to be fully efficient in a business society without having grasp knowledge of information and communications technology...

Business Studies Personal Statement

Business is not just about figures and charts, it would be nothing without the people driving it forward. Therefore the part of the Business Studies’ A-level that has inspired me the most has been Human Resource Management...

Business with Law Personal Statement

Exposure to my parents' restaurant businesses from an early age has given me an insight to the everyday running of the business. This has inspired me to follow in their footsteps and set up my own business one day...

Business/Music Personal Statement

I am studying for A levels in Music, Music Technology and Business Studies at the Bournemouth and Poole College of Further Education From a young age I developed an interest in music and music technoloy which led to me playing in school and local bands...

I have a firm belief that the secrets of the modern society are based on basic practical, logical and lateral principles. This not only intrigues me, but also is driving me forward in my life. From barter systems to modern day stock markets all are based on the basic principles and such business has had huge impact in the growing of the society...

IT & Management Personal Statement

I have always wanted to do something great with my life, proving to myself and my family that I could be different from my other brothers and sisters. I am the only one in my family who is currently studying at College...

My Grandfather ran a successful shipping company and my parents; uncles and aunts all have their own businesses or work in the field of commerce. You could say it is in my blood and I have certainly absorbed the interest and fascination of how business and commerce works...

IT Management Personal Statement

There is a gowning trend toward how to mapping and process in application and database in software engineer that running the multiple platform (operation) system for the largest software system. A programming in dependent on interrupt and complier has become too productive and a high flexibility power in-house if it may reduce the code and domain capture in system...

Personal Statement My interest in Business Studies developed when I first studied it at GCSE which I enjoyed immensely. This was proved when I was awarded Student of the Year in Business Studies. Studying Business Studies, Accounting and Communication Studies at A level is enjoyable and I have developed skills from all three of these subjects that will help me succeed at university, I also have completed an AS Level in Information and Communication Technology...

To me, management is a game of control. In front of the game, management becomes interesting. I always tell myself there are only two choices in this game: to believe that I will win and put in the effort which is needed to achieve the victory or not to join this game in the very beginning...

Business Studies Personal Statement

It was during my high school studies when I got into "pyramid" sales chain Amway. Although their power sale techniques were not what I liked I had the first peak into the world of business. This world amazed me by its complexity and almost endless opportunities...

To start with I shall point out that I have always been interested in Business and Legal studies. Even during my teenage years, I have seen myself as a person who is willing to prosper in the knowledge of modern Business and Legal studies...

Business Computing Personal Statement

I anticipate furthering my studies in the field of business. Business involves analysing every detail before making a competent decision. Also, logic and objectivity is needed as everything has a set order and method...

Business Administration Personal Statement

My name is Sirisopa Chaiyanit. I received Bachelor's Degree in the field of Business Administration with the concentration of Marketing from Asian University of Science and Technology. At the present, I am working in Sangwailai Land Ltd, Co...

Business Management and Finance Personal Statement

Ever since the first implementation of money it has evolved to one of the main forces that abet our society in making progress in this highly commercialized age. As a result a whole new type of relationship between people has emerged, defined shortly nowadays as business and finance...

Business Studies Personal Statement

My aim in life is to be successful in business. To achieve this you need to have confidence in yourself and the people around you amongst other things, and I feel I have the right credentials and experience to do just that...

Management Personal Statement

To be a top notch management cum logistical personnel, with wide range of knowledge in business management in all ramifications is my main goal. Managing resources, both human and materials today in this fast rising and expanding business world has taking a different dimension, with the introduction of e-business and other new innovative mechanism of transaction in the field of purchasing, procurement, production and industries has brought about a competitive playing ground, which require one to consistently update his knowledge and skills to be relevant in his chosen career path...

Business Personal Statement

Passion is definitely the word which describes my feelings for business. As my father started up his own pharmaceuticals company, he is obviously very attached to it, and tends to transfer that enthusiasm to me...

Enterprise Development Personal Statement

I have been engaged in the world of business since a young age. My father has run a successful company in Leeds for over 20 years, and my Grandfather made an extremely good living in business too. As such I recognize numerous aspects of how businesses work, and how they grow and expand...

Public Administration Personal Statement

Having various experiences of national and international institutions with mass experiences in the field of management besides other administrative experience, I would like to express my keen eagerness for getting admittance in the chevening scholarship for the academic year 2009-2010 in the field of Public Administration...

Business Finance Personal Statement

I want to study finance because it is a fascinating discipline dealing with money, markets and valuation that is relevant to all aspects of business. The financial system is there to make sure that those with good ideas get the money necessary to implement the ideas but finance is also concerned with the relationship between investor expectations about the future and current market values...

Ever since an early stage in my life, I have always worked hard to overcome challenges. This in turn influenced my passion for business. Business can be a risky and competitive industry, but having considered my most desired skills and interests, I know that I am ready to step into the world of business...

Business and Management Personal Statement

My wish to study business has developed increasingly ever since I understood that we lived in a world where everything was due or connected to money and trade. What really interest me in business is its complexity and its unpredictability...

Business Management Personal Statement

Thinking back to the early stages of my GCSE years and all the way up to the end of my final year of college, studying business has always been full of enjoyment for me. During this time I have developed a better understanding in the subject and given the chance, I want to further enhance my knowledge and understanding of the subject in a degree program...

Some people consider business studies uninteresting; they think everything is just about numbers and money. However, after closer view business is about perfect balance. Balance between demand and supply, resources and merchandises...

I would like to study business/logistics and/or supply chain management as I am excited by the prospects involving imaginative thinking and the solving of complex business problems. My aim is to work with business managers, showing them the newest and most effective organisational and co-ordinating techniques as well as using up-to-date technologies to make a company successful...

Throughout my life there has been this reoccurring scene in which my father convenes a family meeting, usually on a Sunday evening. By the next morning, we always find ourselves busily packing for yet another international move...

Business Personal Statement

Ever since an early age, I have constantly worked hard to strive and overcome challenges. This in turn influenced my passion for business. Business can be a risky and competitive industry, whilst on the other hand it can be profitable and rewarding...

To me being an ordinary employee is not satisfying. I believe I can get my hands fully into the projects and have a major influence on how they are implemented. Although I have a short but rewarding period of work experience, from the beginning I had my mind set to reach higher positions within industry and to be able to pursue this dream I am applying for the MSc Management course...

Ever since I remember I was very keen on geography and different countries always fascinated me. I always wanted to work in international spheres where I can see how different cultures combined together can work as one team...

Business Personal Statement

My inspiration to pursue a BA (Hons) Management degree course came from my unexpected interest in the business field, for my personal development of being efficient at my job and most importantly to be accomplished as an individual...

Law & Business Personal Statement (International Student)

From an early age, Law has always been number one priority in my vision of the future. Probably because of my father's profession (he is Head of the Regional Criminal Police), I have always been intrigued by Criminology and the idea of analyzing and solving tangled cases...

Business & Management Personal Statement

There is no limit to what you can learn and how much you can earn from it. Instilled with this belief by my father, I have since the beginning learnt to approach the world differently. I view that knowledge can be applied practically not only to earn a living, but also to earn wisdom...

Business Management Personal Statement

‘A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.’ – Richard Branson Since successful completion of my work experience at the end of Year 10, I have developed an ever-increasing interest in Business, the people involved in it and how I might use my skills to one day compete in that environment...

Business Management & Marketing Personal Statement

As I peered over the edge of the plane and looked down 14,000 feet to the ground ready to jump. As I took my first SCUBA dive and experienced the surreal and exciting feeling of breathing under water. As I trekked for 2 days and stayed with a Thai village tribe feeding elephants and helping local families I thought and smiled ' Dreams really can be achievable'...

Management Studies Personal Statement

As a witness to the global financial crises, I was struck by the importance and relevance of organisational management. I first applied bookkeeping and devised marketing plans for my mother’s business at the age of twelve...

Business Management Personal Statement

It is true that degrees such as medicine, law and architecture, are highly recognised in society and are top fields for studying. However, business has grown to be a major part of day to day life; therefore my interest has lied in the core of a field which I believe has more importance than any other courses in today’s world, business management...

International Business Personal Statement

The motivation behind my decision to gain a Business Degree lies in my determination to better understand how the real world works. I particularly enjoy the way that business blends in with everyday issues...

Business/Human Resources Personal Statement

In a turbulent economic and social climate, business remains of core importance. It is a crucial element of our lives, working as a catalyst for innovation, which is why I wish to study it at undergraduate level...

Human Resources Management Personal Statement

Most of us can expect to spend many years of our lives working in organisations of various kinds, being managed or managing others. I am one of those who like to manage people and interact with them. Human Resources Program will enhance my marketability and give me the relevant professional skills and knowledge that employers in today’s marketplace are looking for...

Economics and Business Personal Statement

Born in the post-communist state of Slovakia with Vietnamese roots, from my early age I was wondering why we were generally living in better conditions than our relatives in Vietnam. As I grew older, my dad explained me the benefits of policies supporting private property rights and foreign investment to the Slovak economy...

Business Personal Statement

My interest for business became noticeable around 3 years ago, when I started trading on eBay. Throughout the period of studying sports at college, it was a hobby in which I found extreme excitement and potential...

Business Studies Personal Statement

Living in one of the most tourist attracted and rising country, United Arab Emirates, I learnt quickly as a child that business is required nearly everywhere and anywhere. I knew I had to become an entrepreneur or pursue some career in business when I made my first sale at the age of 14 by selling three Cell phones...

Business With Accounting and Finance Personal Statement

Numbers. An infinite set of possibilities, just like life. The entire world is just a series of statistics. Nothing More. Nothing Less University was always a must for me, and after completing my GCSE’s and obtaining good grades I felt like university was the only way forward for me...

There is no doubt that Mathematics is the most important element supporting science and business. Without the equation 'E=mc2', Einstein's 'Mass-energy equivalence' can only be a concept, but not a theory...

International Business (Management) Personal Statement

"Look at the labels on the clothes you are wearing." My sociology teacher started by allowing us to appreciate the work that went into producing our clothes, emphasising the journey each item underwent before arriving in that classroom...

Business and Economics Personal Statement

Business and Economic issues make headlines almost every day, everything from oil prices to the deals that are in the supermarkets every week. Even though the stories are constantly changing, a key idea remains: Economics and Business are major and influential areas of study in today's society...

Business Personal Statement

My highest career aspiration is to ring the opening bell at Wall Street as my firm celebrates the successful completion of its initial public offering. From a very young age, I was always amazed by the world of business and the movement of financial capital around the globe...

Banking and Finance Personal Statement

“Life is never easy for those who dream”. At the age of 19 years, I had to bear the loss of my father, the ever best ideal personality for a teenage son. The first thing; I inherited from my father, was bar of responsibilities...

Business Personal Statement

"...an inner indecisiveness that was as wide and unwavering as the ocean."- Lana Del Rey If I were to choose a quote that would best describe who I was one and a half years ago, that would be it. At the age of 16, having to choose which major, university, city and country to go to is a major deal-breaker...

Business & Accounting Personal Statement

I first discovered that I had an interest in business when my father decided to leave his job and open his own coffee shop. I had never considered the endless opportunities that business brings with it but from then onwards I was captivated...

International Business Personal Statement

International Business Management, Finance, Accounting and Marketing are the subjects I wish to pursue. It is my goal to become a business analyst manager working internationally with Finance. My family business inspired me to do the course as I have had the opportunity to work within many business areas such as, accounting and finance...

International Business Personal Statement

Being born in Thailand, the recent death of the longest reigning monarch has had a big impact on me. What will this mean for the Thai economy? Will his death mean more political and economic instability? These questions spark a deep curiosity about the way in which the world works and how people in power create policies to tackle such problems...

International Business Personal Statement

From a young age, I developed an eager interest to how both small and large businesses work. My enthusiasm for a business-related subject came from growing up watching my stepfather run a small and successful tailor store and my mother working at Citibank...

Business and Games Development Personal Statement

Adolescent years has opened up the bigger picture, you acquire new skills, make important choices and improve dexterity. As a person things change, mostly for the better. But it’s the desires and the goals that really drive me as a person, studying business is just one of them...

Accounting & Finance Personal Statement

As a student of Henley business school at the University of Reading, I started to be the treasurer of Chinese Students and Scholars Association since 2016. During this period, I found my sensitivity to numbers and financial statements...

Looking for grad school personal statement examples? Look no further! In this total guide to graduate school personal statement examples, we’ll discuss why you need a personal statement for grad school and what makes a good one. Then we’ll provide three graduate school personal statement samples from our grad school experts. After that, we’ll do a deep dive on one of our personal statement for graduate school examples. Finally, we’ll wrap up with a list of other grad school personal statements you can find online.

 

Why Do You Need a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a chance for admissions committees to get to know you: your goals and passions, what you’ll bring to the program, and what you’re hoping to get out of the program. You need to sell the admissions committee on what makes you a worthwhile applicant. The personal statement is a good chance to highlight significant things about you that don’t appear elsewhere on your application.

A personal statement is slightly different from a statement of purpose (also known as a letter of intent). A statement of purpose/letter of intent tends to be more tightly focused on your academic or professional credentials and your future research and/or professional interests.

While a personal statement also addresses your academic experiences and goals, you have more leeway to be a little more, well, personal. In a personal statement, it’s often appropriate to include information on significant life experiences or challenges that aren’t necessarily directly relevant to your field of interest.

Some programs ask for both a personal statement and a statement of purpose/letter of intent. In this case, the personal statement is likely to be much more tightly focused on your life experience and personality assets while the statement of purpose will focus in much more on your academic/research experiences and goals.

However, there’s not always a hard-and-fast demarcation between a personal statement and a statement of purpose. The two statement types should address a lot of the same themes, especially as relates to your future goals and the valuable assets you bring to the program. Some programs will ask for a personal statement but the prompt will be focused primarily on your research and professional experiences and interests. Some will ask for a statement of purpose but the prompt will be more focused on your general life experiences.

When in doubt, give the program what they are asking for in the prompt and don’t get too hung up on whether they call it a personal statement or statement of purpose. You can always call the admissions office to get more clarification on what they want you to address in your admissions essay.

 

 

What Makes a Good Grad School Personal Statement?

A great graduate school personal statement can come in many forms and styles. However, strong grad school personal statement examples all share the same following elements:

 

A Clear Narrative

Above all, a good personal statement communicates clear messages about what makes you a strong applicant who is likely to have success in graduate school. So to that extent, think about a couple of key points that you want to communicate about yourself and then drill down on how you can best communicate those points. (Your key points should of course be related to what you can bring to the field and to the program specifically).

You can also decide whether to address things like setbacks or gaps in your application as part of your narrative. Have a low GPA for a couple semesters due to a health issue? Been out of a job for a while taking care of a family member? If you do decide to explain an issue like this, make sure that the overall arc is more about demonstrating positive qualities like resilience and diligence than about providing excuses.

 

Specific Examples

A great statement of purpose uses specific examples to illustrate its key messages. This can include anecdotes that demonstrate particular traits or even references to scholars and works that have influenced your academic trajectory to show that you are familiar and insightful about the relevant literature in your field.

Just saying “I love plants,” is pretty vague. Describing how you worked in a plant lab during undergrad and then went home and carefully cultivated your own greenhouse where you cross-bred new flower colors by hand is much more specific and vivid, which makes for better evidence.

 

A Good Fit

A strong personal statement will describe why you are a good fit for the program, and why the program is a good fit for you. It’s important to identify specific things about the program that appeal to you, and how you’ll take advantage of those opportunities. It’s also a good idea to talk about specific professors you might be interested in working with. This shows that you are informed about and genuinely invested in the program.

 

Strong Writing

Even quantitative and science disciplines typically require some writing, so it’s important that your personal statement shows strong writing skills. Make sure that you are communicating clearly and that you don’t have any grammar and spelling errors. It’s helpful to get other people to read your statement and provide feedback. Plan on going through multiple drafts.

Another important thing here is to avoid cliches and gimmicks. Don’t deploy overused phrases and openings like “ever since I was a child.” Don’t structure your statement in a gimmicky way (i.e., writing a faux legal brief about yourself for a law school statement of purpose). The first will make your writing banal; the second is likely to make you stand out in a bad way.

 

Appropriate Boundaries

While you can be more personal in a personal statement than in a statement of purpose, it’s important to maintain appropriate boundaries in your writing. Don’t overshare anything too personal about relationships, bodily functions, or illegal activities. Similarly, don’t share anything that makes it seem like you may be out of control, unstable, or an otherwise risky investment. The personal statement is not a confessional booth. If you share inappropriately, you may seem like you have bad judgment, which is a huge red flag to admissions committees.

You should also be careful with how you deploy humor and jokes. Your statement doesn’t have to be totally joyless and serious, but bear in mind that the person reading the statement may not have the same sense of humor as you do. When in doubt, err towards the side of being as inoffensive as possible.

Just as being too intimate in your statement can hurt you, it’s also important not to be overly formal or staid. You should be professional, but conversational.

 

 

Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

Our graduate school experts have been kind enough to provide some successful grad school personal statement examples. We’ll provide three examples here, along with brief analysis of what makes each one successful.

 

Sample Personal Statement for Graduate School 1

PDF of Sample Personal Statement 1 – Japanese Studies

For this Japanese Studies master’s degree, the applicant had to provide a statement of purpose outlining her academic goals and experience with Japanese and a separate personal statement describing her personal relationship with Japanese Studies and what led her to pursue a master’s degree.

Here’s what’s successful about this personal statement:

  • An attention-grabbing beginning: The applicant begins with the statement that Japanese has never come easily to her and that it’s a brutal language to learn. Seeing as how this is an application for a Japanese Studies program, this is an intriguing beginning that makes the reader want to keep going.
  • A compelling narrative: From this attention-grabbing beginning, the applicant builds a well-structured and dramatic narrative tracking her engagement with the Japanese language over time. The clear turning point is her experience studying abroad, leading to a resolution in which she has clarity about her plans. Seeing as how the applicant wants to be a translator of Japanese literature, the tight narrative structure here is a great way to show her writing skills.
  • Specific examples that show important traits: The applicant clearly communicates both a deep passion for Japanese through examples of her continued engagement with Japanese and her determination and work ethic by highlighting the challenges she’s faced (and overcome) in her study of the language. This gives the impression that she is an engaged and dedicated student.

Overall, this is a very strong statement both in terms of style and content. It flows well, is memorable, and communicates that the applicant would make the most of the graduate school experience.

 

 

Sample Personal Statement for Graduate School 2

PDF of Sample Graduate School Personal Statement 2 – Musical Composition

This personal statement for a Music Composition master’s degree discusses the factors that motivate the applicant to pursue graduate study.

Here’s what works well in this statement:

  • The applicant provides two clear reasons motivating the student to pursue graduate study: her experiences with music growing up, and her family’s musical history. She then supports those two reasons with examples and analysis.
  • The description of her ancestors’ engagement with music is very compelling and memorable. The applicant paints her own involvement with music as almost inevitable based on her family’s long history with musical pursuits.
  • The applicant gives thoughtful analysis of the advantages she has been afforded that have allowed her to study music so extensively. We get the sense that she is insightful and empathetic—qualities that would add greatly to any academic community.

This is a strong, serviceable personal statement. And in truth, given that this for a masters in music composition, other elements of the application (like work samples) are probably the most important.  However, here are two small changes I would make to improve it:

  • I would probably to split the massive second paragraph into 2-3 separate paragraphs. I might use one paragraph to orient the reader to the family’s musical history, one paragraph to discuss Giacomo and Antonio, and one paragraph to discuss how the family has influenced the applicant. As it stands, it’s a little unwieldy and the second paragraph doesn’t have a super-clear focus even though it’s all loosely related to the applicant’s family history with music.
  • I would also slightly shorten the anecdote about the applicant’s ancestors and expand more on how this family history has motivated the applicant’s interest in music. In what specific ways has her ancestors’ perseverance inspired her? Did she think about them during hard practice sessions? Is she interested in composing music in a style they might have played? More specific examples here would lend greater depth and clarity to the statement.

 

 

Sample Personal Statement for Graduate School 3

PDF of Sample Graduate School Personal Statement 3 – Public Health

This is my successful personal statement for Columbia’s Master’s program in Public Health. We’ll do a deep dive on this statement paragraph-by-paragraph in the next section, but I’ll highlight a couple of things that work in this statement here:

  • This statement is clearly organized. Almost every paragraph has a distinct focus and message, and when I move on to a new idea, I move on to a new paragraph with a logical transitions.
  • This statement covers a lot of ground in a pretty short space. I discuss my family history, my goals, my educational background, and my professional background. But because the paragraphs are organized and I use specific examples, it doesn’t feel too vague or scattered.
  • In addition to including information about my personal motivations, like my family, I also include some analysis about tailoring health interventions with my example of the Zande. This is a good way to show off what kinds of insights I might bring to the program based on my academic background.

 

 

Grad School Personal Statement Example: Deep Dive

Now let’s do a deep dive, paragraph-by-paragraph, on one of these sample graduate school personal statements. We’ll use my personal statement that I used when I applied to Columbia’s public health program.

 

Paragraph One: For twenty-three years, my grandmother (a Veterinarian and an Epidemiologist) ran the Communicable Disease Department of a mid-sized urban public health department. The stories of Grandma Betty doggedly tracking down the named sexual partners of the infected are part of our family lore. Grandma Betty would persuade people to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, encourage safer sexual practices, document the spread of infection and strive to contain and prevent it. Indeed, due to the large gay population in the city where she worked, Grandma Betty was at the forefront of the AIDS crises, and her analysis contributed greatly towards understanding how the disease was contracted and spread. My grandmother has always been a huge inspiration to me, and the reason why a career in public health was always on my radar.

This is an attention-grabbing opening anecdote that avoids most of the usual cliches about childhood dreams and proclivities. This story also subtly shows that I have a sense of public health history, given the significance of the AIDs crisis for public health as a field.

It’s good that I connect this family history to my own interests. However, if I were to revise this paragraph again, I might cut down on some of the detail because when it comes down to it, this story isn’t really about me. It’s important that even (sparingly used) anecdotes about other people ultimately reveal something about you in a personal statement.

 

Paragraph Two: Recent years have cemented that interest. In January 2012, my parents adopted my little brother Fred from China. Doctors in America subsequently diagnosed Fred with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). My parents were told that if Fred’s condition had been discovered in China, the (very poor) orphanage in which he spent the first 8+ years of his life would have recognized his DMD as a death sentence and denied him sustenance to hasten his demise.

Here’s another compelling anecdote to help explain my interest in public health. This is an appropriately personal detail for a personal statement—it’s a serious thing about my immediate family, but it doesn’t disclose anything that the admissions committee might find concerning or inappropriate.

If I were to take another pass through this paragraph, the main thing I would change is the last phrase. “Denied him sustenance to hasten his demise” is a little flowery. “Denied him food to hasten his death” is actually more powerful because it’s clearer and more direct.

 

Paragraph Three: It is not right that some people have access to the best doctors and treatment while others have no medical care. I want to pursue an MPH in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia because studying social factors in health, with a particular focus on socio-health inequities, will prepare me to address these inequities. The interdisciplinary approach of the program appeals to me greatly as I believe interdisciplinary approaches are the most effective way to develop meaningful solutions to complex problems.

In this paragraph I make a neat and clear transition from discussing what sparked my interest in public health and health equity to what I am interested in about Columbia specifically: the interdisciplinary focus of the program, and how that focus will prepare me to solve complex health problems. This paragraph also serves as a good pivot point to start discussing my academic and professional background.

 

Paragraph Four: My undergraduate education has prepared me well for my chosen career. Understanding the underlying structure of a group’s culture is essential to successfully communicating with the group. In studying folklore and mythology, I’ve learned how to parse the unspoken structures of folk groups, and how those structures can be used to build bridges of understanding. For example, in a culture where most illnesses are believed to be caused by witchcraft, as is the case for the Zande people of central Africa, any successful health intervention or education program would of necessity take into account their very real belief in witchcraft.

In this paragraph, I link my undergraduate education and the skills I learned there to public health. The (very brief) analysis of tailoring health interventions to the Zande is a good way to show insight and show off the competencies I would bring to the program.

 

Paragraph Five: I now work in the healthcare industry for one of the largest providers of health benefits in the world. In addition to reigniting my passion for data and quantitative analytics, working for this company has immersed me in the business side of healthcare, a critical component of public health.

This brief paragraph highlights my relevant work experience in the healthcare industry. It also allows me to mention my work with data and quantitative analytics, which isn’t necessarily obvious from my academic background, which was primarily based in the social sciences.

 

Paragraph Six: I intend to pursue a PhD in order to become an expert in how social factors affect health, particularly as related to gender and sexuality. I intend to pursue a certificate in Sexuality, Sexual Health, and Reproduction. Working together with other experts to create effective interventions across cultures and societies, I want to help transform health landscapes both in America and abroad.

This final paragraph is about my future plans and intentions. Unfortunately, it’s a little disjointed, primarily because I discuss goals of pursuing a PhD before I talk about what certificate I want to pursue within the MPH program! Switching those two sentences and discussing my certificate goals within the MPH and then mentioning my PhD plans would make a lot more sense.

I also start two sentences in a row with “I intend,” which is repetitive.

The final sentence is a little bit generic; I might tailor it to specifically discuss a gender and sexual health issue, since that is the primary area of interest I’ve identified.

 

This was a successful personal statement; I got into (and attended!) the program. It has strong examples, clear organization, and outlines what interests me about the program (its interdisciplinary focus) and what competencies I would bring (a background in cultural analysis and experience with the business side of healthcare). However, a few slight tweaks would elevate this statement to the next level.

 

 

Graduate School Personal Statement Examples You Can Find Online

So you need more samples for your personal statement for graduate school? Examples are everywhere on the internet, but they aren’t all of equal quality.

Most of examples are posted as part of writing guides published online by educational institutions. We’ve rounded up some of the best ones here if you are looking for more personal statement examples for graduate school.

 

Penn State Personal Statement Examples for Graduate School

This selection of ten short personal statements for graduate school and fellowship programs offers an interesting mix of approaches. Some focus more on personal adversity while others focus more closely on professional work within the field.

The writing in some of these statements is a little dry, and most deploy at least a few cliches. However, these are generally strong, serviceable statements that communicate clearly why the student is interested in the field, their skills and competencies, and what about the specific program appeals to them.

 

Cal State Sample Graduate School Personal Statements

These are good examples of personal statements for graduate school where students deploy lots of very vivid imagery and illustrative anecdotes of life experiences. There are also helpful comments about what works in each of these essays.

However, all of these statements are definitely pushing the boundaries of acceptable length, as all are above 1000 and one is almost 1500 words! Many programs limit you to 500 words; if you don’t have a limit, you should try to keep it to two single-spaced pages at most (which is about 1000 words).

 

University of Chicago Personal Statement for Graduate School Examples

These examples of successful essays to the University of Chicago law school cover a wide range of life experiences and topics. The writing in all is very vivid, and all communicate clear messages about the students’ strengths and competencies.

Note, however, that these are all essays that specifically worked for University of Chicago law school. That does not mean that they would work everywhere. In fact, one major thing to note is that many of these responses, while well-written and vivid, barely address the students’ interest in law school at all! This is something that might not work well for most graduate programs.

 

Wheaton College Personal Statement for Graduate School Sample 10

This successful essay for law school from a Wheaton College undergraduate does a great job tracking the student’s interest in the law in a compelling and personal way. Wheaton offers other graduate school personal statement examples, but this one offers the most persuasive case for the students’ competencies. The student accomplishes this by using clear, well-elaborated examples, showing strong and vivid writing, and highlighting positive qualities like an interest in justice and empathy without seeming grandiose or out of touch.

 

Wheaton College Personal Statement for Graduate School Sample 1

Based on the background information provided at the bottom of the essay, this essay was apparently successful for this applicant. However, I’ve actually included this essay because it demonstrates an extremely risky approach. While this personal statement is strikingly written and the story is very memorable, it could definitely communicate the wrong message to some admissions committees. The student’s decision not to report the drill sergeant may read incredibly poorly to some admissions committees. They may wonder if the student’s failure to report the sergeant’s violence will ultimately expose more soldiers-in-training to the same kinds of abuses. This incident perhaps reads especially poorly in light of the fact that the military has such a notable problem with violence against women being covered up and otherwise mishandled

It’s actually hard to get a complete picture of the student’s true motivations from this essay, and what we have might raise real questions about the student’s character to some admissions committees. This student took a risk and it paid off, but it could have just as easily backfired spectacularly.

 

 

Key Takeaways: Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

In this guide, we discussed why you need a personal statement and how it differs from a statement of purpose. (It’s more personal!)

We also discussed what you’ll find in a strong sample personal statement for graduate school:

  • A clear narrative about the applicant and why they are qualified for graduate study.
  • Specific examples to support that narrative.
  • Compelling reasons why the applicant and the program are a good fit for each other.
  • Strong writing, including clear organization and error-free, cliche-free language.
  • Appropriate boundaries—sharing without over-sharing.

Then, we provided three strong graduate school personal statement examples for different fields, along with analysis. We did a deep-dive on the third statement.

Finally, we provided a list of other sample grad school personal statements online.

 

What’s Next?

Want more advice on writing a personal statement? See our guide.

Writing a graduate school statement of purpose? See our statement of purpose samples and a nine-step process for writing the best statement of purpose possible.

If you’re writing a graduate school CV or resume, see our how-to guide to writing a CV, a how-to guide to writing a resume, our list of sample resumes and CVs, resume and CV templates, and a special guide for writing resume objectives.

Need stellar graduate school recommendation letters? See our guide.

See our 29 tips for successfully applying to graduate school.

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Author: Ellen McCammon

Ellen is a public health graduate student and education expert. She has extensive experience mentoring students of all ages to reach their goals and in-depth knowledge on a variety of health topics. View all posts by Ellen McCammon

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