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All about personal statements 101

Posted: October 11 2019

Jason, Electronic and Electrical Engineering

As an international student this might be your the first time you might’ve heard about personal statements. Do not worry at all, by the end of this blog; I can assure you, you will be comfortable to get started on your personal statement.

Firstly – What is a personal statement?

In brief - it’s an essay, which you provide at the time of applying to any university within which you describe what skills you possess and why you want to pursue your further studies in the subject you’re due to apply for.

Now, let’s get you started on your statement.

Remember throughout this process you’re writing an essay, which is totally about YOU. With this essay, you are convincing the admissions department as well as the course director why you might be a best match for this course and why you deserve a chance to pursue further studies in this field. Since you will be sending this out to multiple universities at the same time, I would urge you to not put in any universities name in specific in your statement. This is simply because, when you submit an application via UCAS (Portal which will be used to apply to all universities in the UK, Don’t worry will talk more about this further down) you’ll be uploading a copy of your statement which will then be sent to all universities you’ve opted for on that portal.

Coming down - To the main content – this is where you begin to sell yourself to the university. Kick it off by stating which subject you are interested in applying too and then continue stating why you wish to get a degree in this subject. You could support your claim by stating the skill you possess.

For example – When I was applying to uni I wanted to pursue a degree in Electrical engineering, quite simply because I was always curious to figure out how computers worked and I was always curious to learn more about them and make use of my creativity and problem skills to develop and create better systems.

You can then continue talking about what you intend to make out of this career in future. In my case I always wanted to make much better and powerful systems, which will help ease and automate day-to-day tasks, I also wanted to build software to help increase the efficiency when completing a specific task.

Talking about your ambitions definitely makes a great impact to your statement, remember, at the end regardless of your statement, you wanted this subject and you feel you are the best bet for it. In this, you can also state about your interests and hobbies in this field.

Now talking about experience – I’m quite confident to state that you possess at least some experience or have even done projects in the field your applying for – this is where you brag about it. No matter how big/small that project is, put it in, show the university the enthusiasm you had while doing that project and what was the end result of it. Does not matter if that project was completed, or even if it was just an idea, which you wanted to bring out to the real world. The fact that you had the strive to get it out says it all. And trust me, this one adds in a great impact to your statement. As this is where the admissions team will how eager you are to get into this subject.

For instance – At school – I built a device, which would turn on the light based on the outdoor conditions with the help of light sensors. At the same time I programmed it to make sure it doesn’t turn on during day time and make sure it’s shut off after 2am. However, the sensor did not really work at times. This drove my curiosity to figure out why it did not work and eventually figured out what the reason was and found a fix for the same.

Something as simple as that definitely did a great impact to my statement; this ways the admissions team saw how eager I was to study this subject in depth. Then comes in all the achievements – no matter what achievement you possess – put it in. Doesn’t matter if it’s related to the subject your applying for or not – at the end it’s still an achievement. That said, if you were a part of any society or club put that in too – shows your interest in other fields and activities out of studies.

And that should pretty much sum up your statement – remember – show your PASSION to this subject, the enthusiasm you put in to your statement by itself shows your passion for this subject. That said – you really have to put in effort into this statement. At the end, the amount of effort you put in sets you apart from the crowd. Make sure your statement fits right into the subjects requirements. Don’t make your statement too long (preferably under 50 lines) – you don’t really want the admissions team to get bored reading your statement do you :P

Make sure you have a notepad making key points of your experience/skills/interests and then put them all into your statement. That ways your statements more structured and will help you map it out better in mind and finally – Proofread it multiple times, 10, 20 or even a 100 times, proof read it until YOU are satisfied with it. Put yourself into the shoes of the reader – would you be impressed with the statement you have received? Make use of the UCAS personal statements tool and finally get your family to read it. Squash out all those little grammatical and ensure the formatting is right. Once you are happy with it – off you go.

Wishing you all the best and if in case you need any further help at all feel free to ping, me and I will be more than happy to help you.