Students learn how to write perfect personal statements

The Zoom workshop “Writing to Win” was hosted by Natasha Oehlman and went over how to prepare students for personal statement writing for the graduate school application process on Wednesday, April 20.

At the beginning of the presentation, there was a warm-up where attendees were asked to write a couple of sentences that expressed what they were applying, in a fill-in-the-blank format. 

One example of the fill-in-the-blank writing comes from anteendee, Nikole Babcock. 

“I am motivated to apply to NSF GRFP because I want to secure graduate funding and generate and demonstrate that I am fundable for future grant opportunities. I am particularly interested in Dr. Ryan Watsons SHINE lab at UCONN, Dr.Hammack’s Hammack Lab at UCSC, and Dr. Sophie B’s TAYA lab at the University of Pittsburgh,” Babcock wrote. 

This activity aimed to help attendees understand what is to be expected when writing a personal statement and how they should talk about themselves for the school to get a good understanding of who they are. 

“Distinguishing yourself from other applicants with more background, you have to remember there are many people who are applying to specific graduate programs, but this particular document will distinguish you from other applicants,” said Oehlman. 

When it comes to personal statements, it’s all about what you bring to the table and how you portray yourself because you are the only you. Using your individuality brings you an advantage when applying to different programs that will hopefully help you grow within your career in the future.

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