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Old 03-02-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
puddleofredwine
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Default Personal essay

Hi, what kind of personal information should we include in our application essay that will be relevant yet impressive?
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:30 PM   #2
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Hi redwine, what is the question for your personal essay?
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:58 PM   #3
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Those general personal statements, describe yourself in 500 words. They ask for that in many of the scholarships.

And by the way, is it not possible to apply for a few scholarships at one time for the PSC - but in different categories/departments?

Thanks so much!
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:45 AM   #4
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My experience is more with US university applications, but I see no reason why it shouldn't be almost the same for scholarship applications as well. Basically, you are being examined for a couple of things when you write your personal essay:

1. Ability to think coherently and express yourself clearly through writing
2. Your maturity and your self-awareness
3. How you are unique (what are your strengths and values)
4. How you, in your unique capacity, are able to contribute to the organisation

There is no really "best" way to write an personal essay in order to demonstrate all of these. It all depends on your own personal experience and writing style. Spend a few days thinking about yourself and your best qualities, and then another few days on the best way to describe them.

It does pay to explain your qualities through particular episodes. The more specific these episodes are, the more illustrated and believable they become. E.g. if you pride yourself on being a good leader, talk about a time when you demonstrated exceptional leadership. If you feel you are a good critical thinker, you can explain your views or ideas on a certain topic of interest.

However, never make your personal essay an explicit list of your qualities. Any references to your strengths should be subtle and concealed. I know its much easier said than done, but with practice you will get better at it

If you are completely out of ideas, it may help to consider the prompts given for the personal essay for US university applications:
  1. Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
  2. Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.
  3. Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
  4. Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.
  5. A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

Last edited by yanshuo; 03-03-2009 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:18 PM   #5
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Hi, is the word limit really strict? Will they mind if I exceed a bit?
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:11 PM   #6
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I suggest you don't. If you exceed it sends the message that you don't know how / not willing to follow simple instructions.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:22 AM   #7
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Default 'personal statement' - vague!

Hi,

what if the form just states 'Personal Statement', without giving any guidelines as to whether we shud write about ourselves, or why we want this scholarship etc.. Since it is so vague, what do we include?
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:38 AM   #8
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Where did you come across that?
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mylifeYoursong View Post
Hi,

what if the form just states 'Personal Statement', without giving any guidelines as to whether we shud write about ourselves, or why we want this scholarship etc.. Since it is so vague, what do we include?
It depends. You can write about your interests and decision to pursue the courses that you have stated, and write about why you wanna apply to that particular company.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:16 PM   #10
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SGX scholarship! It just stated 'Personal statement' and thats it.. :S
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