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Personal Statement vs. Diversity

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by DVMorBust, May 31, 2008.

  1. DVMorBust

    DVMorBust UW SVM Class of 2013 2+ Year Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    Hey, all. I'm going into my...oh, fifteenth or so restart to my personal statement, and I've got a couple questions in regards to personal statements and secondaries.

    Example: Madison (so I hear) has a diversity statement for their secondary application. My friend applied last year, and went in to talk to someone in admissions, who told her to leave anything relating to how she was 'diverse' out of the personal statement.

    So, I guess my question comes in two parts.

    1. If you're applying to multiple schools, how do you juggle the secondaries and their essay topics with the personal statement proper?

    2. What exactly is considered under diversity? Is it just socioeconomic/ethnic/age/sexual identity/etc. (things you commonly see listed under nondescrimination policies) or is it anything and everything that make you unique? (In which case, how would you write a personal statement not including those, Madison?)

    And not really pertinent, but out of curiosity:

    3. Does anyone else feel supremely uncomfortable writing personal statements and 'tooting their own horn', so to speak? Why is it so hard! Argh!
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  3. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2005
    You don't. Write your personal statement as best as you can, from the heart. You will get a lot of differing subjects in your secondaries, and unless you get 2 of the exact same questions, you should answer those seperately.

    Well...all of the nondescrimination policy stuff in going to be included in you app (excepting race if you choose not to answer that question) so that leads me to believe they want to know what makes you unique (or rather what makes you, "you")

    I would not worry about what one person says. Just write your personal statement how you were going to write it. If Madison is really seeking diversity, you describing your diversity in your personal statement should not hurt. Also from when I applied Madison did not send the secondary to all, you only had to fill it out if you made their first cut (maybe different now). I also remember them giving quite simple instructions for it.

    The main point is that you should do your personal statement without worrying about what a secondary is going to ask

    :laugh:Nope because I am cool:cool:.....

    Alright somehow that did feel weird;)
  4. NoleDevil

    NoleDevil Iowa State CVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I had several drafts for my personal statement (15, wow! I think the more revisions, the better).

    What I found that helped me a lot was getting a few professors, who are privy to reading these things, to read my drafts. They weren't associated directly with vet med, either. I had a Geology prof, a Biology prof, and a Biochem prof read mine. I think b/c writing personal statements for admission into a grad program is really similar, they were able to give me a lot of helpful feedback and to what I should leave out, what I should add, what I should elaborate on, etc.

    Anyway, my first draft was a mess. I made the mistake of including what made me a unique, well-rounded applicant (i.e. sports, hobbies, etc.) along with all of my unique vet med experiences and what I learned from them. All of my profs told me that the extracurricular experiences were totally irrelevant for my personal statement - sports, hobbies, awards, etc. are the types of things to include in diversity essays and such.

    Basically, these are the basic points a personal statement should highlight: what intrigued you to pursue vet med, vet-related or animal experiences you've had that are unique to you and what you learned from them (or even life experiences you've had that helped you learn something about yourself/make you a stronger person/realize that vet med is what you want to do with your life/etc.), and where you see yourself in the career down the road.

    Hope this helps! :luck:
  5. Angelo84

    Angelo84 Tufts Class of 2011 10+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    When I applied the promt for the personal statement gave a good guide. I wrote about how I became interested in vet med, what I have done in vet med and what I learned from it, and closed with what I planned to do with the degree. Vet schools know that you may change your mind but you should have some idea of what you are currently interested in which is hopefully backed up by experience you got.

    There was a thread at some point where people posted their personal statements--I'll try to find it and post it here. Or I'll post in it to bring it out of the depths.

    As far as the toot your own horn thing--yes it feels really odd!

  6. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Davis, CA
    From last year, UW-Madison had everyone fill out the supplemental.

    I wouldn't put too much stock in what the person at Madison said. If it feels right to you to highlight the things that make you unique (I think this would be the ultimate goal of any personal statement...I mean, you want to stand out!), then I think you should do just that. Also, when I was applying I got the advice of a mentor of mine who teaches at one of the vet schools and was on the admissions committee several years ago. He pointed out to me that profs on the adcom read these essays at like 10pm, after all their other job duties are done. It's late, they're tired, and they've ready so many personal statements that sound the same, you really do want to make your statement stand out from the crowd. How else will they know to chose you over the other people who may sound fairly similar on paper?

    Bottom line, sell yourself, especially what makes you unique. And if you have trouble tooting your own horn, I'd suggest finding friends/family/profs, etc. who can help you tweak that aspect of your statement (along with giving other comments) to make sure you're in no way selling yourself short.

    Good luck.
  7. cows93

    cows93 Cornell 2012 2+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2008
    There were a couple of schools that required a diversity statement, and from what I remember they were looking for what makes you 'you'. That's weird to write. Anyway the Wisconsin diversity was simple and straightforward and is only if you are asked for it.

    Basically do your best personal statement.
    Have numerous people profread it. ( I went through ~40 or more revisions)

    I have a hard time blowing my horn also, but I know that my recommendations did a great job of it. Good Luck:luck::D

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