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Risky personal statement -- too "philosophical" says my professor

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by ddhm, May 5, 2007.

  1. ddhm

    ddhm 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 21, 2007
    hi, i was going to post this on the other thread about personal statements that smooth operator opened, but i thought only people interested in reading his/her PS would look there. but here's what i was interested in asking...

    do you think, for dental schools at least, that it's taking too much of a risk to submit a personal statement that may come off as "philosophical" in some way? i asked one of my professors to read it over and he said that the opening of my statement, where i attempt to relate that my decision to choose dentistry wasn't arrived at without some difficulty, sounded too "philosophical".

    he said he always encourages his students to stick to facts and evidence (like describing your ec's, leadership, teamwork, etc). but i didn't want my PS to read like a cover letter for a job, so i tried to balance objective descriptions of my ec's and dental experiences with a narrative of how i came to choose dentistry, from my own subjective, personal perspective.

    anyhow, i guess my professor felt i should have stuck strictly to objective descriptions of why im a good applicant. i found that kinda funny, because he mostly advises med school applicants and id imagine that premed personal statements would have an even wider latitude of styles. i can't imagine that the majority of premed personal statements stick to facts and evidence, like my professor says he advises his students to do.

    but maybe it's quite different for dental admissions. perhaps dental adcoms like more "practical" and "tangible" personal statements, since that's the nature of the profession's work. well, i hope they allow some room for some creative and subjective writing, since artistry and aesthetic sensibility also has a growing place in the profession.

    despite all this, i think i'll submit my PS just as it is. i think ive achieved a good balance, though if there are any individuals sitting on an admissions committee with a similar personality as my professor, i guess my statement will come off as too "philosphical". but i'll take that risk.

    anyone else feel like they're taking a risk, great or small, with their personal statements this year? or maybe someone has in the past, but were successful in the end?
     
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  3. jeninny44

    jeninny44 2+ Year Member

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    May 4, 2007
    you wrote a lot explaining your PS but don't give any quotes or direct examples. There is no way people can give you their opinion if they cannot read your PS.

    Post your PS and let people give their opinion. Nobody is going to say what they think from reading your summary of your PS.
     
  4. t man

    t man Epoxi-Lips 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 3, 2006
    I think you should listen to your professor... you should keep in mind that your personal statement IS more or less a cover letter. No points for creativity, just sell yourself. That's the way I see it, at least. Last year, I basically wrote a story with my PS that highlighted the qualities I thought shcools were looking for. Well, I think that was one of the problems with my app... so I'm taking the cover letter approach this year... this process is too expensive and time consuming to take unecessary risks and think outside the box too much.

    P.S. I think it's pretty safe to say I'm not the only one working on his PS this weekend!
     
  5. dont u pepole have finals to worry about
     
  6. wizziefiend

    wizziefiend Guest

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    Nov 25, 2006
    Nope. State schools dont have finals. Only ivies.
     
  7. t man

    t man Epoxi-Lips 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 3, 2006
    No, not yet. Right now I have my application to worry about.
     
  8. SirShagaLot

    SirShagaLot Move Maker Extraordinaire 5+ Year Member

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    Nov 30, 2005
    Prison
    Well, theres a lot of ways to sell yourself. Personally, I feel the application itself is the hard facts...the data if u will....my personal statement is just that, personal. Your professor would def. say mine is too philosophical....but i'm a philisophical guy, thats not going to change......just be yourself....some will like ur essay, some will not, but for those who do like it they will expect to see those same qualities when they interview you. I cant sit around and write another boring essay about healthcare and how much i just want to help people, how many hours i shadowed, my other experiences, ect....dont get me wrong, i include all those things in my essay, but they are def. not the main theme, they are details....my personal thoughts about my life and my pursuit of my professional and personal aspirations is the theme of my essay. I also talk about the shadowing experiences that further inspired my desire to pursue dentistry and relate that to what I expect of myself.....bottom line, there are no rules....just make sure they keep reading it once they start, not skim over the rest, and that they believe wut ur saying is really you....u want them to remember your essay as being different, not how well it described what they can gather from the rest of your application. I've been working on my essay since Tuesday and its pretty slow going....i just fired up the grill and bought some beer also so I doubt I'll make much headway on the old essay tonight....hey, it sat night, wut can I say.
     
  9. t man

    t man Epoxi-Lips 2+ Year Member

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    Nov 3, 2006
    Yeah, you could definitely be right. I'm not an expert. Muchas cervesas este noche, papa.:D
     
  10. ddhm

    ddhm 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 21, 2007
    Sirshag,

    that's also pretty much how i feel about the PS. glad to know im not going off on too much of a tangent by deciding to write a more subjective statement.

    btw, i remember an older thread someone posted back in april about grilling season arriving and seeing your excited reply there. come to think of it, some bbq and beer would go nicely with tonight's playoff games. good thing you mentioned it!:cool:
     
  11. SirShagaLot

    SirShagaLot Move Maker Extraordinaire 5+ Year Member

    582
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    Nov 30, 2005
    Prison
    oh man i forgot all about the playoffs, nbc?
     
  12. ddhm

    ddhm 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 21, 2007
    no, there's one on tnt right now. i think the next one is on tnt as well. enjoy!
     
  13. 1992Corolla

    1992Corolla CheerioKing 7+ Year Member

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    Sep 19, 2005
    make it your own and consider his advice highly. Get more than one opinion (not on SDN...especially from all these No0bs, lol)

    I have some examples here, you may have already seen them.

    good luck
     
  14. t man

    t man Epoxi-Lips 2+ Year Member

    999
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    Nov 3, 2006
    who you callin' a noob, NEWB!? You think you're all tough cause you have your own web site...
     
  15. armorshell

    armorshell One Man Freak Show Dentist Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    7,173
    208
    Apr 12, 2006
    His post count is higher than yours... thus by the unflappable laws of the internet, to him, you are a /\/3\/\/|3
     
  16. INFNITE

    INFNITE mmm....doughnut 5+ Year Member

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    Aug 12, 2005
    NY
    i miss the good ol days of NBA on NBC. That theme song is classic.
     

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