The Personal Statement
So if your grades are looking up to scratch then this is the next, and arguably the most important 4,000 characters you’ll ever write – so it’s got to be good! Having said that, I’m sure you’ll all know that. The primary purpose is to give the University a concise and informative view of you as an individual and your chance to convince them that they want to find out more about you at an interview! Don’t forget it’s called a PERSONAL statement! Therefore, there is nobody who tell you how best to write it but you! To get your creative juices flowing and that all important opening sentence a tip or two here or there can always be of use. Below I’ve put together a few bits and bobs that I used and found helpful – I’ll add to this over time as and when I find things of use!
1. If you haven’t kept a diary of your work placements then do a quick brain storm/mind cloud for each of them. Include interesting cases, techniques and situations and how the vet/farmer/other dealt with it and was it good or bad.
2. Look into the Universities you are applying to – some may want a certain layout! You may need to summarise ALL of your work experiences or just those you think are most important and interesting!
3. Talk about what you have LEARNT at these placements – they don’t care if there was a cute poodle and puppies!
4. Give some space to your studies and any independent work you undertake! Though, don’t fib – you’ll be caught out!
5. It’s time for your hobbies and any other extra-curricular activities/interests! Don’t worry if you’re not an elite athlete or concert pianist – remember they just want to know who you are! They know you’re clever, but what else are you!?
6. Don’t forget to express HONESTLY why YOU want to be a vet!
7. Intro/Conclusion. Don’t spend to long babbling here, but in my opinion I think they’re essential even if brief! It gives you the chance to get their attention and leave them with a strong finish should always bode well!
8. Don’t be scared to use humour if that’s who you are – but bear in mind you are wanting to join a profession so think carefully about it, you need to impress not offend/annoy!
I hope this gives you a few starting points – there’s an unbelievable number of resources re: the writing of a personal statement on various sites including the student forum! If you’re stuck – get googling!