Tuesday, January 27, 2009

If Guinea Pigs Could Read....

... then I'd use them instead of you. Unfortunately (as far as I know!), they can't. So all you wonderful Bloggers out there will have to help me with this. It's my Personal Statement for my Masters' Application.

To put it succinctly, the purpose of the statement is;

"Why I want to do this course & What I think it will do for my Career"

In Shivers' terms the answer is;

"Cos I want to, and it better do something!"

But of course, it's supposed to be an A4 page, not just half a sentence. So here is why, in 400 words or less, I want to do a Masters in e-Law:*

"Having graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Law in 2003 I have researched my postgraduate options thoroughly over the past five years and continuously find myself drawn to the Masters Degree in e-Law provided at UCC. Though the choices for legal graduates are varied from the laws of African Tribes to those regulating the Medical profession, it is the study of law and its relation to Information Technology that entices me to return to my alma mater.

In light of the development of modern society all things electronic are the way of the future. How the law relates to infractions of this nature will certainly challenge those who endeavour to apply and enforce it. Crimes such as illegal downloads, fraudulent online transactions and identity theft cross international borders creating numerous questions and legal quandaries at a time when technology is evolving faster than the legislature can be written.

In undertaking this Masters' Degree I hope to answer some of these questions and gain a greater insight into the legalities of all interactions and transactions of an electronic nature. I believe that the study of e-Law would be of considerable personal interest particularly due to the wide relevance it has on everyday life. Even in my current role within the aviation industry the issues of data protection and privacy are matters of utmost regard, as increasing amounts of information are stored online or in the easily portable form of a laptop computer.

Based upon its progressive approach to the use of online materials and the creation of the Cork Online Law Review and IRLII, as well as a time-honoured tradition for legal education, I believe that UCC would provide the best forum for the provision of this qualification. Bearing in mind my undergraduate experience at this university I have no doubt that the course ahead of me will both challenge and motivate me towards academic success.

I would hope that this qualification would open doors for me to work within this newly-formed and developing area of the law. I believe the diverse nature of this postgraduate degree programme would allow for me to explore these aspects of the law with regards to my goal of career advancement. Whether further professional qualifications would be require I have not yet decided, but it is something I would be open to partaking provided the career at the end was as progressive as the course I would have studied."

Constructive criticism would be much appreciated.

Thanking you!

*Thanks to Charlotte's comments, I've already edited this slightly.


Charlotte said...

Hey girl! How exciting!! I think your statement is very good & for the most part well-written. I don't know if we have different grammar rules etc. in the US though so take my corrections with a grain of salt. (Although as part of my day job, I do actually review college admissions essays!)

Anyhow, you have a serious case of extraneous commas. A comma is supposed to be used to separate items in a list or to indicate where a pause should be to increase clarity. You have about 30 commas too many that end up obscuring your meaning. Take a close look at paragraph too. For example, there should be no comma after theft, borders, or quandaries.

Also, in your last paragraph you begin too casually with "As to my career objectives..." This is not proper grammar. That phrase combined with the subsequent "I would expect" almost make it sound like you are making demands on the University. This sentence would rankle me, as an admissions officer. Rather, reword it to show your internal motivation. Something like "This program dovetails neatly with my career objectives, especially to [insert main objective here]. An e-law degree will open many doors for me and help me to achieve my career goals for further advancement." Or something like that. Put the onus on you, not them.

Anyhow, I could nitpick forever. Really your essay is quite good & I expect it will have the desired result! Good luck to you in this new adventure!

Charlotte said...

Okay, speaking of typos - I meant "paragraph TWO" not "paragraph too". *blush*

Shivers said...

Oh wow! I had no idea my commas were so profligate! I am taking all of this on board and strangely am not offended by the corrections! Thank you!

Draft 2 is in the makings right now...

Missicat said...

Sounds great to me! I did read the edited version after Charlotte's comments.
Good luck!

Omega said...

Wow, that is pure poetry of the mind, heart, and soul coalescing into a perfectly crafted diamond of concise logic!

Sagan said...

I like! It sounds great. You've done a good job of demonstrating how you'll apply the course too.

I'm wondering about the last line, though- I think "I'd be interested in pursuing" or something similar might sound a bit smoother than "open to partaking".

Good luck!!!

Rachel said...

I would add a bit more specificity about why you in particular want to study e-law. Is there an e-law situation you've dealt with that piqued your interest initially? I understand you come into contact with e-law issues in your current position, but I think what I feel is missing is a more concrete explanation of where you derive your interest in the topic. Generally speaking I think you come across as a very articulate candidate. :)

Shivers said...

Missicat, thanks! I think I might need it (if not for the admissions process then definitely for the course itself!).

Omega, why thank you! ;)

Sagan, great point, taken under advisement straight away.

Rachel, thanks for pointing that out, extremely valid point. I need to explore my interest in the topics being covered in the course and communicate the relevance with regards to making myself more employable. It sounded easier when I sat down to write it...

Now that I re-read the draft I posted, I actually did feel it was a bit hollow, it's still not sitting right with me. My brother's coming over later to help me "cull" (his word not mine).