Examining a selection of personal statement examples can teach you how to write and structure your application, and gives you the chance to learn how to write a personal statement by examining others.
Consequently, reading examples of personal statements can be valuable when applying to a university or college course.
But with so many university personal statement examples available, how do you know if you’re reading a good one?
Postgraduate personal statements should highlight relevant academic and practical experience, research skills and ambitions and their suitability for the course. This postgraduate personal statement example for Business Management clearly illustrates these three critical elements.
I’ve broken down this personal statement example section by section, with a commentary on each element.
That way, you’ll see its strengths and weaknesses and get some inspiration for your own personal statement.
Once you’ve read the personal statement example and analysis, you’ll be able to download a pdf of the whole document, to use as inspiration for your own!
Postgraduate Personal Statement Example: Business Management
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“Influenced by my father’s work in the finance industry, I have always been surrounded by an extensive collection of business books, including Principles of Economics, The Pyramid Principle and The Effective Manager. It wasn’t until I started reading them that I realised I had a knack for grasping business concepts. Consequently, after my College Entrance Examination, I unhesitatingly chose the major of International Economics and Trade. Many argue that international trade content is too broad and imprecise, but I am frequently pleased with my decision. I have gained a wide range of exposure to various business courses and have become more determined about my future direction in business management. I now hope to pursue an in-depth study of this sector as a graduate student of Business Management at Marshall University.”
Commentary and Analysis
This personal statement example begins positively and with relevance. There’s an implied assertion that the writer has a sound knowledge base in this area by the tone and content used. Mentioning three relevant publications shows an awareness of industry practice (or at least the literature that goes with it), but there are no details given. If the writer had immediately been specific about the value gained from reading these books, given an opinion on the content, or outlined ways in which they helped prepare the applicant for postgraduate study, they would have been of far greater value.
Without relevant elaboration, they just read like a list and don’t have the necessary contextual impact.
Similarly, the writer mentions the logical motivation behind their choice of undergraduate study, which is valuable, but doesn’t really elaborate on the relevancy or impact of this decision in their choice of postgraduate course.
If you’re struggling with your personal statement introduction, check out my article on how to write perfect opening paragraphs here.
Personal Statement Example: Academic Background
“Specialising in International Economics and Trade has enabled me to immerse myself in numerous economics and business-related subjects such as Management, Project Management, Microeconomics, Political Economy, Marketing Planning, Industrial Economics and Financial Management. The range of organisational structure types and the time management matrices I encountered in the Management module intrigued me, influencing my entire undergraduate journey. One of the most valuable things I learned was how to group items according to their urgency and importance. I used that theory in my detailed study plan, significantly increasing my productivity. I’ve also realised that management is a discipline that teaches people how to efficiently deploy resources to maximise benefits rather than give direct instructions.
In Statistics, I gained a sound understanding of time series forecasting. Writing my economics essays, I made predictions about future trends based on existing data. I became skilled at adjusting my real-time investments through future analysis of specific industries in a particular province. Learning to apply regression analysis in Econometrics also allowed me to determine whether several sets of data were correlated, providing solid data support for my hypotheses. Equally, accomplishing the tasks related to project evaluation and review techniques in the Project Management module was another strong trigger that inspired me to engage further with the potential and value of business management. I will continue to devote my academic enthusiasm and competencies to my future postgraduate studies.”
Commentary and Analysis
The writer has focused on the components of undergraduate study that are most relevant to the course they are applying for and has indicated how their academic experience has given them some skills that will be useful going forwards. The first paragraph in this section, although clearly identifying the courses, could go into far greater detail regarding the links between the skills gained and the course being applied for.
The writer then explains in an effective level of detail the ways in which they have engaged in academic research and used data analysis to complete a range of relevant projects. They then make a good job of linking this experience with their suitability for and interest in the course.
If you’d like to learn more about how to structure your personal statement or statement of purpose, check out my awesome Personal Statement Template eBook here. It’s full of detailed examples of what to include!
Personal Statement Example: Practical Experience 1
“In addition to classroom learning, I’ve actively participated in campus club activities. As the Microfilm Association’s screenwriter assistant, I was responsible for script creation and coordinating the associated efforts of teams and members. Due to the heavy workload, tasks were shared by multiple people. Responsible for selecting video materials, I assigned shooting and post-production work to team members based on their strengths and abilities. I was glad to have acquired significant photography and editing skills, and I would be honoured to assist with your university’s publicity work. A critical aspect of any successful business operation, I learned how to collaborate with others and applied communication and leadership skills to strengthen my network within the community whilst working towards a shared objective.”
Commentary and Analysis
This section could have been a weak one, but the writer has managed to refer to their co-curricular experience and show how transferable skills have added to their suitability. Whilst it’s always advisable to write about strong transferable skills in a personal statement, this candidate has developed a relatively weak argument because the experience isn’t directly relatable to the application.
To counter this, the writer could have made reference to the specifics of the course they are applying for and connected these with the transferable skills they have developed. This hasn’t been done, so it all lacks a little context.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Practical Experience 2
“Knowledge starts with practice, and I’ve come to appreciate that the theoretical information gained from major courses is the most effective weapon in my professional practice. I took charge of strategic analysis during my internship at Slater Equity Investment Fund Management Co Ltd. I efficiently gathered financial statements from businesses in the industry over the last 3-5 years and integrated the data to support various company choices successfully. During this time, I sharpened my data analysis, data integration and business forecasting skills. Additionally, I honed my problem-solving capacity by coping with unexpected occurrences, such as a problematic discrepancy with a link, causing some data to be lost. To avert the company’s loss, I quickly attempted to recover the data and actively contacted my supervisor to report the situation. This episode significantly impacted me, for it taught me the value of risk awareness and collaboration in business management, especially regarding organisational interests. That is also a vital concept that I wish to explore and enhance in my future studies. I am keen to master my general business and management knowledge and practical understanding of business ethics to broaden my perspective and develop critical and creative thinking.”
Commentary and Analysis:
This is a relatively general paragraph which outlines the value of the experiences of this internship. The skills considered support the postgraduate application, and the writer also shows that they are detail-oriented and capable of overcoming challenges. This is all very valuable context which will appeal to an admissions reader, as these qualities are highly relevant to postgraduate study.
Again, this would have been a far stronger paragraph if the writer had used it as an opportunity to formally connect the value of their experiences with specific elements of the course. This would have allowed the reader to see the applicant’s suitability more obviously and to understand that the writer viewed the course as a natural progression in their academic and professional journey.
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Personal Statement Example: Conclusion
“As for my career prospects, I plan to challenge myself by engaging with a major financial company as an executive manager. I believe reading for this Master of Science in Business Management will facilitate my suitability for this kind of role. Marshall University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, has been widely acknowledged for its diversified curriculum design and intense academic atmosphere. This makes your university the best choice for my pursuit of graduate studies. I sincerely hope you will offer me a precious place in this program. Thank you for your time.”
Commentary and Analysis
This is a fairly average conclusion that seems to say the right things but actually lacks a fair amount of detail. Yes, the writer certainly discusses their ambitions, but they don’t focus on specific organizations or individuals, and there’s no real evidence of knowledge about the sector they want to go into. Equally, the writer doesn’t clearly articulate the link between their ambition and the course or discuss specific faculty members, facilities or networks that would be of value.
Equally, whilst the writer has justified their interest in the university, they haven’t explained what added value they would bring to the organisation or clearly outlined the ways in which they would contribute to developing a shared body of knowledge. In that sense, it’s rather one-sided.
In summary, this is a thoughtful and relatively well-written personal statement that lacks a considerable amount of depth and detail and doesn’t always make the necessary connection between skills and experience, ambition and what the course is offering.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.
Whether you’re looking for personal mission statement examples or an example of personal purpose statement, I hope this personal statement example has been helpful. Above all, I wish you every success in your academic career.
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