Studying personal statement examples written by other successful applicants can teach you how to write and structure your application, and you can quickly learn how to write a personal statement by examining others.
After all, 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 Climate Change Management clearly illustrates these three critical elements.
Studying master’s degree personal statement examples can be especially valuable. They’re sometimes referred to as personal mission statements or statements of purpose, so if you’re tasked with writing a personal mission statement, the following example will work for you.
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 can download a pdf of the whole document to use as inspiration for your own!
Postgraduate Personal Statement Example: Climate Change Management
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“The purpose of business is to produce profitable solutions to the problems of people and the planet, not to profit from producing problems.”
“I quote Colin Mayer to illustrate a personal and professional ideology: the goal of a great enterprise is not only to make a profit but to generate social prosperity. Consequently, I firmly believe that the aspiration to common development is the responsibility of enterprises across the globe. Commerce and industry have undergone many changes over the years, and each change has reshaped the value expression behind business practice. The previous brutal growth model enjoyed by emerging and established businesses has caused huge problems at the social level and caused vicious, irreversible damage to cultural and ecological environments. However, the advent of global citizenship and instant communication has made many companies reevaluate their positioning. Many now view profitability from the perspective of engaging with social problems and developing longer-term corporate strategies in the context of complex and changing social trends.
I am dedicated to exploring a sustainable development path that balances business value and social responsibility. I am confident that the MSc in Climate Change, Management & Finance at Buckley will facilitate this goal.”
My Commentary and Analysis
This is a strong opening statement that demonstrates the applicant’s personal and professional ideology clearly and with purpose. Opening a personal statement example with a quote is a common strategy, and in this case, it works effectively. The quote is not over-used, and it is relevant to the content that the writer goes on to develop, which is ideal.
The writer then develops their ideas to outline their understanding of the value expression behind business practice and the importance of business in a global context. This works well as it lays a foundation of knowledge and awareness in business and finance, and although not relating directly to climate change, it establishes a welcome sense of authority and purpose.
The writer also provides context for the changes that have occurred in commerce and industry over time and demonstrates their commitment to social responsibility and engagement with social problems. They then link this commitment to successful admittance to the course they are applying for, which is an excellent tactic. It shows the reader that the applicant has a clear strategy for progress and that the course is part of a wider set of goals.
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
“As an undergraduate reading for an Accounting and Finance degree, courses such as Financial Modelling, Operations Management and Probability Theory & Mathematics Statistics gave me a rigorous training in finance, mathematics and management. My First-Class Honours (82.75/100) have given me the academic and economic skills to flourish as a graduate student. Mastering a wide range of programming skills, such as Python, R and Latex, I have developed my financial and analytical abilities, equipping myself with the knowledge needed to immerse myself in interdisciplinary studies and make informed inferences regarding the real world.”
My Commentary and Analysis
The applicant’s academic and economic skills are well-referenced here, and the range of courses taken as an undergraduate provides evidence of rigorous training in finance, mathematics, and management.
These are all necessary prerequisites for the course being applied for, although this personal statement would have been strengthened if the writer had outlined specific skills gained and linked these to particular aspects of the course being applied for. That way, the reader would be able to judge not only suitability but also potential.
The writer’s proficiency in programming skills is highlighted, but again, further value could have been added by indicating how these skills would be of value on the course. What would these skills allow the writer to accomplish? How would they like to develop and apply these as a postgraduate student?
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 this high level of theoretical knowledge, I have developed the experience and skills needed to engage with the climate and finance-related issues inherent in real-world applications. My research experience in the Technical Group of Global Health at Marshall University was exceptionally valuable, as it gave me an opportunity to witness the power and value of multidisciplinary collaboration. It was the dynamic combination of finance, policy, law and quantitative analysis that made success possible. Inspired by this experience, I participated in the Jones & Lyle Limited Liability Partnership. This allowed me to examine further how a combination of various skill sets can be effective when addressing challenges and taught me how to incorporate policy analysis methodology into a business case.”
Commentary and Analysis
This is the first direct mention of climate issues in this personal statement, and I would suggest that, whilst the application has been positive and engaging so far, it would have been sensible to have made reference to this earlier on, given the focus of the course being applied for.
The section above demonstrates the applicant’s experience and skill in engaging with climate and finance-related issues in real-world applications. This is particularly important, as applicants at this level are expected to be able to demonstrate engagement in real-world scenarios.
Research experience is also considered, as is the applicant’s interest in multidisciplinary collaboration. Transferable skills like this are critical in this kind of personal statement example, but again, I would like to see clarity regarding how these experiences would be of direct value to the writer’s postgraduate studies.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Practical Experience 2
“Gaining a place on the highly competitive Government and Public Services Assurance & Climate Change and Sustainability Services intern programme at Jones & Lyle, I contributed to the Government and Public Services group. Demonstrating a high degree of data interpretation and analysis ability, I researched climate and sustainability-related disclosure standards. I conducted scenario analyses and qualitative physical and transition risk assessments for both public sectors and corporate levels. To prepare further for this course and my subsequent career, I obtained a certificate in Environmental, Social and Governance Investing from the CFA Institute, recognised by the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. This experience developed my practical application and technical knowledge in the fast-growing field of ESG investing.”
My Commentary and Analysis:
This is probably the most critically important section in this personal statement so far, as it is rich with examples of ways in which the writer has engaged with climate change and sustainability in an increasingly impressive range of ways.
Aside from listing the several key ways in which the writer has built up expertise, this section also allows the reader to see an ongoing and developing interest in the subject. They can also recognise the value of this experience to the student’s cohort, and this sense of value to the learning community can’t be underestimated.
Once more, my criticism is that clear links aren’t made between these experiences, the skills or knowledge gained, and the ways in which these relate to the demands of the course. Had the applicant done this, they would have demonstrated an excellent understanding of the programme they were applying for.
The one thing that all successful personal statements have in common is that they are concise, engaging and accurate in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Consequently, I always recommend Grammarly to my students and clients.
It’s an outstanding tool for ensuring your personal statement is rich with detail whilst hitting those all-important word limits. Check out the free version of Grammarly here, or hit the banner for more information.
Personal Statement Example: Conclusion
“Buckley is an ideal starting point for my future career journey, and I find the content and ethos of this programme exceptionally engaging, relevant and attractive. I look forward to examining the formation of climate change legislation and analysing the extent of the critical role played by governance in the Climate Change and Governance course. This master’s course will also allow me to broaden my global vision, enhance my knowledge and skills and improve my competency within a competitive employment market. I firmly believe that this MSc in Climate Change, Management & Finance will fill educational gaps in my understanding of climate change, broaden my strategies for managing employee and economic growth and strengthen my capacity for wisdom and optimism.
Coming from China, I also aim to add diversity of heritage and opinion to class discussions, learning opportunities and social interactions. Additionally, I intend to use my prior knowledge, skills and experiences related to investment and sustainability to support my peers’ progress and advance the faculty’s collective knowledge. Calligraphy is a popular art form in China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong. As a result, I have passed graded examinations to level 10 and exhibited my work to over 2000 viewers. In addition, I am a member of the university roller skating club and have strong skills in badminton and sudoku. I intend to continue to engage with these activities, seek new growth opportunities and involve myself as fully as possible in all aspects of the Imperial community. After graduation, I aim to become an ESG analyst and consultant, combining my management and finance expertise with the analytical methodology needed to complete effective climate change and sustainability auditing projects successfully. My long-term goal is to establish a green investment company to improve living conditions for people in environmentally contaminated regions. I look forward to taking the next step in my learning journey as a positive and engaged Buckley student.”
My Commentary and Analysis
The first paragraph of this personal statement conclusion demonstrates the applicant’s interest in and engagement with the content and ethos of the MSc. It also provides evidence of the applicant’s desire to broaden their global vision, enhance their knowledge and skills, and improve their competency within a competitive employment market.
These are all positive elements to include in a conclusion, as is evidence of their commitment to using their prior knowledge, skills, and experiences to support their peers’ progress and advance the faculty’s collective knowledge.
Again, making a clearer link between these goals and specific aspects of the course being applied for would have made the content more compelling.
The applicant’s diversity of heritage and opinion is a valuable inclusion, as it aligns with the university ethos. I’m not sure that, at this level, evidence of the writer’s proficiency in calligraphy and involvement in extracurricular activities is quite as valuable as for an undergraduate application.
Importantly, this personal statement example ends with an analysis of future goals and demonstrates the applicant’s long-term aim to establish a green investment company to improve living conditions for people in environmentally contaminated regions. This ambition is directly supported by the course being applied for and provides a convincing, engaging conclusion.
In summary, this is a well-written and effective personal statement. Well structured (although the conclusion is, perhaps, a little unbalanced) and relevant, it just needs to connect more fully with the course content to be effective.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.
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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.
If you’d like to work with me to develop your personal statement 1:1 and write a powerful mission statement, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
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