Reading examples of personal statements can be valuable when applying to a university or college course. After all, personal statement examples can teach you how to write and structure your application, and you can quickly learn how to write a personal statement by examining others.
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 Communication 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: Communication
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“The power and value attached to the tools and processes of mass communication are incredible, to the extent that the exchange of ideas through digital media fills our lives. Contemporary social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook spread information and knowledge that affects everyone, impacting our unconscious thoughts and behaviours.
As a graduate student of Communication, I aim to examine the strategies used in digital communications and understand how meaning is absorbed and actioned. I aim to continually acquire new skills, broaden my knowledge and meet new challenges. This philosophy motivates my decision to pursue a graduate degree in Communication and increase my competitive and professional edge.”
Commentary and Analysis
The start of this personal statement is positive and immediately connects with the content and nature of the course, which is ideal. The writer also offers some opinion, although it’s uninformed and lacks a specific reference or source.
By writing “As a graduate student of Communication”, the applicant links themselves with the course in the reader’s mind. That’s a sophisticated approach that works well. There’s a general justification for the degree, but with no specific detail about a career plan or particular aspect of the course that would be of value.
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
“Studying Management as an undergraduate, I understood how vital internal and external communication is to a business. Keen to develop this knowledge further, I intend to learn more about persuading an audience to receive messages and act accordingly. My academic management experience will be of direct value to courses such as Marketing, Ethical Business, HR Management and Labour Relations because it’s essential to understand an organisation’s context when formulating communication strategies.
The undergraduate curriculum offered me numerous individual and group work opportunities, and these improved my academic writing, critical thinking and collaborative skills. Responsible for coordinating the division of work within a group, I established each member’s skills and allocated roles, allowing us to complete assignments successfully. Consequently, I learned to embrace the diversity of team members’ views and realised the importance of two-way communication and active listening.
To add to my academic preparedness for this graduate course, I also completed two online courses in Communication on Coursera. This added to my in-depth knowledge of this challenging discipline and reconfirmed my desire to study this subject.”
Commentary and Analysis
This section outlining the writer’s academic background begins well. They have connected their undergraduate studies in Management with the focus of the master’s course, linking their experience with the course content. They’ve also referenced several of the modules in the postgraduate course, deepening their connection and showing the reader that they understand the course content.
They’ve also mentioned the opportunities for collaborative work gained as an undergraduate and implied that it would be of value to the postgraduate course. However, little detail shows the reader precisely what the quality or learning outcomes of these experiences were or what the writer gained in the way of tangible skills. It doesn’t connect the group work with specific elements of the master’s course, which is a missed opportunity.
Adding that additional skills were gained by taking extra courses shows a reasonable degree of independent learning and ambition. Again, it would be more effective to directly link the learning outcomes of the online courses with specific aspects of the master’s course, to strengthen the sense of connection and suitability.
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
“As a promotions assistant for a clothing studio, I run the official WeChat account. Having completed online courses in photo editing, I publish push articles on the official account, introducing product brand stories. One of our new lines was rooted in the goal of racial equality and used continental plate imagery as a concept, which I found very impressive. The brand hopes to call for racial equality through fashion, and I worked hard to plan a social campaign linking critical aspects of racial discrimination with potential cultural solutions.
However, when I received the final details for content writing, I realised the design did not cover every country or follow the world map. I felt that this was a serious issue, so after communicating with the design team and the supervisor, I decided to add “only part of the plate shapes are captured, including design factors and non-political stance issues” as a statement in the post, helping the brand avoid potentially negative political responses and generating new interest and understanding in the audience.”
Commentary and Analysis
The first paragraph outlining the writer’s practical experience gives their application a sense of context, which is valuable. There’s a clear sense of professional connection with the course and a degree of subject-specific vocabulary, which is a positive. It’s very descriptive, however, outlining what was done but not what was learned or how it relates to the demands of the master’s degree, which should also be included.
The second paragraph shows motivation, clarity of vision, an understanding of professional communication strategies and some ethical integrity. It then needs additional content related to the course the writer is applying to, or the full value of this experience is lost.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Practical Experience 2
“During my experience assisting a fashion live-streamer, I witnessed the power of communication in live-streaming commerce. The live-streamer posts videos and pictures on social media platforms such as TikTok, while other viewers comment with feedback. After these communications, they build a relationship with that creator, become her followers and recognise her as an influencer.
When the creator live-streams related products, they are more likely to reach an agreement with her and tend to view the products she recommends as in line with their own standards. She has learned how to engage, lead and compel an audience and, subsequently, how to capitalise on that process, which is reflective of the kind of power and profitability that an in-depth knowledge of contemporary communication strategies brings.
In summarising and feeding back follower engagement, I improved my ability to extract meaningful information from qualitative data. Additionally, communicating with customers and offering them solutions enhanced my capacity for empathy, which is a highly effective communication tool.”
Commentary and Analysis:
This section of the writer’s personal statement shows they have experience with contemporary social media marketing strategies, illustrating a sound knowledge base. There’s a substantial range of relevant vocabulary in use and a sense that the writer is aware of the knowledge they want to improve on as a graduate student.
The content is mainly descriptive of the writer’s experience. While aspects such as qualitative data analysis are valuable, there’s minimal discussion of why this experience or knowledge is relevant to specific parts of the course they are applying for.
The writer hasn’t clarified why empathy will be a valuable skill in the course or how the course will help them meet a specific goal in relation to this content.
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Personal Statement Example: Conclusion
“PLFU is an internationally renowned and culturally diverse university offering excellent teaching resources and high-profile, influential faculty staff. This, combined with a professionally and culturally diverse set of peers, provides an academically stimulating environment to draw on my experiences and gain new skills and networks. Providing students with the opportunity to apply for mentorship and internships at some of the top communication businesses in the field is another factor behind my application, as this will enable me to put prior learning into practice in real-world contexts. Additionally, studying Communication will help me strengthen my professional capabilities and increase my work prospects in the media, public relations and advertising fields, in which graduate-level data collection and analysis skills are vital.
A skilled PR role necessitates formulating communication strategies and building and maintaining strong relationships with major media. These skills can be acquired through PLFU’s rich curriculum, which includes courses on Audience Analysis, Crisis Management and Public Relations Campaigns and Cases. I look forward to developing my understanding of communication strategies and building professional skills within your respected faculty.”
Commentary and Analysis
This conclusion starts well. There’s a clear and concise rationale for why the candidate is keen to study this course and a sense that they have researched the faculty more broadly. The writer has also connected the value of the course to their career goals, linking to specific modules, which is an excellent strategy.
No particular faculty members or teaching staff have been identified, and there’s no sense of wanting to participate in ongoing research projects or working with specific professors. That’s important for a postgraduate application, so don’t omit it. There’s no tangible explanation of how this candidate plans to contribute to the broader life of the university or how they will add value to the faculty.
Overall, this personal statement clearly connects with the subject and gives the reader confidence that the writer is articulate and has researched the course.
However, a deeper sense of the value of those experiences and a greater connection to specific elements of the course would strengthen it, as would more informed reasons for wanting to study this particular course. Including specific and relevant career aims and outlining a greater sense of the qualities they would bring to the faculty would also strengthen this application.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.
I hope this personal statement example has been helpful, and I wish you every success in your academic career.
If you’d like to work with me to develop your personal statement 1:1, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
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