Reading as many examples of personal statements as possible is a valuable strategy if you’re 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 Cross-Cultural Communication clearly considers 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: Cross-Cultural Communication
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“Pushing myself to meet challenges and discover new possibilities is key to moving forward in life. Indeed, in the five years since I graduated, I have developed a successful career as Head of E-commerce Sales Operations. However, I have realised that my lack of marketing and global communication skills is stopping me from achieving my career ambitions. By combining my professional experience with the courses offered through the Cross-Cultural Communications and International Marketing MA programme at Buckley University, I am confident that I will maximise my technical and practical skills and pursue the next stage of my career.”
My Commentary and Analysis
The writer begins this personal statement example with a clear statement of intent that reflects their personal ethos and ambition. This is a positive opening and provides a foundation from which to develop the rest of the content. It also indicates a clear sense of purpose and academic endeavour, which is welcome in this kind of application.
The applicant also introduces their professional background and experience, which is relevant and of a high standard. Most importantly, however, they indicate gaps in their knowledge that will be filled as a result of studying on this course.
This is a really critical aspect of a personal statement, as it shows the reader that the applicant has a sound reason for applying and that they are likely to gain full value from the experience.
If you’re struggling with your personal statement introduction, check out my article on how to write perfect opening paragraphs here.
Personal Statement Example: Professional Background 1
“My work experience and undergraduate background in International Economics and Trade provide me with a solid industry foundation and numerous transferable skills relevant to this programme. Having gained a sound understanding of macroeconomics and microeconomics, I derive great satisfaction from knowing that complicated issues can be brought back to simple terms of supply, demand and competition, connecting with other fundamental forces that determine equilibrium in a market economy. Management Studies exposed me to the principles and mechanics that regulate corporate and business life. For example, applying the Boston matrix model afforded me an effective perspective to develop sales and marketing strategies for different product lines. In the Foreign Trade Conversation and Negotiation course, I learned the power of words and honed my ability to communicate effectively with clients and peers. This helped me in my first job as an international business development manager, where I successfully expanded partnerships with clients from various cultural backgrounds and improved my cross-functional communication abilities.
My second job as a cross-border e-commerce operator required me to regularly edit and optimise e-commerce product description pages and images to satisfy the demands and tastes of international consumers. In this role, gaining an awareness of the optimisation of the company’s low-margin items offered on Amazon made me acutely aware that when marketing efforts transcend national lines, the relevance of cultural elements comes to the fore. Indeed, culture infuses every aspect of marketing, from product style and packaging to commission calculation and seller selection.”
My Commentary and Analysis
This section begins with a relatively general but effective statement regarding the writer’s academic and experiential suitability. Certainly, the language of business is used impressively, and there’s a strong sense here of competence and relevancy, which is critical in a postgraduate personal statement.
The writer goes on to give examples of skills developed in professional roles. This works well and is important to include, especially as they write from the perspective of the skills learned rather than simply listing the experience.
To improve this, the applicant could have made some specific links to elements of the course and indicated exactly how these skills prepared them and made them highly suitable. Without doing this, a high degree of relevancy is lost. It’s always sensible to be explicit and make links between your knowledge and the demands of the course you’re applying for. The reader doesn’t know you, and you need to make the connections as clear as you can for them
The final section above continues in a similar way and offers a further range of qualifications. Again, these are probably relevant and show that the writer has a sound working vocabulary related to business practice, but stronger connections to the course could have been made here. Equally, the writer could have indicated how, in developing these skills, they became aware of weaknesses or gaps in their knowledge and the ways in which the course would be essential in filling these.
This would have put these experiences into context and been reassuring for the reader, potentially resulting in an achievable offer.
If you’d like to learn more about structuring 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: Professional Background 2
“In 2021, an increasing volume of new sellers entering the Amazon platform resulted in declining sales and profits for our product line. I was tasked with reviewing the product line and finding ways to generate revenue and increase sales. I started by analysing competitor data and evaluating the different marketing strategies utilised by local and global sellers. Subsequently, I crawled buyer reviews online and emailed interviews for consumer research, discovering that the platform had significant competition from similar low-priced products. Since the local market’s customers have distinct consumer inclinations, at least 30% of consumers conveyed that product features and quantities were not meeting their needs. I immediately saw this as an opportunity and partnered with our team to adjust our product strategy by upgrading product features, increasing the number of bundles sold to meet consumer demand, and increasing the unit price. Meanwhile, we optimised the packaging, product appearance and online imagery by employing a more local, consumer-friendly aesthetic. To ensure the ability to replicate our successes, I used A/B testing, tracking and impact analysis, and I am confident that these skills will play a valuable role in my postgraduate studies.
Ultimately, we experienced a 50% increase in sales for the entire product line and an improvement in profitability to greater than 20%, illustrating clearly that adopting the correct cross-cultural marketing strategy can enhance marketing efficiency and reduce company risks. To maintain our long-term advantage, a complete international marketing strategy is necessary. I am confident that pursuing a master’s degree will give me the tools and networks needed to achieve this goal.”
Commentary and Analysis
This section continues in a similar vein to the one above. It’s a well-written and compelling piece of writing and outlines further skills and experiences without repetition.
It is only towards the very end that the writer begins to make reference to the subject of their intended postgraduate degree, and even then, the reference is a little bit oblique. It’s very much become a ‘business’ personal statement rather than a ‘cross-cultural communication’ personal statement, and the writer is in danger of giving the impression of applying for a course they are not wholly suited for.
Even so, the last couple of sentences make the link, and the reader will now expect the content to become more pertinent and explanatory.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Motivation For Study
“I am attracted to Buckley’s strong commitment to research and innovation and impressed by the quality and depth of content, teaching and opportunity in this MA programme. It will offer me a systematic framework for understanding international marketing and help me build the skills I need in marketing theory, global communication and brand management. As a postgraduate student, I’d like to learn about strategic market analysis, contemporary branding, international consumer behaviour and formulation of international marketing strategy. The Research Portfolio module will help me refine my data-gathering and analysis methodologies skills and illustrate how these skills can be applied to my field of study. Equally, studying Introduction to Intercultural Communication will teach me how to work more comfortably in an increasingly complex and internationally interconnected environment, which is critical to studying cross-cultural communication and international marketing. I’m particularly interested in Professor Marshall’s international marketing course since it will teach me advanced strategies for developing products for global markets, comprehending local customer behaviour and constructing an international marketing plan. This, alongside the International Brand Management unit, will allow me to learn fundamental and cutting-edge theories and models, supporting my future career plans.”
My Commentary and Analysis:
This section of the personal statement is extremely successful and, in many respects, is the most compelling content, as it links directly to the course being applied for.
It might sound obvious, but this is a step that many applicants fail to take. By showing that you have an understanding of the course components – shown here through a discussion of the writer’s academic ambitions – you make it clear that your application is well-considered and tailored to a particular institution.
By referencing the value of specific modules and even working with particular faculty members, the reader can be reassured that the applicant has chosen the course because it fits in with their long-term goals.
That means they’re more likely to be successful on the course, and that’s exactly what the university wants too.
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
“My short-term ambition is to work as a marketing manager for a cross-border e-commerce company, combining my experience in e-commerce operations and the international marketing and global communication knowledge gleaned from this postgraduate course. Subsequently, I intend to start my own cross-border e-commerce company. My country has a wide range of quality manufacturing plants and unique cultural crafts. My goal is to make these beautiful products visible and accessible to as broad a public as possible. An education from Buckley University will provide invaluable experience and skills that will allow me to launch the next chapter of my career. I look forward to playing a positive and active role as a member of your highly-respected faculty.”
My Commentary and Analysis
The writer’s professional goals match the outcomes from the course, and that is another very positive element of this personal statement. When your long-term aims can recognisably be achieved as a result of studying on a specific course, then admissions teams can recognise the logic in the application and feel comfortable making an offer as a result.
The final sentence makes a token reference to ‘playing a positive and active role’, and whilst that’s important, it would be worth the writer adding slightly more here, making it clear exactly the value they would bring to the faculty community. Universities are keen to see evidence of how an applicant might bring value to their peers or advance the research taking place within a faculty, so being clearer on this point is a sound strategy.
In summary, this is a postgraduate personal statement example that show a wealth of professional experience and skills in a related area and provides a clear sense of motivation for study.
It lacks connection with the course content throughout – showing exactly how a skill or experience has prepared the writer for a particular course element – and lacks examples of the writer’s academic abilities. Very little mention is made of research or writing skills gained as an undergraduate, and although skills used in the professional arena are relevant, showing how academic and independent study skills have been developed is vital content to include.
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.
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.
Find out about my personal statement support services by clicking here or on the image below.
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