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.
That’s why reading examples of personal statements can be valuable when applying to a university or college course.
However, 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 Environmental Engineering 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: Environmental Engineering
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“I first became acutely aware of the urgency of the existential threat of climate change when I attended a college seminar addressing contemporary research into global warming. This seminar shifted my viewpoint and ambition, and after graduating, I joined the Marshall Industrial Development Fund and worked as an analyst in the Department for Environment, Health and Safety. As part of our due diligence process, we ensure that the Fund invests in green initiatives and environmentally sustainable projects. Additionally, we evaluate our clients’ performance against sustainable development goals and environmental protection policies, offering support and intervention where needed.
Through personal experience and comprehensive online research, I have recognised the need for existing and future generations to prioritise the creation of a sustainable global environment. Indeed, during my work at MIDF, I observed many industrial projects seeking sustainable solutions for their conventional energy sources and developing strategies to transform processes that generate excessive greenhouse emissions. As a result, I have dedicated my career to contributing solutions in this field, advancing my knowledge and expertise in environmental engineering and seeking to identify sustainable solutions to numerous environmental threats. This ambition is the motivation behind my decision to pursue a postgraduate degree in Environmental Engineering, which will broaden my academic horizons and expertise whilst fulfilling my long-term personal and professional goals.”
My Commentary and Analysis
This personal statement introduction begins convincingly and uses a moment of realisation from the writer’s past as a catalyst for their increasing engagement in the subject. This is an effective approach, as it introduces a personal connection and passion, motivation and a sense of long-term involvement in the sector. As such, it compels the reader to take the application seriously and to view the writer in a positive light.
It also outlines a mix of academic and real-world experience, which is another critical factor required in most postgraduate personal statement examples.
The writer then sets out their own moral, ethical and actionable viewpoints and makes a clear case for the course as the next step on the journey to achieving their goals. Again, this shows a depth of knowledge and understanding and a coherent sense of personal strategy.
This is important, as admissions readers will be looking for content that shows clearly how the course being applied for fits into future plans. In essence, they want to see that the course plays a logical role in advancing a career or personal goal, and the writer demonstrates this with clarity here.
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 Ambitions 1
“The Buckley School of Engineering offers me access to numerous outstanding learning resources and engineering facilities, which will enhance my academic, research and collaborative skills. As a postgraduate student, I aim to engage with inspirational faculty instructors capable of offering cutting-edge environmental engineering insights. In this context, I also plan to participate in the Sustainable Engineering Initiative and research innovative, contemporary approaches to carbon capture and petrochemical storage with Professor Lucy Marchetti.”
My Commentary and Analysis
It’s always sensible to reference the course and faculty you’re applying for, and the writer does this here. However, the first section of this paragraph is very general and, although using some relevant terminology, doesn’t really offer any new or compelling information.
The section half is much better. The writer makes reference to a specific course programme, shows their understanding of it and identifies a member of the faculty that they want to work with. This shows that they have researched the course and have decided on their academic goals.
These are both excellent elements to include in your personal statement as they reassure the admissions reader that not only have you done your homework, but that there are compelling reasons why you want to study a particular course in a particular place.
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: Academic Ambitions 2
“As an undergraduate, I was an active member of campus organizations, and I know I will bring positive energy and a new perspective to the Buckley community. I would enjoy teaching students and classmates how to assess environmental health risks for individuals working in manufacturing facilities and sharing effective approaches to developing effective control measures. Equally, I am keen to learn from my peers and gain a greater understanding of the full range of environmental challenges we face. Consequently, I am confident that this program will allow me to acquire substantial theoretical and practical knowledge and facilitate my meaningful work alongside other professionals in this diverse sector.”
Commentary and Analysis
The writer uses this paragraph to outline their value. This is a sound strategy, as admissions readers are always keen to see what an applicant feels they can contribute to the wider community. As a bonus, these contributions could be of genuine value to the writer’s peers, making them logical to include here.
The rest of this paragraph, unfortunately, is somewhat repetitive and lacking in detail. It would have been far better for the writer to outline the skills and knowledge gained from undergraduate study and, in particular, to focus on the research and independent study skills needed for a postgraduate course.
There’s almost none of that content in this personal statement example, which is weaker as a result.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Professional Ambitions
“Upon graduation, I aim to have developed the decision-making skills required to evaluate environmental challenges and build sustainable solutions in the manufacturing industry. My short-term aspirations include returning to MIDF as an Environmental Manager and developing a methodology for assessing the environmental impact of industrial projects. Here I plan to create a framework for evaluating the air emissions from industrial projects and implementing sustainable solutions to address excessive air pollutants. Subsequently, using my postgraduate knowledge of modelling and data analysis, I intend to significantly influence the control of air pollutants in the steel industry, which have a detrimental impact on both human health and the environment.”
My Commentary and Analysis:
A valuable set of ambitions here, which should certainly be included. They appear relevant to the course and again show a depth of understanding of the challenges facing environmental control and improvement.
However, there is no mention of the academic skills the writer has developed which might help them achieve these goals, and critically, there is no reference to the course elements which would allow the writer to build the skills needed to do this.
To improve, the writer should identify specific programme elements from the course they are applying for and indicate their value in achieving these ambitions. This would allow a reader to see a clear link between the writer’s goals and the course content, which is vital.
There is a definite sense of suitability and potential about his applicant, but I am not convinced of the depth of their academic strengths, transferable skills or course knowledge, all of which should be clearly demonstrated in a personal statement at this level.
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 long-term goal is to establish a consulting firm that focuses on environmental impact assessments and designs sustainable solutions that address emissions issues. I intend to increase awareness of clean air rights throughout developing countries by developing a profile as an environmental activist and influencing environmental policy. I look forward to taking the next step on this vital journey as a member of your learning community.”
My Commentary and Analysis
Again, this brief conclusion lacks depth and detail. It’s also quite repetitive and doesn’t add any new or compelling content to this personal statement example.
This is a shame, as the writer seems extremely well-qualified and engaged with the subject being applied for.
However, the entire statement lacks connection with the course content, evidence of academic skills and experience and any sense of the value the writer might bring to the faculty community.
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.
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