Examples of personal statements are exceptionally valuable research resources if you’re applying to a university or college course. Excellent and relevant 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 Real Estate 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: Real Estate
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
Many of the world’s most significant economic challenges and financial crises are caused by real estate bubbles bursting. High-profile examples include the housing sector collapse in Japan in the late 1980s and the United States in 2008. More recently, the same story has been repeated in China. Poor construction and planning practices affected developers and builders and damaged the interests of many home buyers, often leading to social conflicts. Consequently, local governments, courts and other stakeholders were required to collaborate to successfully resolve these housing project problems. Although comprised of many challenges, investment in revitalising abandoned or poorly planned building projects is critical due to its high return on investment, good external environment, market demand and use of land policy. The process of investing in and developing these projects is of great interest. Indeed, it motivates my move into the real estate field. Studying for this MSc will allow me to progress in this sector and achieve my professional goals.
Commentary and Analysis
The writer has developed a powerful opening to this personal statement, which clearly outlines both a personal interest and educated experience of the subject they are applying for. There is an informed discussion of various stakeholders involved in real estate, showing a breadth of understanding of the sector and the importance of this industry to individuals and organisations across the spectrum.
Having established a knowledge base, the writer then introduces a personal viewpoint and makes reference to policy and future practice within the sector, introducing threads that can be referred to later in the personal statement. The last couple of sentences illustrates the writer’s motivation for study in a relevant and logical way, connecting the application with the subject matter and leading into the rest of the essay.
It could be argued that this is a somewhat ‘anonymous’ opening – not a very ‘personal’ personal statement. It would have been helpful to have made the connection between the content and the writer a little more obvious or intimate. This needs to be established or the personal statement will become too abstract and descriptive, giving information about the real estate industry and not the individual.
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
My undergraduate experience has laid a solid foundation for real estate study. In courses such as Investment, I learned the basic principles of investment, risk management, investment tools and various portfolio investment methods. I also learned that real estate is an essential form of investment with both investment and consumption functions. The value of investment varies significantly by region and is influenced by various external factors. Skilled real estate investors can choose the most suitable portfolio, avoid investment risks and use simple and effective real estate investment strategies to get the maximum return on investment. A capital-intensive and high-risk industry, today’s real estate sector has strong financial attributes. It is one of the most critical components of the financial sector, with changes in the real estate market strongly influencing broader markets worldwide.
In the Financial Statement Analysis class, I spent a semester comprehensively analysing aspects such as the balance sheet, income and cash flow statements of a well-known real estate company, Nutmeg Holdings Limited. Examining the profitability, operating capacity, development potential and solvency of the enterprise, I realised that real estate enterprises should strictly comply with financial systems. I became aware that finance departments should rigorously analyse project budgets and expenditures, assess the enterprise’s financial risk and reflect the enterprise’s situation as clearly and explicitly as possible in financial statements. However, full disclosure can exclude the private collection of specific information, which is an essential factor for investment in the financial market.
Examining this field, I gained knowledge of the core aspects of rent theory, location theory and house price theory. I also realised that real estate is a multidisciplinary field that involves the development and utilisation of land and the rational allocation of resources in resource economics, as well as urban housing, urban management and urban land use in urban economics. Therefore, an equally interdisciplinary postgraduate course can provide students with rich knowledge and a broader perspective of real estate finance.
Commentary and Analysis
The first paragraph of this section skilfully connects the writer’s undergraduate experience with suitability for the course. By identifying specific and relevant elements of undergraduate study, the writer evidences knowledge, context and depth of suitability whilst making a personal connection.
The second paragraph continues in this style and goes into greater depth regarding the connections between real estate, law and finance. Whilst this does begin to read a little like an essay and less like a personal statement, it successfully conveys a depth of knowledge, the ability to make active and relevant use of transferable skills and a storing academic profile, all of which are of great value at the postgraduate level.
The writer finally links their prior experiences with the multidisciplinary structure of the course they are applying for, turning a potential obstacle into a positive very well. The overall impression at this point is of a candidate who is highly suitable from an academic and experiential perspective, but perhaps lacks a personal connection to the subject matter.
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
Exchanging business with personnel at a local real estate company during my internship at Marshall Bank, I found that they needed a better understanding of their financing system requirements. This made me wonder whether the real estate enterprise was scientific and reasonable in planning its financing needs and whether it could generate an actual increase in value through financing, investment and working capital management. As a result of this experience, I realised that the financial management of some real estate companies sits at the accounting level rather than at the strategic planning level, which is detrimental to avoiding risks and improving business efficiency. Therefore, real estate enterprises should clearly understand financing business from the planning stage and plan financing needs scientifically. They should also strive to improve operating efficiency, reduce operating costs, help enterprises reasonably minimise tax burdens and ensure that the flow of funds is sufficient and reasonable.
Commentary and Analysis
This internship experience is valuable, and again the writer has found a way to link their slightly unrelated undergraduate focus to the real estate course well. They take the opportunity to illustrate their knowledge of corporate structures, finance, policy and planning, and this section is certainly more expressive and representative of who this person is.
Strong as these elements are, this still seems to lack a personal touch and is still descriptive of past events. It would be improved if the writer actively linked these experiences to elements of the course they are applying for or explained how these experiences are of value in that respect.
That sense of tangible value isn’t being explained, and the personal statement is weaker than it should be as a result.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Combining Experiences
My past academic and internship experiences have made me realise that future real estate enterprises should succeed by applying their core business models, such as real estate development and construction. However, they must also devote themselves to diversifying their business into retirement, cultural tourism and recreation sectors. Consequently, I plan to combine this MSc’s real estate knowledge outcomes with the management and economic knowledge I learned during my four years of undergraduate study. After graduation, I aim to use this course to develop numerous opportunities to work in real estate investment and development or the consulting industry. In doing so, I aim to combine an understanding of social context and policy trends to mitigate against risks and analyse the market for diverse clients, helping them invest, develop and contribute to urban planning and construction.
Commentary and Analysis:
The writer is wise to write about the MSc at this point, and to link their goals with the course, but it remains highly generic and slight. There’s no real sense yet of how specific aspects of the course are valuable or why this particular course is right for the applicant. This is critical for the reader. So far, this could be an application to any course at any university, which is a weakness.
The goals are intelligent, relevant and show a sound understanding of the industry, but they really don’t link with the course. The writer needs to clearly show how the course elements will form the bridge between their past experience and future goals.
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Personal Statement Example: Conclusion
My personal and professional goals align positively with the MSc in Real Estate at Slater University. Located in a world-renowned financial centre with a thriving real estate and tourism industry, Slater has the advantage of being situated in the real estate capital of Asia. In addition, inclusive and relevant courses such as Property Development and Investment, Global Real Estate Asset Management and Revitalisation of Historic Buildings are designed to give students real-world knowledge and experience. Indeed, providing students with numerous opportunities to interact and debate with industry leaders and combining AR and other technologies to assist in theoretical explanations deepens students’ understanding and application of knowledge. As a result, I fully expect this course to meet my academic needs and provide the high level of challenge I need to flourish in my chosen field.
Commentary and Analysis
This is a sound conclusion: we finally see a connection between the specifics of the writer’s goals and the course options. Arguably, this could have been introduced and expanded on far earlier, as the reader may already feel disconnected from this application.
The writer gives clear examples as to why this would be a favoured choice of university, showing a researched awareness of the faculty, which is excellent. However, there is no consideration at all of what value the applicant might be to the university, how they might contribute positively or what their interests might be in terms of research, progression or co-curricular study.
It’s also hard for the reader to gauge the writer’s emotional or practical suitability for postgraduate study, their actual academic and independent study skills and their capacity for research or collaboration, as none of these is considered.
In summary, a highly academic and skilfully developed personal statement showing dedication and suitability in academic terms, but lacking enough connection to the specifics of the course and the wider life of the writer.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.
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