My Guide on Personal Statements: A Last-Minute Flash of Flair

Posted in: Personal Statements, School of Management

A ceaseless civil war. That was my state of mind during November 2020. Being pulled between thousands of potential universities and courses was an increasingly difficult decision as the deadlines for final applications marched ever closer. Yet, the facts remained – I had to have written a dazzling personal statement illustrating my greatest strengths and achievements within a week. A herculean task. Luckily, my best work has always been produced under pressure.

When starting a personal statement, considering your target degree is essential. All life experiences and ongoing ambitions have led you towards this University course and it is crucial the link between each is established. A motif of your passion consistently enforced throughout the text always paints you in a favourable light for said selected course. I found this no different for the School of Management and my personal interest for Business. A multitude of my weaker entries had been discarded to the recycle bin prior to this realisation, indicating a degree of planning was a prerequisite for this statement. Initially, I brainstormed a variety of positive aspects of the business world I admire (for example its international utility) followed up with personal traits or aspirations which go hand in hand – sowing the ideal seeds of a budding business major. Utilising a variety of grammatical techniques to devise a beguiling opening paragraph, I had established a list of my connections with the business world accompanied by a descriptive façade.

Moving onto the main body, distinguishing yourself from the competition is critical. Delve into your past and vomit all your education, extracurricular activities, and work experience onto the page – conveying your uniqueness and individuality. Lying at this stage will drive you into a minefield later hence I advise staying truthful and maintaining a passion for the subject when describing your history, making links wherever possible. I consistently sliced between my sentences; adding business terminology or how I was motivated to make my decisions to reach the end goal of a position within the Bath School of Management. My intentions had aligned with this goal therefore it was necessary for history to be properly represented as this was truly my one and only shot at getting into Bath.

I structured my personal statement core into 3 sectors: education, activities/interests, and volunteering/work. Initially with education, I wrote backwards chronologically, explaining my A-levels individually and other experiences at the time of sixth form. I then followed up with a summarised view of my 5 years in secondary school – selecting any relevant events which could be associated with business. Following this, I laid a strong foundation of extracurricular activities and varied interests to give a broader insight into my character and personality. It is important to note universities judge from a human aspect as well as numbers from an exam. Then to cap off the bulk of my statement, I flourished my extended time in areas of volunteering and part-time jobs which ensured Bath were aware of my independence and capabilities prior to joining university. This is where I felt I conveyed the majority of my identity therefore making it the most important piece

Many would argue a concluding paragraph is essential for a personal statement. I found mine was sufficient with a simple sentence. An optimistic statement leaving the ball in the recipient’s court, embracing that your future is in their hands. At this point you should have included all you can, and if you as a candidate haven’t caught their eye, there is little a conclusion can do to change that. Upon proofreading should you feel doubtful on the charismatic nature of your piece, I would advise scrutinizing your CV and siphoning all the experience you can that solidify you as a stronger candidate. Additionally, my passion for business as well as my descriptive and captivating writing style didn’t falter throughout the statement – adhering back to the adage “consistency is key”.

Satisfied with the final copy, I distributed my statement to universities across the country as the final sands of the hourglass drained out – most notably the Bath School of Management. Days, weeks, and months passed as I fretted over the unknown path that lay ahead of me. Finally, results day came to pass in the form of judge, jury and executioner casting a monstrous shadow over me and the following 4 years. I was met with an unfortunate array of grades, narrowly missing the steep entry requirements of Bath. Disillusioned, I scanned my UCAS page before a miraculous line of text caught my eye. “Accepted into the University of Bath for Business with Professional Placements”. An ecstatic moment where against the odds I had achieved my goal. Consequently, since Results Day, I have maintained the hypothesis that a compelling personal statement holds as much weight as a bundle of admirable grades as I believe mine saved me from my insurance choice.

Henceforth, I hope anyone reading may find some of my tips useful, as they certainly helped me.

Posted in: Personal Statements, School of Management


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