Sample Rutgers Application Essays

Recommended Personal Statement: Rutgers University is a vibrant community of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. How would you benefit from and contribute to such an environment? Consider variables such as your talents, travels, leadership activities, volunteer services, and cultural experiences. You may draft your statement in another word processing program and then paste it below.

Playing tennis has been an important part of my life. When I first started playing, I was not very good. I wanted to become better, so I practiced whenever I could. Eventually after many long hours of hitting balls (many of which went into the net), I finally became a decent player. Tennis taught me that if I put hard work into anything I do, I will be successful. I have also made many friends playing tennis. At school, I sometimes had trouble making new friends, but playing tennis I was able to meet new people easily. My self esteem went up and I was able to socialize with more people at school.

I will be able to benefit from the diversity at Rutgers University. There will be many different people who have hobbies similar to mine, like tennis. Meeting new people will lead me to new friends and interests. It should be easy for me to feel comfortable and socialize with new people. I will also benefit from simply being in that vibrant community of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. I think it will give me new outlooks on life. I believe this will be important when I am finally out in the real world.

With all the different people attending, I hope that I can add some culture from my life to their lives. I listen to ska music, which is a type of music most people do not listen to. I also have some uncustomary hobbies, like hacky sac and the Pokemon card game. I hope to contribute my interests to the pallets of other students. I will also contribute to Rutgers University with my hardworking attitude. I will try to spread my outlook on life and help other students succeed. I have shown my current friends how hard work can lead to success. Now they try to take that view on their endeavors. I will do all that I can to add to the community at Rutgers University.

This academia was first published 18 Oct 2005 and last revised 13 Feb 2016.Adam Cap is a sometimes raconteur, rare dingus collector, and webmaster probably best known for SixPrizes (serving as “El Capitan”) and PkmnCards (read: fine art purveyor). He scrapbooks yonder every minute or three.

To assist you in writing your personal statement for graduate school applications, University Career Services has prepared this three-step worksheet and guidelines. 

3 Basic Steps:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Writing Your Personal Statement
  3. Personal Statement Critiques

STEP 1: Brainstorming

Actions: 

  • Devote some undisturbed time to reflecting on these key questions.
  • Also discuss them with friends or family members.
  • Jot down notes. In some cases write sentences.
  • Don't expect to have responses to every question or example.
  • Also think about the flip side of each question. For example, why are you really committed to the field of biology despite pressure from your parents to become a lawyer or to get a job? 
     

Your answers to the following questions will form the heart of your personal statement. 

  1. How did your pre-college education influence your decision to pursue graduate study in your field? 
    • Think about: High school courses, teachers, special programs, student organizations,and community or volunteer work.
  2. How has your Rutgers experience influenced your decision?  
    • Think about:  College courses, professors, academic interests, research, special programs, and student organizations. Think about the decision-making process you went through to choose your major.
  3. How has your work experience influenced your decision?
    • Think about: Internships, externships, part-time jobs, summer jobs, and volunteer or community work.
  4. What person or persons have had the most influence on your decision to pursue graduate study? In what ways?
    • Think about: Parents, relatives, teachers, professors, clergy, friends of the family, college friends, parents of friends, local merchants, supervisors, coaches, doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc. 
  5. What situation or situations have had the most influence on your decision? 
    • Think about: Family, academic, work or athletic situations. Think about happy, sad, traumatic, moving or memorable situations.
  6. What personally motivates you to pursue graduate study in this field?

Think about: Your personal skills, interests and values.

STEP 2: Writing Your Personal Statement 

Actions:

  • Read the guidelines listed on this page.
  • Incorporate your notes or responses to the above questions.
  • Begin writing your first draft.
     

Next Steps:

  1. Develop an outline of your statement prior to writing. It doesn't have to be a detailed outline. It can be three or four main points in the order you want to make them. 
  2. Accentuate your strengths and what makes you unique.
  3. Explain your weaknesses in a positive way. For example, refer to them not as weaknesses, but as areas for improvement or growth.
  4. Paint pictures and tell stories about what makes you special. In this way the admissions readers will remember you. The story can be happy or sad. The more feeling you can inject into your statement, the more you will stand out. 
  5. Find out the specific orientation and philosophy of the graduate program to which you are applying. Adapt and refine your statement to fit the program. This will make you stand out from other applicants who recycle the same personal statement with each application.

STEP 3: Personal Statement Critiques 
Schedule an appointment with a Career Services counselor to have your personal statement reviewed.

 

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