This is part of our Postbac Admissions Series where we explore the ins and outs of applying to postbaccalaureate programs, including tips for finding the best programs, writing the best essays, finding the best recommenders, and more. Click here to get the complete guide.
One of the most common mistakes that students make in writing personal statements is that they write about other people or events and not about themselves. Often it can be challenging to write about ourselves – especially in an application – in which we know that we will be judged or evaluated as an applicant in competition with others. Below I have listed a few steps that can help you excel in this challenging rhetorical position.
• Recognize that you are a unique individual and that there is no one else in the world like you. You’re an original!
• Congratulate yourself for arriving at this point in your life – you are on your way to medical school.
• Decide what unique qualities or talents you have that you would like a selection committee to know about you.
• Be sure to introduce yourself in the first paragraph of your essay. Be present!
• Include examples of the ways you have actively helped or interacted with others to improve their health outcomes. Show, don’t tell!
• Highlight your talents and skills throughout the essay.
• Check to see that, after reading the essay, you are pleased with how well the essay represents you and reveals your individuality and values.
It can be intimidating to write about yourself. By using these tips, you can ensure that you represent yourself well throughout your essay and that you remain front and center. If your aunt or grandma wants to apply to medical school, let them write their own essay! Take your time and have others provide feedback as you write your essay.
Even the strongest writers struggle when faced with writing about themselves. But take heart! Tell your story as only you can tell it.
Check out our Postbac Application Package to learn more about working with an admissions expert to create a winning postbac application.
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Want Alicia to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!