Discussing Your Present in a Graduate Personal Statement

Do you have a job? Do you volunteer at a local non-profit or charity? What do you dream of when you go to sleep at night? Or, daydream about when your eyes are open and focused on the future? These are elements of your present which should be discussed in a graduate personal statement. This should be the easiest part to write about in a personal statement for graduate school because you know what you are doing right now and probably why.

Writing graduate personal statements for applications to masters programs and other advanced degree programs represents an important opportunity to review your life currently and plan where you hope to be after graduation. You should focus on your professional life, your volunteer work, interesting hobbies, exercise plans, book clubs, and other components of your daily life. If you are planning a trip, will it relate to your personal statement for graduate school? Will you be able to link your professional experience with your planned graduate degree? Do you have any stories about your present job that you could include in your graduate personal statement which would illustrate your desire to learn more?

These are all questions to consider when you begin to write your personal statement for graduate school. It is always easiest to write about “what you know.” You should find writing your graduate personal statement easier than you imagined it would be. Connecting your current life with your past experiences and planned future may be challenging at first thought. However, think of anecdotes from the present which illustrate your personality and your interest in your chosen field of study. When you start writing a graduate personal statement, you will probably have more information than you will need to respond to the university’s essay prompt and to fulfill the word count limit.

Graduate Personal Statements Share Important Information About You

When writing your personal statement for graduate schools, always include a definition of your goals, relate your current professional position to your future desired career, and define how skills learned at your current job will enhance your performance at your future position after graduate school.

Perhaps it would help to think of your life like an accounting balance sheet: the present is “a point in time.” If you focus on how you have arrived at this juncture, what you enjoy the most right now, and where you plan to go from here, it will help you describe your present in a personal graduate statement.

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