Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Someone jam a pencil in my eye please

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a little blurb about how much I hate writing resumes. I still hate doing that, but I've found something worse, my "personal statement" for a graduate school application. Here is what I'm suppossed to be writing:

Write a brief (1,000-2,000 word) statement addressing the following two questions:

1. What are your reasons for undertaking graduate study at the University of Maryland? Indicate, if appropriate, any specific areas of research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field and allied fields, your plans for a professional career, or how you developed your interest in or knowledge of your chosen subject.

2. What life experiences you have had that you feel have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree at a large, diverse institution such as the University of Maryland? Among the items you might care to include would be your financial, community and family background, whether you are the first person in your family to pursue a higher education, or any other factors that you feel would contribute to the diversity of our academic community. You may also wish to give the graduate admissions committee some examples of your determination to pursue your goals, your initiative and ability to develop ideas, and /or your capacity for working through problems independently.

Good lord do I hate this crap. What are my reasons for undertaking graduate study? Can't I just say because I like money? Would that fly? I like money, and a graduate degree will make me more money. Do you think the admissions department would respect that answer. In reality though, my company pays for school, shouldn't anyone be admitted when garuanteed money is involved? What have they got to lose? Can I just not go through the motions of the stupid essay and write you a check?

And what's the deal with question 2? Isn't it basically just asking me to tell them that I'm a minority from a poor background who is the only person who has ever gone to college? Are they recruiting for pamphlets with that question?

Anyway, I'm 72 words into my 1,000-2,000 word statement and I'm stuck. I hate this.


mike said...

What happened to the story we worked on? The one about leaving the family farm and proving yourself to your doubting, old-fashioned father by becoming the best damn engineer in the Mid-Atlantic region. I thought that tale had a solid start.

Los said...

Ah yes, the grad school "resume." Funny, even the really bad online grad schools ask for this stuff ... like they'd even consider not letting you in if you presented a poor one.

Eric said...

You're right, I'm definitely going with the inspirational tale.