What is a Personal Statement?
Writing a personal statement for graduate school applications can feel overwhelming. The purpose of your personal statement is to introduce yourself, explain why you are a good match for the program, market yourself, and entice the admissions committee to positively consider your application. Begin by researching each graduate school you are applying to and learning everything you can about their programs, faculty interests, and requirements for applications.
The Career and Internship Center is available to discuss the process with you and assist you as you develop your cover letter – simply contact us.
In addition to Career Development staff, don’t forget the other many resources available to you:
- Albion faculty – they were successful in their applications
- Albion alumni and friends who have gone on to graduate school – they have insight into what worked for them and/or what a specific school is looking for
- Internet sites created by graduate students at various schools – search on the Internet for blogs
- The writing center – available to assist you in the writing process
Senior Year: Implementation & Transition
At long last - you have achieved your last year at Albion College. It is more critical than ever that you use your resources well, stay organized, and keep your eye on the ball.
- Meet with a Career and Internship Center staff member to design a job search strategy or finalize your graduate/professional school search timeline and plans.
- Attend Career and Internship Center workshops targeted for seniors: Developing a Job Searching Plan, Resume Writing, Successful Interviewing, Getting an Apartment, Day One at Work as well as a Senior Open House and more.
- Ask faculty and employers to provide references for you.
- Revise and update your resume and draft a cover letter. For graduate school, complete your personal statement.
- Mail your applications to graduate schools.
- Prepare for graduate school or job interviews with a mock interview in the Career and Internship Center.
- Complete an internship or career-related work experience if you haven’t already.
- Formulate an alternate “Plan B” in case you need to make last minute career adjustments.
- Assist your student organization transition from your leadership to the upcoming leaders in the group.
- Begin to research companies/organizations and the career opportunities they offer.
- Participate in career fairs and build your network of contacts in your field of interest.
Most importantly - use all the expertise and resources Albion College has to offer as you transition to career or graduate school following graduation!
The importance of practice
Success in anything comes with practice. To develop a confident interview style, you are advised to practice in a "risk-free" atmosphere. You can practice in front of a mirror or in front of a friend, but serious practice will reap benefits before an interview.
The Career and Internship Center offers several resources to help you gain interviewing experience and to help you develop strategies for relating your past experiences to employers. The Career Resource Library has several books and resources on interviewing. Access to potential questions, in conjunction with your background research, will allow you to have meaningful practice sessions.
Consider scheduling an appointment in the Career and Internship Center for a mock interview. Students who have done this tell us it is very beneficial to their comfort level and confidence. Don't forget the faculty at Albion. Mock interviews with experts in the field is also extremely beneficial.
As you consider how to respond to potential interview questions, your objective should be to have responses which are thoughtful, persuasive, and illustrated by example, as well as to successfully articulate how you will contribute to the organization and what you seek from the job.
Don't feel you have to do this on your own… contact us!
NEXT: How to Ace an Interview - How can I set myself apart from other interviewing?
Four-Year Career Planning
Albion graduates know how to make an impact.
The vision of the Career and Internship Center is to assist students as you plan for your next steps after college. The Career and Internship Center staff teaches students how to take the academic skills they gain from their coursework and link them to a co-curricular educational plan that culminates into a smooth transition from college to professional work and/or graduate study. The following is a sample list of activities a student may want to pursue in order to formulate and achieve their personal career goals.
Even though you graduate, it isn't too late to utilize the resources of the Office of Career Planning. As an alumnus, you are welcome to contact us at any time for assistance!