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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

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?

Experiential Learning

You can gain experiences that enhance your education in many ways.  Course credit internships, paid work experiences, volunteer work, even summer jobs near the bottom of the office heirarchy can provide valuable exposure to the type of work you are considering as a career.  Experiential learning can assist you in determining what you like and don't like about a career and creat networks that are invaluable for graduate school recommendations and job opportunities.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers has information on commonly referenced formal experiential opportunities:

Internships, Co-ops, Practicums, and Externships: What's the Difference?


The Importance of Experiential Learning

Graduate schools often look to relevant experience during college years to demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to your chosen field of advanced study. Experiences beyond classwork assist you in connecting theoretical academics with the real world. Letters of recommendation from internship mentors may be key to acceptance into a graduate program.


Why Experiential Learning?

Experiences beyond the classroom are often essential in securing a job in your field after graduation.  Research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) identifies employers place a high value on experiential learning as those seeking their first job. Recent Albion College graduates say the number one resource they used to find a job was networking through an internship or prior job.

Read more from NACE:

Employers Seek Experienced Workers: Internship Experience Counts

Experiential learning for job seeking

Experiences beyond the classroom are often essential in securing a job in your field after graduation.  Research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) identifies employers place a high value on experiential learning as those seeking their first job.  Recent Albion College graduates say the number one resource they used to find a job was networking through an internship or prior job.

To read more from NACE -

Employers Seek Experienced Workers: Internship Experience Counts

Experiential learning for graduate school

Graduate schools often look to relevant experience during college years to demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to your chosen field of advanced study. Experiences beyond classwork assist you in connecting theoretical academics with the real world. Letters of recommendation from internship mentors may be key to acceptance into a graduate program.

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