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'Princess Anne will be a great fit for me' - SOP for UMES Physical Therapy Program!


daniL 2 / 3 2  
Jul 27, 2016   #1
These are the instructions: Please write a brief statement concerning your reasons for undertaking graduate study. Indicate, if appropriate, any specific areas of research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field or related fields and outline your plans for your professional career. If there are any special financial or academic circumstances you wish to bring to the attention of the graduate admission committee, feel free to do so.

This is my response:

I chose to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree because I want to better the lives of others while incorporating my own interests. I am currently particularly interested in special needs patients, my interest was sparked from shadowing with Susan Edwards, a Physical Therapist that specializes in working with patients that have special needs. She works in in-home settings, out patient, and in a boarding school setting working with a large range of ages from newborns to adults. She also has a daughter, Jordan, with developmental disabilities that I have helped learn to ride horses over the past five years. Working with Jordan has been a very rewarding experience, from seeing her get on a horse for the first time to watching her show in her first jumping class. Although some concepts and ideas were harder for Jordan to grasp, she has overcome many obstacles along her journey and achieved many of her personal goals.

I have been showing horses all over the United States for eight years, achieving multiple World Champions and Reserve World Champions in western pleasure, trail, and horsemanship. Two years I was named among the top twenty riders in my age group in the American Paint Horse Association. My ultimate goal would be to incorporate my love of equine with Physical Therapy, using my talents and skills to help patients using hippotherapy and therapeutic riding.

Another opportunity that has increased my interest in both equine and physical therapy has been volunteering with Talisman Therapeutic Riding. Here many challenged riders come to get therapy on horseback, there is a wide variety of conditions from autistic to paraplegic riders. A physical therapist comes to Talisman to work with a few of the children, having them do different exercises and stretches while on the horses back to increase their strength and balance. These kids have provided even more inspiration behind my choice to pursue Physical Therapy, the joy that therapy brings to them is amazing to witness. Even a small improvement, such as being able to guide or stop the horse on their own, is such a satisfying achievement for them. I know that Physical therapy will bring the same sense of achievement but in different ways, and I would love to devote my life to helping others achieve a higher quality of life.

Balancing my academic schedule, my riding career, and working on my family's farm has been difficult, but each of these aspects are very important to me. Being raised on a farm and also being a first generation college student made transitioning to college a difficult challenge. My freshman year, I attended the University of Findlay in Ohio and was majoring in pre-physical therapy. Being so far away from home gave me such severe home sickness that I began showing symptoms of depression, I could not sleep well, my hair started falling out, I could not eat, and I lost a considerable amount of weight. My grades suffered from my emotional state at that time. I transferred to Salisbury University and have been very happy in this area, so I know Princess Anne will also be a great fit for me.

Please give me some constructive criticism!!! Thank you!!

ichanpants89 [Contributor] 16 / 777 309  
Jul 28, 2016   #2
Hi Danielle, welcome to EssayForum :)

I can see that your essay has already well-written indeed due to the minor flaws that you have in grammatical range and accuracy. Also, you have answered the prompt properly and appropriately. I notice that there are five essential questions that should be answered by you in your essay.

1. reasons for undertaking graduate study
2. mention specific areas of research interest
3. discuss past work in related field
4. outline your plan for professional career
5. any financial or academic circumstances


1. You have mentioned your reason clearly here. It is because you want to better the lives of others. Yet, I think you can explore it further here by adding 1 or 2 more sentences to emphasize your point.

2. It has also been clearly mentioned and also well-explained. No further comments for this part.

3. I reckon that this part was quite too much. You can reduce this part and add some sentences for the question number 1.

4. You need to outline more by adding 1 or 2 sentences rather than only say your ultimate goal in a single sentence.

5. No additional suggestions for this part. It has already well-written and well-explained.

Overall, some shifts would be beneficial towards your essay development and I suggest you to read again and mind the feedback that I have given to you. However, if you think that my feedback is not quite helpful, you can just ignore it. Perhaps, other members would give you better feedback than mine. Good luck in revising this essay :)
OP daniL 2 / 3 2  
Jul 28, 2016   #3
Thank you! I appreciate your comments and I will take it all into consideration while revising!
Hiddengrace 6 / 119 68  
Jul 28, 2016   #4
Hi Dani and welcome To EF! I think You've got a great start to your essay here. Your writing is great; it comes across as professional yet not overly formal, which makes it easy to understand and connect to your story. However, I think your opening sentence is a bit weak. You need to have something that grabs the reader and pulls them into your life, and that doesn't really do it for me. It's also not very specific to you and it's super generic- switch out your degree/ program and that could apply to a really wide variety of people applying for graduate school.

I also think that you should beef up your first paragraph with more details about Jordan. This girl was a large part of your life and inspiration to study PT, so I think you should talk more about her. Not her, necessarily, but the experience. What kinds of things did you learn? How did that experience shape your goals? What would you take from that experience that would be useful in school, your career, or life? How did you help her to grasp those harder obstacles?

I'm not sure you need to discuss showing horses. I know it's relevant because it's about horses, but it's not relevant to your goals or information necessary for this essay. I'd say maybe cut it down to one or two sentences if you feel it's important to say. Another option might be to add more information to that paragraph, since it's kind of an odd and small paragraph. I would talk more about how you plan to transfer those experiences into your PT career goals.

For the therapeutic riding, I'm going to say the same thing about that experience. More, more, more! What did you learn there that you can bring with you to school/ your career? What aspects of PT did you learn that would make you a successful student? I get a teeny tiny hint of determination from your essay, and I think you should include some stories or situations that show (not tell) this about you. Also, you might consider reorganizing the flow of your paper. You go from experience 1, to your past, to experience 2. I think those experiences should be right next to each other to optimize your flow.

If you're going to include your last paragraph, I think you should include plans for success this time. What have you learned or what will you do differently that means you will succeed this time? From reading your essay, it sounds like you are saying you went to college nearby Princess Anne, so you know you'll do well because they are in similar locations. I'm not sure that's beneficial to say; in fact, it just seems like a weird comparison to make. Maybe explaining that more and saying you know you won't experience the depressive symptoms because you'l be close to home, etc... would be better. Also, I know you were homesick and that's what caused your depressive symptoms, but I'm not sure if mentioning the homesickness would hurt you or not. It might be better to just say you suffered from depression and not include a reason. Also, I would make sure to say that even though you suffered this depression, you were determined to finish your degree, do well, succeed, and all that.

Those are all my comments about the content of your essay. I think you've got a good start and can make your essay even better with some edits.

Take care!
justivy03 - / 2,367 607  
Jul 29, 2016   #5
Hi Danielle, as I read through your essay, I must say that you are able to create a straight forward and well structured essay. To become an advocate of health and its sector is rather a noble choice to take up. It will not only eat your time but will definitely create that frame or bubble that will keep you from social activities, however, the rewards are definitely worthy of all your sacrifice.

I also love the fact that you are able to incorporate your love for horses to your vocation of becoming a physical therapist, I have not read such a good combination if ideas or rather a good combination if leisure and profession, as what they say, to work with passion is not like working at all, pretty much, if you love your work you will never feel any work in it.

Furthermore, your writing style run smoothly throughout the essay, each and every paragraph has a link from the previous one and this adds a continuity of information to the overall purpose of the essay.

I hope my insights are helpful and even more so useful to your revision, should you have any questions, do send us a message here on EF.


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