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UK PERSONAL STATEMENT BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES (Ethiopia tutoring and other countries)


Dr Seus 1 / 12  
Jan 6, 2013   #1
I haven't mentioned the following and don't know if i should (if its relevant or it will help):
- i spent 2 weeks in ethiopia tutoring kinds and holding seminars on the importance of education in rural parts
- I've lived in 6 different countries

Thanks so much in advance:)

---

I am determined to make a meaningful difference on people's life. At first I wanted to be like my dad - broadly working for social justice, equality and peace, and then I wanted to be a lawyer specifically to speak up for the voiceless. However, after my internship at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, I was left with the undisputable aspiration to become a medical doctor. Now, my academic interests have focused on biomedical sciences.

During the summer of 2012, for my Extended Essay, I carried out research under the supervision of the Kenya Medical Research Institute. The topic of choice was the antimicrobial property of plant extracts, derived from traditional medicinal practices in Ethiopia. The results were interesting in that they provided me with an insight to the possibility of Ethiopian medicine. It was fascinating to find out that one of the plant extracts inhibited the growth of bacteria. [..]
Th25cc 2 / 90 26  
Jan 6, 2013   #2
My comments appear in bold.

I am determined to make a meaningful difference on people's life. At first I wanted to be like my dad - broadly working for social justice, equality and peace, and then I wanted to be a lawyer specifically to speak up for the voiceless. However, after my internship at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, I was left with the undisputable aspiration to become a medical doctor. Now, my academic interests have focused on biomedical sciences.

Comments on first paragraph - Making a difference is inherently meaningful. This personal statement is about your current vision, not your past visions [deleted second sentence]. Consider rephrasing the statement regarding your "indisputable aspiration". Aspiration is one of the most overused words when it comes to admissions essays.

During the summer of 2012, I researched under the supervision of the Kenya Medical Research Institute. The topic of choice was the antimicrobial property of plant extracts, derived from traditional medicinal practices in Ethiopia. The results were interesting in that they provided me with an insight to the possibility of Ethiopian medicine. It was fascinating to find out that one of the plant extracts inhibited the growth of bacteria.

This research showed me the potential of traditional medicine for scientific discoveries and instigated my desire to further explore the discipline of Biomedical Sciences. My long-term plan with the education I hope to receive is to give back to my community--to hold a vaccination drive in rural and urban parts of Ethiopia, and educate the people of diseases that are preventable and, depending on the results of my research, encourage or discourage traditional medicinal practices.

Notes - Your extended essay is not relevant to your medical research. If for some reason it is, make it evident to your reader. Researched is a stronger term than "carried out research". "Research" should be lowercase. The last two sentences are redundant. I get nothing out of the two sentences other than you thought the research was fascinating/interesting (same thing). Elaborate upon your research. Did you collaborate with local scientists, other students, etc.? Incorporate some sort of story that shows more than just a trip to Ethiopia/Kenya in which you learned about a new plant.

My dedication to community service as President of the school club (which club?) has taught me that the ability to make a positive difference on people's lives is the greatest gift of all. I want to explore the medical field in order to relieve others of pain.It saddens me to witness people in distress as seen firsthand from my work experience.

Notes - You have already notified the reader of your desire to help others.

I have held the position of Prefect for four consecutive years. Initially I was shocked when I was nominated prefect in year 10. I had always thought myself an introvert lacking the skills of a leader until one teacher described me as an individual who "silently breaks down social barriers of the status quo". I then realized my leadership potential-- that I can inspire my peers for change and to contribute towards the common good. This lesson will persevere me during my biomedical studies

Notes - Do you want the reader to know that you doubt your abilities until someone proves otherwise? Additionally, that paragraph simply tells of accomplishments. Your reader is looking for specific examples, not just statements (that anyone can make). To improve upon your idea, describe a time in which you inspired someone to change the world. As of now, your statement is very hard to believe, so a specific example is necessary.

Out of class, I have an unwavering love for football and have played as a midfielder for my high school and college team. This has taught me the importance of commitment and teamwork. Furthermore I have served as both a delegate for eight years and more recently an ambassador for the East African Model United Nations. This in particular was an important activity for me as it helped overcome my fear of public speech forcing me to go out of my comfort zone. From these activities I believe I can work well as part of a laboratory team, and any fears I may regarding coursework to research I know I can overcome.

Notes - How did you learn commitment and teamwork? While it is great that you can speak in public and go out of your comfort zone, how does that relate to a skill necessary to a laboratory team?

Last Christmas I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. From this I learnt that setting goals involves a great responsibility and creates a strong desire to fulfill them. More importantly, overcoming great hardship leads to immense satisfaction; the power to overcome an obstacle enables one to persevere through more difficult challenges and achieve greater triumphs. This lesson will guide me throughout college where I plan to be fearless in my choice of classes, apply for seemingly difficult internships, join student groups and engage in extramural activities outside of my comfort zone, all in the quest to be daring and expand my horizons.

Notes - I expect a story about climbing a mountain. Instead, I see several general of statements that everyone already knows. If you'd like to implement this idea within your essay, I would suggest that you delineate how your Mt. Kilimanjaro experience taught you something about life. I would eliminate the sentence regarding your intention to be fearless and go above and beyond, as all students are expected to do this at a college/university level.

Being an IB student has enabled me to be a well rounded student, I have pushed myself to take 4 higher levels and do well, and so I believe that can handle university life and the pressure of a demanding curriculum and course load. Taking both Biology and Chemistry at HL has been fascinating. I am especially eager for our next topic of Human Biochemistry and Drugs. Biology in particular was such a contrast from IGCSE's, the classes were engaging in the sense that we brought out real life situations and discussed them as controversial issues - a woman being cured of aids after a bone marrow transplant, the ethics involved in cloning humans and many more. I'm captivated by the body and its functions - to know the theory behind our bodily systems. This course will continue my enthrallment with biomedical sciences and enable me to go onto study postgraduate medicine and will help me make an enlightened decision of which field to specialize in.

Notes - While it's great that you love pushing yourself and studying biochemistry, simply stating your enjoyment of the topic is not good enough. Each student that applies to study a particular field is expected to enjoy it.

Having lived in the UK for primary school, and moved to several places since, the UK has been the ideal location for college through it all. Besides the outstanding education system and weather that somehow I found pleasant then, the UK is at the centre of biomedical research and medical advances.

Notes - The fact that you intend on studying at an institution in the UK affirms your belief that it is the best. This paragraph is redundant.

Overall Comments - I think you need to re-write your essay in order to better show the qualities and characteristics that you claim to possess. Right now, your essay simply tells. To me, you seem like a lucky individual blessed with many travel opportunities. The admissions officer needs to see you as an individual dedicated to bettering the (medical) world. They need to see specific examples that SHOW how you will be able to effectively utilize the education they provide as a stepping stone to a future career.

In order to restructure and recreate your essay, I would follow an outline similar to this:

Introduction - Share a specific story that affirms your desire to help others. Where did this desire arise from?

Example 1 - Show how you helped others (Specific example)

Example 2 - Same

Example 3 - Same

The reader will now know exactly why you have a desire to help others as well as an understanding of how you are capable of achieving that. Simply stating a desire is not enough. You must supply evidence.

Section - How you will use the institutions education as a stepping stone to your future life goals

State your specific goals in life - if you follow the idea of setting up some sort of vaccination center in Africa, what do you need to know in order to accomplish that?

For each piece of knowledge that you can implement in the future, give a brief discussion of what you can do at the institution in order to acquire this knowledge. Your statement here should be more than "I will take this class". It should be something like "I will take this class and collaborate with professors that are working on a task beneficial to my future. I will share my knowledge with others that are already working upon an idea that I plan to participate in in the future"

Conclusion - Restate how you are committed to help others as well as how the institution's education is the route to your helping of others.

Good luck! Be sure to SHOW, not TELL. If you revise your essay further, re-post it so we can comment upon it.
fsolano94 16 / 30  
Jan 6, 2013   #3
(1) When I was 9 years old I made an illustrated book called save the children, I aimed to sell them to raise money to send to my cousins in rural parts of Ethiopia.

to raise money for my cousins in rural parts of Ethiopia.

I think this is a well written essay but there are some aspects that can be extracted. Here is what I would cut:
(1)Having lived in 6 different countries, I have had the ability to contrast lifestyles and social situations, both within and between countries. ( Has living in six different countries influenced your goals? If you mention this maybe you should elaborate and cut out some of the latter stuff in the 1st para.)

(2) Instead I have become enthralled by the human body - the complexity of communication between cells and nerves, intrigued by the defense mechanisms against diseases and the beholder of the blueprint to human existence; the human body is a world in its self. (This kind of deviates from the voice of the first few sentences. Try paraphrasing it or making it into one sentence)

(3) I really like the fact that you wrote a book to help your cousins. Maybe thats what your first paragraph should be about instead of leaning towards your fascination with science.

(4) That I could experience this first hand was riveting - watching a grandfather endure the pain of chemotherapy, a physics professor writhe with discomfort during dialysis and a young girl fight for her life in the ICU ward. Yet as their doctors came in they all excluded a flickering of hope and the genuine smile embedded in the resilience of the human race. ( Is it necessary to mention that a patient was a physics professor?)

(5) - a woman being cured of aids after a bone marrow transplant, the ethics involved in cloning humans and many more

(6) I look forward to venturing on my undergraduate degree not because it's a stepping stone to reach my ambition to make a positive difference on people's lives with my education but also because I love to learn. ( THIS SENTENCE IS A LONG ONE.)

I look forward to pursuing a undergraduates degree because I love learning and will be able to make a positive difference in people's lives. ( This is just a suggestion)
Teiji 2 / 4 2  
Jan 8, 2013   #4
At a young age, I was baffled why some people were fortunate and others were not. It is my fervent wish to change this inequality. At the age of nine I made an illustrated book called Save the Children to raise money for my cousins in rural parts of Ethiopia. I managed to raise £230 selling my books for 10p and ever since I have been determined to make a positive difference on people's lives.

My fascination with science began at 10 when I received the game Operation. I was amazed at the body's anatomy and physiology filled with questions that I was bursting to ask. At adulthood some f the questions remained. I have become enthralled by the human body - the complexity of communication between cells and nerves, the defense mechanisms against diseases. I am empowered by what we know, yet mesmerized at how much we are yet to know; the human body is a world in itself.


Great essay I hope you get accepted. In future please do not write words like we are as we're it isn't formal and also when giving the name of a book or game you either put the title's font in italics/ bold or include quotations before and after.

All the best
jorgearmando18 8 / 32 9  
Jan 8, 2013   #5
I made an illustrated book called "Save the Children" to raise money for my cousins in rural parts of Ethiopia.

Ok here: At the age of nine I made an illustrated book called Save the Children to raise money for my cousins in rural parts of Ethiopia. I managed to raise £230 selling my books for 10p and ever since I have been determined to make a positive difference on people's lives. Ever since is correct, another option came to my mind, since then. choose the one that fits you the most, it just came and I decided to tell you.

Correct me if I'm wrong please, you are determined to make a positive difference on people's lives because you sold books? perhaps because of the content of Save the children? I think that you can build a stronger reason, or develop that one more to clarify the importance a little bit further.

Here: University will develop my fascination with biomedical sciences. If you are applying to a certain one, you can make your essay more powrful if you actually put the name, not just "University"

fascination with biomedical sciences and enable me to go onto study postgraduate medicine and help me make an informed decision about which field to specialize in.

The use of two "and" in a same sentence makes it week, work on that.

My long-term plan is to give back to my community--to hold a vaccination drive in Ethiopia, educate people about preventable diseases and, depending on the results of research, encourage or discourage traditional medicinal practices.

the two bold parts, it sounds as if one was external to the other when one belongs to the other, try using the word "by". My long-term plan is to give back to my community by holding, educating... and so on. OR try your own idea to fix it

Overall, it is fine, remember that between a lot of students you NEED to stand out, try to captivate the reader a little bit, and put something that will make him remmeber your essay.

The last thing that I could add is to work a little bit, just a little bit, in the organization, maybe I feel kind of lost because you talk of several topics, but your essay is going well.

Very best of luck, Jorge
Th25cc 2 / 90 26  
Jan 8, 2013   #6
I'm nearing adulthood,

Comma is necessary.

am empowered by what we know, yet mesmerized at how much we have yet to learn;

My revision provides clarity.

But I could see from the patient's genuine smiles that their doctors gave them hope and encouraged them to be resilient.

DELETE the comma.

it is close to Ethiopia

You sure? It's only thousands of miles away.

relentlessly pursue

should be "relentlessly pursue" - an adverb describes a verb.

Overall comments - I'm proud to say that this essay is MUCH better than the original one I saw a few days ago! You connected each of your stories to your life plan of helping others. I see that you take initiative. I see that you've had experiences that benefit you. The fact that you've had so much experience in Africa is amazing. If I was involved in a university, I would love to have you on my research team. You will bring a whole different perspective to a team. Most of all, you take action. I like to see people who take action rather than boasting about their academic achievements. Life is much more than the small educational world that we briefly live in. I see that you have perspective beyond that small world. While you could still expand upon your plan itself, I think you've solidified your essay to display a constructive plan as well as some of the tools you need to achieve it. The writing is brief but not too brief - it's like a message to the university, subtly commanding them to take you in.

I hope they see it the same way I do. If you get any feedback from your counselor after he or she sees it, I will be glad to address any concerns that are brought up.

Good luck! It's good to see you embracing the writing process.


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