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Key No 1: It’s NOT a Business Sale.

Now is the time to be laying the foundations your Personal Statement (PS)

A Personal Statement is NOT a job application!

The person reading your PS is not a business manager in a suit, but an academic who does research and is scholarly. University academics’ life work is about their interest in a specialist research area and sharing these ideas with others. Therefore, words like ‘passionate’ and ‘love’ and gush won’t impress.

You need to convince them with evidence that you are intellectually engaged in the subject. As you start writing your PS, visualise the reader as a university academic.

Key No 2 Work out what you really want to study.

You need to work out your strengths and take advice from people you respect and know you. 

I could often spot a potential lawyer a mile off, but in some cases, they were determined to be vets or medics, even though they found A Level Chemistry very difficult. 

You need to ask yourself what really interests you? In most cases (excluding vocational degrees), it is important that you study something that you can get interested in and can cope with. Have a look at the different modules on a University course-are you excited? Many employers are looking for skills, such as critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership developed by your time at University, rather than a specific applied degree. 

My son avoided essay subjects at school, thinking he was a scientist. In the end he studied Politics & International Relations, because he realised he enjoyed reading about and discussing these subjects. He went onto do a Masters in International Political Economy and hasn’t looked back.  


Key No 3: Produce the evidence!

Build evidence of scholarly engagement in a couple of areas. There is time NOW and during the summer holidays. What does ‘evidence’ look like? Demonstrate you have researched something yourself. Focused reading and research, relevant work experience demonstrating you analysed and made connections between things. Now is a good time to dive in.

COVID 19 for example:

History: Previous plagues (Spanish Flu, Black Death etc) what were the social, cultural and economic impacts? Compare with Covid19.

Politics: How does the nature of a political regime impact on their response to Covid19? Compare USA (with States’ rights and freedoms) with China, South Korea and the UK.

Literature: The poetry and literature of plagues. The themes of chance, infection, death and survival.

Psychology and Sociology: The impact of Lockdown on mental health. The concept of bubble clusters.

Medicine, Chemistry, Biology: Explore recent research on infection, testing, vacines and the nature of viruses.

Mathematics: Evaluate the modelling of the spread of the disease by the teams at Imperial etc.

Economics: What is the short-term and long-term impact on the different economies? Recovery: what are the key factors affecting this?

So find something to research and brainstorm with your mentor at St Peter’s Tutors.