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UCAS: Personal Statements Dr Julia Moore Anaesthetist, parent, UCAS survivor!

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Presentation on theme: "UCAS: Personal Statements Dr Julia Moore Anaesthetist, parent, UCAS survivor!"— Presentation transcript:

1 UCAS: Personal Statements Dr Julia Moore Anaesthetist, parent, UCAS survivor!

2 The personal statement Understand its purpose Collect data and plan your statement Polished and effective product

3 Purpose Thousands of applicants See me both academic and rounded Why me why are you ideally suited to accountancy? why will you make more of a place than anyone else? Introduce interview topics

4 Marketing yourself What is the university looking for? Show you can provide what they need Add value Skills, attitude, knowledge, experience Achievements - not just responsibilities

5 Planning Start early finish by Sept for mid Oct, by Oct for the rest lots of revision and polishing Blank sheet – 3 sections Academic basis of your subject Experience and understanding (work exp) Skills and achievements (extracurricular)

6 Academic basis Prospectuses and course literature Insights from work experience Read around the subject critically – find a topic that interests you, and include it Demonstrate academic abilities eg prizes

7 Experience and understanding Work experience Voluntary work 3 x 3 table What you did (where) What you did or learned Why is it important?

8 Skills and achievements Draw up a CV – sports, hobbies, music, drama, responsibilities, academic Include difficult things that did not go perfectly So what ? For all areas, work through what it meant to you what you have learned from it how this affects your suitability for the course

9 Analyse what you offer … Separate piece of paper or mind map for each area: sport, work experience, school roles etc. List items in each area first – eg sport: hockey team, swimming, hill walking. Music: singing, instrument, band Detail skills, attitudes and achievements for each cluster eg teamwork, independence, reliability Insight into your key skills and attitudes – ask others; own research

10 So what? Junior school prefect (1999); school 2 nd XI hockey (2001 – 05). Took part in House Drama competitions, annual Science Fairs, 6 th form Young Enterprise (treasurer), Duke of Edinburgh (Silver). Grade VI saxophone (2003) & play bass guitar in student rock band. Saturday job to pay for driving lessons leaves little extracurricular time, but I have undertaken one weeks work experience with an accountancy firm. What skills and attitudes might these demonstrate?

11 Experience / achievements Young Enterprise (Treasurer) Action words (past tense): I analysed, coordinated, directed, devised, researched, re-designed, expanded, increased, wrote, secured, negotiated

12 A few more action words Achieved Arranged Designed Ensured Exceeded Improved Launched Modernised Organised Resolved Stimulated Supervised Taught Wrote

13 Now start drafting… UCAS advice: Why you have chosen the course Why you are interested in the subject Job, work experience, placement, particularly if relevant Key skills gained eg through GNVQs Other achievements eg D of E Particular interests in current studies Future plans Subjects you are studying which dont have an exam Sponsorship or placements undertaken or applied for Plans for a year out Social, sports and leisure interests

14 Dos and donts This means focus on tangible things, hard facts, examples and information It does not mean write 11 tiny paragraphs! Structure 3 main paragraphs introduction and conclusion Decide what to leave out

15 What goes in - what stays out? Know your market What to put in Subject/universitys priorities are the most important What to leave out Irrelevant to the course Negative Lies or good intentions

16 Cutting and editing Organise into three main paragraphs Logical flow Cut out unnecessary words Read aloud, for flow and punctuation A fresh eye Revise, revise, revise

17 Wordy and woolly Multiple opportunities for my workgroup to interface with students and staff were generated by the Young Enterprise programme although unfortunately the complexity of project we devised meant we were not successful and we were unable to capitalise on our vision.

18 Active sentences, action words Multiple opportunities for my workgroup to interface with students and staff were generated by the Young Enterprise programme although unfortunately the complexity of project we devised meant we were not successful and we were unable to capitalise on our vision. Young Enterprise: as elected Treasurer, I analysed market research, developed the business plan, wrote the spreadsheet and delivered accurate and timely accounts. I reviewed financial progress regularly and initiated a mid-term project review which ensured we broke even.

19 Achievements? I am working towards my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and we are planning to go hiking in the Peak District. This has taught me a lot of teamwork skills.

20 So what? I am working towards my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and we are planning to go hiking in the Peak District. This has taught me a lot of teamwork skills. everyones doing D of E, no proof of achievement, no evidence of teamwork skills

21 So what? I am working towards my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and we are planning to go hiking in the Peak District. This has taught me a lot of teamwork skills. During my Duke of Edinburgh Silver trip in the Vale of Glamorgan my team ran short of provisions. As a result I have assumed responsibility for food and water for our forthcoming Gold Award trip to the Peak District. I have developed a spreadsheet which details our precise requirements and I am confident that my organisation will enable the team to perform at its peak during the challenge.

22 So what? During my Duke of Edinburgh Silver trip in the Vale of Glamorgan my team ran short of provisions. As a result I have assumed responsibility for food and water for our forthcoming Gold Award trip to the Peak District. I have developed a spreadsheet which details our precise requirements and I am confident that my organisation will enable the team to perform at its peak during the challenge. not afraid of responsibility, organised, team player

23 Introduction and conclusion Write them last Avoid My passion for English literature … Never plagiarise Conclusion reflects introduction Final fanfare to remind reader you have demonstrated necessary skills and attributes

24 Crisp & easy to read Logical flow: I am (key features) …. Accountancy needs (academic and skills) …. My skills, attitudes and experience Prioritise Teaser for them to ask you about Closing summary focused on the future

25 Perfect presentation Crisp and well organised Corect spelling and grammer Watch out for spell chequers Neat layout, plain font, line between paragraphs Easy to read – short, active sentences Use bullets or précis to avoid I

26 Summary A lot more to offer than you may think Start now Revise, condense, sleep on it, get help Know your PS thoroughly before interview Practice discussing your PS

27 Reading The perfect CV – Max Eggert Random House Business Books 2003 ISBN (action words, presentation) Write it right – John Peck & Martin Coyle Palgrave Study Guides 2005 ISBN (presentation, structure, grammar, précis)


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