Personal Statements

Personal statements, unlike those undergraduate application essays you submitted long ago, can be frighteningly free-form. Where even to begin?

I’ve coached medical school applicants, as well as those headed to law schools, graduate nursing programs, business schools, schools of fine art, graduate-level music programs, graduate programs in journalism, in communications, in marketing, in public relations, and schools of economics. My first advice? Take a deep breath, and consider this: I know nothing about you, yet, just like readers who will be reviewing your application—but I’ll learn enough from my structured brainstorming process that we’ll be able to zero right in on:

  • What, specifically, makes you unique and memorable
  • What you’re good at
  • How you became interested in this field and what you eventually hope to contribute to it
  • Why you’re a perfect fit for this program, and vice versa

From there, we’ll tease out:

  • Your best and most illuminating story—the one only you can tell
  • Your best angle into that story
  • How best to hook your reader’s attention starting from your very first sentence
  • A sturdy structure
  • Drama and energy
  • The “voice” that is both captivating and authentic to you
  • A conclusion that feels earned, satisfying, and hard for readers to forget


We can generally accomplish all this in an exchange of e-mails, phone or video calls.

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