personal statement critique and review


hey guys im applying as a non tradition masters student for architecture, which means 3 years master program. My gpa is quite low.. really low actually so I need this to be good.

any advice would be appreciative! 

My desire to study architecture began at a fairly early age. At a young age I was raised by my uncle who was a licensed architect and worked in the city of New York. I developed my creative side by being around him majority of my childhood life. I wanted to do everything he did. I would sketch when he sketched and I would practice “site visits” at home with my cousins. When I turned 14, my parents began working along architects to design and build hospitals, shelters, schools and orphanages in low income areas of Pakistan. My uncle became a huge asset to this project as well, and because of this I had the opportunity to visit my motherland twice every year. I began to see the importance of architecture in a new light. I began to see the effect properly designed spaces played on a community.

In high school I always excelled in art. Any elective I would take always dealt with design. However, my parents always expected me to go into the field of STEM or Law. I chose law fairly quickly and began my college career. Mid semester of my junior year at UTA I had the strong urge to change my major to architecture. I knew it was what I wanted to do, but after talking to my advisor and seeing how long I would have to be in school for I went through with my Criminal Justice degree alongside freelancing by starting my own photography business. Before making a decision on which law school to attend, I talked to my parents about taking a year off to which they agreed to. Throughout that time, I interned at a law firm, took non credited law courses, but also stuck to my photography business. I eventually realized that law school wasn’t for me when I talked to the attorney whom I was interning for. I realized that I could not see myself practicing law five years down the road. After looking at my options as to what I could possibly due with my Criminal Justice degree and not seeing anything worthwhile, I decided to pursue my masters. I went onto the CAPPA website and when I saw that there was a path for students who do not have an undergraduate degree in architecture, I started my application immediately. I chose UTA for the sole reason that I knew I would be forced bring out the best of my creative abilities. I was told by my friends who graduated from the Architecture program at UTA how the program forces you to think outside the box and how instructors compel you to think about everything you create. I’ve been around Architecture students at UTA and they inspired me and I believe that UTA provides a sense of community that no other university can provide.

I believe being an architect is being a storyteller. As an architect one holds the power to share the story of their client or the community they are creating for. Because of this, I plan on combining my degree in criminal justice with my degree in architecture. As a criminal justice student the faculty at UTA shed light onto minorities, people in low socioeconomic areas and taught me humanity, empathy and compassion. I plan on combining these qualities with my creative abilities. My goal as an architect would be to create a strong social impact with my work. I want to follow the footsteps of my parents and share the stories of the ones who are unable to share their own story. My goal while studying architecture would not just be to create unique spaces but to understand the people who I am creating this space for and for what purpose this space is being made. I want my creations to tell a story alongside making a positive change. A degree in architecture, for me, is a perfect combination of learning but also using your creative abilities. I believe the main reason I could not find solace in my law career was because I would have had to abandoned my creative skills. Pursuing a degree in architecture would allow me to utilize my creative skills alongside getting a degree and learning the power of design and its benefits. I would be honored if the Graduate Committee of UT Arlington school of Architecture considered me for their master’s program in Architecture.

Feb 22, 18 12:54 am

I get that you're trying to explain away your poor grades by saying that you weren't following your passions, but my big takeaways were "I have an architect uncle" "I'm from Pakistan" and "I'm *passionate* about architecture".  Beyond that, I don't need a play by play about how you eventually finally jumped off the fence and decided to try becoming an architect.  Seriously, things like "I went on to the CAPPA website" should be removed entirely.

Finally, regarding your actual goals, professional inspiration, thoughts on the profession (second paragraph) too much of it seems bland.  As a storyteller, you didn't tell me any actual stories.  

I'd argue this needs to be scrapped, and your rewrite should focus on the personal experiences and some culminating event during your time rebuilding Pakistan.  If, in actuality you were just some teenager along for the ride during your parents' efforts, then perhaps focus on some aspect of your (self-admittedly) poor and stunted criminal justice career which highlighted your perceived need to change professions.  Again, we're looking for personal anecdotes here, tear jerkers that will convince someone to accept you who otherwise should be passing on your work based on academic standing.  Your portfolio should be amazing too, and hopefully highlight some work you did in Pakistan, etc.

Feb 22, 18 8:51 pm

I completely understand what you mean! thank you for the feedback, that was really helpful!


 Here is a good statement of purpose

 I have wanted to be a White House intern ever since November 8, 2016. That night, my younger sister looked up at me and said, “What are we going to do, Katniss?” and I got out my computer, made a user name and password, uploaded my high-school transcript, and turned to her and said, “Go see if Peeta has any thread and old bread sacks, because I’m going to need business-casual clothes. And a recording device.”

My name may be familiar to you. That’s because it sounds like the very common name Katherine. I’m from District 12, a poor area. I didn’t have a dad growing up, so I’m in need of a father figure with strong values, preferably one who takes frequent naps in the vicinity of executive orders awaiting signatures.

I have been interested in politics since I saw the television news graphic under the state of Florida that said “Leaning.” I am passionate about issues like education and the location of White House cameras.

You’ll notice from my transcript that I was captain of my archery team, which means I have leadership experience, and I would be able to deliver messages to Republican leaders on the Hill without leaving the White House lawn. I am also effective at data entry. Another unique skill, which I included on my C.V., is data deletion, with a special emphasis on the names and addresses of citizens of District 12 who are at risk of deportation.

I have a lot of practical skills, too. I can get coffee. I can put cups of coffee without lids on the top of slightly ajar doors. I have good upper-body strength. I can carry takeout boxes, arrange bagel spreads, and peel bananas. I can dispose of those peels in a pile on the floor.

I can make copies. I can fix the copy machine if, for instance, it starts printing exclusively the word “RESIST” in 345-point type. But I want to be honest in my application and admit that I don’t have a lot of experience with sound systems, so I would not be able to explain why “Lemonade” might play on repeat during White House briefings.

One of my strengths is managing internal Microsoft Word documents. You may not know this, but “great” and “gay” both start with “g,” and “Make America Gay Again” is a common, perfectly innocent typo that could appear on White House e-mail blasts, T-shirts, and caps. This is the kind of real-world knowledge I would bring to the internship.

I had to manage household tasks when I was growing up, and I wouldn’t mind doing the same as an intern. I can put “Caution: Wet Floor” signs yards away from a puddle. I can put “Caution: Wet Floor” signs on the desk of the climate-change denier Scott Pruitt. I can put two “Caution: Wet Floor” signs face down at the top of a set of stairs where White House employees might slip and slide down into a delegation from the Organization for Incarcerating Flag Burners.

I know that White House interns often face unusual challenges. For example, when every tweet from the President, regardless of content, starts to include “#StandwithStandingRock” and “#WaterIsLife.” Or when holes leading to mysterious tunnels appear in the White House lawn. Or when a very real-looking, vaguely familiar Susan B. Anthony apparition prevents senior staff from sleeping, with her pained moans and dramatic readings of the American Equal Rights Association newsletter The Revolution. I would stay calm in these situations, because I’m a person who gets things done, and I don’t believe in ghosts.

No task is too small. I can keep track of office recycling. I can push around the wheeled industrial trash can, collecting the trash from all the smaller bins. I can get a running start and let go of the industrial trash can so it knocks into Strategist Bannon, and he falls inside head first and rolls all the way into a copy room, which I would lock in order to reduce theft and waste of office supplies in my capacity as White House intern.

I hope to learn more about Vice-President-elect Pence’s homosexuality-conversion-therapy technique. Does it involve electroshock? Would Vice-President-elect Pence be able to arrange for a demonstration at an off-site location? I hope to get as much as I can out of this important opportunity.

I’m pleased that soon the manufacturing jobs will be coming back to District 12. I’m looking forward to finding out what, exactly, we will be making. In thanks, I will be bringing a special gift of District 12 squirrel meat to my interview, along with this mockingjay pin, which would look best on your lapel, close to your mouth as you are speaking.

Thank you for your consideration. ♦

Feb 22, 18 10:42 pm

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