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Ingredients of a personal statement

Regardless of where you apply for graduate education, your application is guaranteed to ask for a statement as to why you in particular are a good fit for the program. These statements go by many names, commonly the Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose, and all entail crafting a careful concoction to describe to the admissions committee why you are an excellent candidate for the program. Here we’ll walk through some of the ingredients that the Through the Porthole writing team found in common between our own applications to the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, as well as feedback from Woods Hole Oceanographic faculty on what they personally find grabs their attention in an application.

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What are your potential advisors looking for in a personal statement?

Applying to graduate school is, among all else, selecting someone you'll find fulfillment in working with. Your advisor during grad school is a mentor and supervisor, and they are also looking for students with whom they'll work well. We surveyed some faculty in our program to ask what they, specifically, like to see in students' applications, including their personal essays, test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

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The newsletter crew reflect on their own application experiences

Hello everyone! In this article, the Though the Porthole Crew opens up and discusses our motivations for applying to graduate school. Each crew member provides a unique perspective on the motivating life experiences that helped us when writing our personal statements. Additional information on the paths one can take to graduate school can be found here.

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