View Full Version : how to strategically play out the personal statement?

11-18-2010, 12:36 AM
I am thinking about gathering some thoughts on how to strategically state "your interest" (for those with multiple interests or for those not so sure) and "people who you want to work with" for different schools you are applying to maximize the chances of getting in.

What I am thinking right now is: If some of my recommenders have some connections, will it be a good idea to say I am interested in working with my recommender's coauthors, or someone who had a phd from my school and is also working in a field of my interest? Will this further increase the creditial of my letters. Will this make them the ones evaluating my profile?

11-18-2010, 01:32 AM
I think the best strategic play is to honestly state your research interests. That's conducive to getting into a place that's a good personal fit.

I assume you want to spend the next ~5 years obsessing over something you love rather than obsessing over a piece of paper?

11-18-2010, 04:12 AM
Will it be a good idea to say I am interested in working with my recommender's coauthors?

I did this quite explicitly in my SOP at one school which I was admitted to w/ funding. I talked about 2 people who were co-authors with my LOR writer, but I really knew what their research was all about and it was something that genuinely interested me. Hence, I was able to demonstrate clearly why these 2 professors would be tremendous assets for my research and didn't just offer an exaggerated and generic claim that their research fascinates me. So my point is, don't leverage your LOR writer's co-author connections unless you truly are interested in very specific parts of their research. If you say their research appeals to you when it actually doesn't, even if you're admitted, the joke is on you.

11-18-2010, 04:45 AM
True. But for me, I want to work on the stuff my advisor is working on, and I think his coauthors will be working on something similar, and thus are naturally good choices for me. So my question is not about saying something I am not interested in, but whether it will be better to state that he or she will be my top choice to work with rather than someone else working on similar topics in that department.