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Author Topic: Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment  (Read 1441 times)

shanrocks

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Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment
« on: August 03, 2004, 07:36:02 PM »
Immediately following my graduation from George Mason University, I began working for United Airlines.  During my five years with the company, I traveled to England, Scotland, Wales, Holland, Belgium, Portugal, Thailand and Australia, as well as all over the United States.

I was thinking about using this as the foundation around which my personal statement would be based.  In particular, I would focus on how my experiences led to me to value cultural diversity, communication skills and the universal truth that all people deserve to be treated equal, regardless of their status or counrty of origin.  In addition, as an airline employee, I was forced to ride stand-by on all flights which sometimes required a lot of clever maneuvering around the globe to get where I needed to be.  This was also true of my communications with United customers.  I often found myself in the precarious position of trying to reroute stranded passengers and get them home.

I feel the skills I acquired during my travels make me somewhat unique.  I have been out of college for eight years and currently work as a Trademark Paralegal.  I have to find a way to implement my current job into the picture as well, however, I haven't figured out how to do it.

Any thoughts/suggestions on this topic??  I would appreciate any positive/negative comments.

daynee

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Re: Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2004, 07:57:10 PM »
Trademark Law is part of Intellectual Property Law.  IP is tightly connected with International Law.  You have international work experience; I assume at least some of your travels were work related?

That could be a way to tie things together, especially if you are interested in trademark/IP/international law as an attorney.  I dunno, just a thought...
If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.  ~ Voltaire, Candide

shortbus

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Re: Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2004, 08:36:49 PM »
Why do you have to include your current job? If you focus on the unusual human aspects of your work as an airline employee it could make an interesting PS, what you don't want is to write a narrative form of your resume.

jacy85

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Re: Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2004, 08:57:51 AM »
I think the United job is a good idea, and stands out from most people's WE. And I agree that you don't have to include your current job.  If you write a draft and it's really strong without it, then if it ain't broke, dont' fix it.

If you did want to include it, I think daynee had a good point.  You can tie in the international aspects of IP that you've seen in your current job, and discuss near the end of your PS how your travels have helped you there and how you anticipate your expereinces will continue to benefit you in law school and as an attorney

shanrocks

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Re: Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2004, 11:00:43 AM »
In the area of law in which I currently work, there is a trend toward harmonizing international laws.  In the area of Trademark Law, the Madrid Protocol was recently passed.  This streamlines the process by which a trademark owner can obtain registrations for the mark in several countries at once, instead of applying for an application in each individual country.

I would argue that, although I understand the need to streamline this process, I believe there is a danger in this trend to blend the laws of the world into one uniform system. In my opinion, the concern is that it could eventually alleviate the cultural diversity that makes this world, and the experience of travel, a unique and interesting experience.

Does that make sense?

daynee

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Re: Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2004, 11:20:37 AM »
Forgive my bluntness, but while that is a compelling subject and argument, what does that have to do with your personal statement?  Are you planning on arguing this legal theory as your personal statement, or are you using this specific situation as a factor compelling you to go to law school?
If we do not find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.  ~ Voltaire, Candide

shortbus

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Re: Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2004, 11:29:51 AM »
Don't use the PS to write an op-ed piece about international legal policy.


I would argue that, although I understand the need to streamline this process, I believe there is a danger in this trend to blend the laws of the world into one uniform system. In my opinion, the concern is that it could eventually alleviate the cultural diversity that makes this world, and the experience of travel, a unique and interesting experience.

casino

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Re: Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2004, 11:38:14 AM »
i agree, everything that i have read suggests that lengthy discourse on legal policy, or even what type of law you might want to practice, is not the best idea in a ps.

you have a very unique experience working with united.  i think that you can turn it into an excellent statement.  i wrote about my work experience too, and tried to go from a specific point to a more general "what i learned" from the experience bit.  might work for you too.

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jacy85

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Re: Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2004, 11:39:02 AM »
I don't think your statement makes much sense at all, but that's partially because I disagree with it.  I don't see how streamlining the patent process is going to destroy all cultural diversity.  In fact, I think the need to create uniform IP laws is an absolute necessity with the continued expansion of international business.

Debate aside, I think it would be a bad idea to put this in your statement, and to just keep it to the loose link of international travel and the rise of international IP issues.  Unless you want your entire focus to be on this point, in which case ignore my last sentence.  Just be careful with your tone and how you present the argument, especially in making the jump from streamlining patent laws and applications to the elimination (not alleviation) of diversity, as some people, like myself, will find themselves rejecting the statement as overly simplified and unsubstantiated, leaving the essay with a negative impression.

(I would hope your idea is more well-rounded than what you wrote, and most of what's above is unnecessary, but I'm just going on the blub you posted)

shanrocks

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Re: Focusing on Travel Experiences in Personal Statment
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2004, 11:49:18 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions.  The discussion of the Madrid Protocol would be a very minimal portion of my personal statement.  I would only use it as an example of how my travels and cultural experiences are relevant to the area of law in which I would like to work.

The main focus of the essay would be the impression each country left on me and the lessons I learned (none of which are related to law) from the people I met along the way.

The blurb I wrote is certainly not a substantive legal argument and I have no intention of making my personal statement one either.  My recommendations will be proof of my ability to analyze law, which I do everyday.  Despite the impressions some people have on this board, some Paralegals do work as attorney's without the Law degree.  I have written two appellate briefs for the partner for which I work completely on my own (i.e. he did not tell me what to write) as well as letters to client's everyday.  He simply signs his name on the final version.

On a side note, I wasn't discussing patent applications.  I work in Trademark law, which has nothing to do with patents.