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Sep. 2nd, 2008 @ 10:54 am University of Washington grad school essay ... eek!
Current Mood: creative
OK! I just finished my essay questions for the University of Washington. *happy dance*

So, might anyone be willing to give input and "beta" it for me? Sorry it's not a very exciting read. And yes, it bears a remarkable resemblance to the essay I did for the University of Wisconsin -- but I fleshed it out a lot more. (They also had more questions.)

Behind a cut for my f-list's sake. =)

5. Personal Statement of Educational and Professional Goals
Your statement should communicate to the Admissions Committee your aspirations for your future in the library and information science professions. Among other things, it could discuss:
• What you hope to accomplish from this program
• Your reasons for choosing the Information School and our MLIS program
• Your tentative career goals for your professional career
• Your experience with information technology
• Your leadership experience and potential for leadership in the profession
We will use your personal statement to assess your writing ability. Your Personal Statement should be between 750-1000 words.

The Information School believes that diversity contributes to the intellectual and social enrichment of the School. We welcome applicants who have varied cultural experiences and educationally or economically diverse backgrounds. If you wish to have these factors included in the review of your application, please include in your statement a section concerning relevant factors such as personal history, family background, and influences on your intellectual development. This statement could include cultural and educational opportunities (or lack thereof), social and economic disadvantages that you may have had to overcome, and the ways in which these experiences affected you.

For most of my life, I have been known as "the reader" in the family. I have always been fascinated with books, and spent countless hours in the local library over the years. Throughout high school and college I preferred papers to tests because I could hone in on a topic of interest and read all possible books on the subject. From Shakespeare to sign language, cooking to classics, I devoured it all – and still do, to this day. It is this love of the written word that first spurred me to pursue a degree in Library and Information Science.

Graduate study is also appealing because of the intellectual challenge it puts forth. Continued learning has played a significant role in my life and I look forward to taking that to a new level. The graduate courses in the MLIS program are versatile and varied, and the subject matter sounds fascinating.

Finally, I chose to pursue an advanced degree (and with that, the MLIS program) for career development, as I plan to become a reference librarian. My hours in various library settings have familiarized me with the Dewey Decimal System and the Library of Congress cataloging and classification methods, as well as information retrieval techniques. I look forward to putting these skills to good use in my career.

I was first introduced to the University of Washington’s MLIS program through two friends who are pursuing the degree themselves. After browsing the website and comparing it to other schools and their respective programs, I settled on UW. In particular, I appreciate its reputation and integration with the greater Seattle area. I am a Seattle native myself, already familiar with county library systems and local academic libraries; I look forward to pursuing more varied internship opportunities and interacting with local businesses or libraries that would be more difficult in a distance learning capacity.

My tentative career goals are also close to home: I would like to pursue a position as a librarian within the Sno-Isle Library System, focusing on the organization of information and archiving. I would like to develop community programs to increase awareness of local, national, and world history among children and teens. These programs would also work alongside local schools, suggesting supplemental reading material and providing quarterly projects correlating with what students study over the course of the academic year.

Ever the student at heart myself, I was on the honor roll in high school, and earned an academic “Provost’s Scholar” award to Seattle Pacific University. This scholarship required a minimum GPA of 3.0 to maintain, and I ultimately graduated from SPU cum laude with a B.A. in European Studies and minor in History.

The courses I took toward my degree required extensive use of the library’s resources, through which I gained invaluable knowledge and essential research skills. I took courses in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint; I understand basic database and HTML concepts, having taken UW’s online BeneFIT – Fluency with Information Technology course.

As an SPU student, I participated in Hall Council activities in my dorm as the Secretary, and volunteered with the ACE Language Institute on campus to help foreign exchange students practice their English conversation skills. After graduation I helped form a college group ministry at my church, and later a post-college group, the latter of which I am still on the leadership core team today. These leadership experiences have proved invaluable to me as I grow intellectually, professionally, and personally, and I look forward to drawing upon many of the skills I learned in the future – whether through the simple act of listening to someone share their own story, or planning and organizing a department-wide charitable donation. Customer service is provided best by listening to the customer, understanding his or her need, and identifying how I can meet that need. Customers know no socio-economic, racial, or religious boundary; libraries are special in that they unite a community in providing free access to literature and, quite simply, information. To truly be a leader, I must be willing to serve by interacting with all types of people and helping them have the best library experience possible. This, ultimately, is my goal, more than anything else; more than a degree concentration or computer proficiency, both of which are merely means to the end.

As I pursue the Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, I anticipate drawing upon each of the skills listed here, a servant’s heart, and my continued love of learning. Alice Hoffman once said, “Books may well be the only true magic.” The next years spent in pursuit of the MLIS will be their own form of magic, and I look forward to experiencing it.

6. Supplemental Question
Please answer the following question in 100 words or less:
Imagine the admissions committee is deciding between you and another applicant for the final place in the 2009 cohort. Why should we admit you?

I have eight years of work experience, the last three of which have come since college graduation. My employment history is varied, with positions in healthcare, law, construction, education, finance, and retail. Each position has required me to work independently, multi-task, and pay attention to detail, as well as support a variety of people. In 2005 I graduated cum laude from Seattle Pacific University; each year, I received the Provost’s Scholar academic scholarship and made the Dean’s List. I took college courses on MS Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, and recently participated in the UW BeneFIT course.
About this Entry
dread pirate legolas
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Date:September 2nd, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Not bad...not bad...780 and 96 words, respectively...well within the word requirement...

Sorry, nerd, I know. But ever since I discovered the word count feature in Word in high school I've been obsessed.

Anyways. Very well written, and I didn't even see any typos. :)

And as a reward, I shall respond using my recently-uploaded Boba Fett icon. :)
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Date:September 2nd, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC)
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YAYBOBAFETT. :D Thank you. *happy dance*

And thanks for the feedback on the essays too!!
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Date:September 3rd, 2008 02:47 am (UTC)
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They look good to me. It feels like you answered the questions fully yet succinctly, which is what you want in an application essay. {Smile}

I didn't spot any typos or areas to improve. {SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin