Putting Pen to Paper (or Fingers to Keyboard)
Now that you know what you need to answer and have put thought into your answers, you have material to work with for this stage. Everyone has different strategies for writing. Some find it easier to plan an outline, while others find writing the entirety as an informal rough draft in one sitting. You should feel confident using whichever strategy you have found works for you. However, it is important to focus on organizing what you will say in a way that is logical and easy to follow.
Chronological order is a widely accepted strategy, as it walks the reader through your experiences and thoughts as you yourself have experienced them. It can truly help the reader understand your story. Like a story, your statement can be exciting, entertaining, and memorable to experience. This is your chance to stand out and make the readers feel like they want to know you better before even meeting you. It is your first impression in terms of personality!
For example, you may begin with a paragraph about how you became interested in audiology. You could include examples of activities you have done beyond required classes, talk about how this has influenced what you want to do in the future, and why you will be successful. You could end by explaining why you would like to attend this specific university.
General Do's and Don'ts
- Do focus on your college or recent career (don’t reference high school).
- Do describe how important experiences have been impactful (don’t re-write your resume in paragraph form; go deeper and draw connections).
- Do consider your audience (don’t write anything that is inaccurate or may be construed as disrespectful).
- Do use your own voice (don’t be too casual, use clichés, write what you think they want to hear, or use vocabulary that you wouldn’t use in a normal conversation).
- Do refer to the doctorate of audiology degree appropriately, using the acronym AuD
Example Do's and Don'ts
|“I learned leadership skills as a captain of my high school softball team that will help me be a successful audiologist.”||
While this leadership position may have fostered growth and teambuilding skills, it is likely many years in the past. Highlighting a more recent experience would be more valuable.
This reads similarly to a bullet point that may be found in a resume. For it to be worth including in the personal statement, more detail should be added describing the impact the experience has had and how it may relate to your future career.
|“Through working at my university’s library for the past three years, I have learned valuable organization and communication skills that will aid me in completing graduate school successfully. It will also help me to become a responsible clinician who can respectfully listen to patients’ needs and respond appropriately.”|
|“I want to be an audiologist so that I can fix people’s hearing. I think hearing aids are incredible technology that restore hearing.”||
Before including a statement about the scope of audiology (what audiologists do), it is wise to have an experienced audiologist or professor confirm its accuracy. In the cases above, while amplification technology and aural rehabilitation have come a long way, the statement makes false claims about the ability to restore hearing to “normal.”
"Ongoing advances in amplification technology are improving the tools that audiologists can use for aural rehabilitation. I am passionate about learning more about this process, so that I can help improve patients’ communication abilities, thereby improving their quality of life.”
|“The field of audiology as a whole does a poor job of treating a diverse patient base.”||
A statement like this may come across as disrespectful to those currently in the profession, regardless of accuracy with all circumstances considered (location, personal experience, etc.). If this is a motivating factor for the student, it can be rephrased in a positive light.
|“I believe that audiology must develop to become more inclusive for all patients. My double major in Spanish and Communication Disorders will allow me to better serve Spanish-speaking patients in areas where healthcare translators may not be accessible. I look forward to advocating for patients of diverse backgrounds and ensuring that each person I see as a clinician is treated respectfully and feels understood.”|