Tag Archives: personal statement

2007 Vet Motivation: MU

27 Sep

Sorry I have to do this to you again.  I’m real, real busy right now.  I’ll try to post something incredible early neek week–we’ll see.


I feel most rewarded when I am involved the field of veterinary medicine. At the early age of eleven, I volunteered 633 hours at my local veterinary hospital. This experience provided me with knowledge of the career, and cemented my aspirations of being a veterinarian.

Despite what some may consider negative aspects of veterinary medicine, I love the profession and aim to take an active role in it as long as I am able to work. I learned the work can be physically grueling, mentally exhausting, and emotionally draining, but I am prepared to compensate with the athleticism, analytical competence, and rationality that I have seen my veterinary mentors display. I would be personally unfulfilled if I did not spend time in a veterinary setting.

One day I hope to own a mixed animal practice in my hometown, where I can raise the level of animal care while keeping prices reasonable. I plan to provide high availability to my clients and see a variety of species. Though it has taken me several attempts to get into veterinary school, I have not become discouraged. I want more than ever to become a doctor of small animal medicine with an emphasis on exotics.

An important trait I possess is people skills, which will help me work with clients, employees, and collogues as a practicing veterinarian. My compassion and patience are evident through my community service work with children, the disabled, and elderly people, as well as my experience teaching clogging classes to all ages in the community. My service-oriented jobs in reception and food services prove that I have the communication skills necessary to speak to clients and educate them on animal health issues.

My academic success, multiple leadership experiences, and good citizenship enabled me to acquire scholarship funding for much of my college education. These traits will serve me well in the field of veterinary medicine when I need to remember a vast amount of information, run a business, and communicate with people. I also have the strength and endurance required for the physical aspects of veterinary medicine. My involvement and achievements in volleyball, cheerleading, and track also shows that I display the responsibility, dedication, and drive required both athletes and veterinarians.

I was instrumental in implementing service learning for school credit in my county. I accomplished this by creating and presenting a power point of my volunteer time at Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital to the school board. The presentation was well received and the school board adopted the service learning program. Another veterinary-related presentation that shows my enthusiasm for the career is my presentation of my summer internship at Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital. I articulated what I learned to freshmen in the animal science department. It is opportunities like these that show the passion I feel for the career of veterinary medicine.


Maybe You Feel Cheated

5 Aug

Out of real posts.  This summer I’ve often resorted to using old drafts, posting things off the wider internet, updating on continuing goals, or doing bulleted lists.  I guess all this application writing just has me less enthused about writing for FUN.  Anyway, there’s a few things I wanted to say with no real common thread otherwise being my life.  Here’s a list:

-My jobs keep falling through.  First, was the unfortunate interview offer–from a vet hospital.  Which I in no way want right now.  Then, there was unorganized group interview for fast food where they looked at my application AFTERWARD.  And I was not invited back for the 2nd interview.  Then, I had a phone interview with a recreation company stocking warehouse.  But by late summer I had to talk about class hours, and my schedule didn’t allow me to get an interview.  Then, I got an out-of-the-blue voicemail from a job I had applied to the 1st week of June inviting me to an interview.  I called back and left a message Saturday–a few hours after the initial invite, but I have yet to hear anything.  So I guess they found someone else?

-And just while I was writing this my phone rang–which it rarely does, so I knew it was this janitorial job.  I picked up and a phone moments into the call I made the mistake of saying, “I wasn’t sure whether to call again or wait. . .  So I opted to wait.”  And I could tell my guy bristled a little and said he had a long weekend.  Oops.  So it’s already not going well.  Also, he said the interview is TOMORROW.  Which I absolutely hate.  I mean, that is so rude–c’mon give me a little notice!  Also, I’m not sure I want to work with someone either disorganized or willing to jerk me around, whatever the reason for a late returned phone call and extremely short notice. . .  So I almost said I couldn’t make it.  Partially because they require a flexible schedule and didn’t specify number of hours so I’m not sure it would even work with my school schedule.  But I’m a big-believer that you should get as much interview practice as possible (hence the vet interview of a job I didn’t want that I went on earlier this summer), so I said I could make it.  But I already don’t feel good about it.

-In other news, the head of my department did a nice edit for my personal statement–in less than 5 hours of receiving it!  I Walking about-July 2012 039had asked her specifically about potential research questions, and told her just to ignore the red font indicating questions or editing.  Really, I only provided the whole statement to give her context, but she quickly went above and beyond.  And she wrote very nice, specific comments about the paper and how she could tell I’d worked hard on it.  It has been one of the most pleasant interactions I’ve had with professors at my school thus far.  Maybe this year will be MY year!

-My morning runs are forcing me to employ math.  Ratios and geometry no less and it’s taxing my brain, and my Mom’s.  They over-water on the track forcing me to time my runs in outer lanes so it requires some math to translate my time into an exact mile.  Then, the footpath I like is 2 odd shapes so there are more calculations I have to do to get my distance and speed.

-My Dad has all kinds of audiology scenarios at play:  noise-induced hearing loss, history of untreated swimmer’s ear and swimmers ear 1otitis media, tinnitus, dizziness, and a current infection.

-That phone call totally derailed me.  Now I have to go to an interview with someone who was already annoyed with me.  And the job might not be logistically possible.  And because of the short notice, I didn’t juggle my work schedule, so I have to wake up at 4AM to clean, prior to interviewing.  Not cool.

So I guess that’s it for now–you were gypped again.  Sorry.



2006 Vet Motivation: MU [another blast from my past]

29 Jul

Please describe the traits that you feel will make you a good veterinarian.
Over 3000 hours in veterinary hospitals, has taught me the requirements of the profession. The work can be dirty and difficult mentally, physically, and emotionally, but I am prepared to demonstrate characteristics such as an analytical competence, athleticism, and rationality I have seen in my veterinary mentors. Teaching dance classes to all ages and working with children in my community, helped me realize dealing with the public is rewarding and at times challenging. My experience with my own pets and while helping at veterinary hospitals helped me understand that not all animals can be cured, but a veterinarian is committed to the welfare of each client. I posses the quality of compassion which enables me to euthanize a failing animal. I also recognize that for veterinarians the reward is not always in the pay but the satisfaction of working with animals.

Despite what some may consider the negative aspects of veterinary medicine, I love the profession and aspire to take an active role in it as long as I am able to work. I would be personally unfulfilled if I did not spend time in a veterinary setting. My favorite time during my volunteer stint was during the fast-paced summers, when we had to have the dedication and endurance to work extended hours in order to keep up.

I played sports throughout school and enjoy the physical aspect of veterinary medicine. I respect the combination of intellect and strength required of veterinarians and I believe I am capable of displaying both traits. The challenge of catering to many different species is exciting and I plan on ultimately owning a private practice in a rural area which caters to both small animals and exotics. My goal is to meet and exceed the expectations of the veterinarians who helped me get this far in reaching my dream of becoming a veterinarian.

Explain why you selected veterinary medicine as a career choice.

I feel most rewarded when I am involved in the field of veterinary medicine. Helping animals, educating owners, raising the level of animal care in my home town, and improving the field of veterinary medicine by providing the highest standards of medicine are very fulfilling prospects. I entered the field at an early age, volunteering 633 hours at the veterinary hospital, which cemented my aspiration of being a veterinarian. Going to the clinic often, provided me with knowledge of the career and a sense of joy. I find great satisfaction in being at vet hospitals and got my first paid position as kennel help when I was sixteen. I have been honing my skills at veterinary hospitals at most levels and still love the work, animals, and the atmosphere.

I pursued as much animal experience as possible, often taking on extra projects. I was instrumental in implementing service learning for school credit in my county. I accomplished this by creating and presenting a power point of my time at Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital to the school board. The presentation was well received and a member of the school board made a contribution toward my college fund. In college, I did an internship at Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital and presented what I learned to freshmen in the animal science department. I like teaching my peers what small animal practice entails and feel my passion for the career shines through and motivates others to pursue the field.

One of my most unique experiences during my paid interim was assisting with various surgeries. This unique opportunity allowed me to get a feeling for what it is like to complete a case from beginning to end. It was at this time that I knew I would not waver until I became a doctor of small animal veterinary medicine with an emphasis on exotics.

How to Chose a Focus or Angle for the Personal Statement

17 Jul

I am sort of on hold with my personal statement as I wait for editing.  You know, making changes while a version is out for review might make things more difficult.  I’d have to piece together my new changes with their input, and this wastes valuable time.  While I wait, I’m not sitting here doing nothing!  Aside from focusing on other projects (CV, neuroanatomy reading, outlining, figures, and tables, flash cards and running) I’m thinking about how to make my personal statement reflect ME.  It not only has to tell a great story of inspiration, career knowledge, and future research/career direction, but has to convey traits about my personality that I want the admissions committee to know.  Mainly–WHY the topics within my personal statement are important to me and how they shape me as a future professional.  In short, this hiatus is the thinking portion of the show. . .  These are great tips for my statement when I get this last version back:



Begin to focus your thoughts by examining your actual experiences. Use the information you’ve uncovered through brainstorming to address the following topics.

• An achievement that made me feel terrific…

• Something I have struggled to overcome or change about myself or my life…

• An event or experience that taught me something special…

• A “real drag” of an experience that I had to get past…

• Someone’s act of strength or courage that affected me…

• A family experience that influenced me in some powerful way…

• A lesson, class project, activity or job that had an impact on my academic or career goals…

• A time I blew it, failed, made bad choices, and how I got past it…

• Some memorable event or advice involving an older person…

• An event that helps to define me, in terms of my background…


Choose one or two of your favorite respones from the list above (or combine a couple that evoked similar responses). Check to make sure your written description addresses the following three questions. If it doesn’t, add details so that the experience you describe will be vivid to a reader who doesn’t know you.

1. What were the key moments and details of the event?

2. What did I learn from this event?

3. What aspect of this event stays with me most?


Decide on a theme for your essay. Taking the experience you wrote about in Step Two, answer the following questions:

•What does this event reveal about me?

•What makes it special or significant?

•How does this event make me special or make me stand out?

• What truth about me is revealed through this event?

-Here are some tips to consider when choosing an experience to evaluate for a focus:

  • It should be unique. It does not have to be life shattering, but you should be able to write about it with conviction, enthusiasm and authority.
  • It should be an experience you feel some passion for. You must be able to support it as a “turning point” in your life. Ask yourself, “How did I change as a result of this experience?” For example, did it give you a new perspective or understanding, did it give you a new direction in life, or help you come to an important realization?
  • Don’t limit yourself to thinking of experiences that can translate well into the moral of ” . . . and that’s why I want to be a doctor.” Choose something that you feel is truly representative of you, and something that you feel you can use to transition to other relevant aspects of your life. Otherwise, your statement may come off sounding staged or strained.
  • It should be sustainable throughout your statement. In other words it has to have enough depth and flexibility to carry you through your statement while avoiding repetition. The details of the event should afford you opportunity to talk about related experiences that you want the people who are considering your for an interview to know.
  • Of course, you don’t want to use up too much of your limited space just setting a scene. Make sure your frame serves multiple purposes:
    • It introduces the occasion of the focus
    • It introduces you
    • It is creative enough to spark interest in the rest of your statement

    By framing the statement with an anecdote, you provide your audience with immediate access to some aspect of your past, your character, and your personality. Also, you give them incentive to read on to find our what happens next.

Self-Inventory for the Personal Statement

9 Jul

Think long and hard about what you want to say.  Ask yourself some questions to get things started (many of which you considered in making the decision to go to graduate school):

  • Why do I want to go to graduate school?

–I want to have a better life and my B.S. isn’t doing it for me.

  • Where/when did this ambition originate? What/who were the greatest influencers in my decision to pursue this goal?

–I research different career options and audiology was not as competitive as vet med, there was a school where I prevet 041currently live and where I want to move, and the pay/stress was much better.  Secondly, there was a client at the vet hospital where I work that said how she had more work then she knew what to do with, and I liked the security of getting into school, getting a job, and having enough work–especially in this economy.

  • What do I want to be able to do at the end of this program that I can’t do with a BA/BS?

–Find a job (w/a decent starting wage that I could live on) work in a non-stressful environment that is better regulated b/c it deals with people rather than animals.

  • What experience do I have in this field?

–Very little.  Though I belong to 2 professional organizations and they update me on current events and details about the career.  I also helped with community hearing screening through my school.  And I observed a hearing aid dispenser (NOT popular w/the AuD community) to get an idea of what what their job entails.

  • What have I done as an undergraduate student to prepare myself for this graduate program?

loudness vs intensity–Aside from the afore-mentioned hearing screenings and observation, I have worked incredibly heard to maintain a 4.0 GPA.  I also took pre-vet courses such as physics and chemistry that help with my background in audiology.

  • How will I contribute to the collective experience of the admitted class?  How am I different from every other student who will apply for this program?

–My frequent moving has given me a regionally wide perspective and diversity (Indian & politics).

–I have knowledge of other professions (vet med) that gives me a different view.

–I may me older and more mature then many of my 20-something classmates.

–I am gay.

  • Why is this the right program for me?

–Colorado is the state I am passionate about, despite having lived in many other places.  I believe it fits my politics, Welcom to CO sunflowercators to my athleticism with all the nature and recreation, and isn’t too large or too small (or too expensive).

–The program, specifically, will be a great fit because I feel I have an aptitude for audiology that I never had with my pre-vet studies.  I like the repetitiveness of it, the concrete measurements, and the technical aspects of the profession.  I also like that you’re still helping people, but in a more indirect, scheduled manner.

–>this is an area I need to know more about

  • What do I know about this particular school, their programs and their faculty?

–I gather from the faculty research bios I found that this school is focused on noise-induced hearing loss, which I am interested in as a music lover, and family member of 2 close relatives (at least) who I believe got their hearing loss this way.

–From their Tumbler page, I gather the school environment is friendly and has more outreach and activities then my current school, which I like.  I want a friendly, college environment (and accessible professors!), but not a huge, huge university.

 –>this is an area I need to know more about!

-How you explain achievements that are not in the other parts of your application
-How and why those achievements or events shaped your interests, goals, etc.


-Why are you a strong applicant?

–The improvement in my grades from undergrad to current show my commitment to the program, and prove I am a place in my life to make school the number 1 priority.

retirement from vet med 013–I am also a strong applicant, because I have a hard-science background and have worked in a hospital environment through my 14 years vet assistant experience.
o What makes you special?

–I’m older and wiser then I was in my 20s

–I need to look into a typical AuD student profile and see how I’m diverse
o What is impressive about your experiences or life?

–I was born on an Indian reservation, grew up in Northern Nevada, went to undergrad in Missouri, and have lived in a big WA city, and a conservative WA city, before coming to CO.  All of those locations have afforded me different perspectives and views.

–I switched career trajectories after undergrad, which gives me knowledge of BOTH professional avenues.
o What influenced your goals?

Honestly, I liked my chances of getting into school, the career growth and security, the low stress, the very sequential way in which the job is performed, and the pay was reasonable.

o Did you experience any personal or family problems that shaped your character?

–My repeated denial from veterinary school made me take a look inward and I had to reevaluate my goals.64417_1626982438227_1346535529_1679999_4120864_n
o How did you become interested in this field?

–I researched what career would best fit with strengths I already had, the location, and job security.  Audiology made the most sense.
o How have you already learned about this field that prepares you for the next step?

–After taking 3 audiology-focused courses (the only ones my school offers) I realized I liked the material, it made sense, I could get into it and see the rationale behind it, and I have barely scratched the surface of the profession.
o What are your future goals?

–I am keeping an open-mind in regards to the avenue I would like to take in the career.  I don’t know enough about each sub-field to make any educated decisions.  The things I know for sure are that I don’t want to do research or take the phD pathway, and I don’t think I would like to do the intraoperative monitoring (too stressful).  I would love to observe and take more classes on educational, dispensing, rehab, and vestibular audiology to see which options draws me in the most.
o What skills/characteristics of yours will contribute to your success in the

Maico MA-25 audm–I am detail-oriented and like the methodical approach to hearing batteries.

–I like the system of checks and balances that is audiometry.

–find more things!

  • What your career plans include

–I am not 100% certain, but I think I might like educational audiology.  If there are available jobs–it seems like a lot of SLPs are working with schools instead.

–I have an interest in aural rehab to help people like my dad who I feel didn’t get enough of that aspect, which is why he was a non-compliant wearer for so long.  He might have really benefitted from rehab.

–Dispensing would be OK as long as sales weren’t the main emphasis.

–As for location, I want to practice in Colorado–either Boulder, Denver, or an area within reasonable driving distance would be acceptable.

  • Where do you hope to have an impact

–Coming from a rural area, I have a soft spot for providing health care where it has not been widely available.  That said, I want stability and the ability to stay in business.

–I would be happy working with children to seniors, but probably not infants, because in vet medicine I really didn’t like the pediatric model where owners are constantly looking over your shoulder.

  • When did your interest in medicine develop

I wanted to be a veterinarian most of my life, but it never worked out for me.  In searching for back up options, I came Walking about-July 2012 039across audiology and enrolled at Riverpoint.  I thought it might work becaus audiologists are in demand so I knew the profession would provide me with stability.  The choice also made sense because my father, an important influence in my life, has hearing loss.  At first, I wasn’t certain if I would be happy working with people rather than animals as I had dreamed for so long.  My first class showed me that it wasn’t necessarily animals I enjoyed it was taking a stand to help those without voices.  Communication sciences allowed me to do just that.  As I was able to take the hearing-centric coursework, my interest grew even more.  I especially like the predictable manner in which a hearing test battery is carried out.

  • How have you demonstrated your interest and commitment to a career in medicine

Aside from taking rigorous hard-science coursework while many partied in school, I have maintained employment in veterinary hospitals for 14 years.  Currently, I apply myself to my studies, tutor others in my program, and participate in conducting every hearing screening opportunity that I am able.

  • What makes you a unique candidate
  • What makes you unique, or at least different from, any other applicant?
  • What attracts you to your chosen career? What do you expect to get out of it?

The stability, career outlook, and livable wages are factors for certain.  I am also drawn to the search and confirmation of hearing pathologies, and like the many avenues the career offers across the lifespan.  I can see myself successfully helping people gain functional communication to enhance their quality of life.

  • When did you initially become interested in this career? How has this interest developed? When did you become certain that this is what you wanted to do? What solidified your decision?

It was relatively recent that I thought about audiology as a viable career option.  The profession isn’t as visible as more cliche dream-careers and I never gave it much thought.  After my veterinary run fizzled, I looked into it and thought I could make that work.  Through my classes, reading of Student Academy of Audiology scientific journal articles, and my own experience performing hearing screenings, I have gained an excitement, and dare I say aptitude, for the work itself.

  • What are your intellectual influences? What writers, books, professors, concepts in college have shaped you?

–I enjoyed learning about the hearing mechanism, pathologies, audiometric techniques, and available technologies in my three audiology-focused undergraduate courses.  I would say I have been most influenced by my aural rehab class, because it opened my eyes to how well patients can adjust, given not only the proper tests and amplification, but the more human aspects–counseling, support, and rehabilitation.  I could easily make the connection to my Dad’s poor/negative experience, non-compliance, and general dissatisfaction and the resulting communication breakdowns and lack of good aural rehab.  The course motivated me to want to help patients as people, and not just test hearing and fit an aid.

–I only watch a documentary called “Sound and Fury” that opened my eyes to feelings about cochlear implants.  I saw perspectives of the deaf community, significant others, the hearing community, and medical professionals.  The movie impacted me, because as a member of the hearing community I have not been exposed to Deaf lifestyles.

  • How has your undergraduate academic experience prepared you for graduate/professional school?

–As a student, it taught me how to study, prioritize, and set boundaries.  I learned basics of science and entry-level communication theories and practices.

–As a person, college showed me how to be more independent, unapologetic for my aspirations, and opened my eyes to different regions, politics, and ways of life.

  • What are two or three of the academic accomplishments which have most prepared you?

Auroa–I think working full time at a veterinary hospital and taking pre-veterinary course work, which entailed many labs taught me how to manage time and organize my life.  I worked under pressure constantly and learned how to manage a full schedule.

  • What research have you conducted? What did you learn from it?

–I have not conducted my own research, but I have assisted other with projects.  At MU, I helped collect temperature data and care for dairy cattle, than hogs.  I learned_____, and it applies to audiology_____

–I didn’t organize the grant money, animal subjects, or staff, but as a Senior in Animal Science I studied the impact of ergovaline on rodent populations in the environmental physiology lab I worked in.  I found the research didn’t take that long, but maintaining the animal welfare and doing paperwork was the majority of the work.  The other thing I learned was that meticulous records and procedures are necessary.  Keeping orderly, meticulous records will help me in the audiology profession to administer the correct test, track patient hearing over time, and manage the amplification payment processes.

–Typing language samples of toddlers at Riverpoint gave me insight into parent-child interactions, and exposure to different child-rearing tactics that will give me more tolerance toward patients from all walks of life.

  • What non-academic experiences contributed to your choice of school and/or career? (work, volunteer, family)

–my father’s hearing loss

–getting into a more regulated profession than vet med

–hearing screenings

  • Do you have specific career plans? How does graduate or professional school pertain to them?

–I know I was to be in the audiology field.  And I know I don’t want to go the phD route or surgical monitoring specialty.  Because I have only had 3 audiology courses, I don’t feel like I could make an informed career choice beyond that.  Before I shut any doors, I want to learn theory, observe practice, and experience more options in the audiology field.  I do want to help people enhance their communication, but I’m not sure which population I would be most suited to work with.  UNC’s AuD program is perfect to help me decide the right route for me.  The fact we will get to see both medical and educational audiologists prior to the externship will give me the necessary exposure to a wider variety of audiological specialties than other schools.

  • How much more education are you interested in?

–My finances would like me to be finished and practicing in the profession right now.  I can do the next four years, especially since 2 of those are clinical years, but I wouldn’t want to complete 8 more and go for a phD or speciality license.

  • What’s the most important thing the admissions committee should know about you?

–I am ready to work hard and when I put my mind to something I will get it done to the best of my abilities.  I have quad in snowarranged my life around this aspiration and as such I am ready to make a large impact.

  • Think of a professor in your field that you’ve had already and that you like and respect. If this person were reading your application essay, what would most impress him or her?
  1. Think of your characteristics or actions that make you distinctive. How would your friends describe what’s important about you to someone who doesn’t know you? Try writing a story about an incident from your life that illustrates one of these characteristics.
  2. Think of one of the most significant learning experiences in your life — an Aha! moment — when you finally understood something for the first time. Write about this experience and relate it to your development and your aspirations.
  3. What do you care about most deeply?
  4. What matters to you?

Ethics matter to me a great deal and I try to reflect inwardly and align my intentions with my actions.  I try to take the high road and do what I know is important and right.  Using my whole-heart along with common sense is important to me, and I’m striving to put those things to action all the time–even when it’s difficult–especially when it’s difficult.

  1. How have you spent your time in the past few years toward working to further this passion or dream?

flashcards 002In the past few years, I have gone back to school, as an alternative student, not the 20-something norm.  This required me to rearrange my priorities in such a way that I could focus my efforts on my studies and furthering my experience in a new field–which was never easy.  I had to gain independence, stop seeking the approval of others, and follow my own path.  This was disappointing to some people, but ultimately, it was imperative that I change direction and pursue what I feel is the most important thing–achieving good grades in order to succeed in school.

  1. What are your plans for fulfilling your dreams?

I plan on moving to a new state in order to matriculate to an audiology program, put finances on hold to pursue education, and invest my whole heart in learning the most I can about speech & hearing sciences so I can help create a humanistic and thorough audiology practice.

  1. Try writing about your current and future efforts, perhaps illustrating #1 or #2.

-What errors or regrets have taught you something important about yourself?

I am hesitant to look upon lessons I’ve learned as mistakes and regrets.  I did the best I could at the time, using what I knew, and what I had at those times.  Somethimes I wished things had turned out differently, but I didn’t have the appropriate tools at my disposal all the time to make that happen.  Therefore, I look at this question as what lessons I have learned–not what errors did I overcome.  I learned that I need the GPA, even over experience or work obligations.  I may not agree with it or think it’s best, but admissions into higher education programs comes down to quantitative walking at workcomparisons.  I have scaled back my work dramatically from the first time around.  I have also resisted joining a lot of clubs or extracurricular activities, even though I am a natural joiner, leader, and team-player.
• When have you been so immersed in what you were doing, that time seemed to evaporate while you were actively absorbed?
• What ideas, books, theories or movements have made a profound impact on you – be honest.
• To what extent do your current commitments reflect your most strongly-held values?
• Where or how do you seem to waste the most time?

I like organizing things

Spending time with my family
Under what conditions do you do your best, most creative work?

I do best when given clear expectations, concrete examples, plenty of time, low pressure, and positive feedback.
• To what extent are you a typical product of your generation and/or culture? How might you deviate from the norm?

• Where/when did this ambition originate? What/who were the greatest influencers in my decision to pursue this goal?
• What do I want to be able to do at the end of this program that I can’t do with a BA/BS?
• What experience do I have in this field?
• What have I done as an undergraduate student to prepare myself for this graduate program?
• How will I contribute to the collective experience of the admitted class? How am I different from other students
applying to this program?
Why is this the right program for me?

welcome 2Honestly, the cost of living and proximity to housing, school, and work is the best thing about it.  As for the program, I like the emphasis on clear speech because it relates closely to rehab considerations and working to improve speech perception–one of my biggest goals.  I also like the focus on speech & hearing science as physics and technology underlies the whole field and what allows us to provide the best patient care.  The more technology improves, the better the outcomes, and maybe one day the prices will drop because the best amplification techniques are so common they saturate the market.
• What do I know about this particular school, their programs and their faculty?

1. Personal History
Are you heading for graduate school straight from undergraduate? If so, what has happened during your undergraduate years to make you certain that you already know what you want to do with your life?

No, as usual I’ve taken the most winding path toward my goals.  I finished my undergrad degree in 2007, then moved a couple times to new states.  I switched from pre-vet tospeech & hearing sciences.  I liked the prospect of helping the underdog along with the greater regulation for humans.
Are you a nontraditional student, five, ten years past undergraduate school? If so, an interesting part of your story will be what in your adult life has led you to return to school.

My future had always been uncertain and I was always chasing schools.  I moved at least 3 different times chasing college admissions and searching for opportunities.  I wanted more stability, and career I could count on, reasonable expectations that I could find a job, work a long time, and make enough money to pay my student loans and live off of.  I found audiology as I looked for something to fulfill those criteria.

2. Personal Life
 Were there any unusual or difficult circumstances in your childhood? In your undergraduate years?
 Do you have family relatives, especially in your chosen field?
 Was there an adult in your life who was especially influential?

3. Academic Life
 Which ideas, fields of research, or problems especially intrigue you?
 Among the professors you have studied with and in reading you have done, who has influenced you the most? Why?

4. Work Life
 Includes jobs, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, and so on.
 “Real-world” work experience is major influence behind a nontraditional student’s decision to go on to graduate school – “moment of truth” in this type situation can make a compelling statement.
 Traditional students should demonstrate familiarity with and competence in the field they want to enter through their work or activities because an admissions committee might ask “What does she know about this field at the age of 21?”

-Watch out for repetitiveness. Did you already address certain experiences or achievements in another part of your application? Don’t repeat information that has already been provided. For example, there is no need to state your specific
GPA or course titles in your essay since they’re on your transcript.

-What do you think is the overall theme?

o Where is the essay most and least persuasive?
o Do the paragraphs have a logical transition?
o Do the paragraphs consistently move from issue to issue?
o Did I use appropriate adjectives in descriptions?
o Were there grammar or spelling mistakes?
o What could make my essay stronger?

  • What is special, unique, distinctive, or impressive about you or your life story? What details of your life (personal or family problems/ history, any genuinely notable accomplishments, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants?
  • When did you originally become interested in this field and what have you since learned about it—and about yourself—that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? This does not mean that you should write, “Why I want to be a lawyer.” Instead, tell what insights you have gained from certain experiences that reinforce your decision to go to law school
  • How have you learned about this field—through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, internships, or conversations with people already in the field.
  • If work experiences have consumed significant periods of time during your college years, what have you learned (leadership or managerial skills, for example), and how has the work contributed to your personal growth?
  • What are your career goals?

-I absolutely want to focus on the human side of audiology across the span of ages, ensuring my patents’ needs are being met, that they understand the underlying issues and how to work the technology as well as have a realistic expectation for improvement, and really focus on remaining with that patient for the long term, guiding them through any difficulties and managing changes.

  • Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain (great grades and mediocre LSAT scores, for example, or a distinct improvement in you GRA if it was only average in the beginning?
  • Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (e.g., economic, familial, physical) in your life?
  • What personal characteristic (integrity, compassion, persistence, for example) do you possess that would enhance your prospects for success in the field or profession? Is there a way to demonstrate or document that you have these characteristics?
  • What skills (leadership, communicative, analytical, for example) do you possess?
  • Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school—and more successful and effective in the profession or field—than other applicants?
  • What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you?

-It is also important to mention field experiences, like internships, research programs, and extracurricular activities.

-Don’t simply tell me that you volunteered at the soup kitchen, because I probably can read that in your AMCAS application elsewhere. Tell me why you did that, what you learned, how that experience has affected you, and how it will affect the way you intend to practice medicine in the future.

-I taught clogging classes to people aged 4 to 64, which helped me realize I like reading people to identifying weaknesses or confusion and helping them overcome those obstacles.  It’s useful motivation for audiometry, as I will have to counsel people, educate them, and work with them over time to ensure their success.

Transforms blemishes into positives

It’s okay to have flaws! The essay is your chance to show how you have transformed blemishes. For example, if your essay theme is “overcoming obstacles” and you earned a poor grade in a class, but went to a community college at night to repeat the course, it is important for your reader to know this because it is an example of your perseverance. The reader does not want to hear complaints about poor grades or circumstances, but rather wants to know how you have overcome them.

 -Find an Angle

If you are like most people, your life story might well lack significant drama, so figuring out a way to make it interesting becomes the big challenge. Finding an angle is vital. Brainstorm for ideas that emphasize your exceptional qualities, goals, past performances.

-Concentrate on Your Opening Paragraph 
Keep in mind when composing your statement that the lead or OPENING PARAGRAPH IS generally the MOST IMPORTANT. Here you either GRAB the readers attention or lose it. If you are telling a story you will use this first paragraph to introduce the elements most relevant to that story—and the ones that will hold greatest interest for the reader.

  • Determine what you would tell an admission committee member if you had five minutes to answer the question “What is most important for us to know about you?” This exercise will force you to do the type of thinking that must precede the preparation of an effective personal statement.

Grad App: Technical Writing

17 Jun

I thought I was getting my ducks in a row, but this new application requires all different things (so it seems).   Which kind of (really, really) sucks.  Why can’t applications processes be standardized?  I mean the schools standardize us applicants by GPA and GRE–can’t WE have one process that’s the same for each school?  Maybe even force all the colleges to do the application service things like VMCAS, with no supplemental stuff.  I think it’s fair–and a lot more straightforward!  Anyway, here’s tips about the technical writing I now have to submit:

-Begin to develop your writing sample. Most graduate programs have a January deadline for students seeking admission for the following autumn, so you’ll need to have your writing sample ready early. The writing sample is usually 12-20 pages of your best writing, often a revised paper from an undergraduate course or part of a senior project. It is helpful if the paper concerns works or issues within your stated area of interest for further study. If you’ve written a paper for an History course that you’re thinking of developing into your writing sample, tell your instructor. He or she may have suggestions for you on how to improve it, or may be willing to work with you on further revisions.

-Above all, the writing sample should show your mind at work. The writing sample should be a seminar paper or other research paper written in the general field of History that you intend to pursue at the graduate level. Graduate programs require writing samples of 10-25 pages. The most impressive writing samples demonstrate an ability to conduct research in a variety of sources, to write analytical prose, to construct a reasoned argument based upon evidence, and to create a context for assessing the significance of what has been presented.

Your critical writing sample should represent your best work in an area related to the academic interest(s) you want to pursue in your graduate study. Continue to revise and refine. Work with faculty whenever possible on your revisions. Prepare to turn in an clean, polished writing sample that has been edited thoroughly.

-So it seems (this is me again–not cut & paste material) that I haven’t had to write a lot of papers for my current courses.  The ones I have are:  1)  a group paper that’s ineligable 2) about a complicated virus that mutates to a different virus to cause hearing loss = too complex to be really nice 3) four different mini samples of 100 (?) words about aural rehab.

-I’m left either modifying and severely adding to the papers I have.  Or starting from scratch.  I think I’m going to add to an aural rehab paper about communication strategies.  I can tie it in with my personal statement and the research at the University.

-It’s a lot of work.  Which is why I’m sort of half-assing my blog posts.  I apologize.  All my best writing stuff is being used for personal statement, scholarly paper, and my presentation.  The CV has been momentarily put on hold.

Saint George Vet: Why Vet Med?

14 Jun

As you can tell, I’m still cleaning out the files on my computer.  I have a seemingly endless supply of essays outlining why I want(ed) to be a veterinarian and why I would make a good one.  I guess it’s good, because sometimes I assume you readers know how much of a champion I am of veterinary medicine.  And I guess since you don’t know me, you may not know.  Since I have written so many criticisms about the field as of late, maybe it’s a good balance.  And I think it shows I have a leg to stand on when I make assertions that the profession isn’t perfect (none are), but how it could be improved.  Or maybe you’re just bored and wish I’d get through all these admissions essays already (sorry).  I’ll try to make a real post soon, as I have an exciting project coming up that I want to share.  But until then, I have more:

Please discuss the most significant factors which led to your decision to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine. Approximately 250 words.

I feel most rewarded when I am involved in veterinary medicine. At age eleven, I began accruing volunteer hours at the local veterinary hospital. This experience provided me with knowledge of the career, and cemented my aspirations of 1st day of work everbecoming a veterinarian.

Gaining exposure to the veterinary care of exotic animals is exciting. I was able to help Dr. Minor vaccinate a pack of wolves for a local security compound. At Noah’s Ark I have been able to observe ferret adrenalectomies, rabbit neuters, and helped treat birds, reptiles, and other small mammals. I gained exposure to larger exotics when I volunteered numerous hours at Animal Sanctuary, cleaning the enclosures of tigers, a lion, and a panther.

I love the veterinary profession and aim to take an active role in it as long as I am able to work. I learned the work can be physically grueling, mentally exhausting, and emotionally draining, but I am prepared to compensate with the athleticism, analytical competence, and rationality that I have seen my veterinary mentors display. I would be luckypersonally unfulfilled if I did not spend time in a veterinary setting.

One day I hope to own a mixed animal practice in a rural area, where I can raise the level of animal care while keeping costs reasonable. I plan to provide high availability to my clients and to see a variety of species. I want, more than ever, to become a doctor of small animal medicine, with an emphasis on exotics.

UU AuD Research

12 Jun

As a graduate applicant you are supposed to have a research focus.  I don’t.  And I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing.  When did they teach us to come up with research questions, tell us about already having established a focus, and how do I know?

I just want to finish an AuD program so I can get a big-girl job as an audiologist.  I’m trying my best to catch up by looking at the research being done at my potential school.  I understand very little of the jargon, and I’m terrified to contact these professors and speak meaningfully about it.  I know I’ll look like an idiot.

But all the get into grad school books and blogs strongly urge students to make contact with a potential advisor before applying.  Since I don’t have an established research focus, I don’t know who the influential people doing my research might be.  So as usual, I’m doing things backward.

They should really have an undergraduate class on the application and research stuff if we are already supposed to know about it before we ever even apply. . .

CI fish

-Assistant Professor, Communication Sci & Disorders, University of Utah
-Dr. Ferguson’s research is focused on speech understanding in older adults, and how speech acoustic characteristics affect that understanding. She is especially interested in the perception and acoustics of clear speech and foreign-accented speech.
-My research is focused on talker factors that affect everyday speech understanding by older adults with hearing loss. Talkers adopt a speaking style called “clear speech” when talking to listeners with hearing loss, but they vary widely in how helpful that clear speech is. Much of the current activity in my lab is centered on identifying the clear speech acoustic characteristics that make speech easier to understand for different listener populations.

Speech Perception Lab: 

–>Articles I think are most to least interesting/relevant<–

[can’t see abstract/article] LaPierre, T.A., Ferguson, S.H., & Jiregna, M.M. (2012) Hearing loss in late life: How couples cope. Journal of the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, XLV, 75-97. (http://www.audrehab.org/jara.htm)

*”Effects of talker experience on perceived clarity and acoustic features of clear versus conversational speech”

* “Acoustic correlates of reported clear speech strategies”

*”Accuracy of speech intelligibility index predictions for noise-masked young listeners with normal hearing and for elderly listeners with hearing impairment”

“Intelligibility of foreign-accented speech for older adults with and without hearing loss”

Perceived sexual orientation and speech style: A perceptual and acoustic analysis of intentionally clear and conversational speech”

“Subjective ratings of sentences in clear and conversational speech”

“Vowel intelligibility in clear and conversational speech for cochlear implant users: A preliminary study”

[implications for rehab] “Talker differences in clear and conversational speech: Vowel intelligibility for listeners with hearing loss”

“Creating a speech corpus with semispontaneous, parallel conversational and clear speech”


-Talker differences, Interest Level: 3
Speech perception, Interest Level: 5
Older adults, Interest Level: 4
Hearing loss, Interest Level: 4
Foreign-accented speech, Interest Level: 3

–on google scholar:

-V intelg in convo speech hearing & HOH

-talker dif in clear & convo speech

-acoustic chara of V (clear speech)


-I study how the healthy auditory system adapts to sound; such as when a person enters a noisy environment. To facilitate listening in noise, the auditory system undergoes a series of adjustments that improve the neural coding of sound. My long term research goal is to understand how adaptation enhances perception in noise in normal hearing listeners and how altered adaptation results in degraded perception in noise in hearing impaired listeners.
-Auditory Perception and Psychoacoustics, Interest Level: 5
Auditory Physiology, Interest Level: 4
Computational Models of the Auditory System, Interest Level: 3
Speech Perception and Processing, Interest Level: 2
Pediatric Auditory Assessment, Interest Level: 1

on Google Scholar:

–>very complicated titles<– I cut part of the description for my own clarity

explore the hypothesis that cochlear gain is reduced, in a frequency-specific manner, over the course of a sound 

Abstract Masked detection threshold for a short tone in noise improves as the tone’s onset is 
delayed from the masker’s onset. 

medial olivocochlear reflex (MOCR) has been hypothesized to provide benefit for listening in noise.

–>  lots of articles about this<–

fundamental question in auditory science relates to how the perceptual dynamic range is coded in the auditory system

aud path 1

Anne Lobdell

Brooke Hammond

infant vs adult larynx

-I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Aural Re/habilitation and graduate level Pediatric Audiology. I specialize clinically in children and adults with hearing loss and using cochlear implants.
-Speech development for children with cochlear implants, Interest Level: 5
Language development for children with cochlear implants, Interest Level: 5
Diagnostic pediatric audiology, Interest Level: 4
Auditory training intervention methodologies for persons with hearing loss, Interest Level: 5
Auditory Processing Disorders , Interest Level: 3

on Google Scholar:

-Benefits of Early Identification and Intervention for Children with Hearing Loss.

-dx Alexander DZ w/MR

Childhood adrenoleukodystrophy

-Rett Syndrome

on CV:

[published prior to 2000]

-“Further support for the benefits of early identification and intervention for children with hearing loss”

-“Methods for learners with hearing or visual impairments. ”

-“Birth to 3: A Curriculum for Parents and Their Hearing –Impaired Children”

-“A comparison of audiometric test methods for two-year old children”

-“Language Assessment of School Age Hearing Impaired Children

Kirsti Raleigh

-early detection of ototoxicity

-tinnitus rates from chemo ototoxic

Saint George Veterinary Personal Statement

6 Jun

I don’t remember writing this, and I certainly don’t remember stressing out about it like I did for WSU and now for AuD programs.  But I’m deleting files off my computer and thought I should save this somewhere.  Maybe it can help me now. . .

Grenada 32

Personal Statement: Please provide personal information that is otherwise not included in the application. Maximum 1500 words.


I am driven to gain as much animal experience as possible.  Since 1995, I have consistently been involved in veterinary hospitals, accruing 633 hours in direct contact with veterinarians.  I have been continuously employed in small animal hospitals for the last eight years.  As an employee of Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital and Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital and Bird Clinic, I have gained valuable knowledge of the career and vast technical experiences with various companion animals.  Holding positions of kennel cleaner, receptionist, and technician has enabled me to learn how every area of a veterinary hospital is managed.  Cleaning, answering phones, rooming owners, and performing diagnostics, including radiographs and blood panels, on a daily basis has raised my competence level in a veterinary setting.  In addition to exceptional performance on routine tasks, my responsibilities as a veterinary technician included performing treatments on hospital patients and updating hospital records.  I can also prepare for surgery and monitor anesthetic, and regularly monitor pre-operative and post-surgery patients. I have observed and assisted in both soft and hard tissue surgeries, countless elective procedures, and in several complicated cases during my time at small animal hospitals.


My passion for the profession of veterinary medicine is not limited to the confines of a veterinary hospital.  I was instrumental in implementing service learning for school credit in my county. I accomplished this by creating a presentation on my volunteer time at D.V.V.H.  to the school board. The presentation was well received and the board adopted the service-learning program in high schools across the county. Another veterinary-related presentation that shows my enthusiasm for the career was my presentation on my summer internship at Noah’s Ark. I articulated my new knowledge to freshmen in the Department of Animal Science at University of Missouri. Opportunities like these demonstraight the passion I feel for the career of veterinary medicine, as well as showcase my capacity for working with the public.


I possess people skills, which will help me work with clients, employees, and colleagues as a practicing veterinarian.  My job as a veterinary receptionist proves that I have the communication skills necessary to speak to clients and educate them on animal health issues.  My service-oriented job in a restaurant prepared me for the field of veterinary medicine where I will need to remember a vast amount of information and communicate with people.


My work with the public is not limited to paid positions.  I have been consistently involved in community service since high school.  My compassion and patience are evident through my work with children, the disabled, and the elderly, as well as my experience teaching clogging classes to all ages.  My work with the community, coupled with my academic success, multiple leadership experiences, and good citizenship, enabled me to acquire scholarship funding for much of my education as well.


I was financially independent from my parents for the duration of my college career, working a minimum of twenty hours a week, while taking twelve to sixteen credits.  While employed by University of Missouri’s Animal Science Department I worked with dairy cattle.  My part in the heat stress research was collecting temperature data, and grinding, measuring and weighing grain to check how heat stress effects feed intake.  I also helped with wider care of the animals, milking twice a day and cleaning.  The highlight of the job was when I observed a biopsy.


My second University job was through the Environmental Physiology Department, where my duties included caring for the department’s rat colony.  In addition to feeding and cleaning the rodents, I was able to conduct a feed trial, comparing base feed intake with feed intake after feeding ergovaline-infused pellets.  My responsibilities for the department also included helping with hog heat stress research and the wider care of the porcine.  I monitored farrowing animals, processed piglets, vaccinated the weaned piglets, and was able to observe the veterinarian conduct ultrasounds on the gestation sows.


Working with dairy cattle and hogs as well as my achievements in volleyball, cheerleading, and track show that I display athletic prowess.  My history of sports participation also shows I am capable of the responsibility, dedication, and drive required of both athletes and veterinarians.  Physical adeptness was essential when I worked with horses.  For two years in a row, Dr. Chapman let me help her vaccinate and pull blood for Equine Infectious Anemia testing on employees’ horses.  Additionally, I acquired one thousand horse hours working at Equine Medical Services, Inc. as part of barn crew.  My duties included cleaning stalls, bedding, feeding, and medicating horses twice a day, as well as maintaining the facilities.  Catching horses for their pregnancy checks and watching ultrasounds taught me how to confidently interact with horses and restrain them.


I was able to see multiple veterinarians deal with a wide variety of equine cases when I observed for seventy-five hours at Comstock Large Animal Hospital.  I saw feet trimming, lameness exams, and radiographs. I observed the veterinarians treat lesions and lacerations, allergies, and colic. I was able to assist the veterinarian with a horse getting its teeth floated, a gastroscopy, and a necropsy.  During my time at Comstock, I saw the veterinarians conduct fertility and brucellosis tests on beef bulls, vaccinate, castrate, and trim the feet of five llamas, and vaccinate a pig and trim its feet.  I also helped a co-worker feed, vaccinate, deworm, castrate, and trim the feet of her twenty-five herding sheep.


Working extensively with animals in veterinary settings has given me the experience necessary to excel in a veterinary practice.

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Too Much [to fit in the personal statement]

4 Jun

There are certain things the admissions committee needs to know about me that I won’t have an opportunity to present elsewhere on my application:  Clogging, community service, scholarship awards, clubs, research and sports.  All of it is not going to fit, so I’m trying to tie in things that directly relate to audiology to have strong connections.  It hurts to chop it though.  But I’ve been working most of the day and think I came up with not only a focus, but the organization (very tentatively).  I also have super-way-too much descriptions which I’ll have to majorly cut–but that comes a little later.

Spring Finals 033

Here’s what I think I’m going to do after reading many personal statements and corrections of those, tips on how to write a good PS, and reworking my info:


!my activity [my taits for stated activity]–>how it relates to AuD traits


Passion *spark*

!shopping w/Dad  [compassion]–>humanistic; aural rehab; p follow-thru



!clogging [dedicated; patient teacher]–>dedication; notice uncertainty

!community service clubs [honest; sensitive]–>diverse; compassion; counsel; flexibility; modification

!hearing screens [enthusiastic; thorough]–>refer; thorough

!tutoring in SHS [pass on love of learning; share motivation]–>teach & apply my own knowledge



!vet jobs [detail-oriented; independant; humane; tough; self-driected]–>communication, dx practice, professional, independant

!classes/scholarships [driven; determined; hard-working]–>unstd sci; foundational knowledge, ability to study; aprised of technology; current techniques

!animal science research [critical thinking; meticulous; practical]–>practical; analytical



!lang. transcription research [organized; order]–>effiecient; exposure

!speaker chara (UU emphasis + specific prof/papers) [ethical]–>implications for compliance; p benefit; QoL

!for eventual superior aural rehab in practice [loyal; follow-thru]–> relating back to Dad

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