Sample Successful Personal Statements for Graduate Admissions

By Stephen Wang Applying to New York University for Master degree in Journalism.
(The applicant, Mr. Stephen Wang, was admitted by New York University School of Journalism and got Full Financial Aid.)
My dream of becoming a journalist dates back to my childhood. Even as a youngster, I was curious about the world around me and I like freedom. I was attracted to the idea because a journalist can talk to people in all stations of life and be exposed to many ideas. As I grew older, the work attracted me even more as I realized journalists might be the people closest to the truth and reality. They play a vital role in helping others know the world in which they live and contribute to the enlightenment of society.
My dream came closer to fulfillment in 1995 when I graduated from middle school and enrolled in the Department of Journalism at Fudan University, ranked the best journalism school in China.
In the university, I accepted a Chinese-style journalism education. I was one of the school’s top students in the four years I attended. I worked as an intern in five Chinese newspapers during vacations and was quite productive. China has a government controlled media and the press industry has a strict environment, but I can understand that since the government is facing a large population, it needs a unified media to make its voice clear.
After graduation, I made another step toward my dream by entering a newly launched newspaper, Shanghai Daily, which is so far the largest local English-language newspaper in China. I chose it because I wanted to polish my English, and more importantly, to practice what I had learned from reading western newspapers and magazines during my undergraduate study. I was deeply impressed by their balanced angles, their thorough research, and their courage to criticize.
During the past year I have been working as a business reporter at Shanghai Daily, covering the economic development of Pudong, a special finance and trade development area in Shanghai, and the telecom beat. The latter was fortuitous not only because China’s telecom market has grown into the world’s second largest, but also because it is experiencing a major reform, under which the former tightly controlled market is gradually opening to more competitors and even foreign investors. Covering this beat helped me a lot to develop the valuable skill of communicating with others.
This working experience has turned me from a shy girl into an open-minded reporter. I would even get nervous before making a telephone interview during the first months after I left campus, but now I will be the first among a group of journalists to raise my hand to ask questions during a press conference. At the same time, however, I became increasingly aware of my inadequacies. I need to further raise my English language level. I need to develop solid knowledge in a specific sector, such as finance or public affairs, so that I can become a real professional on my beat. That is why I decided to go back to school.
If I have a chance to enroll in your university, I will focus my study and research on the theories and practices of western journalism. What should be the nature of journalism? Can a news entity be totally free or is it inevitably beholden, controlled or influenced by a party, group or government. How should a news agency behave when its actions can hurt the nation’s welfare? These are questions to which I will try to find answers.
I will try to learn a journalist’s professional skills. Western journalists’ sharp news sense, strong analytical capacity and their skills of interviewing and writing are things that I will try to develop.
I will also concentrate on the flourishing digital media, the Internet. The open, free and fast-refreshing Internet has become an unprecedented challenge to China’s traditional media, although it’s still in a fledgling stage, uncertain of its future. The Internet is obviously becoming one of the best-used news resources for the Chinese, even though the government bars non-official websites having their own reporters gathering information, thereby permitting rumors to occupy a big part of website contents.
I sincerely hope your university can provide me with the chance to study. Your sophisticated education and my own efforts will help me grow into an accomplished journalist.