Jul 14

Applying to graduate programs? Use these tips for the perfect personal statement

Don’t let your personal statement stress you out.

Applying to graduate programs can be a daunting task. There seem to be many moving parts between the online application, recommendation letters, GMAT/GRE tests, and more. Don’t let it give you a headache — use these tips from a graduate recruiter to craft the perfect personal statement for your application.  

Tell us about yourself, and be strategic!

This is a chance to give your application some personality. We want to hear about you. Did you recently move to the area or change positions? Is your supervisor encouraging you to expand your education? Have you hit a ceiling and need this extra degree or certificate to break through? Maybe you’re looking to make a career change. Whatever the case, we want to hear about it.

What do you bring to the table?

While your resume is a great way to highlight your experience, a personal statement gives you the opportunity to fill in any gaps or provide extra information. Yes, you increased sales by 20 percent, but tell us how you achieved that specific goal. How did you bring innovation or creativity to make a change in your organization? Maybe you launched a program or initiative. What were the challenges? How would a graduate degree or certificate have helped you break through barriers?

Why is this program a good fit for your career goals?

Show us you’ve done your research! There are a lot of MBA and specialty master’s programs out there. Why UNCG? Why the Bryan School? How will the Bryan School help you? We pride ourselves on value, diversity, excellence, and community, so let us know how important these characteristics are to you.

What else should we know about you?

This is the chance for you to explain any specifics of your application. Did you have an extra challenging semester and want to explain why? Was your GPA from 10 years ago less than stellar, but you have professional and progressive work experience that you want to highlight?

As a general rule, we usually look for about two pages, single-spaced. Show us that you can provide detail while still being concise. Don’t worry about specific formatting, we just want to hear your story.

Best of luck with your application, and be sure to let our graduate recruitment team know if you have any questions. We are here to support you!

This blog post was originally posted in 2019 and has since been updated. If you have questions regarding Bryan School graduate programs, please reach out to our graduate recruitment team at bryangrad@uncg.edu. You can also attend one of our upcoming virtual information sessions.