Workshop Presentation

Personal Statements
“Kisses of Death”
Graduate school requirements and applications
will vary depending on the program and school
Education Pathways:
Graduate school admissions requirements:
• Undergraduate degree
• Academic achievement
• Minimum “B” GPA or higher
• Often emphasis on 3rd or 4th year
• Relevant experience
• Grad school application
Grad school application components:
Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
Post-secondary transcripts
Personal statement / Letter of intent
CV vs. Resume
No page limit
1 or 2 pages
Emphasis on academic
experience (e.g. research,
teaching, publications)
Skills, experience,
For academic or research
positions, grad school,
fellowships, grants
For employers
outside of academia
or research
Duty vs Accomplishment
Which statement has more impact?
• Counselled diabetic youth on different topics
• Increased diabetes management and awareness by
providing nutrition counselling to 20+ youth on treatment
strategies, such as diet and exercise
Personal Statements
What is a personal statement?
Personal Statements
Topics usually addressed:
Why you?
• What makes you unique?
• Highlight relevant experience, skills,
qualifications, achievements
Research interests?
Academic background – how have you prepared?
Why that program? Why that school?
Career goals (short and long term)
Address discrepancies (e.g. grades, program change)
How would you be an asset to the program?
Personal Statements
Additional tips:
• Research schools and programs- Education Pathways
• Look up research interests of potential supervisors
• Ensure good fit with your own interests
• Contact / speak to potential supervisors in advance
(esp. for thesis based programs)
Personal Statements
Additional tips (Cont’d):
Interesting intro paragraph with a “hook”
Details, details, details – use specific examples / stories
Write clearly – avoid run-on sentences and jargon
Proofread! No spelling or grammar errors
Avoid clichés
Avoid controversial subjects (e.g. religion or politics)
Get feedback from career centre, professors, individuals
in field
2-3 references usually required
Notify references as early as possible
Letters from professors or professionals who can
attest to your academic ability and fit for a program
Get reference letters from individuals who can give
you a STRONG reference
Provide gentle reminders about application date
Send thank you once letter sent
“Kisses of Death”
Major grad school application turn offs:
Damaging personal statements
Harmful letters of recommendation
Discussing personal mental health
Excessive altruism
Too much self-disclosure / unprofessional
Unsuitable applicant characteristics
Inappropriate references
Lack of program focus / fit
Poor writing and grammar
Tacky attempts to impress
Source: Appleby, D. & K., Kisses of Death in the Grad.
School App. Process
Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS)
Ontario Graduate Scholarship Program (OGS)
OGS awards are merit-based scholarships available to students in all
disciplines of academic study valued at $15,000 per year. It is funded by
the Province of Ontario and by Ontario universities.
Duration of the Award
Each OGS is tenable for a maximum of one year (three terms) and a
minimum of two consecutive terms. Eligible students can reapply.
Standard Eligibility Criteria
- Plan to be enrolled full-time in a graduate program
- Canadian citizen, permanent resident or an international student (visa)
- Grade point average A- and above or equivalent, in the last 20 oneterm/semester courses completed
Application Procedure & Deadline
Adjudicated by Universities, please check program website
Step-by-Step Guide
Research into program(s) and school(s):
• Website
• Information sessions, chats with faculty members
Check deadline(s) for submitting application
Prepare application package: Forms, CV/Resume,
Transcript(s), Personal Statement/Letter of Intent,
References, etc.
Research into funding and scholarship opportunities,
and associated application deadlines
Submit a strong grad school application by
preparing well in advance, conducting research,
and getting feedback from trusted sources.
Career Resource Centre – POD60A
Connect With Us!
Contact Information:
Location: POD 60
Phone: (416) 979 – 5177
Ryerson University Career
Development & Employment Centre
Email: [email protected]
8:30 am – 6:30 pm
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

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