Topics: Graduate school, Academia, History Pages: 2 (623 words) Published: April 26, 2013
Sample Personal History Statement Personal History Statement In an essay, discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include any educational, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how you might contribute to social or cultural diversity within your chosen field; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree. The writer of this personal history statement also authored the statement of purpose. In this essay, she relates how her personal background informs her decision to pursue graduate studies in history. With permission of the author, I have reprinted her essay, parsed with my comments on why and how it works as a winning essay. I am impressed by the anomaly I have become: a female student of Mexican descent specializing in early modern European history.1 My undergraduate curriculum, which consisted mainly of English classes on Shakespeare or Milton and history courses on the Enlightenment and the Reformation, belied my ethnic origins.2 In fact, I can recall those uncomfortable moments in class when I would pause to glance around the room, realizing that I was the only brown student in a lecture hall of sixty or eighty students.3 Despite these occasional setbacks, I continued, headstrong, to pursue my passion for all things early modern. And I credit my academic success and accomplishments to my firm resolve to study only that which interested me and not that for which I was intended.4 Yet there comes a time when an amateur scholar becomes a professional, at which point she must reconcile somehow her personal life and past with her new career and future. Finding myself on the verge of that transition, I feel it is an adequate time to reflect on how my scholarly interests intersect with my cultural upbringing.5 It is this odd but unique relationship between my identity as an historian of...
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