Applying as a mature student. How do I talk about myself and state my interests?

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    Hi Everyone,

    I will be a mature student (24 years old next year) and I am planning to apply for university this year (2016) to begin in September next year (2017) for Biomedical Science foundation courses (my grades are insufficient for direct entry).

    First a little backstory... I've been working in an NHS lab as an MLA for a few months now, and held various administration positions before. I've got my personal statement all drafted up but there is an issue. I have written absolutely nothing about myself as an individual, and I was informed that this is an essential component.

    The question I've got is... HOW? What can I even write about myself at all? The only applications I have written in the past 5 years have all been job applications and companies generally don't care much about you as an individual as long as the job can get done, so I have never needed to write anything about myself in an application.

    I have also been working for so long and devoted so much time trying to sort my life out that I don't actually have any hobbies or anything of the sort. It's literally just work, sleep, breath, eat. I have no idea what to state as relevant, how to state it or even where to put it in my statement

    It is kind of sad thinking about it now, but it is how it is. Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance
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    (Original post by Rafa360)
    Hi Everyone,

    I will be a mature student (24 years old next year) and I am planning to apply for university this year (2016) to begin in September next year (2017) for Biomedical Science foundation courses (my grades are insufficient for direct entry).

    First a little backstory... I've been working in an NHS lab as an MLA for a few months now, and held various administration positions before. I've got my personal statement all drafted up but there is an issue. I have written absolutely nothing about myself as an individual, and I was informed that this is an essential component.

    The question I've got is... HOW? What can I even write about myself at all? The only applications I have written in the past 5 years have all been job applications and companies generally don't care much about you as an individual as long as the job can get done, so I have never needed to write anything about myself in an application.

    I have also been working for so long and devoted so much time trying to sort my life out that I don't actually have any hobbies or anything of the sort. It's literally just work, sleep, breath, eat. I have no idea what to state as relevant, how to state it or even where to put it in my statement

    It is kind of sad thinking about it now, but it is how it is. Any help will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance
    I'm seriously struggling to see how you could possibly have written a whole personal statement without talking about yourself at all. Please don't rush to submit your statement until you have got it right. *

    The statement should be about why you want to do the course, why you are particularly suited to it and how your experiences demonstrate relevant skills which will help you on the degree. You can also talk about your future career plans if you like. You must have some relevant skills from your lab assistant work that you can discuss. Hobbies etc. that are not directly related to biomedical sciences should certainly not be included in your personal statement and area a waste of your character allowance, so these should be omitted.*

    It's not quite the same, but take a look at the medicine guidance here for ideas:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...nal_Statements*

    We also have a huge library of biomedical sciences statements which should give you some idea of the format and content expected. Bear in mind, however, that these are of varying quality, and obviously don't plagiarise. These are available here:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...nal_Statements*
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    This is where you shine. As a mature student, you (hopefully) have so much more relevant experience to draw upon and highlight than a child applicant. Personal statements should be about your interest in and commitment to the course to which you have applied - personal interests, hobbies and the like are really just fluff, particularly for a mature student. That's not to say that showing a bit of personality and, importantly, that you're a well-rounded individual isn't important - but it's sort of a given if you're mature. For the 17-year-old kids who've been helicopter parented and tutored to within an inch of their lives, it's rather more crucial to show wider interests!

    So, basically, use the PS to sell yourself as an applicant to the course by drawing on relevant, preferably recent experience which demonstrates how you are a good fit with the course and the university. Best of luck.
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    (Original post by Charlotte49)
    I'm seriously struggling to see how you could possibly have written a whole personal statement without talking about yourself at all. Please don't rush to submit your statement until you have got it right. *

    The statement should be about why you want to do the course, why you are particularly suited to it and how your experiences demonstrate relevant skills which will help you on the degree. You can also talk about your future career plans if you like. You must have some relevant skills from your lab assistant work that you can discuss. Hobbies etc. that are not directly related to biomedical sciences should certainly not be included in your personal statement and area a waste of your character allowance, so these should be omitted.*

    It's not quite the same, but take a look at the medicine guidance here for ideas:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...nal_Statements*

    We also have a huge library of biomedical sciences statements which should give you some idea of the format and content expected. Bear in mind, however, that these are of varying quality, and obviously don't plagiarise. These are available here:
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki...nal_Statements*
    Hi Charlotte49, thanks for your reply!

    I have written a decent amount about how I am suitable for the course, stated my strengths, experience etc. but are you saying that I do not have to include information regarding hobbies and myself as an individual (that do not relate to the course) if I am applying as a mature student? Apparently, that is where I am lacking in content and I deliberately left that information out because I did not see how that could help my application.
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    (Original post by Rafa360)
    Hi Charlotte49, thanks for your reply!

    I have written a decent amount about how I am suitable for the course, stated my strengths, experience etc. but are you saying that I do not have to include information regarding hobbies and myself as an individual (that do not relate to the course) if I am applying as a mature student? Apparently, that is where I am lacking in content and I deliberately left that information out because I did not see how that could help my application.
    I'm not sure who has advised you to do that, but that isn't something we would recommend. Anything that is not related to the course is irrelevant and will not help your application. Demonstrating that you are well-rounded is old fashioned advice and not needed. Application tutors are only interested in what skills you have that are relevant to the course and why you want to do it, anything else is just a waste of your character allowance. As harsh as it sounds, they really do not care about your personal life, your hobbies, your history, or anything that is not about the course.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    This is where you shine. As a mature student, you (hopefully) have so much more relevant experience to draw upon and highlight than a child applicant. Personal statements should be about your interest in and commitment to the course to which you have applied - personal interests, hobbies and the like are really just fluff, particularly for a mature student. That's not to say that showing a bit of personality and, importantly, that you're a well-rounded individual isn't important - but it's sort of a given if you're mature. For the 17-year-old kids who've been helicopter parented and tutored to within an inch of their lives, it's rather more crucial to show wider interests!

    So, basically, use the PS to sell yourself as an applicant to the course by drawing on relevant, preferably recent experience which demonstrates how you are a good fit with the course and the university. Best of luck.
    Hi and thanks for replying!

    How do I show personality in a personal statement? I tend to get serious and to the point when writing applications or anything important (similar to job applications) and just market myself to the best of my ability. Whether or not I show personality I cannot say, but since I've never applied for something beyond work (where you have to be professional during the application process and then show your personality at interview), I'll admit I have no idea what to do.
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    (Original post by Charlotte49)
    I'm not sure who has advised you to do that, but that isn't something we would recommend. Anything that is not related to the course is irrelevant and will not help your application. Demonstrating that you are well-rounded is old fashioned advice and not needed. Application tutors are only interested in what skills you have that are relevant to the course and why you want to do it, anything else is just a waste of your character allowance. As harsh as it sounds, they really do not care about your personal life, your hobbies, your history, or anything that is not about the course.
    So then I should treat it as a statement for a job interview, as I have been doing this whole time? If that is the case, then I have nothing to worry about Thank you very much!
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    (Original post by Rafa360)
    So then I should treat it as a statement for a job interview, as I have been doing this whole time? If that is the case, then I have nothing to worry about Thank you very much!
    It's difficult to advise whether you're on the right path without seeing your statement. I'm a bit concerned and would advise you to submit it to our online review service so one of our reviewers can take a look at it once you have a final draft.

    The link to the area for reviews is here: *
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=1372

    Please don't post your PS anywhere other than the forum above as that is the only private area of the forum. *
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    (Original post by Charlotte49)
    It's difficult to advise whether you're on the right path without seeing your statement. I'm a bit concerned and would advise you to submit it to our online review service so one of our reviewers can take a look at it once you have a final draft.

    The link to the area for reviews is here: *
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=1372

    Please don't post your PS anywhere other than the forum above as that is the only private area of the forum. *
    OK, I'll submit it for review in the next week or two. It's only my second draft and I have been trying to figure out how to put in personal interests and all that. Since that info is not quite as necessary as I was led to believe, making the final draft should be a bit less tricky.
 
 
 
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