english work experience... i feel worried :( Watch

rainbow drops
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we're starting to write our personal statements at school now. i want to apply for english lit, i feel fine about the bulk of my personal statement and the literary side of things, and i know that a lot of people on here say that extra-curriculars and work experience don't really matter aside from medicine and law, but i feel a bit concerned because my teachers are constantly going on and on about the extras on your statement.

i haven't really done any english related work experience, and it's a real problem for me to get any because i live in a very small town in the middle of nowhere, and there isn't really anything around here except teaching (which i'm not interested in in the slightest). things like journalism/publishing work, which i would be very happy to do, aren't available to me. i did do a week's worth of work experience in a solicitor's office a year or so ago, but i don't feel that it will be relevant enough.

in terms of extra-curricular stuff, i'll do some charity volunteer work over the summer, i already have a junior sports leadership award thing, and next year i should hopefully be working on an advanced english dissertation at school (sort of like a written version of the AEA, you get to pick your own topic). i'm really happy about doing that because it's apparently well-respected and it's obviously very relevant to my degree course. anyway, is this enough? those who have applied for/are doing a literature degree, what extra-curriculars did you have?

sorry for the long post, thanks for any help.
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Kater Murr
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I had offers from Warwick, Bristol, etc. and had no work experience. The last paragraph really just talked about films and going to a jazz festival.

I honestly don't think you need anything; I live in a pretty isolated area, so I couldn't really do work experience either. (I had no extra-curriculars either).
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rainbow drops
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i'm even reluctant to waste space on the extra-curricular stuff i already have, it's not relevant at all :rolleyes:. all i want to do in the personal statement is talk about my favourite authors/works and show the admissions tutors why i want to study english... it's just that my tutors are being really insistent on it, i guess i was worried about it because they talk about it so much. i'll definitely mention the extended dissertation thing though, once i've finished the personal statement i should have decided on a subject for the essay.

thanks for that
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misswilliams
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I think the extra things you do are already enough, the charity work and dissertation-style thing should be mentioned.

If you are intent on getting some more maybe ask if your local paper will take you on for work experience? Or ask to write an article? Just a suggestion :p:

all i want to do in the personal statement is talk about my favourite authors/works and show the admissions tutors why i want to study english...
that does take up some of your PS but extra things to add to represent you as a person are also important too. and i wouldn't labour your point on favourite authors as well :p:

when the time comes definetely use the PS helpers on here, they are awesome, know what they are talking about and helped me a lot! my tutor said my PS was brilliant when i had finished it, even though i'm not going to uni know haha.
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River85
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Work experience, I think, is only relevant to vocational courses (I'm including law, engineering and medicine there). In a subject such as English I wouldn't place on importance on it.

Most people I know studying English at Durham spent the vast majority of their personal statement discussing their love of literature and the subject in general, maybe with a brief mention of future career plans, if known, and how the degree will help them achieve that. ECs were mentioned briefly at the end, although not in a rushed fashion.

Don't let it dominate, less than a paragraph of EC discussion will do. What you're going to do over the summer is probably enough. The universities are more interested in your passion for a subject more than anything else.
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rainbow drops
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(Original post by River85)
Don't let it dominate, less than a paragraph of EC discussion will do. What you're going to do over the summer is probably enough. The universities are more interested in your passion for a subject more than anything else.
yeah, that's the amount that i'm aiming for. i'll put it at around that mark in my first draft, and if my tutor decides to take it up with me then i'll tell him that i simply don't think that extra-curriculars matter, and on my own head be it if i get rejections and he thinks it's for that reason. it's just that we looked at some personal statements written by past pupils of my school today, and he showed us one that he described as 'very good' and about half of it (or even more) was about extra-curricular stuff. if he tries to make me write that much, i shall get very very annoyed!
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rainbow drops
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(Original post by misswilliams)
If you are intent on getting some more maybe ask if your local paper will take you on for work experience? Or ask to write an article? Just a suggestion :p:
the stuff published in my local paper is really trashy, biased and horrible, i wouldn't ever want anything of mine to be published in that :p:. i may ring them and ask for some work experience over the summer though. thanks for the suggestion!
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Reblet
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(Original post by River85)
Most people I know studying English at Durham spent the vast majority of their personal statement discussing their love of literature and the subject in general, maybe with a brief mention of future career plans, if known, and how the degree will help them achieve that. ECs were mentioned briefly at the end, although not in a rushed fashion.
Very true for me In fact spookily so...

I actually did work experience at a Magistrate's Court because I though I wanted to do Law... haha.
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*pitseleh*
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I have no English-related work experience at all, and I ended up with offers from Oxford, Cardiff and Durham. If you write, you might want to mention that (I did) but it's really not essential to have any work experience, judging by those I know with offers to study English.
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Reverie.
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I didn't do any English-related work experience either, and I got offers from Oxford and York (and withdrew from the others, so no rejections technically). I don't think it's particularly important.

My school was really into the extra-curricular-based PS as well (some example ones they gave out had a small paragraph about the subject, then the rest all about ECs ). The very vast majority of my PS was about books/authors etc. with just a bit in the penultimate paragraph about music and my gap year.

Good luck!
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Reblet
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I did a similar thing to Reverie, only mentioning ECs at the very end. They want you to show intelligence, aptitude and passion (:rolleyes: cliche I know...) not boast about working at a newspaper, being a prefect and playing B-side hockey...
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rainbow drops
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i know, but my school are being so pushy and irritating about extra-curriculars and work experience and such. they don't seem to grasp that they really don't matter that much for english. gaaaahhh.

i think i'll write the bulk of it over the summer, seeing as i break up next tuesday, and i'll use the PS helpers on here my school aren't very good with personal statements to say the least... anyway, thanks for the help everyone!
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Reblet
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Ignore the school...
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JW
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I edited and contributed to the school literary magazine, presented a paper to the school literary society and acted in Stoppard play (one of the authors on my personal statement). It didn't seem to help my application one jot, so I wouldn't worry.
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*pitseleh*
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(Original post by JW)
I edited and contributed to the school literary magazine, presented a paper to the school literary society and acted in Stoppard play (one of the authors on my personal statement). It didn't seem to help my application one jot, so I wouldn't worry.
There is a typo in your sig.

Nice choice, by the way.
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Reblet
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(Original post by *pitseleh*)
There is a typo in your sig.

Nice choice, by the way.
Shhh he was bissfully unaware... :p:
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JW
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(Original post by *pitseleh*)
There is a typo in your sig.

Nice choice, by the way.
Nooooooo!

*colsults Keats*

Any real English student would have noticed that I also didn't hyphenate 'summer-indolence'. But in all seriousness, thank you! I've had it for a while, I think it needs a change.
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*pitseleh*
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(Original post by Reblet)
Shhh he was bissfully unaware... :p:
:laugh:

(Original post by JW)
Nooooooo!

*colsults Keats*

Any real English student would have noticed that I also didn't hyphenate 'summer-indolence'. But in all seriousness, thank you! I've had it for a while, I think it needs a change.
Sorry.. especially for not noticing the absent hyphen (or should that be "hyphen's absence"?)

On the other hand, I'm not actually sorry at all because I like the Thackeray quote even better than I liked the Keats one.
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peanutbutternjelly
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This year I was on my school's magazine committee, both writing and editing articles, so I will definitely mention that briefly. I want to mention my interest in drama, and that I wrote a script this year for a drama festival. I will probably mention the charity work I've done, especially as I did a lot during the post election violence in Kenya. That's about all I'm going to say, EC and work experience wise. I hope that's enough! There are so many other things I would like to mention but the academic side is so much more important, it seems.
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rainbow drops
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(Original post by peanutbutternjelly)
This year I was on my school's magazine committee, both writing and editing articles, so I will definitely mention that briefly. I want to mention my interest in drama, and that I wrote a script this year for a drama festival. I will probably mention the charity work I've done, especially as I did a lot during the post election violence in Kenya. That's about all I'm going to say, EC and work experience wise. I hope that's enough! There are so many other things I would like to mention but the academic side is so much more important, it seems.
i would definitely do something like that, but my school has no magazine or newspaper or anything :dontknow: my school FAILS. i've never been a drama sort of person, i enjoy going to the theatre but i've never acted... i'll just put in the 'dissertation' sort of thing i'm doing in A2 year, the charity work i'm doing and the work experience i have so far, plus any more if i get some this summer, and my interest in music and watching plays. i don't care too much about it any more, it doesn't really seem like it matters.

have you written your statement yet? i've just about done my first draft but i've missed the extra curricular bit off, i need to add it on.
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