I needed to write a personal statement for a program I’m applying to. It’s rough at the moment, and I would love your feedback/critique please, before I send it in. Merci beaucoup!
Scribbles and Scrolls: My Journey to Journalism
One of the first things you are taught in journalism courses is to look for attention-grabbing angles for your stories. You need to “hook” your reader into scrolling down until the very last line. In fact, you owe a duty to your audience, not only in terms of integrity but also in readability. These few principles are what first drew me to journalism, and continue to intrigue me. I wish to explore the world of untold stories and brazen words by pursuing a dual-degree in journalism and international relations.
I have been passionate about writing ever since I can remember. I remember composing a fiery poem on animal rights in fifth grade with much aplomb. The idea of painting with words inspired me, and I strove to capture the images in my head on canvas. I tentatively explored similes and metaphors, commas and colons, and abstract writing led to bolder ideas. I scribbled in my journal about topics ranging from philosophy to international relations, and thought of writing as a natural hobby. I blogged about events I attended and wrote opinion columns about current affairs, without realizing the importance journalism had in my life.
In my freshman year, as a budding International Relations major, I started reporting for the Daily Free Press. Independent journalism intrigued me, and as I flitted from one side of campus to another, interviewing professors and students, reporting on the nuances of college life, I loved every bit. For one of my stories, I covered the gubernatorial debate at the WBZ television studios. The real newsroom experience, with Governor Deval Patrick debating Charles Baker only a few feet away from me, was exhilarating. I discovered that journalism was not just a hobby for me any more; it had become a passion. As I spent hours late into the night with my editors mulling over AP style, figuring out how to get quotations right and transcribing interview snippets, I realized that I needed formal training in the field of journalism if I wanted to pursue my dreams.
As an international relations major, I’ve studied the theories of global politics in great detail, exploring the history of conflicts, and analyzing future possibilities. For journalism, I believe you need the same zeal and curiosity about the world around you, and I’m attracted to creativity in the field. With international relations, you deal with pure facts and analysis, but combining that knowledge and research skills with journalism allows you to explore language and the world of words. I want to be more creative with ideas and pursue my passion for writing, as I continue to gain a deeper understanding of global issues. International Relations alone restricts me to academic writing, but journalism will allow me flexibility in writing style. I believe that a degree in journalism is necessary for me to pursue my love for writing.