DePaul Personal Statement...
Writing bridges the gap between individual realities, thoughts, and experiences. To be an effective writer, I believe one must find and develop his or her own voice. My ability to craft words provides me with the capacity to influence others. For me, seeking admission to the journalism program is about continuing to further develop my voice. I foresee my time as a graduate student at DePaul University as an unmatched opportunity to foster the knowledge and experience necessary to reach my full potential as a writer.
It has taken time for me to fully acknowledge my talent and passion for the written word. As a college freshman, I initially chose to study exercise science with the goal of becoming a physical therapist. However, after a few semesters I realized exercise science was not my passion or forte. Becoming a physical therapist was my high school softball coach’s dream, not my own. She had been a great example and mentor to me, but in my attempt to emulate her I had lost sight of my own aspirations and abilities. Finding myself at a major crossroads, I chose to take a semester off to realign my personal and academic goals.
When the time came to decide on a new major, I reverted back to my innate talent—writing. I recalled advice my favorite high school teacher had given me my senior year, “Clarissa, you have a gift. What ever you do in your life and career, don’t ever stop writing.” Reflecting on his words, I realized he was pushing me to find my voice and work incessantly to develop it. Studying exercise science had not allowed me to embrace my passion for writing. Armed with the confidence afforded by this realization, I chose to major in English.
Studying English as an undergraduate, I strengthened my capacity to conceptualize, research, and write for varying audiences. My technical writing emphasis allowed me to actively explore the relationship between the writer, audience, and stakeholders. I also gained exposure to various communication platforms, such as the web, print, and video. As I progressed in my studies I reaffirmed the worth of my own voice.
Along the way, I faced the common misconception that after graduation English majors won’t make any money. After all—said many friends, family members, and even a few professors—if an English major isn’t on the path to becoming a teacher, then what else will he or she do to make a living? What many fail to recognize is that society relies on written communication to progress. The written word gives individuals, companies, and organizations a voice. Every industry needs professionals who can write effectively. Foundational principles of strong, effective communication are universal.
Working for the Utah State University Alumni Association as an undergraduate, I experienced firsthand that writing for a living is possible. Every month I was responsible for interviewing an alumnus and then writing a feature article for the association’s e-newsletter. Learning the ins and outs of crafting engaging, relevant human-interest pieces, I relished my opportunity to improve my narrative and make personal connections. I reaffirmed my belief that words bridge the gap between individual realities, thoughts and experiences.
As I established myself as a writer and employee, my job description began to expand, and with it, so did my voice. I taught myself how to use Dreamweaver software, allowing for complete management of the monthly newsletter’s creation and publication. Less than a year later, I became the official web manager. My responsibilities expanded to include writing and editing all web content, improving the web site’s navigation and design, and promoting various marketing campaigns through print and online materials.
Working for the alumni association was vital to developing my personal voice. I developed the ability to conceptualize and present ideas using multiple platforms; my interactions with alumni staff enhanced both my writing and general communication skills. I was able to apply the theories and principles I learned in the classroom in a real world environment. This experience provided me with the confidence and skills to obtain my current position as an editorial intern.
Studying journalism will improve my ability to conceptualize a story and present it through different mediums. As I seek to develop my own voice, I crave more opportunities to write and be critiqued by established voices. I know the guidance and expertise of experienced faculty is an invaluable asset. At DePaul I know I can fully develop my voice in order to impact others through my writing.
Posted by Clarissa Earl