Regardless of whether you are going to apply for this year’s intake or next, you need to start working on your building your profile ASAP! In this blog, I am going to explain why and how! In a previous blog, I clarified some basic differences between different components of what a student might need for a Study Abroad application (or for applying to a top-ranking university in India). I had simplified some important distinctions between different components of a college application explaining key differences between the CV, Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, and the Profile.
- A quick recap from my previous Blog :
- CV is your resume—a static list of your qualifications, professional experience, etc.
- SOP: focuses on your ambitions and dreams and shows how the program you wish to study connects with your dreams for the future.
- The Profile is distinct. It is a short essay ( check the requirements of your university ) It should capture your personality, aspects of your journey, any challenges which disrupted your path, and how you dealt with them.
So, how is this blog different from all the online information that you can access about applications? In this blog, I bring to you a Professor’s perspective.
While teaching at universities in the United States (including Georgetown and American University), I have viewed and scrutinized many applications. And, from my teaching experience at universities in India, I know that students in India are not always taught these skills at college. Thus, when they are required to fill out complicated Applications for grad courses, they need support. Providing that support is my objective in writing this blog!
- Think of profile-building as a Recipe!
- You are building your signature recipe.
- You choose the ingredients and you narrate how all the ingredients ( your experiences ) come together!
What is the Process of Creating a Profile?
Here are the steps:
- Reflection: Think, Think back.
- Choose some important moments in your life where experiences ‘happened’.
- Ask yourself: How did this change me? What did I feel then and how did I overcome that situation? Did my views change as a result of that experience?
- What did I learn from that experience: Resilience? Courage? Patience? Compassion? Responsibility?
How to Choose Your Life Experiences for Profile Essay?
Here are some trigger questions :
- Were there circumstances by which you lost an opportunity?
- Lost a friend?
- Were you forced to relocate because of family circumstances?
- Any accidents or personal challenges?
- Did you have to face an unexpected setback or failure?
- Did you have to deal with Discrimination, Bias, or Bullying?
- How did any of those situations shape who you are?
- Were you angry, or hurt?
- Did you lose confidence? Self-respect?
Such pointers can help when you sit down to choose one or two instances that will become the ‘story’ of your Profile essay.
- Do not make your Profile a list of ‘hard-luck’ stories about yourself.
- Your selection is not going to be influenced by how hard your life was.
- A strong profile is when you can show how you dealt with a difficult situation.
- Show how you dealt with anger, failure, or adversity
- What do you value today – a social cause?
- How does your Profile essay demonstrate your passion or commitment to that cause?
That is what a Profile seeks to showcase. The above trigger questions and pointers should convince you that :
- Profile essays cannot be written in a hurry.
- Profile-building is a process.
- The profile essay should be viewed as a document that captures the process of your personal development
- You need to select the most relevant experiences from your life and focus on those.
To sum up, You will not be able to do a profile essay like this in one day. You need to THINK and look back. And, this reflection is something only you can do – a mentor/counsellor can only help to Build on it. The experience is yours. This Profile is yours! Your essay will come alive only if it captures who you are and what you value.
So, Good Luck with your Profile-building. We will be back next Friday with another amazing blog from Dr. Maina Chawla Singh. Till then, if you have any questions or suggestions, just drop us a comment and we will get back to you.