Appendix 8: Personal Statement Brainstorming Questions

What areas of research do you find interesting and why? How did you come to be interested in this research area?

Do you have career goals, yet? If so, what are they? What about this career path is interesting to you? What kind of experiences do you think would be beneficial to help prepare you for this goal?

If you don’t have career goals, what kind of experiences would you like to seek out to help find what you might be interested in?

What have been your favorite classes (both high school and college classes are okay to discuss) and what did you like about them? What topics did you find yourself thinking about outside of class? What experiences have you had in them that felt particularly formative?

What have been your favorite extracurricular activities (these could include: volunteering, work experience, outreach activities, service activities, other activities of interest)? What did you like the most about them? Where there any challenges you have faced in this experience? What responsibilities did you have as a part of it? What skills have you learned from these experiences that you have found to be valuable?

What accomplishment are you most proud of and why? What did that experience teach you about yourself? Was there anything you learned from that experience that you can take with you into other areas of your life?

Do you have any personal challenges that you have overcome along your path? If so, how did you overcome them? What did you learn from the experience?


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Experiences in Biodiversity Research: A Field Course Copyright © 2024 by Thea B. Gessler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.