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Crafting Winning Personal Statements: Prof. Michelle Kuo’s Workshop at ICI a Resounding Success

By 12/16/2023No Comments

The International College of Innovation (ICI) hosted a highly anticipated workshop led by Visiting Associate Professor Michelle Kuo, focusing on the art of crafting compelling personal statements for scholarships, graduate schools, and grants. The event drew a diverse group of enthusiastic students, from freshmen to seniors.


Prof. Kuo, with her rich academic and professional background, including her tenure as an Associate Professor of History, Law and Society at the American University of Paris, imparted invaluable insights and strategies. Her experience as a recipient of prestigious awards like the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, the Truman Scholarship, and the Skadden Fellowship, added significant weight to her guidance.


The session began with students collaboratively brainstorming the challenges they anticipated in writing their Statements of Purpose (SOP). This engaging start not only fostered a sense of community among the attendees but also helped Prof. Kuo tailor her guidance to address the students’ specific concerns and apprehensions directly.


Following this dynamic opening, the workshop transitioned to Prof. Kuo sharing excerpts from successful personal essays and research statements. This segment offered students practical insights into what makes an application stand out in a real-world context. Prof. Kuo stressed the importance of crafting applications that are both personal and professional. She guided the students on how to effectively interweave personal narratives with academic and career aspirations, ensuring that their statements are compelling and well-rounded.


A highlight of the event was the interactive Q&A session, where Prof. Kuo addressed a range of questions from attendees. She shed light on what graduate programs and scholarship committees look for in candidates, and how students can enhance their profiles through classes, projects, internships, and other experiences. Her advice on how to draft and revise personal and research statements was particularly well-received.


Students left the workshop equipped with a deeper understanding of the nuances involved in creating a strong personal statement. Prof. Kuo’s emphasis on integrating life experiences with proposed projects or academic pursuits resonated with many attendees, who found her tips on storytelling within the personal statements especially helpful.


The event concluded with positive feedback from students, many of whom expressed appreciation for the practical advice and the motivation they received to pursue their academic and professional goals with renewed vigor. The workshop at ICI has set a high standard for future events aimed at equipping students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in their academic and professional endeavors.