Should I mention other interests outside of physics in my graduate personal statement

  • Thread starter alemsalem
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  • #1
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Should I mention for example hiking to demonstrate my determination, or describe my experience in being a member of organizations such as AIESEC, which might demonstrate my team and leadership skills but has nothing to do with physics.
 

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  • #2
Vanadium 50
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You want your determination to show up in your letters, grades and test scores. If they show up there, hiking won't matter. If they don't show up there, hiking won't matter.
 
  • #3
Choppy
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The mention of other information will help to round out the picture your application has of you as a person, but is unlikely to have any significant impact on your relative ranking among applicants. It is nice to include this kind of information somewhere, so at least when you're being introduced around the department, people will have something to say about you. Also, I suppose there can be a psychological element to these things. I spend a fair amount of time hiking myself and so may subconsciously rank someone else who hikes above someone else who doesn't (although I would consciously make an effort NOT to do this).

I wouldn't add such information at the expense of information that will make a difference such as undergraduate projects and experiences.
 
  • #4
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I think so too, someone was telling me that i needed to add extra-curricular activities so that I don't appear as a single-track person..

As for letters I have two professors saying that I'm one of the best two students that they taught,, they also explain why I don't have a very good GPA (3.26, 8th on my class),, my PGRE score is 930 (90%) ,, and I have a six months work experience at Jordan atomic energy commission.

I have no idea how strong my application is, so I'm applying to 10 schools covering the ranking spectrum.
 
  • #5
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This is math, not physics... but professors I've talked to said they hate hearing about things not related to math in personal statements.
 
  • #6
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how about teaching experience,, I know that's relevant but its not formal, it was just me teaching general physics and calculus to people i knew (throughout the semester)..
 
  • #7
Pengwuino
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I think so too, someone was telling me that i needed to add extra-curricular activities so that I don't appear as a single-track person..
That's what they want though. This isn't an undergrad application. Your one goal as a graduate student is to work and produce research, not contribute to "campus life", as some institutions would say.
 

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