Every internship personal statement should include creativity – at least a little. I am not talking about using flowery language, metaphors, extensive storytelling, or song lyrics. Especially not song lyrics. I am talking more about using simple phrases and clear syntax which is easy to follow. Doing so paints a beautiful and interesting image of who you really are.
Think of it like you are creating dialogue with the veterinarian reading your personal statement. You are talking with him or her face-to-face, showing your personality, and smiling. You are telling him or her your aspirations, what you hope to get out of the internship program, what you bring to the team, and how all of your previous experiences have prepared you for this next step. You are showing him or her that you are normal – that you are not a wacko.
Here is how I wanted to write it:
I stretch for 20 minutes at Central Rock Boston before sending that V6.
I seek out inspiration and experience before writing a new blog post.
I discuss clinical cases with faculty and spend hours on Google Scholar reading journal articles before writing a case report.
I explore different cultures, listen to others, and find purpose in a mission before founding a nonprofit organization.
I spend time with friends and family on days off because maintaining close connections is what really matters the most.
I do these things proactively because the outcomes are important. I do these things because they are good for myself and for the people around me.
I do these things because I’m not a wacko.
Now why am I saying this? I am not trying to prove that sending V6s, writing blog posts, founding a nonprofit organization, or connecting with other people is difficult. These may be inherently challenging things to do but with time, hard work, dedication, and simple necessary preparations anything can be accomplished. I’m also not trying to prove that I’m not a wacko (to some people I’m 100% a wacko). What I am trying to justify with these words is an idea that has been guiding me through my career in veterinary medicine and has led me to submit this internship application – the idea that it is the simple things that can have the most profound impact.
Like 4Dx SNAP tests.
With just 3 drops of blood and 4 drops of conjugate we were able to diagnose and treat over 20 dogs with ehrlichiosis. I was helping out at Jasper’s Utila Animal Shelter, the only volunteer run animal shelter on the island of Utila without a permanent veterinarian. There were boxes of 4Dx SNAP tests in the refrigerator and no one knew what they were. I recommended we start using them and taught a local volunteer Honduran veterinarian how to do so. The idea to use these tests was so simple, and the outcome so profound, the thought of what more could be accomplished by regularly visiting here was overwhelming.
So what I’m trying to say, in the humblest of ways, is this: if a 501c3 incorporated nonprofit organization resulted from some inspiration using a 4Dx SNAP test on an island in the Caribbean, I’m so excited to see what will come from experiencing all that your internship program has to offer.
Clearly, this is too creative. Yes, it may emphasize normalcy, some accomplishments, and the ability to get along well with others. But on review it does not adequately highlight a true understanding of what an internship program entails, the qualities that would be brought to the team, or the reasons for wanting to pursue an internship. This inadequacy accentuates an important point: an internship personal statement is not a creative essay assignment. It must include evidence of professional aspirations and the specific key points (discussed above) must be stated coherently.
But this is not to say an internship personal statement should not include an interesting quirk, a unique statement, or a short snippet of a larger story. These are the puzzle pieces that, when put together, create the image of who you really are currently and as a future veterinarian. So, in writing your internship personal statement I challenge you to find that fine line between creativity and professionalism. Good luck with creating a single page masterpiece!