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How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan?

This is a prompt of personal (diversity) statement of Michigan. I am a minority who grew up in a war plagued zone and had an uncommon childhood. I have also contributed to diversity in my role as a resident assistant in a college dorm. So, I think I have a decent non-trivial story to tell.

However, I am a moron and spent all my time doing mathematics as a kid. And the only reason I am applying to gradschools is I enjoyed working on those problems and want to do so for the rest of my life. And Michigan has one of the best departments in the country, so of course I want to study there. But I am facing a solid writer's block in relating my background to decision of choosing Michigan. Is this part absolutely necessary? Can I just talk about my background and explain how can I contribute to diversity in Michigan? 

 

Is there anyone who wrote this statement to Michigan, really tanked it, and still got in? 

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The prompt is asking you two separate questions:  are there any influences or experiences that pushed you desire a graduate degree; and, why Michigan?

Your example is pretty good.  Growing up in a nation caught in civil war, I found beauty in numbers when despair was all around me.  Initially a means of escape, I quickly learned that not only was I good at math but that I had developed a solid desire to do it for a living.  Coming from a place where the future seemed bleak, math gave me hope.  I want to study math at Michigan because, you know, awesome. 

Something like that. 

I think diversity statements are pretty hard to tank.  

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On 12/10/2020 at 7:53 AM, Crucial BBQ said:

The prompt is asking you two separate questions:  are there any influences or experiences that pushed you desire a graduate degree; and, why Michigan?

Your example is pretty good.  Growing up in a nation caught in civil war, I found beauty in numbers when despair was all around me.  Initially a means of escape, I quickly learned that not only was I good at math but that I had developed a solid desire to do it for a living.  Coming from a place where the future seemed bleak, math gave me hope.  I want to study math at Michigan because, you know, awesome. 

Something like that. 

I think diversity statements are pretty hard to tank.  

Bravo! that sounds awesome. 

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