Vet School Personal Statements Online Advising
The vet school personal statement can seem like the most daunting and difficult part of your application.
Silver lining, though: a well-written essay can:
- Wake up a bored admissions committee (most essays they'll read are extremely similar)
- Convey your real personality and make you come alive to your readers
- Depict your experiences in movie-like clarity and detail
- Show your best qualities and values
- Help the reader see why you and their program are such a great fit
Simply put, the essay is not a to-do; it's a powerful tool to help you get accepted!
Lauren Hammond is our vet school application essay expert and has been helping people write their veterinary school personal statements for several years. Whether you just want some feedback on a draft, or you're staring at a blank Word doc and don't know where to begin, she is happy to help!
Contact Lauren directly at 951-395-4646 (phone or text), or send us an email.
She works with people online via Zoom and via email / Google Docs.
P.S. We offer GRE prep!
Lauren: I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Literature and Writing, with a concentration in Writing, at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and my Master’s Degree in English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University (SDSU). I recently completed my PhD in English at the University of California Riverside (UCR) in September 2023. Upon graduating, I began my current position as UCR's Graduate Writing Center Specialist and Fulbright Program Advisor last summer.
I have been a writing consultant for nearly 10 years now, and I've helped people with research writing, thesis/dissertation projects, rhetorical and literary analyses, writing in the humanities, grammar/sentence mechanics, and more. My focus for VKTP centers on graduate school application materials– including personal statements, diversity statements, and research statements– as well as job market materials for academic and alt-academic positions– resumes, CVs, cover letters, etc.
During my downtime, I love hanging out with my husband, 2-year-old daughter, and our two dogs, Link and Leia! My favorite activities are going on the boat, cruising on the golf cart, and making our way through all of the local eateries. When we aren’t out and about, I typically enjoy reading and watching movies.
Working with Lauren is $225 per hour or $995 for a package purchase of 5 hours. You can reach her at 951-395-4646 (phone or text), or by sending us an email.
Love For Lauren
"I had about 6 sessions with Lauren Hammond to go over my personal statements for PhD/PsyD Clinical Psychology applications. I had different goals for each of my statements (e.g., trim, content development, brainstorm ideas), and she tailored each session to meet my needs. An hour might seem short, but she was very productive and sometimes went over two short statements in one session. She was also available via text for any brief questions or concerns. I am very happy with her service and recommend it to anyone who wants to craft a stand-out personal statement. I thought my writing skills were already good, but the final product, including her revisions, turned out even better than I expected."
- Fiona Wang (see review on Google Maps)
Lauren helped me out SO much with my MFT graduate school essays. I've already gotten an interview from two schools, and I was incredibly happy with the essay results. 110% would recommend her! Thank you so much Lauren.
"Very happy to have worked with Vince on my GRE prep and Lauren on my personal essay writing. Both were integral to my success in getting accepted to my ideal grad school. Vince had a very straightforward and understandable approach toward taking the test which helped remove the test anxiety I definitely would have otherwise felt. I knew exactly what was coming weeks before I sat down to take it and managed to score about 10-15 points higher than I would have without his help. Lauren was equally helpful in editing my essay - both on the finer details as well as big picture ideas and concepts. I wholeheartedly believe their assistance throughout the GRE and grad school application process is what pushed me over the edge and got me accepted into my ideal program at my ideal school. 5 stars, no question."
- Clifford Grant (see review on Google Maps)
"I worked with Lauren Hammond on my personal statement and she was amazing!! I spent a couple months working with her and it was one of the best decisions that I feel elevated my grad school applications. I came into the first meeting with a draft essay that was basically my resume and was all over the place. Lauren helped me nail down my story and what I am passionate about. I ended up writing an amazing personal statement with great feedback from Lauren that I felt really showed readers who I am. She was super flexible with the times we met and I ended up getting into my TOP choice schools (Johns Hopkins, Brown, etc). I would definitely work with her again!"
- Aster M. (see review on Google Maps)
"Lauren Hammond was so incredibly helpful with my personal statements for grad school. I really needed help with organization, staying focused on a coherent narrative and content-building, which she was phenomenal with. She's also a really sweet person and a pleasure to work with! Can't recommend her enough."
- Mira Park (see review on Google Maps)
"As I was applying to PhD programs, I was struggling to write my personal statements. I searched online for hours to try and find something or someone that looked worth spending the money on and I came across Lauren Hammond at Vince Kotchian Test Prep. I was only planning on doing maybe one session to help get me started but Lauren was SO good that I continued working with her for weeks. She gave such valuable feedback and felt like she truly cared about making my work the best it can be. I even recommended her to my other colleagues who were applying to grad school and they felt the same way. I currently have 3 interviews for grad school and I couldn't have gotten those without her help!"
- Mikayla Haas (see review on Google Maps)
"Lauren Hammond was amazing. She provided me with thoughtful feedback that structured and strengthened my graduate school application essays. She was great at asking questions to push me to be a better writer. You can tell she genuinely cares about her students and wants to see you succeed. Additionally she is flexible in scheduling and will make deadlines work with your timeline. I was accepted into my top school choice and appreciate Lauren for her help in the process. If you or someone you know is looking for an essay tutor for graduate applications, Lauren is definitely the best!"
- Renee Begin (see review on Google Maps)
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should I spend writing my vet school personal statement?
We generally recommend about 4-8 weeks - 6 weeks is a good sweet spot. It takes time to come up with ideas and get those ideas onto paper in a compelling form.
Where can I find some good examples of personal statements?
Other than Google, I really like the sample admissions essays in Graduate Admissions Essays by Donald Asher. If you're a DIY kind of person, Asher's advice for the entire graduate admissions process is very good.
Note: The above links are Amazon affiliate links and I earn a commission if you purchase things through them. However, any commission I earn comes at no additional cost to you, and you pay nothing extra. My recommendation is based on extensive experience using this book's advice with dozens of people over the years, and I recommend it because it's helpful and useful, not because of the small commission I receive if you choose to buy it.
How can I make my personal statement stand out?
MOST personal statements are BORING! Not because the person writing them is boring, but perhaps because:
- Their focus is too broad. They try to cover everything they've done, and nothing ends up standing out.
- They're impersonal. It's a personal statement - the reader needs to get a sense of who you are and what you're actually like - not some sanitized "professional" version of you.
- They're too safe. Ironically, a statement that takes no risks can be the riskiest thing you can do. We're not applying to a program with the intent of blending in with all the other applicants!
Granted, the above things can be overdone, or done wrong. But most statements make no impact, so it's worth thinking about how yours actually can.
For more personal statement tips, check out Vince's video: 7 Ways to Write a Crappy Graduate School Personal Statement.
What are the basics of applying to vet school?
Securing a spot in a veterinary graduate program is akin to training for a rigorous multi-discipline sport — it demands a combination of academic prowess, hands-on experience, and a deep passion for animal health and welfare. Here’s how the preparation process typically looks:
Starting with academics, most aspiring veterinarians complete a bachelor’s degree, often in fields like biology, animal science, or a related discipline. Courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and advanced math are crucial. Excelling in these subjects is key because they lay the groundwork for understanding animal physiology, diseases, and treatments.
Hands-on experience is a cornerstone of a veterinary application. This isn’t limited to just loving animals; it’s about gaining real-world experience in veterinary settings. Prospective students often accumulate hours through internships, volunteer work, or employment at veterinary clinics, animal shelters, farms, or research labs. This exposure is vital for demonstrating practical skills and a commitment to the profession.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is often a requirement for vet programs. A solid score can bolster an application, indicating a candidate’s readiness for the academic rigor of a veterinary program.
Applications usually include essays and letters of recommendation. Essays are an opportunity to express your passion for veterinary medicine, reflect on your experiences, and discuss your career aspirations. It's crucial to choose recommenders who can vouch for your hands-on abilities and academic competence in the field.
Interviews are common in vet school admissions, allowing candidates to showcase their communication skills, understanding of the veterinary profession, and motivation for pursuing this career.
Extra efforts, like participating in animal health research or being active in animal welfare organizations, can also give your application an edge.
In summary, getting into a veterinary graduate program involves a mix of strong academic performance, extensive hands-on experience with animals, clear communication of your passion and understanding of the field, and the personal qualities needed to excel in the demanding world of veterinary medicine. It’s a path that requires dedication and a deep commitment to animal care and health.