How is it going??
I am going to apply for two Ph.D. programs in Organizational Behavior at the end of this year and I want to ask your opinion about something.
My personal statement is about 3.5 pages long and I believe it shapes very well who I am in terms of values and skills, and how I connect with each program and overall research. But I would like to include something where I could present myself more personally and try to bring some humor to the table. I intend to do that by quoting Kirk or Spock from the Star Trek series (I am a big nerd by the way) because it is related to exploration and logic.
And just adding a little bit of context about my field: while the majority of the programs in Organizational Behavior approach it from a similar approach that hard sciences like Physics and Chemistry take, it has no focus no application at all, and no concern about that behavior is messy and is very related to the context where it is inserted. In contrast, there is a strain called Action-Research that is focused on using research methods to solve real-life problems, so it is very common for researchers that take this approach to work as consultants and be more open-minded due to its connection with the real world. Both the programs I am applying to take this approach. And there is also a strain in research in psychology that is Positive Psychology which focuses on life-giving experiences rather than pathological ones, and one of the two programs takes this approach.
- What do you think about my strategy?
- In one letter I am thinking about being serious throughout the letter and after finishing it with “Yours truly, Diego Tavares” put the citation “One can begin to reshape the landscape with a single flower”, Mr. Spock (for the program focused on positive psychology) aligned more on the right side of the paper and in italics. - My intention here is to create the thought “Did he just quote Spock?! WTF?! ”. Given it is focused on positive behavior leading to positive behavior, I believe it is aligned with the program. Even though I like this approach because it reduces the risk of unnecessarily inflating the letter, I am concerned about the risk of this ending shadowing the whole letter. What do you think?
- I can create a new paragraph (or update an existing one) where I give myself some room to talk more freely about myself and then bring a citation from Kirk or Spock. I want to use this approach by on focusing one paragraph to speak more freely because I am afraid that including the citation someplace in the letter might give room for them to think that I am being serious about using a TV series statement to present my case. What do you think?
And one thing about my personal statement, throughout the letter I cite renowned scholars from the field and also the faculty from each program. So I am afraid that doing this might create the possibility that I am seriously using this to build my case.
And overall, please, do tell me your thoughts about all of this!