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JET Statement of Purpose - what they're looking for

 
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1304
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: JET Statement of Purpose - what they're looking for Reply with quote

I've had <ahem> several people email me their SoP's over the last few weeks. If there's one piece of advice I would give to most of you it is this: tell JET what you will bring to the table for them, not what you're hoping to get out of it.

JET gets thousands of applications every year. They can be selective, and over the last few years have been getting very much so. The SoP is your single chance to stand out from everyone else applying and it's what is going to secure you the interview. To do that you need to tell them what you can offer. They don't, per se, care what you'll get out of it.

Lastly, don't be a fan boy or a creeper. Honestly, this shouldn't need saying, but writing about how you've (& I'm paraphrasing literally here) always had a fantasy about working in a Japanese school just like in the manga you read or the anime you watch is, at best, creepy. Read it out loud, and do it in a creeper voice: if it sounds bad/weird to you then it's going to read even worse to the reviewers!

Good luck, and I genuinely hope to see some of you at the interviews. Some of you have clearly got it together and come across well. Others... you need to do some work on the SoP! If you're in Denver for the interviews for the 2013 round, say hi.
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fat_chris



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 2534
Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, PRC

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:21 am    Post subject: Re: JET Statement of Purpose - what they're looking for Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
If there's one piece of advice I would give to most of you it is this: tell JET what you will bring to the table for them, not what you're hoping to get out of it.

Lastly, don't be a fan boy or a creeper.


As a successful JET interviewee in my first application and a former JET Programme Prefectural Advisor, I wholeheartedly agree with the above and echo it.

What will you bring to the table in terms of adding to the school(s) that you may be placed at? That should be emphasized in your SoP. It's obvious that you will gain a lot (perhaps even more than you give) from Japan and the JET Programme so as G Cthulhu mentioned, focus instead on what and how you will contribute.

Also, what is your interest in teaching at the school that you may be placed at?

It is good to show an interest in Japanese culture (and also to express an interest in getting involved in a club of Japanese culture in your potential school or community), but I agree with G Cthulhu. The people, for instance, who say they've wanted to go to Japan since the age of seven because they've maintained a strong love of robots since that age (I've actually heard this) do come across as abnormal and creepy.

Also, if you have little or no Japanese language ability, express a strong desire to study the language. Make a plan now for what you will do to improve your language ability.

Just my two yen's worth from a layman's view.

Good luck to all in the application process! Go over your essays again and again and again and make sure there are no mistakes whatsoever in your application.

The JET Programme can be a great experience.

Warm regards,
fat_chris
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