Statement of Purpose

What is a statement of purpose?

A statement of purpose is your chance to tell a potential employer about yourself in narrative form. It goes beyond what a resume, writing samples, and letters of recommendation are able to accomplish. For the purposes of your profile, your writing sample should be no less than a full paragraph and no more than two paragraphs. The content should be well-thought out, meaningful for you as a person, should contain no spelling or grammatical errors, and should be written with consideration for who the audience is (the hiring manager for an internship position).

Things to include in your statement of purpose:


  • Your inspiration or motivation to pursue an internship.
  • Your life experiences which will contribute to a career in this field.
  • Volunteer work or research or internship experience in this field.
  • Specifics about how an internship will enable you to pursue your future career.
  • Detailed information about your goals, both short term and long term.

Things you SHOULD NOT include in your statement of purpose:


  • Redundant information from other application materials, such as your resume. New details, such as recent internship positions or honors, awards or publications can be discussed in the statement of purpose.
  • Information which may reflect negatively on your candidacy. Obviously, honesty is required in an application, but it is not necessary to focus on areas which could be perceived adversely.
  • Do not use vocabulary that you do not understand.
  • Do not invent facts to make yourself appear more suited for a position.