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Is it ok to use the names of my ex or recent professors in the personal statement? Of course in positive context (how they influenced me etc.) I am not from the USA and in my country it is quite uncommon to write essays like that, so I do not know if it would be ok to use the names.

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    Could you give an example?
    – Ébe Isaac
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 16:03
  • I am going to write about the people and circumstances that motivated me to pursue for studying in the USA. the ex professor of mine influenced me a lot in this case, so I would like to mention him, but I am not sure if it is ok to mention his name also.
    – Alyssa88
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 16:21
  • Is this regarding your CV or résumé?
    – Ébe Isaac
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 16:42
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    I can't imagine there's a problem with that. You might want to contact that professor so they know they're being mentioned, in case they have an objection for some reason or so they're prepared in case they're contacted.
    – Jeff
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 17:33

1 Answer 1

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There is no reason of ethics or custom to prevent you from using the names of professors in your personal statement. Remember, however, that the personal statement needs to be about you, not about your professors, and choose accordingly whether to talk about a particular professor.

Thus, for example:

  • If you are talking about a research experience that you had as an undergraduate, then the name of the professor that you worked with is quite germane, and likely to be one of your references in any case.

  • If you are talking about a class that inspired you, then the class and the professor are not particularly interesting for the statement: instead what is interesting is what that inspiration has caused you to do.

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