Munira Premji

This week I have been watching my daughter work intently into the night.  With painful  concentration she taps away furiously on her laptop, willing the words to come out in the way her  mind envisages.  I see her scratch her head absentmindedly as her mind works overtime.  Occasionally, I see her smile, sometimes I see her shake her head as she reflects on what she has written.

Sabrina is working on her applications for a masters program.  Part of the process is writing a compelling Personal Statement of who you are and the impact you want to have in the world.  And she has 600 words to do this.  In addition to grades, GRE scores, work experience, etc. the Personal Statement is an integral part of the application process.  There are no interviews for the school to assess you.  So your Personal Statement is your opportunity to convey who you are and why the school should accept you.  And when your school of choice gets 9000 applications, and accepts only 10% of those students, your Personal Statement is essential to set you apart.


That got me thinking.  What if we made a conscious effort to create a Personal Statement that reflects who we are, what we stand for and the legacy we want to leave behind.  What if we had only 600 words to do this?  What would it say about who we are and what we want in life?  More importantly, what is it about each one of us that makes us unique and special?  What gifts do we bring to the world?  What are our talents?

In the past 9 months, my Personal Statement has changed considerably.  It used to be that my focus and priority revolved around work. Work really did consume much of my time and thought. And while that served me well, perhaps I compromised other facets of my life. Now my Personal Statement has words that are a bit foreign to me, but are beginning to grow on me.  Words like compassionate and kindness.  Words like play and fulfillment.  Words like family and friends and community. Words like joy and legacy.  And I am trying to fit patience in there as well, which is something I need to learn!

I read a wonderful quote by Leo Buscaglia the other day that said, “Your talent is God’s gift to you; what you do with it is your gift to God.”    Life is fragile and time is not an unlimited resource.  Now is the time to unleash your special gifts and talent into the world!

– Munira


  • Pascale , October 1, 2012

    Hello Munira,
    I do read your inspiring messages as soon as I receive them. I hope this will find you good. I see the words you used, the angle of life you see, your appreciation and gratitude, the beauty of it, the quality of question you raised. I am in a room of my house working in front of a window looking at the beautiful trees outside, a little bit of wind just enough to make leafs move. The sky is gray but calm. I feel quiet, in peace with myself. I hope you feel the same.
    I am thinking of you.

  • Rashida Kanji , September 24, 2012

    Wishing Sabrina success in her career! I am sure she will definitely make an excellent Master’s candidate. Be sure God is watching you every step of the way.


    • Premji Family , September 27, 2012

      Hi Rashida. I am also rooting for Sabrina. By the way, she just published her first book that talks about her experiences in Africa. It’s nice to visualize God watching over is all! Munira

  • lucy , September 21, 2012

    This blog which has become part of my life inspire and challenge me and makes me speak to God for you Munira and Premji family. For the Love you are showing all of us. Be inspired too that God is walking with you and you are creating a legacy through the inspiring messages he is putting in you. Sabrina all the best with the masters program. Your personal statement will be real because that is the passion i have seen in you.

    • Premji Family , September 27, 2012

      Dear Lucy. I really love the visual of God walking with me. It makes me feel safe and warm! Thank you also for reading the blog regularly. I agree with your comments about Sabrina! Munira

  • Anonymous , September 20, 2012

    No matter how good the personal statement is ,make sure you are “yourself” at the interview, too !Flowery or big words or “too good to be true” words can create a sense of doubtness to the reader on the other side as the reader might think “you have copied from somwhere ” or are being couched to write. Just be yourself.After all , you are who who you are, you dont have to pretend , besides , “personal statements CAN change over time,cant they?

    you will make it !!dont worry too much about it

    • Premji Family , September 27, 2012

      I agree with you that your personal statement needs to be authentic, and it also is dynamic and needs to be revisited from time to time. Munira

  • Anonymous , September 20, 2012

    I am certain Sabrina’s Life Statement will be well worth reading. She will make an excellent Master’s candidate. I will keep my fingers crossed for her. Love, Patti.

    • Premji Family , September 27, 2012

      Hi Patti. I am hoping to read Sabrinas life starement this weekend – and i cant wait! Sorry for not connecting with you earlier. We had talked about meeting up at PMH last Thursday. There have been some changes in my schedule and will be spending many days in the hospital in October. I will call you next week. Love. Munira

  • yasmin valani , September 20, 2012

    We wish Sabrina all the best in getting accepted at the school of her choice.

  • Cindy Choleras , September 20, 2012

    What a wonderful & inspiring message as usual Munira. That quote is a “keeper” for sure.
    Wishing Sabrina success with her Master application as well.
    Hugs, Cindy

    • Premji Family , September 27, 2012

      I love that quote too Cindy! I will pass on your message to Sabrina. Munira

  • Rozmin Ramji , September 20, 2012

    Your messages are so inspirational and powerful and uplifting. God bless you.

    • Premji Family , September 27, 2012

      Rozmin. Thank you so much for your comments and for reading the blog! Munira

  • Anonymous , September 20, 2012

    Although it may come across as being conceited, Sabrina could wrap up her Personal Statement in one word…”Perfect”.


    • Anonymous , September 20, 2012

      Munira – You and Sabrina have the most amazing way of articulating and that is possibly your gift back to God; your ability to put in words in such an eloquent manner. God bless – It was good to see you in JK on Monday. Love Yasmin Ratansi

    • Premji Family , September 27, 2012

      I really, really appreciate your comments very much. It was really good to see you in JK as well! Munira

    • Premji Family , September 27, 2012

      I could not agree more Caroline. I think Sabrina is quite perfect – but then I am totally biased! Munira

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