I have always enjoyed reading on wide range of subject matters and meeting with people from different backgrounds. This has helped me develop my critical thinking skills as well as become better aware of personal biases. As I learnt more about the outside world, I realized my good fortune in growing up in a stable family environment and having access to numerous personal growth opportunities along the way. It was apparent to me that success is not always the outcome of personal factors but also good luck and a fair society is only possible when everyone has equal access to opportunities as well as shot at success. My knowledge and experiences has convinced me that there are three areas upon which the society should focus to improve the lives of less fortunate and help them become more productive members of the society. My career goals include a major focus on these three areas which are homelessness and poverty, child development and family education, and youth work. This is why I am applying into the competitive Master of Social Work program at Saint Leo University because the program’s rigorous coursework has a reputation for teaching both technical and soft skills to its graduates that enable them make material difference in the communities in which they work. Graduate education is one of the most important investments in one’s career and I believe only Saint Leo University can prepare me well for the challenges I intend to tackle as a social worker.
One of the major reasons I am attracted to Saint Leo University is also its strong professional network which provides students with a wide range of internship opportunities. As soon as I am accepted in the program, I intend to contact the MSW Field Faculty to inquire about opportunities in one of the three areas I have mentioned above but my first priority will be homelessness and poverty. One can never discount the importance of economic resources in providing a strong foundation to a family and I hope to work in some of the least impoverished areas. It is one of my major career goals to make the maximum difference which is why I have set my eyes on helping some of the most vulnerable members of our society so that they can serve as inspiration to others through their life examples.
I am fortunate that my academic and work experiences have prepared me well for a career in social work. I have always envisioned a career that helps me make positive difference in the society and this philosophy has influenced my choices of academic majors and work experiences over the years. One is usually more committed to his/her work when the nature of the work is in line with one’s personal philosophies. My greatest strength in this profession is the realization that I won a lottery by being born in the right place and I owe it to the society to help those who have had not been so lucky. For me, this career will not just be a job but a personal mission. I have always admired individuals like Bill Gates, Mother Teresa, and Rockefellers who have had the wisdom to see the truth that society progresses when it takes good care of its least-fortunate members. My second greatest strength is my ability to put myself in others’ shoes and feel their emotions. My friends often tell me I am able to understand others because I don’t judge people and make every effort to understand things from others’ point of view. My experiences are also a valuable asset because my life and work experiences have provided me the opportunity to closely observe people from almost every economic and social background. As a result, I have been able to resist the stereotypes that are quite widespread such as homeless people being lazy and so on. I am an objective thinker and do not let my emotions or potential personal biases influence my work.
People skills and financial resources management are also among my personal strengths. At some of my jobs, I was one of the youngest staff members and often worked with supervisors who had decades of experiences. This has helped me understand the differences in work and thinking styles among people from different generations. Similarly, I have observed that more and more non-profit organizations are faced with limited resources and fortunately, many of them have borrowed operating practices from the corporate sector. Thus, I am also aware of the importance of efficient management of human and financial resources because the challenges faced by non-profit organizations often exceed the resources they possess. My greatest limitation may be my willingness to take on more work than I can handle because I am always trying to push myself to improve. But this sometimes has the unfortunate effect of diverting my focus from more important issues and also causes my performance to drop. Thus, I am trying to better understand my personal limitations and will only take additional assignments if I can do them well, without sacrificing the performance in other commitments.
In addition to the above personal qualities, I also have acquired significant academic and work experiences which provide me with a solid foundation for Master of Social Work Program as well as eventual career in social work. My undergraduate degree was in Computer Information System which helped me develop strong data analytical skills. After that I pursued my graduate studies in Mental Health Counseling which I have recently finished. I was a counselor at Drug Education for Youth (DEFY) in MacDill AFB, Florida for over two years as well as a licensed real estate agent for nearly three years. Thus, I have significant exposure to both for-profit and non-profit sectors and I hope these experiences will be valuable during my career as a social worker.