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On Call Fire Fighter, Application Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1414

Application Essay

Over the course of my academic and professional careers, I have been called upon to develop several personal statements as part of admissions or hiring processes. In each instance, the criteria and the expectations for such essays were fairly narrow and did not require a substantial degree of personal reflection. In this case, however, I find the task of writing a personal statement to be a greater challenge. I believe it takes a certain personality type, mindset, and set of physical attributes to assume the responsibilities of being a firefighter, and I hope to use this essay to illustrate my suitability for the role while maintaining a modicum of modesty and humility. With this in mind, I took some time to reflect on not just who I am, or why I believe I am a suitable candidate, but also on why I wish to be a firefighter. I was raised to value community and service, and I have consciously and purposely shaped my personal and professional development around the goal of one day being of service. After years of being away in pursuit of academic and professional goals, I recently returned to Kent, and now live in Tenterden, near my hometown of Pluckley. It dawned on me not long ago that the life I had been planning for and working toward, a life that would prepare me for a position of such responsibility, is the life I am now living. I am ready to able to take on the challenge of being an on-call firefighter and to make a positive contribution to my community.

It is no exaggeration to say that becoming a firefighter was a childhood dream. I vividly recall being a young girl and watching the animated “Frances the Firefly” fire safety film, just as I remember my excitement when the book version was published a few years later. The content and the tone of this material stood out to me, as it had a message and purpose that transcended the typical animated entertainment of the 1990s and early aughts. Although I could not formulate my thoughts coherently at the time, I was already developing a sense that being a firefighter was as much a calling as it was and occupation. I used to tell my father that I was going to be a firefighter when I grew up. As I got older, my childhood dreams faded, but my commitment to being of service did not. I was initially drawn to fields in the sciences because I saw potential for a career in which I can help others. My professional life took some unexpected turns and opened up some unexpected opportunities, and in more recent years I have developed a career in sales. Despite my professional successes, my desire to help others has not waned. My interest in being a firefighter was rekindled several years ago when my father fell ill. I marveled at the efficiency, skills, and compassion displayed by the Fire and Rescue personnel, and was reminded again of my childhood dream to become a firefighter. I recognized that I still had some work to do and some pieces of my life to put in place before making the commitment, and thus began my conscious plan to prepare myself for this important role.

As part of my preparation for the role of on-call firefighter, I reviewed the personal qualities and attributes required for such a job. I am confident that I have both the innate traits and the commitment to personal and professional development needed to be a firefighter. My CV can attest to my scientific background and to my professional development and successes in scientific and technical sales, but a CV alone may not explicate how my background translates so closely to the personal attributes and qualities needed in firefighters. My career requires me to interact and communicate with people from all different backgrounds and in many different parts of the world. My commitment to diversity is not just a checked box on a hiring form; I have learned through experience to value diversity as a key component of success. Diversity foments change, shines light on new ideas, and offers new perspectives on familiar problems. As anyone with a scientific background can attest, being open to change is the only way to solve problems. Scientific rigor demands a commitment to excellence and unswerving devotion to maintaining the highest possible standards. The regimentation of the scientific method provides a framework for learning from both success and failure, and science itself is a process of discarding bad ideas and maintaining good ones based on empirical evidence. Seen through this lens, being committed to excellence and being open to change are categorical imperatives for success.

In some ways, working in the sciences and working in sales are worlds apart. Science is dry, rigorous, and rational, while sales can be emotional and even irrational. In any given situation, customers often make buying decisions based on their emotional responses to the product, the service, or their salesperson. This is why some sales professions are marred by unethical behavior, but it is possible to balance the emotionality of the relationship with customers and clients against the ethical rigor and high standards of science and empirical data. Over the course of my career, I have cultivated a strong set of communication skills, and I take great pleasure in the positive and mutually beneficial relationships I have built with so many of my clients. Working well with others is quite literally the most important prerequisite of working in sales, and those who cannot do so will not flourish. While success in sales is prima facie evidence of the ability to work well with others, it is also indicative of confidence and resilience. As anyone who has ever worked in a sales position knows, rejection is a huge part of the job. Having the confidence to bounce back from such rejection is the only way to survive and succeed in sales. Salespeople have a mantra: “every ‘no’ from a potential customer takes me one step closer to the next ‘yes’.” I bring this degree of confidence and resilience to every aspect of my life, and I will bring it to my role as an on-call firefighter.

I would like to conclude with some of my thoughts on personal and professional development. My commitment to development has informed every aspect of my life. I set and met the goal of graduating at the top of my class when I earned my master’s degree, and I bring that same commitment to my career. Sales is about growth, and I set and met growing sales targets even through the worst months of the pandemic. This commitment meant finding new ways to communicate with customers, such as creating new online content or establishing online webinars and meetings. I have long valued my interpersonal skills, and I have a discerning eye for body language and nonverbal communication. Lockdowns and social distancing often made such skills irrelevant, and I was forced to find new and creative ways to achieve my goals. On a personal level, I am committed to health and fitness. I am a keen runner, and I completed the Manchester marathon two years ago while also raising money for the Pilgrims Hospice. In the wake of that accomplishment, I devoted myself to learning more about strength training and conditioning. I have since developed my own strength training regimen as well as a cardio fitness program shaped around my eager and energetic rescue dogs and our nearby running trail. While I value occasional opportunities to rest, relax, and recharge, I largely eschew wasted time. I recharge by pushing myself and those around me to be a little bit better today than we were yesterday.

Thank you for taking the time to read this statement. I am confident that I can make a valuable contribution both to the fire department and to the community it serves, and I am confident that I possess and embody the personal qualities and attributes necessary to become an on-call firefighter. I take life challenges seriously, and I do not shy away from difficult situations. I am fit, I am smart, I work well under pressure, I am open to learning new things, and I am committed to being better tomorrow than I am today. I am grateful for the opportunity to apply for this position, and I hope you will consider me to be a suitable candidate for the role of on-call firefighter.

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