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Masters of Social Work - Statement of Purpose -


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Hi all:

Thank you for taking the time to read my admittance essay as this means a lot to me. After the break below please find my essay required for admittance into a well respected MSW program. Here are some of the topics they would like us to touch on. Im afraid my organizational skills are not up to par, nor do I believe I have made enough mention regarding my interest in social work. Any help is TRULY appreciated!!

Why you are seeking graduate education and where your educational and career interests lie.
- Your experience with people of different ethnic, religious, or racial backgrounds.
- An area of practice in which you have a special interest.
- The type of position or organization in which you would like to work in the future.
- A specific instance or issue of social injustice about which you have some concern.
- The reasons for your concern about that social injustice.
- Plans for financing your education.
- To what extent will you be relying upon personal assets and earnings, help from family, loans, and other sources? If you would like to be considered for scholarship or other aid from the School, tell us why you believe you deserve, merit or should receive such an award.

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By definition, the term standard of living is often used to assess the state of one's mental and physical wellbeing. As a fairly recent college graduate working in the pharmaceutical industry, I find myself in the middle of frequent discussions revolving around how we can improve someoneís health. From a distance, itís easy to believe that once treatment begins, symptoms subside, chronic pain is alleviated, and mental health improves. Unfortunately, we know this is not true and I have come to understand and appreciate the strength, resiliency, and hardships that many people with health issues face. I believe that with a comprehensive education in social work, I will be prepared to make a tangible difference working with people who struggle with their treatment regimens and conditions.

As I finished up my undergraduate degree and got prepared to enter the workforce, I put a premium on working my way up the corporate ladder. As I grew within my organization, I received promotions, responsibility, and more visibility with my clients. I currently enjoy what I do for a living however, I find myself questioning whether or not I am fulfilled. Personally, I envision myself having an active role within a hospital or clinic working with people to address their needs. By coupling the skills I have acquired from my professional career with my knowledge of current health issues, I believe that I have what it takes to make an impact in the community. Whether that is providing support for a grieving family, setting up a discharge plan, or something as simple as having a friendly conversation; I know that I am setting myself up with a career choice that will bring me years fulfillment and happiness.

Living a happy, healthy lifestyle is nothing short of a blessing as it can disappear at any moment. One afternoon, my aunt called my mother and let her know that my uncle had an inoperable brain tumor which was considered to be terminal. He showcased no signs of having a serious illness until he collapsed one evening. My family's world got flipped upside down in the blink of an eye. As tragic as my uncleís situation was, his experience helped me to appreciate how fortunate I am to be a happy healthy young adult. Prior to my uncle getting sick, I never really thought about how unpredictable life can be. Some of our happiest moments during his illness arose from the smallest acts of kindness and hope. His case manager became such an integral part of not only his treatment regimen, but his life as well. It was easy to see how her positive attitude and knowledge of his situation made an immediate impact on all of us. By the time his treatment was through, we accepted her as not only a consummate professional, but as part of the family.

Volunteering has always been an important aspect of my life and it will continue to be for as long as I can donate my time. Over the past two years, I volunteered to be a part of a team that does pro bono marketing for nonprofit organizations through my current place of employment. My experiences working with XXXXX and the XXXXX have been nothing short of amazing. In both instances, I not only got to experience how non-profits work from an operational standpoint, but I was allowed to actively participate as a volunteer.

As a former college baseball player, I jumped at the opportunity to work with XXXXX. This organization provides children with the necessary equipment, fields, and the training required to learn the game of baseball. I had the pleasure of participating as a counselor tasked with teaching young children how to properly play the game of baseball. Seeing the excitement in the kidsí faces after fielding their first ground ball was enthralling.

Managing the children that participated in the program was without a doubt one of the most challenging, but rewarding experiences in my life. Before attending college I volunteered at the local XXXX as a youth counselor. I was introduced to a young boy that acted out quite often and could not be reasoned with. Naturally, children misbehave and must be reprimanded in the appropriate fashion, but I sensed something was different about this boy. I took him aside and asked him why he continually disobeyed the rules. He mentioned to me that he was constantly bullied because he had a prosthetic foot. Prior to this no one ever took this time to actually investigate why he felt the way he did. This breakthrough made all the difference in our relationship, as I knew the boy now respected me enough to abide by the rules. Through my volunteer experiences I have become more patient, empathetic, and understanding to diverse groups of people and their unique situations.
Developing a shared understanding of what a working relationship is about is without a doubt one of the most important managerial skills I have learned throughout my career. Working efficiently with others requires both parties to be open to suggestions, criticisms, and the ability to stay on track. By setting boundaries and defining goals, you give yourself the opportunity to review and adjust them as need be. Goal setting is an important aspect in any service area. We need to recognize that no matter how one may view a community, we can find strengths and capacities for improvement in each community.

Although managerial skills are essential to any working relationship, I believe that basic communication principals are the most important skills required for any profession. These skills are crucial to establishing an effective and respectful relationship with anyone. Working within a corporate environment has afforded me the opportunity to refine my interpersonal skills. Maintaining eye contact, speaking in a clear and confident fashion, as well as the capacity to attentively listen make a huge difference when communicating with others. Naturally, a social worker has to display qualities such as compassion, respect, and patience in order to effectively manage their clientís needs however; if they cannot effectively communicate with others, resolving conflicts and making decisions becomes all the more difficult.

We live in one of the most interesting economic climates in our nation's history. Unemployment is soaring, international relations are boiling over, and healthcare reform is right around the corner. I was fortunate enough to never have to worry about not having coverage or wondering how I am going to afford medical bills. During my high school years, I worked as an excavator for a construction company. It was here where I met many hardworking men that worked themselves to the bone in order to provide for their families. I became particularly close with one man that moved from Mexico, obtained his US citizenship, and brought his family to our town with nothing but the clothes on his back. He unfortunately ruptured a disk in his back but had no way of affording the surgery required to fix it. Without the enough money to purchase his own healthcare plan, he had no choice but to continue to work through the pain.

Without getting into the political aspects of the Affordable Care Act, I can say that I am proud to know that our country's healthcare reform will allow more people to seek proper medical treatment. Itís apparent that this reform will have a significant impact on all social workers and community associations. Most would agree that social workers will now have to act as educators in order for reform to be successful. Understanding the scope of our reform is a monumental task for anyone interested in the subject. Are we to expect that all of the new people covered under this plan will understand all of the benefits they now have at their disposal? In my opinion, most people are still struggling to understand how to receive their prescription drugs through Medicare Part D which is a much less daunting piece of legislature. Although we are far away from full implementation, I know we have at least taken a step down the right path.

As of late, I have had some interesting conversations with my peers, friends, and family regarding my interest in changing careers. They agree that I have the personality traits and desire to make a difference in someoneís life, but cannot seem to understand why I am so excited about the prospects of earning a masterís in social work. Two particular reasons are very important to me. Immediately after I graduated with my bachelorís degree, I made it a goal to attain a masterís before I turned 30. Secondly, pursuing a degree in social work will afford me the opportunity to meet people I never would have met otherwise. Communicating, collaborating, and interacting with others is the fastest way to expanding your horizons. Everyone has a story and something positive can be taken away from each one of them.

Along with being a test of oneís commitment to furthering their education, graduate school is also a serious financial undertaking. As I previously mentioned, attaining my masterís degree has been of the utmost importance to me no matter what the cost. By managing my finances appropriately, I have saved enough money to pay for all the costs associated with the education. I will have to work to supplement my living expenses, but I am hoping I might have the opportunity to work at a clinic or hospital in hopes of gaining real work experience. Deciding to pursue a masterís degree has been an easy decision to make. I am willing to attend school full time in order to fulfill two of my life long goals no matter what obstacles stand before me.

I am prepared to start the next chapter of my life enrolled in XXXX Universityís Master of Social Work program. The great Roberto Clemente once said, ďAny time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you donít you are wasting your time on Earth.Ē If I am fortunate enough to be given that opportunity, you can believe that I will make the most of it. It has been almost three years since I have been this excited about where my life is heading and I cannot put into words how important this goal is to me. Although the financial and personal constraints that I am placing on myself are admittedly frightening, I know that through hard work and perseverance, I will make the most of this opportunity.
I like the overall concepts you try to convey in the essay. Your use of personal examples have been great in explaining There are some areas that can be tightened and others that should be amended to fit with the objectives of social work. I am attaching the essay with edit notes (see tracking comments in the attachment).

In terms of what was required of you in this essay, these are my findings:

Why you are seeking graduate education and where your educational and career interests lie.You have successfully explained and provided background information that supports your plans.
- Your experience with people of different ethnic, religious, or racial backgrounds.Good job in using personal exampes.
- An area of practice in which you have a special interest.Again, you've succeed in providing a clear explanation.
- The type of position or organization in which you would like to work in the future.Good! See previous comment.
- A specific instance or issue of social injustice about which you have some concern.Your discussion and example are good.
- The reasons for your concern about that social injustice.Good.
- Plans for financing your education.Excellent explanation!
- To what extent will you be relying upon personal assets and earnings, help from family, loans, and other sources? If you would like to be considered for scholarship or other aid from the School, tell us why you believe you deserve, merit or should receive such an award.Again, excellent explanation!


I hope this is helpful. I wish you the best and know you will succeed!



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