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Developing a Lifelong Interest in Politics-SOP MA in Public Policy (Conflict Studies)

SEA_MAapplicant 1 / 2  
May 24, 2012   #1
Hi all,

I would really appreciate any kind of feedback on the contents, flow, and overall effectivity of my statement of purpose for my application to a Master in Public Policy program (specializing in International Conflict Studies) in a German university.

Thank you for your time.


Instructions for Statement of Purpose

Applicants must send a personal statement of purpose. Please describe why you are interested in public policy and how your academic and/or professional background has influenced your decision to pursue a career in the field of public policy. How and why will the pursuit of your degree at the XXX help you to achieve your professional goals?

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Raised by a family of political activists in the Philippines, I learned at an early age the value of asking questions. I have childhood memories of seeing my mother standing on the roof of a jeepney, bullhorn in hand as she demanded accountability from the government; or of playing with children of deseparecidos, and listening to them recount how their parents were taken by unknown people and never seen again. These unconventional experiences instilled a lifelong interest in politics, and inspired me to enter the XXX College of Law, the premiere law school in the country. In law school, I enhanced this interest by heading the Human Rights Desk in the Paralegal Volunteers Organization, an organization that seeks to empower urban poor, peasant, indigenous communities and laborers by teaching them about the law and their rights.

After graduation, I was enticed by the financial rewards of a corporate law practice and entered one of the biggest corporate law firms in the country. Despite the financial rewards, I felt unfulfilled and grew dissatisfied with the work. This led me to seek employment in the Supreme Court.

Working for the highest tribunal in the country awakened my slumbering interest in politics. In the course of my three years as a law clerk, I handled a variety of political cases ranging from the proper implementation of the government's agrarian reform agenda to the balancing of the government's right to prosecute corrupt public officials vis-ŕ-vis the accused's right to due process of law.

My particular interest in conflict studies arose from the research I conducted sometime in July 2011, when I was tasked to draft a decision concerning the constitutionality of a law that postponed regional elections in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. While the law was passed with the identified purpose of synchronizing the regional elections with the national elections, it was widely known that political considerations were at play, namely the need to "clean house" and implement much needed political and electoral reforms in the region following the Maguindanao Massacre. Studying the history of the ongoing armed conflict in Mindanao gave me a deeper understanding of the reasoning behind the separatist aspirations of the original inhabitants of the region, composed of Muslims and indigenous peoples. It was this assignment that gave me the idea of furthering my studies in the area of conflict studies and management.

I am aware that my present position in government service assures me professional and financial stability. However, learning about all the changes happening all over the world - the struggle for freedom in the Arab world, the ongoing conflicts in Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan - makes me want to expand my horizons. I want to be part in the change that is going on in the world.

In this regard, I would like to pursue employment in the United Nations Development Program or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or other related international organizations that focus on conflict management or aim to address the problems arising from conflict. I also want to engage in academic research and aim to contribute literature in this field of study. After obtaining invaluable experience in the field, I foresee myself pursuing a doctorate degree in this field. Obtaining a Master in Public Policy from your esteemed institution is the first step to attaining these goals.

I believe that I have the qualities necessary to successfully complete the Master in Public Policy program. I have acquired exemplary legal training from the XXX College of Law. My legal training has been enhanced by 6 years of legal work experience in both the private sector and the government, which have further developed my skills in legal research and writing, issue spotting and problem solving, and legal reasoning.

Apart from my solid foundation in law and research, I am determined to succeed and I have the great desire to learn. Coming from a different country and given my work experience in the government, I believe I can contribute a different perspective to the program. I am also eager to exchange ideas and viewpoints and, most importantly, to learn from people from different countries. I hope I will be given the opportunity to do so.
ClarissaMach 1 / 4  
May 24, 2012   #2
The text seems excellent to me, but I am not a native speaker.


I think the word "desEparecidos" is actually "desAparecidos". It existis in Spanish and Portuguese (the latter is my native language).

...aim to contribute to literature in this field of study...

Good luck.

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