How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University?
to become a data expert
My inspiration to pursue a degree in information comes from realizing how the lack of useful and accurate data influenced my mother's research towards her Ph.D. in Anthropology. Being in an underdeveloped country, she faced several challenges due to data deficit in her research topic. I was in high school when I used to go out with her to collect field samples; I found the lack of research to verify the sample results frustrating.
My mother has always been an inspiration to me. She was the first and one of the few women in her family to pursue a college education in a vastly patriarchal society where professional education is preferred to liberal arts, and she went back to school to get a Ph.D. at the age of 55. She provided me with an environment where I realized that all my thirsts of knowledge can be quenched through education. This led me to attend school in the USA.
I chose to major in Computer Science as I had always been passionate about programming and problem-solving. I soon realized that there was a significant gap in my education where I was not adept to be critical about what I was learning. Compared to my classmates, I was not questioning the readings, nor was I confident enough to second guess my professors. I was fearful of doing so because I was always taught to be compliant and obedient rather than curious and skeptical. Questioning my elders and teachers out of skepticism is considered disrespectful in my community. Not questioning ideas hinders personal growth and development of new ideas. It took me a long time to overcome this fear but with practice, I learned to speak louder and communicate my ideas more effectively using warrants and anecdotes.
During my internship with health informatics at XXXXX Health, I got to work with researchers who used hospital data to obtain results for different research purposes, like how introducing a new training program had reduced number of new documents scanned and stored in the hospital storage, or to look at the trends in Malaria cases. In addition to strengthening my passion for data and qualitative analytics, working there immersed me in the business side of healthcare and introduced me to healthcare informatics.
My undergraduate study has prepared me well for my chosen field of interest. With my interest in solving real-world problems and use of problem-solving skills with the aid of software and algorithms, the MSI program at XXXXX is a perfect fit for me as the course components for Data Science and Analytics and the required internship component are very practical and focused on solving existing problems. I also like the interdisciplinary nature of the program with the cognate coursework and the option to specialize in social computing which has components in social and human behavioral sciences.
I intend to pursue a Masters in order to become an expert in how data can be used to find practical solutions to problems and how data can be used to relate social factors to problems and finding solutions. I am a curious person with an affinity for problem-solving. I want to make effective use of statistical programming to analyze data and derive any patterns or results through analysis to meet individual or organizational goals.