I am a Swedish citizen who has lived my adult life in the US but am now moving back to Europe and is in the process of applying for a masters degree in international public health.
I am writing my first grad school application essay and would love some feedback. Also, there are no specific guide lines in the application regarding how many words the essay should be, but I understand that the norm is 500 words. Does that mean exactly 500 words or is 550 words acceptable?
thank you so much for your help!
Essay question: What is my motivation to apply for the EuroPubHealth Master course?
Growing up in Sweden, my upbringing seemed as ordinary as they come to onlookers. To me, I was anything but normal. My dad was addicted to alcohol, a compulsive gambler with a bad temper. My mom tried to manage the best she could. Most often she was distracted by my father's demands and had no energy to ask my two sisters or me if we did our homework or how our day was. I grew up never telling anyone what was going on at home and no one ever asked. I thought I was the only one in the world with this childhood experience.
These days I see parts of myself daily in children at work. Being there for them in small ways is extremely gratifying to me, simply listening, giving an apple to ensure they get some proper nutrition, or meeting with a wonderfully artistic 3rd grader as a mentor every week. I am also very happy to see that they often feel safe to share their experiences and can gain access to assistance.
Since 2006, I have been fortunate to work as a Nutrition Coordinator for a department within the San Francisco Unified School District. The Nutrition Education Project (NEP) assists schools in building their capacity to meet the needs of the whole child. NEP was one of the first in the US to enter low-income schools to educate students, teachers, and families about the benefits of eating healthy and increasing physical activity. It is an innovative educational system that strives to create sustainable changes in the school community. I manage the project at two elementary school sites, working daily besides mental health workers, nurses, resource specialists, teachers, and administrators. We are all part of a student success team that addresses the needs of students as well as the whole school.
I work with many different cultures, amongst others African American, Japanese, Latino, and Chinese. Many are immigrants, such as myself, and many struggle with extreme poverty and are without a job or a roof over their heads. So how do you teach children and families about the importance of eating breakfast in order to do well in school when they have nowhere to live, no plates of forks, and nowhere to store food?
During my undergraduate degree I researched how social, biological, and environmental factors influence one's health and the choices we make. My belief is that we need to focus on health systems that reflect and honor the needs of the whole individual and that person's specific needs, rather than one size fits all models. With populations all over the world growing increasingly culturally diverse, this is becoming even more crucial.
The more experience I gain in the public health field through professional work, volunteering and community involvement, the more committed I am to the work that I do. I believe that through a Masters of Public Health program I will deepen my understanding of health prevention and promotion programs. I am especially driven to study and research the planning and management of health- and social services. It will help me acquire the experience to effectively and collaboratively implement more important programs like the one I am currently working for.
You have a grand start. Your first para is very impressive. However, I find less clarity in the first sentence of your second para;
These days I see parts of myself daily in children at work .----- This sentence is not written properly to convey your idea to the reader. I believe what you try to say is that you experience flashbacks of your childhood at your work place. Am I correct?
The Nutrition Education Project (NEP) assists schools in building their capacity to meet the needs of the whole child . ------ This is confusing me. Is it whole needs of the child? What do you mean by "whole child"?
NEP was one of the first in the US to enter low-income schools to educate students, teachers, and families about the benefits of
eatinghaving a healthy diet and increasing physical activityexercises .
So how do you teach children and families about the importance of eating breakfast in order to do well in school when they have nowhere to live, no plates of forks, and nowhere to store food? ----very impressive
You've written it so well. Just give attention to these minor points.
Good Luck with your application!
It will help me acquire the experience to effectively and collaboratively implement more important programs like the one with which I am currently involved. I
am currently working for.
This essay is so impressive... I tried to find a way to help you cut 50 words, but every paragraph is meaningful and well-written.
The only part that does not seem to fit with the theme is the introduction. The intro is negative, and it seems a little contrived to say no one asked if you did your homework, etc... almost like you are shirking responsibility. But I do not think the reader will actually take it that way. Still, ask yourself what the main theme of the essay is and if that intro paragraph expresses it well. Maybe that intro para can be improved.
It is a good essay, and more appreciable, you kept it short. Try to find a way to restrict it to 500 words.
I know it will be hard but I would suggest to talk about the university you are applying to. Especially, which of their characteristic attracted you?