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Public health to enhance my journey in health promotion and chronic disease prevention


kris123 1 / 1 1  
Oct 25, 2017   #1
Hi everyone,

I could really use some feedback for my letter of intent. I'm finding it difficult to describe how the program fits to my goals...thank you!!

"Applicants are encouraged to be specific in their letters of intent and clearly articulate applicants' interests in pursuing the MPH at XXX, and describe how the program fits within their overall personal and professional goals. Please avoid duplicating the information in the LOI with the details of your CV. An effective LOI should identify how you will use the skills and knowledge from your work and educational experiences towards achieving your goals in the MPH program. Further, the LOI should demonstrate an understanding of the Public Health field. The LOI must not be more than 700 words."

MPH program application



The idea that social marketing is using commercial marketing concepts, but to promote change and influence health behaviours rather than selling a product was eye opening to me. Throughout my health sciences coursework and hands on community and public service experience, I felt my passion for public health grow, especially in health promotion and chronic disease prevention. I am drawn to the Masters of Public Health program at XXX because it will allow me to tailor my current experience and interest in health promotion which focuses the 'how' to prevent chronic diseases, while also filling in the gaps where I want to gain a full perspective on understanding and applying the 'why' through epidemiological data to clearly define the problem, design and prioritize effective prevention programs.

I believe public health in practice takes a collaborative effort from multiple sectors and has the ability to empower individuals and communities to make informed health decisions. My experiences working in non-profit organizations placed me in a unique position where I was the connector of partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders all aiming to achieve the same goal. Working on a healthy cooking and eating Type 2 diabetes prevention program, I discovered that the key successes were not only the education provided in a hands on learning environment to enable people to make informed health decisions, but also the training of lay people within the local communities to teach this program. I was involved in implementing, delivering and evaluating this curriculum-based program as well as a train-the-trainer model where my strong communication and research skills were essential in achieving positive health outcomes and increasing community capacity.

I also became involved with the XXX as a health promotion champion because I wanted to put health promotion theories into practice and impact community action at various age levels. I established the first-ever health promotion aspect to 'Relay for Life XXX', which is a 12-hour relay cancer fundraising event at XXX. This event previously had no healthy food policies, physical activities for participants or strong emphasis on cancer prevention strategies. I collaborated with the committee members to develop and implement a health promotion and communications plan. I also advocated for a provincial ban on flavoured tobacco and provided harm reduction and education to raise awareness of the risks amongst youth and their families. I was able to apply health communication approaches to target and tailor the needs of different populations.

My present work with the XXX has provided me valuable insights into a very complex health system, while focusing on spreading and adopting innovative service improvement projects and collaborations in a wide range of clinical areas such as diabetes, healthy aging and mental health across XXX. This fast-paced environment challenges me to find creative ways to network academia, clinicians, third sector, start up digital companies and local health governments and to mobilize them to collectively improve health. Currently to date, the majority of my public health experience has been in the implementation or delivery phase of an intervention. Being surrounded by policy influencers and change makers further fuels my desire to have a stronger understanding of the research that would provide justification for initiating an intervention program. I would also be able to develop the skills to guide these interventions so that they have the highest impact, conduct effective evaluation and educate leaders that will eventually translate that research into practices and policies.

During my last semester in a community and health service course, I was asked to write a letter to my future self about where I want to be in the next six months. My professor mailed it to me and I wrote, 'I know that I want to help people and make an impact on the community, and as long as I am still doing that, I will be proud.' Six years later and this sentiment still drives me to constantly seek ways to influence positive health behaviours. I am confident that my motivation and interpersonal skills demonstrated in my academic and professional experiences will enable me to become a public health promotion specialist committed to affecting healthy change in communities.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,919 4799  
Oct 26, 2017   #2
Krystal, In the first paragraph, open directly with "I am drawn to the Masters..." rather than opening with the confusing first sentence. It is better to keep the response as focused and precise as possible in relation to the prompt requirements. I observed that your essay is very strong in terms of your academic and professional background. Your experience clearly shows that you will be an excellent student in this field. As far as academics are concerned, this essay should qualify you for the course. The problem though, is that you focused so much on providing solid information about your academics and training background that you lost sight of the intent of your application. A letter of intent is no different from the statement of purpose. Replace the word purpose with intent and you still have the same requirement for the essay. So tell me, what is the purpose of your desire to complete this course? The letter that you shared at the end is not really specific enough for it to qualify as the intention for your studies. So you can safely remove that from the essay as it won't have any adverse effect on the presentation. Right now, you need to think about why you want to complete this course. What change do you want to effect in your line of work? Why do you consider that important? Tie it in with the earlier parts of your essay and you should have a better draft of your LOI to work with.


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