I'm applying for a masters in public health and this is my draft of a personal statement - ANY feedback will be appreciated! It's a bit too long, so if you could let me know which parts are irrelevant that would be great. Any suggestions regarding composition of the statement or help with editing is more that welcome. English is not my first language so please feel free to point out any mistakes. Thank you!
"It is far more important to know what sort of person has a disease than what sort of disease a person has "Hippocrates
All my previous existence has been driven by a profound desire for personal growth and finding balance between nurturing mind and supporting a healthy body. I feel that over the years my identity was built on three main characteristics .The first one was love for travels and deep respect for foreign cultures, the second one was sensitivity to social inequalities and wish to bring fairness and justice in the world. The last one was my appreciation for research, statistic and analytical thinking. With my internal belief in sustaining harmony in every aspect of life I have been trying to integrate all three features into my activities, including work .The desire to unite these parts and let them work together combined with genuine interest in public health issues has lead me to applying for prestigious Public Health course at London Metropolitan University. I am sure that attending this course will provide me with necessary education to become more effective agent of positive change and to succeed in the field of health promotion.
I graduated from university within the frames of the Individual Interdisciplinary Humanities Studies. The program of studies was profiled individually for the most talented, selected students and implemented under a supervision of a personal Tutor. Special attention was given to conducting research and writing thesis. During my university career I took particular interest in Psychology, Sociology and French Linguistic. The first one introduced me to the world of public health and gave me a better understanding of human mind. Sociology developed my interest in studying social interactions and group behaviours, while French Linguistic inspired me to learn foreign languages. I graduated with MSc in Psychology which reflects my fondness for Statistics and Biology and desire to support vulnerable people. Since 2011 I have been a member of the British Psychological Society.
My interest in public health issues arises from participating in Public Health course I took for one semester. I became increasingly interested in public health and development issues. The course provided me with a fundamental knowledge about disease prevention, epidemiology, research methods, promoting healthy behaviours and writing proposals for health organisations. I use gained skills and knowledge in my current job. Thanks to coursework and research I comprehended the existence of the wide and unjust disparities in healthcare between developed and developing countries. The course inspired me to do my own research about most interesting topics and to take an additional online public health course by Irving University of California in 2013. Upon completing it I was left with an enhanced knowledge of public health and development issues and a clear vision of my future career path.
In addition to my studies I have been volunteering with French organisation LPFDP for almost 8 years. I have been supporting older isolated people with chronic conditions. It was a beautiful lesson of human values and I gained experience of working abroad in an international team. Thanks to this adventure I become fluent in French, but most importantly I become aware of older people's social and health problems and had an opportunity to work within other country healthcare system. Locally I have been volunteering as a mentor for bullied LGBTQ teenagers with the BB group for 2 years. Through this role I have seen the overwhelming repercussions of psychological abuse on the lives of young people.
I was raised in a post-communist country but as I young adult I had an opportunity to travel and work on three different continents which broaden my horizons and formed non-judgemental attitude towards different nations. I have worked in Ukraine, France, Greece, UK and USA so far. I learned what specific health issues those countries faced and observed what measures were taken to resolve them. What gave me a wider perspective was my travel to Africa last year. I saw young mothers with their infants begging on the streets with no access to sanitation and clean water. I sadly realized that this practise was socially approved way of gaining income by women who had no other possibility of supporting their families .I began to recognize how a community's history and culture can cultivate discriminatory, neglectful behaviours and practises that last for generations. These experiences fortify my desire to act upon existing social and health inequalities.
Currently I hold a role of a Programme Coordinator with XXX, a national charity that supports people with dementia. I derived interest in chronic diseases from working with older people in France in the past. I noticed that many of our clients suffered from conditions like dementia, diabetes, hypertension which are related with old age but shouldn't be an inevitable consequence of getting old. This made me think about the importance of preventing diseases not just curing them. I am passionate about educating people about dementia and creating opportunities to improve quality of life for people affected by it. One of my biggest accomplishments was creating the Dementia service through which I was able to put my community spirit into action by engaging volunteers in supporting vulnerable older people. I also co-wrote a successful bid for £ 160 000 towards development of the Service and founding new scheme Active Club for people with dementia in 2012-2014. When I began working for XXX I knew I would develop project management skills and gain experience in collaborating with statutory and voluntary health agencies. But it also made me comprehend the existence of gaps in health care for adults and lack of support for carers. I find satisfaction in work but I realize it is focused mostly on secondary and tertiary prevention. There is still need to influence policies and educate people to make a positive change in the community and this is my desirable area of work.
I am certain that a Master's degree form London Met will provide me with an essential knowledge to thrive in the field of public health and development. I feel that my professional background together with international volunteering will make be a valuable addition to student's community. My previous academic career had given me strong foundations to succeed in meeting demands of this interesting but demanding course .
The program at London met is the one of the best in the country and it is also best suited to enable me to understand and intervene in wrongful community's tendencies that promote social and health injustice. I am especially interested in optional modules : (...) I am particularly sensitive to gender inequalities and I would like to focus my work on empowering women and supporting young mothers and their children. I am intrigued by the research of Dr (...) which covers topics such as women's reproductive rights and child health in developing counties, therefore I would like to attend her course (...) .In the future I would like to volunteer with an organisation that supports women empowerment in health systems strengthening effort, preferably in a French speaking developing country. On a long term basis I see myself helping communities to diminish unnecessary and unjust disparities between men and women, boys and girls in a health status and access to health care .
I believe in implementing community engagement programmes that acknowledge the importance of physical and mental health of all.
Seneca once said: "Our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them", I envision myself as a pioneer in creating solutions and introducing positive change into society. I want to work toward fairness and justice in the field of health and development and my admission to London Met is crucial to make my desire a reality.