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'Public Health is the golden path'. Personal Statement for UC's with Public Health Major!!

omarariss 1 / 2 1  
Nov 2, 2015   #1
Hello, I am would greatly appreciate it if someone could criticise my public health personal statement for the UC application. Please be honest, and if it is harsh comments and my essay does not actually answer the question and just goes on a tangent please tell me. Thanks!

What is your intended major? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had in the field - such as volunteer work, internships and employment, participation in student organizations and activities - and what you have gained from your involvement.

On the first day of school, I walked into a classroom full of second graders. Sweat started dripping down my face, while it slowly turned more and more red. I was nervous as it was now my job to supervise these unfamiliar faces, meaning I would influence their decisions and lives educationally and physically every day. As an after school supervisor taking care of 27 students, it was my duty to read every student's profile. I learned that I had two twin brothers who both were diagnosed with autism, and three other students that are allergic to peanuts. Once I learned about these student profiles I started doing more research on how I am supposed to handle situations and emergencies such as allergic reactions or outbreaks. Matson tower's over his classmates with broad shoulders, electric blue eyes, short blonde hair, and a gleaming smile that runs from cheek to cheek. Matson who was severely autistic compared to Landon, his brother, would run out of the classroom when he felt lost and not guided when given directions. I had to quickly learn how to take action depending on the situation. I was able to implement effective systems such as counting down, or giving him much more detailed individual instructions using visual, and verbal examples. At this time, I was also taking biology, and nutrition classes at my highschool as a junior. In our sports medicine class, we had a guest speaker come in and talk about medical careers and college majors. Learning about public health from Dr. Murphy was fascinating as he explained how essential it is to educate a community and even the whole world including third world countries about health and diseases. Personally, I was able to connect to the field and test it in the classroom with the second graders. My first test was to determine how aware they were of health problems and how we could make Willow Grove Elementary a more health conscious school. The student's did not have a great understanding of why we took the flu shot so our first project was to answer that question as a class. The students were paired up and did their own research and each group had to create a poster and present it. Once they were completed we posted them around the elementary school. Eventually, by the end of the year we were able to plan a blueprint and list of material to create a garden in our school and build a fence around it. As a class, we discussed the benefits of a garden and how it positively impacts the environment and our health. Eventually, we had green, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, mint, parsley, and oregano. Once we were able to collect a fair amount of vegetables and herbs, we donated them as a class including a letter to a non-profit organization. The student's response to their achievements by the end of the summer was so rewarding that I reassured myself that Public Health is the golden path.
vangiespen - / 4,133 1449  
Nov 3, 2015   #2
Omar, I like how you shared your experience regarding working with special needs and allergy prone students with the reviewer. However, you need to immediately clarify that you came into the classroom as an after school supervisor. Can you explain it a bit for the benefit of the reviewer should he not be familiar with the term?

While you went into great detail about the autistic twins, you did not really discuss the case of the allergy prone students. The allergy prone students in my point of view, cover more of the public health issues that you are interested in majoring in than the autistic twins. They require more training on your part for special needs students, not public health. I believe that you should change the focus of the essay accordingly.

Did you go to a satellite or vocational high school? I think you should mention the type of high school you attended because classes or orientation in sports medicine are not really part of regular high school curriculum. From the sounds of it, you went to one pretty special high school. By the way, you need to mention if your position as an after school supervisor is a part time job on your part. Just to be able to explain how you ended up in the company and being in charge of the care of 2nd graders.

Now, I am sure that it can't only be the student reaction to the project you performed with them that made you interested in public health. Try to inject a more personal reason for your chosen major as the last paragraph of your essay instead of the one you have at the moment. I believe that will explain more to the reviewer in relation to the prompt requirements.
vangiespen - / 4,133 1449  
Nov 8, 2015   #3
Omaris, I have an idea I want you to try. It will require you to write a totally new version of the essay but I believe that it will work out just fine for the purposes of this essay. I want to eliminate the story about your friend who overdosed. As I read your revised essay, I came to realize that there is a more effective method of building the foundation of your interest in public health. It was staring us in the face all the time so I really can't believe that it took us this long to realize it :-)

Remember the part of the essay where you discuss trying to find out how much the second graders knew about public health? That you were surprised to find out that they did not know why they neede dot get regular flu shots? Then you and the class embarked on an information campaign to promote your school garden and the fact that you donated it to a local NGO for their benefit? Guess what, those events, properly developed will be the perfect launching pad for your interest in public health.

Can you picture it? First talk about the sports medicine class and Dr. Murphy's influence that led to your interest in the field. Then go on to talk about the second grader experience. Finally close the essay with your giving a simple message about how majoring in public health is just the next logical step in the development of that interest. An interest that will hopefully result into a long term career for yourself. Everything will fall into place, relate, and even create a career plan for you in the end if the essay is revised and developed in this manner.

If you agree with me, then I hope that i can read the new version of the essay in this thread as soon as possible :-) Good luck!

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