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PHD TESOL Statement of Purpose Sample, Applicant from Pakistan

Because of the excellent grades achieved in high school, many career paths were open to me. Most of the talented students in Pakistan choose either medicine or engineering but I decided on Business Administration and pursued a Bachelor degree in the subject at the prestigious Mohammad Ali Jinnah University (MAJU) in Islamabad. I spent a substantial amount of time in extracurricular activities, including involvement in community-based organizations, volunteering and debating clubs, and school-based clubs. All of these, and the interaction with individuals within them, directly influenced my involvement in the community and serving the public. Since my childhood I have had a passion for public service and the desire to help others.  Due to a lack of focus on the fields of public administration and social work in Pakistan, I was unsure at first which specialty to pursue but became very interested in the work of Dr. XXXX who was teaching Sociology and HR Management at MAJU. It was under his guidance that I decided to study Public Administration at Master’s degree level and have never regretted my decision and my passion for it has increased over time.

I am now seeking to acquire the highest level of skills and knowledge to enable me to be a catalyst for change to enhance the efficiency and probity of public administration. I hope to undertake teaching, research and to act as a consultant to NGO’s and/or governments sharing my goals of improving the quality of governance. I come from a nation, Pakistan, which suffers from many of the ills that prevent so many nations from achieving their true potential. There exists corruption, nepotism, historical political instability and vested interests that hold back the economy and create inequalities of opportunities. Pakistan stands at 117 of 168 nations in the ‘Corruption Perceptions Index’ published by Transparency International. Pakistan is also among one of the poorest countries in the world. Therefore, the government is not always prepared to deal with natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, or the damage caused by hunger and poverty. Many non-profit organizations address these problems and there is clearly much work to do to improve the situation. I should like to add that my perception of my own nation is by no means predominantly negative. The country has a rich culture and history; the people are highly hospitable and friendly; the extended family is a reliable source of support in situations where the state cannot provide; the elderly are respected and cherished in a way not apparent in some western nations; there also exists, at a local level, community government which is, at its best, often effective, fair and trusted.

I know that a desire to help address a situation is not, in itself, enough to enable one to do so but it is a vital foundation to the achievement of change and I am passionately committed to this goal. Nor do I believe that one person can change deep-rooted cultural obstacles to good governance in the short term but I believe that a number of highly committed and excellently trained experts can begin to make some impact on these situations.  I aspire to be one of those experts and leaders. I am aware that leadership is a vital ingredient among the characteristics required by someone with my ambitious aspirations to teach and effect change.  I have always carefully observed leadership styles and sought to emulate the most successful of my own leaders and to develop this vital life-skill. I have observed that a good leader is accessible, a good listener, knowledgeable, equable under pressure, flexible where appropriate, and one who inspires confidence and trust, they have also usually been blessed with a good sense of humor which they employ appropriately. These characteristics form my model.

As an example of the exercise of leadership and acting as a catalyst of positive change, I present the following example. During my time in the US, it became clear to me that there is a considerable gap between perceptions and the realities of foreign cultures, particularly my own religion and nation, even among the most educated part of the population. I also noted the strong tendency for students to socialize only with those from their own cultures. I decided to do my part in improving this situation. In order to enhance cultural diversity and bring people together, I created the Pakistani Student Association at XXXX and the International Cultural Club at XXXX with the help of some friends and very cooperative faculty members. We started holding events to bring students from different cultural heritages together through talks, discussions, and social and cultural events. I believe that many misconceptions were clarified and cross-cultural friendships achieved through our efforts. The experiences I encountered personally and those that came to light in my volunteer work has inspired a strong interest in organizational ‘cultural competence’ and the benefits of its adoption to organizations and governments and I believe it to be basic in achieving personal and so, ultimately, social and economic progress.

I also served as a senator in the WKU Student Government Association, where I served as the Vice Chair for the XXXX Cultural and Diversity Affairs Committee. In recognition of my outstanding academic and non-academic performance, I was nominated as an International Student Diplomat to represent the international student body at WKU. I also received the 2015 Founders’ Fellowship award from the American Society for Public Administration.

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My research interests include; social equity, non-profit management, and collaboration between public, private and non-profit sector. I am particularly interested in the ways in which non-profits and the public sector interact, and how they can do so for maximum mutual and social benefit. I have a solid research background and consider that I possess the characteristics of a first class researcher. I am determined, academically curious, analytically skilled, proactive and innovative in approach to problems and am determined while patient. I started my first research under the supervision of Dr. XXXX on “Electronic Governance in the developing world”. My focus was on electronic governance as a model to curb corruption in rural Pakistan, which is my home country. I was later accepted for a research assistantship to explore factors affecting the implementation of electronic government in Pakistan. I also worked with Dr. XXXX in establishing a Child Development Center, in his home village in Pakistan, to provide shelter and educational opportunities to deprived orphans. This experience persuaded me that it is vital for researchers to go to the ‘grass roots’ in order to gain an understanding of the real nature of obstacles and opportunities that a ‘back room’ researcher can never fully appreciate.

I undertook further research, under the supervision of my professor, Dra. XXXX on ‘The Importance of Student Organizations in Enhancing Cultural Diversity’. I presented my research paper at the Southeastern Conference of Public Administration (SECOPA) in Atlanta, Georgia in September 2014. I also presented my research paper on “Addressing Islamophobia and problems faced by Muslim students in American Universities” at various national and international conferences including American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and North Eastern Conference on Public Administration (NECOPA). My research paper was highly appreciated and I received the Outstanding Graduate Research Paper award by the Public Administration department at WKU. Furthermore, I served as a research intern at Barren River Area Development District (BRADD) in Bowling Green, KY, where I learned about the local and county government system in United States, and prepared the annual comprehensive economic development strategy for the entire BRADD region.  I am a confident public speaker and a national debating prize winner.

I am currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and teach English to adults as a volunteer. I am fascinated by language and I am multi-lingual, being fluent in English, Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi, I also speak basic Arabic and am an enthusiastic beginner in Chinese. I strongly believe that learning a language provides insights into cultures that might otherwise remain hidden and intend to deepen and extend my knowledge of languages over my lifetime. I greatly enjoy teaching, in which the skills and characteristics required closely resemble those called for in good leaders especially the ability to plan well, to engage, to inspire and to have effective measures for success.

I have worked as a volunteer with many community organizations, International refugee centers, community-learning centers, and have taught English as a Second Language. I have also worked as a Red Cross volunteer and have been a successful fund-raiser for various charitable organizations. I regard it as an obligation for the privileged to help those who face challenges and obstacles in their lives, especially when they arise from discrimination and personal misfortune.

I am confident that I will be a good ‘fit’ for your Ph.D. program and that it will enable me to acquire the additional knowledge and skills to achieve my goals. I am seeking a highly challenging but supportive academic environment that I am sure, from my research, will be provided. I am aware that the university provides a world-class faculty, excellent facilities and a peer group that will share my own passion for the specialty. I look forward to sharing the fruits of my own academic, voluntary and professional background and profiting from those of the faculty and fellow students. I can assure the reader that I shall apply myself with exceptional diligence and enthusiasm and will do my very best to add lustre to the university’s reputation for excellence.

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