International Relations Personal Statement
A variety of influences have led me to decide to pursue studies and a subsequent career within the field of International Relations, not the least of which include my current organization of employment, my academic and volunteer work, and my upbringing in the United States Foreign Service. Currently I work at the XXX Institute (XXXI), a think tank in New York devoted to international policy formulation and analysis that enjoys a uniquely close relationship with the United Nations nearby. While here, I have had the exceptional opportunity to observe extensive policy debate and analysis involving many academic experts and diplomats, which has in turn played an instrumental role in nurturing an avid interest of my own in the topics of peace building and development. It is my intention that through studies at your institution I will develop the necessary skills to identify and analyze the same sort of key issues that have piqued my interest whilst at this organization. Equipped with this knowledge, I fully intend to become involved in these processes, either through work connected to UN initiatives or in a similar position at an affiliated nongovernmental organization.
As an employee at XXXI, I've regularly made connections between my past experiences and the topics would I read about in the organization's publications and learned about at its numerous events. With a specific focus on regions of conflict, I became immediately captivated by their analysis of the various challenges in conflict resolution, creating sustainable reconciliation and the dilemmas in building legitimate states through outside intervention. As human rights are amongst the primary motivations for these efforts, I was impressed by the similarity to my own objectives as a Red Cross volunteer during the Hurricane Katrina relief effort and my undergraduate studies in the economics of poverty prior. Having worked at a shelter providing full time assistance to programs helping to assimilate back into society those displaced by the aforementioned disaster, I was driven by the inclination of opinion that without such help the victims would be far less likely to enjoy a normal opportunity to live by the same standards as those who happened to be more fortunate. Similarly, the notion that poverty represents a denial of empowerment to those afflicted served as a basis for my academic focus in University, specifically in regards to the mixed effects of NAFTA in Northern Mexico and the connections between wealth disparity and the arising of political conflict in the Middle East and Asia.
Viewing topics on a worldwide scale has appealed to me since childhood, being raised in Belgium, Greece and Morocco due to my father's assignments as a foreign affairs officer and my mother's background as a Syrian. These experiences have developed within me an understanding of the importance of critical approaches toward cultural differences, especially in how they serve as a basis for certain viewpoints on issues. As a result I naturally became very interested in politics at a young age, which I put to practice in High School and University through extracurricular political leadership activities. Although admittedly in hindsight I might have been over-involved when in University, co-founding two organizations in my first year alone, mentoring and getting elected to several of the highest positions and committees in the student government, my work in the end proved extremely rewarding, earning high esteem from faculty and peers and culminating in awards for outstanding achievement.
Some years from now I would like to see myself working towards the establishment of sustainable governance and development in regions emerging from conflict. Your institution's courses in Conflict Studies and Humanitarian Intervention in particular would be very relevant to this objective, providing me with the necessary knowledge and skills I would need to best understand and analyze the key issues inherent in this field. Pursuing my master's degree at your institution would be an invaluable experience as I aim to comprehend the causes and nature of crisis and conflict and the processes involved in solving them. I sincerely hope that you will give me the opportunity to realize this goal.
This was my personal statement. No word yet from schools. Kings/LSE/UCL/George Washington/NYU "XXX Institute", "XXXI", "Your Institution", "Conflict Studies" and "Humanitarian Intervention" intentionally generic for this version.