International Relations Personal Statement
In Physics, Chaos Theory describes a system so complex and unpredictable that the slightest change in initial conditions drastically alters the end result. Such a system exists in the form of our planet’s increasingly interconnected web of national governments and economies that reflect the unpredictability of human free will. The formation of bodies such as the EU, USAN, ASEAN and AU demonstrate this growing interdependence. As we move toward a more global community, the sphere of domestic policy is rapidly giving way to the expanding realm of international relations.
As a young boy I was enthralled by the science fiction series Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. In this saga, a group of intelligent young adults determine the fate of history in a far off future of world hegemony. These stories stimulated my thinking about our collective future as a species and my possible role in it. A concern for our future lead me to focus on the present, and I now take a particular interest in following the global response of issues such as the current financial crisis. My interest in world issues has motivated my involvement in both the Harvard and Vancouver Model United Nations, where I served on the Disarmament and International Security Committee and the Security Council, respectively. In debating topics from small arms trade to nuclear proliferation, I developed a proficiency in persuasion and cooperation as well as formed my own opinions on such topics as national sovereignty and collective security.
As an American citizen, my perspective on the world has been shaped by what some have called the worst presidency in U.S. history. This has instilled in me an inherently critical approach toward most political matters. I respond to new information with questions and always take time to form my own opinions. This world view has been significantly broadened by three years at St. George’s boarding school in Vancouver, BC. The extensive international representation in the boarding community has provided me a culturally holistic outlook, which I truly value. While others learn of the Tibetan struggle for sovereignty via CNN or BBC, I have had the privilege to debate the topic with ardent Chinese nationals. My enthusiastic support for this community lead to my election as Captain of Boarding for the 2009/2010 academic year. This position has given me a unique opportunity to exercise leadership and responsibility skills that I hope to one day apply to a career in diplomacy or international service. My roll as head of such a diverse milieu has also prepared and encouraged me to further my education abroad.
Upon entering Saint George’s, I was chosen for 1 of 20 spots in an outdoor education program called Discovery. Throughout the year our class embarked on challenging trips of up to two weeks, where we developed group dynamics, leadership and independence in the unique setting of the Canadian wilderness. In grades 11 and 12 I have benefited from the ability to select AP courses that align with my interests for University, such as Comparative Government and Politics, Human Geography, Economics, US History and Psychology. Outside of school I have taken similar initiatives. During the past two summers I volunteered in a physical chemistry research lab at Western Washington University. Under chemistry professor Dr. Mark Bussell, our group conducted research on the development of new and more efficient industrial hydrodesulferization processes to aid in the refining of crude oil. It has been rewarding to work on a project germane to the pivotal issues of peak oil and global climate change.
All of these experiences have fostered a venturesome academic attitude that is central to my desire to study overseas. My passion to better understand the global world around me could be fulfilled no better than in the vibrant city of London, where I hope to further my education at its premier school of political science.