09 Oct 2011

Essay Topic: Personal Statement

Back in 2006, sitting at a desk, here I was processing a disaster claim in wake of the damages caused by Hurricane Katrina. Nibbling a self-made dehydrated banana, I was in a high point following several months and reviewing healthier food options – organic methods of increasing mood and energy. The search for the best method was initially out of a desire for personal well being but overtime, it started to turn into an obsession. It was like trying to reach the climax of an exciting novel and dedicatedly moving from one chapter to the next with excitement and increased fervor. It was in the midst of this moment, that I began to realize and think that this obsession could be turned from a preoccupation to an occupation. This was the moment I realized that with a mix of nutrition, mental counseling and knowledge sharing, the way of a dietetic is the precise blend for my career interests.

It was this time that I started seriously pursuing programs for aspiring dietetics. However, my own obsession did not let me rest or wait to gain experience in this area until some university accepted me. I started taking initiatives and got involved in ways that helped me increase my exposure to whatever could potentially help me in the field. For example, in the time spent waiting for the acceptance, I volunteered with rural health initiatives completing tasks such as authoring a grant that was funded for $2,500, assisting health fairs; and networking with community resources to facilitate collaboration on various wellness plans.  My eagerness and devotion paid dividends as this later led to interim employment with a community-based program providing self –management classes to diabetics and their caretakers for diabetes. During this while, in my view I gained some critical and valued opinions from interviewing several dieticians in the field. Moreover, my obsession and a philanthropic desire also spurred me on to become a health advocate for a few of the elderly in community who were struggling with health literacy. I acted as a bridge to eliminate the gap between them and their special physicians. There are some experiences from my school life that I believe will assist me in developing an understanding with the course. I got to the position of a diet clerk in a hospital. This job provided me with an opportunity to witness the ground realities and put into practice whatever I had learnt before in theory. This job was a blessing in a way that I made me work on the grey areas; in addition it helped me a lot in becoming a much more tolerant person than I used to be.

I firmly believe that it is action oriented goals which take people forward in life. I wish to have an opportunity at the end of internship of completing preliminary research on the use of trauma counseling in people with eating disorders and present the findings at the national or state meeting. I aim to make my findings helpful for carrying out counseling techniques for eating disorders and other chronic diseases.

Once I complete my studies, I aspire on continuing clinical practice in a rural or community based hospital and serve the striving humanity in my full capacity. I would love to attain an advance degree in mental health counseling provided with an opportunity. I believe that this would add to my abilities of conducting nutritional counseling. In the long run I aim to see myself as a Research Director specializing in medical nutrition therapy in behavioral health clinics.

My strengths and weaknesses are one and the same. Being direct and concise are essential values in this field. But at times this makes people perceive me of being unfriendly and impatient; I have tried to curb it down to the minimal extent though. I am an optimist, hence I always believe deep inside me that things will work out well, no matter how grave the circumstances are, provided that one employs his full resources on the job at hand. And through these characteristics, I find myself able to connect with a majority of individuals around me; I continue to provide moral support to my family members, colleagues and friends, and they too are present in every hour of need by my side.

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