My Vision   6 comments

UPDATED: Feb. 12, 2011

Below are excerpts of my statement of purpose from my admissions essay for The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. The piece illustrates my background, my opinions regarding both development and conflict, as well as how and why to conduct change (re: development approaches). I post this to give the reader a true sense of who is writing this blog via a formal text.

My undergraduate work was a combination of formal education and fieldwork experience, of which I hope to continue as a graduate student. My scholastic undergrad career reaffirmed my firm enthusiasm for humanitarian work, and augmented my passion for understanding cultures. My coursework gave me the opportunity to learn about development approaches both in the classroom and in the field. These coalesced experiences defined my career aspirations in international sustainable development.

My thirst for knowledge of foreign cultures and the opportunity to be on the front lines of communities who want to better themselves has brought me to my current international work as a Peace Corps Volunteer. My first-hand knowledge of how international aid and development work is done in the field in Africa, in addition to my academic background, has steered me towards a pursuit of greater knowledge and experience of development theories and practices that I can apply to a career in sustainable development. This expertise has been invaluable, both personally and professionally, and assisted me to confirm my desire to work within community development practices internationally. Further, it confirmed my beliefs that successful development practices require an awareness of and sensitivity to the culture I am working in. Therefore, I now wish to advance my career path with a dual MA in Sustainable International Development & Coexistence and Conflict Dual Degree.

I have initiated and coordinated various fieldwork and community development projects, both domestically and internationally. I also have been trained in assorted development methodologies; these strategies I have personally adapted to suit specific projects. In my spare time I have researched how aid agencies have initiated and performed proposed projects and what specific development approaches they used, and as well as evaluated the efficacy of these approaches in search of how improve these methods.

Grasping and visualizing all possible aspects to a situation, and pinpointing various possible solutions to an issue are one of my many strong points. Simultaneously, I am able to keep a holistic perspective on everything within the topic. Stemming from my academic education I have adapted critical thinking skills through a cultural context. I have the ability to assess the expressed needs and concerns via the etic viewpoint of indigenous populations. I harbor solid leadership ability in addition to a concrete organizational proficiency, each complementing each other to create my capacity to approach my work with creativity and adaptability. I thrive in environments where uniqueness, self-initiative and individual exploration and action are encouraged, for my work ethic evolved from years of this.

The economic downfall of major countries in the world has directly affected the global population. Due to this key event in our worldly history, is it wise to use current approaches to address developmental issues in developing nations while the world has perpetually changed? Simple answer: No. I want to study and research what approaches have been tried, what has worked, what has not, and what can be altered to progress the discipline of development work.

My experience while living and working on the ground in West Africa has shown me two things: that aid organizations/programs and their funding being funneled into Africa have consistent and fundamental flaws that inevitably do not entirely support sustainable assistance to the people they are trying to assist; and that even sub-cultural differences between neighboring tribes-people can construct small scale civil unrest that can potentially hinder development of those communities. I firmly believe that the fields of sustainable international development and coexistence and conflict can go hand-in-hand to create a holistic approach to compose domestic turmoil so energies can be focus on altogether sustained ways to arise a society’s standard of living.

Through graduate studies, I hope to gain both the theoretical knowledge and solid experience to completely prepare me to become a colleague within the international development community, thus being able to make strong contributions within the field. I want to become well versed in multidisciplinary approaches to international development, including analytical, practical and theoretical models; Brandeis will allow me to obtain these traits. This degree will add to my toolkit to analyze, critique and change current development procedures as needed and/or for particular projects; I want to participate in research to redefine how development practices are approached. A specification in coexistence and conflict will add to my knowledge to bring forth a complete holistic approach and an in-depth viewpoint and utensils to fully tackle small-scale civil instability regarding development.

While using/utilizing my experiences I want to formulate neo-development plans in hopes of further progressing developing nations, simultaneously working on the front-lines of development work with the communities on the ground-level to aid people helping themselves using their ideas and energy. The skills reaped from being enrolled in your program will make my future path clearer and transforming my careers ideas; to gain networking contacts within the international development scene. The above simultaneously will place my own intellectual progression into effective action.




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Posted January 19, 2011 by Travis Warrington in Conflict, Development

6 responses to My Vision

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  1. Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

    • I appreciate your comment. I must say that all of the documents linked to the page are not of my own unless otherwise stated. Also, the website is not finished. May I asked how you stumbled upon my site?
      Thanks for posting

  2. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  3. Hi I attempted to sign up to your RSS and also the link appears to be broken. How do i get around this? Regards!

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