Personal Statement Prep

Academic Statement: How will a ### Masters degree help you meet your career and educational objectives? (max ~250 words) *

I anticipate using a ## Masters primarily to prepare to lead organizations that use novel data and methods about complex systems to improve the effectiveness of public- and private-sector interventions aimed at U.S. social and health problems. This may include future work in academia. To me, creative financial instruments, long-standard technologies, and existing streams of data are underused in planning such interventions. The organizations that lead them often are incapable of leveraging such resources — and often view them as distractions or nice-to-haves. Finally, such resources are underused in financial decisionmaking, systematically excluding financially viable interventions from investment by private investors.

Personal Statement: How have your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree? (max ~250 words)

I have a complex background and identity, but one that consistently reminds me of the urgency of resourceful action by public institution and the civil sector. I was raised mostly by my brother, 3 years older than me, while my mother worked tirelessly to establish a new California State University and my father conducted environmental research in Mexico. With my brother, I grew up in a military-base-turned-university-campus where education loomed large; relatedly, in both our boredom and our interactions with our parents we fostered bold curiosity and a methodic and cheery approach to conducting meaningful projects.

Time spent in Mexico showed me how institutional failures could harm everyone, by way of drawing stark contrasts to California. Simultaneously, I returned to America to reckon with the inequities in my community: how my school had no art program while the school three towns over funded new stone arches for its large theatre.

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