Masters Environmental Health, Multilingual Korean Woman

I am a Korean woman who is as well traveled as I am well-read. Since adolescence, when I lost my grandmother, a non-smoker, to lung cancer, I have focused great attention on the scourge of air pollution and made it my life’s work. I hope to be selected to the especially competitive Master’s Program in Environmental Health at XXXX University due to my extensive preparation across several critically important Asian countries - coupled to my great passion for progressive advancement in the area of environmental protection. I lived in Hong Kong for several years as a child and this did wonders for my English. My special interests lie in South East Asia, most of which I have gotten to know, and I speak French as well as Mandarin Chinese, which I look forward to using professionally alongside English and my native Korean. In addition to Asia, I also dream of someday getting to know French-speaking Africa on a professional basis.

I have also gotten to know the Philippines quite well and have spent especially significant periods of time working on behalf of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Fiji, assisting in support of the WHO’s climate change project. In Bangkok, Thailand, I co-organized the Thematic Working Group-Air Quality meeting as well as the Health Impact Assessment workshop. My professional experiences thus far leave me fully convinced that I want to devote my life first and foremost to combatting air pollution and I seek to do this to the fullest extent and in the most efficacious manner possible. This is why I have my heart set on earning the Master’s Degree in Environmental Health at XXXX University rather than another institution, because I am convinced that earning my degree at Harvard will prepare me for making my fullest contribution to the struggle against air pollution for the balance of my professional lifetime. I want to be an epidemiologist who is remembered for my devotion to the issue of climate change, controlling air pollution, and the general relationship between environmental factors and the epidemiology of disease.

My ideal job would be working for the WHO or another research institution with a similar mission. Even though I am still undergraduate student, I have extensive professional and especially research experience in the area of Environmental Health. In 2015, I did a 6-month internship in the Health and Environment Unit with the WHO. I worked for the GIS/Remote Sensing Lab, where I improved my GIS skills enormously. I also completed an internship at the Seoul National Medical school and conducted research as a lead author. This year I drafted a WHO Air Pollution Report, communicating with each ministry of health and environment in 10-member states of the WHO. Thus, I am especially familiar with air-quality status and governmental measures in each country that is a member state of the WHO, most of them are underdeveloped countries in Asia.

I majored in French in high school and also studied Chinese language, culture, and history for 6 semesters of undergraduate studies, helping me to much better understand multiculturalism and diversity issues. I have a special interest in the environmental status of each Asian country, their industry structure and level and patterns of energy consumption, especially as relevant to transboundary, air pollution issues that must be tackled in the context of global cooperation. My undergraduate focus on climate change and environmental economics, helped me to foster extensive knowledge of several Asian countries in addition to my own, Korea, and China. I attended Sukmyeong Women's University for a year because there was a professor there who designed Korea’s ‘greenhouse gas emission trading system'. Ability to speak several different Asian languages will help me to excel as an environmental epidemiologist fighting viruses and diseases in Asia. When there is a national emergency like MERS event, every government has duty to inform their status to WHO because the event is also threatening adjacent countries. Therefore, informing other countries of their status with accuracy and speedy is very important. I think, with my language skills, I could facilitate those process and ultimately contribute to the outbreak of diseases.

Another reason why my professional hopes and dreams are focused on Harvard is because of the way that my research interests so close follow those of Dr. Joel Schwartz who it would be a special honor to study under. I possess an extensive knowledge about air quality status and governmental actions related to air pollution, particularly as a result of my communication with officials in the Korean Ministry of Health via email. I stay in touch with WHO environmental health specialists and stay up to date on events and issues having to do with air pollution, especially with respect to Asia.

Even though I am still undergraduate student, I have extensive research experience in the field of Environmental Health with my 6-month internship with the WHO and another internship with the Seoul National Medical school, conducting research as a lead author.

I thank you for considering my application to Environmental Health at XXXX.

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