My personal and academic background and working experience to date make me an excellent ‘fit’ with an MPA Program and I bring with me a sincere passion to improve the lives of people living in sub-Saharan Africa. I am aware that it is difficult to inspire change in cultures that are rife with indifference and corruption, but I am compelled to spend my life doing as much as I can in this regard.
I see the MSc programme in Public Administration at _____ University as a major step toward becoming an agent of progressive social change at the service of my society. My particular interest is training and financial support for those seeking to create micro-businesses, to enable people to escape from poverty and benefit their communities.
I grew up in Rwanda during and after the genocide of 1994 and lived there before moving to Switzerland at the age of thirteen. I witnessed the realities of war, displacement and forced exile as a child and during my early adolescent years. These experiences left lasting impressions and a great empathy for those living in communities exposed to poor governance and the resultant inequalities, corruption, violence and poverty and I have a passionate desire to help them.
I am conscious of the fact that there is a broad gap between wanting to bring about progressive change and making tangible, concrete movement in this direction. The hope that many share with me to ‘make a difference’ can only be accomplished by acquiring and applying excellent planning and organisational skills, constant effort to better understand the various economic, social, political, and cultural factors in play ‘on the ground’ and the challenges and obstacles that exist. I am also aware that contacts, able to provide specialist expertise or local knowledge, are invaluable in the field in which I seek to work. I am confident that the programme will enable me to improve people's lives by equipping me with the knowledge, skills, and contacts to do so.
Over the course of the last three years serving at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, I have had the opportunity to assume various leadership roles in support of innovative regional and global initiatives. I helped to conceptualise and design the Grow Africa Initiative, working with colleagues, C-suite leaders of Forum member companies, external stakeholders, and high-level public figures to contribute to the creation of a mechanism to facilitate private-sector investment in sustainable agriculture. I helped to facilitate numerous interactions between private and public sectors in the context of the African Strategic Infrastructure Initiative, harnessing the expertise of the private sector to accelerate the implementation of key infrastructure projects. Currently, I am working on the Internet for All, a global project which convenes stakeholders from various backgrounds to collect successful global examples of internet access and adoption. I am eager to leverage the knowledge and experience gained at the Forum to find creative approaches to encouraging micro-entrepreneurship in Africa.
My career to date has enabled me to acquire and hone skills in networking, stakeholder management, research, and project management, including building relationships with key leading actors in the public sector, ministries, and government agencies, and gained exposure to key development challenges. My upbringing, studies and work in Europe have provided me with insight and experiences that will enable me to ‘bridge gaps’ where intercultural understanding may be in short supply. My native languages are French, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi; I also speak English fluently and have a working knowledge of Swahili and German. I am an outgoing and friendly person who excels at creating and maintaining excellent social and working relationships, having long cultivated the warmth and humour for which people from my cultural background have long been known.
I have happily studied, worked, and socialised with people of many social and cultural backgrounds. I love travelling and learning about new cultures and sharing information about my own. I have been involved in volunteer projects in Africa where I assisted in the construction of a village school and in India where I taught French. I hope to have the opportunity of assisting with the organization of many such projects in the future.
This application is made because of the programme’s relevance to my goals, its prestigious reputation, and especially the faculty leadership. I seek a highly challenging but supportive academic environment and am confident that it will be provided. I possess the necessary academic potential, knowledge base, experience, characteristics and, most importantly, the genuine passion for this field of study which will enable me to ‘add value’ to the program. I assure the reader that I shall bring a determination to excel and that I will apply myself diligently and enthusiastically for my own benefit, that of my fellow students, the faculty, and most of all the people of Africa.
Thank you for considering my application.
MSc Public Administration Personal Purpose Statement