At 30 years old, I feel that I am now at the optimal point in my life to begin a doctoral program, especially in terms of dedication and professional maturity. As an Asian-American, both Japanese and Taiwanese, completely fluent in Japanese and fully conversant in French, I look forward to contributing to the diversity of your program in unique ways. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, raised in Thailand and later New York, and as a world traveler throughout my life, I am a truly global citizen who is most keen to apply her multi-cultural sensitivities to the study of psychology, addressing questions of culture and mental health in the context of an increasingly interconnected world. I have studied abroad in Tokyo, Japan, as well as doing my junior year of college in France. I also lived in Singapore for a full year while working for Pfizer and spent almost every summer of my life in Hiroshima, Japan while in school, continuing to visit often since my mom's side of the family lives there. I have also spent significant amounts of time throughout much of the rest of Europe (East as well as West), Taiwan, most of Japan, Vietnam, India, and the Caribbean.
Since childhood, I have been noted for and always struggled to constantly cultivate a profound sense of compassion for my fellowman and women. I see my almost innate desire to help others as my greatest gift. People often remark that I seem to have a natural ability to help people with their problems and I have been counseling people my whole life. Thus, I look forward to bringing this lifetime of practice of the arts of listening and empathy to your program where I will learn the intellectual tools of clinical psychology. My interest in psychology was initiated by my desire to help people deal successfully with the many difficulties and challenges presented in life and I strongly believe that this initiative will help me do succeed both at the XXXX School of Professional Psychology and beyond, throughout a lifetime of continuing education and dedicated practice.
Complementing my diversity and multi-cultural experiences, I believe that my unique capacity to learn to see and understand psychological principals across cultures has been further amplified by my Masters studies at New York’s XXXX, where I completed my M.A. Degree in International Studies, building upon my undergraduate education in East Asian Studies with a minor in Philosophy at XXXX University.
The other great strength of my application is the diversity of my professional experience as both a professional and a volunteer. Currently working with Helping Hands in Hawaii since September, I administer questionnaires to clients for internal use and for the Department of Health, as well as helping nurses with activities to improve wellness and diminish the negative effects of psychotropic medication. Working with UNICEF as a researcher in the Global Policy Section, I was able to further develop my acute concern for children and awareness of public policy development on their behalf—across the planet. With Forefront Leaders in New York, I researched, wrote, and compiled articles for our newsletter and maintained our website supporting human rights and networking with our activist partners in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. With Pfizer, I had the privilege of working as a Manufacturing Systems Expert Consultant, in Singapore as well as the US, writing standard operation procedures and serving as a systems expert for a yearlong project getting our new manufacturing plant in Singapore up and running, acting as a primary liaison between the Singapore site and our corporate office, ensuring systematic compliance with industry standards, and training regional managers on system platforms. I have also worked in the field of journalism with Securities Industry News in New York and as an activist with the New York Public Interest Research Group, helping to pass laws to make pesticides less dangerous for humans as well as the environment.
My multi-cultural aptitudes have arisen as a result of spending a great deal of time abroad throughout my childhood and adult life. Growing up, I spent several years going to school in Bangkok, and as my extended family is split between Japan and Taiwan, I have spent most of my summers going to both countries to visit. During my undergraduate studies, I spent a semester in Tours, France, and one in Tokyo, Japan,. Fluent in Japanese and conversant in French, I am confident that my international background helps me to relate to people from all cultures and walks of life and I very much look forward to bringing a unique perspective to your program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. I feel strongly that my multi-cultural awareness and capacities will be invaluable to my long term professional aspirations, helping me to relate to patients of many different backgrounds once I begin to practice therapy.
The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to make a positive difference in people's lives, helping them to overcome their challenges and live more harmonious and fulfilling lives. My interest in psychology is a result of my lifelong desire to help people. This is also why I chose to complete a Masters Degree in International Affairs because of my desire to enrich people’s lives through the mediation of inter-cultural conflict and the building of effective communication channels between diverse peoples. I have not, however, found the degree of personal satisfaction that I had hoped for in this area; in time, I came to realize that the ongoing development of my empathy required more direct and intense human interaction than I have found in the non-profit sector. I came to realize that I craved one-on-one interactions with people rather than spending my time fulfilling bureaucratic functions as part of an organization. In short, I crave the type of intense and emotionally fulfilling interactions that are characteristic of the relationship between a psychologist and her clients and I turn now to this goal to realize the full fruition of my professional character and development.
I am most comfortable with the fact that I remain open as to the specific areas of clinical psychology upon which I would like to develop a specialization and research interest. I am confident that your Psy.D. program will help me to choose the areas that are right for me. I do know that I want to counsel people, and eventually have my own practice, or work in a smaller practice after I put my time in at hospitals and clinics. I would like to eventually use my Japanese at some point in my career, perhaps working in Japan counseling expats (of which there are a huge number). And I am certain that my travels and exposure to many cultures will afford me the capacity to develop fruitful avenues of inquiry with respect to cultural interaction, conflict, and adaptation or assimilation hurdles. I look forward to working with many different populations from many different ethnic backgrounds, especially here in the U.S.
I intend to pay for my Psy.D. program with money that was left to me by my grandfather; I am fortunate that he left me enough for five years of schooling without having to apply for grants or loans. I also have an excellent family support base nearby since I am originally from the East Coast (New York) and my significant other is from Massachusetts; his family lives in Boston and Scituate. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to also live in Boston as many of my close college friends live there and I have a build a strong social network on which I can depend.