PHD Public Administration, Korean Applicant

March 3, 2016

I have been busy up until know earning the PHD in Public Administration in my native Korea, at Seoul National University. I feel very strongly that earning the equivalent degree in the United States would greatly enhance my long term goal of being a major player in public administration studies here in South Korea. I am also someone with broad internationalist tendencies and I think of myself as a citizen of the planet. This is why I have spent countless hours dedicated to my work with amnesty international on behalf of political prisoners, especially with respect to prison conditions in North Korea. Thus, I feel that my application to your program is strengthened by the highly international flavor of my professional spheres of interest, thus being able to make important contributions to diversity and inclusiveness in your distinguished program.

 I was born and raised in Seoul in South Korea, a modern metropolis that has also been becoming an increasingly international city for some time. I earned my Master of Public Affairs at the end of 2010, from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at XXXX University, after earning my Master’s in this area from Seoul National University. Now, finishing up my doctorate here in Korea, once again, and finally, I wish to duplicate the exercise of repeating the degree program in the United States. I have grown enormously as a human being throughout my studies in the US. And I have very much come to appreciate the investment that the cultivation of these rich experiences represent. I plan to continue to develop professional ties through networks of like minded people, so that my own personal struggle for improved public administration in the Koreas, will unfold as part of a global struggle against corruption and political repression.

My application to your program is supported by my extensive professional experience. After I finished my MPA in the SPEA at XXXX University, I worked at the Center for Performance Evaluation and Management at the Korean Institute of Public Finance as a Research Analyst. I performed extensive research into government projects in this position. As a result, I have become keenly interested in performance management and the art of program evaluation. In fact, I have now reviewed all pending government projects for the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Unification, and Ministry of Strategy and Finance. This has been a wonderful chance to meet diverse public officials and to discuss numerous government projects.

I am also very pleased to have participated, along with other research analysts, in the writing of a book, the Manual of Developing Performance Indicators. This book is widely used by public officers in all ministries of South Korea, to help in the development of performance indicators. While I writing the book, we grappled with both theories of performance management as well as practical methods for the development of indicators. Through the process of writing this book as well as reviewing government projects, I have come to more fully realize how much I still need to learn about performance management and program evaluation, why is why I want so much to join your distinguished academic community.

I seek a rigorous immersion in an intensive program involving both theoretical models and practical applications for ongoing efforts to improve our evaluation systems. I hope to center my studies on a comparative analysis between South Korea and U.S.A. I have recently been closely watching the way in which Europe and the U.S.A have been facing serious financial deficit problems. I take comfort in my optimism concerning the many ways that performance management and program evaluation will play vital roles in the achievement of balanced financial systems. In the redistribution of resources that will undoubtedly unfold in unpredictable ways, it seems certain that, performance management and program evaluation will play key roles in efforts to streamline the future of administration.

I have broad experience in the area of public administration on both academic and public levels. This has helped me to achieve a balanced perspective on public administration and performance management research. Since I work with public officials who apply performance management in the field, I am sensitive to the kinds of problems that can occur when theory driven methodologies are introduced into the real world.

My dedication to my endeavors paid off when I won the Award for Best Paper in Public Finance and Economic Development in the 9th Annual Association of SPEA Ph.D.  Students’ Conference, Interdisciplinary Scholarship in Public and Environmental Affairs in 2009. I have numerous publications, some of which are still under review.

I plan to make a career out of consulting with respect to government projects. And I feel strongly that my professional quest would benefit greatly by my earning the PHD Degree at your distinguished university. I particularly look forward to a rigorous enhancement of the theoretical foundations of public administration. Your program will prepare me for a lifetime of research in administration in the context of Korea.

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