Born and raised in Singapore, I am now extremely pleased to participate fully in the American melting pot of cultural diversity and I seek to contribute to our society based on the unique cross-cultural experiences that I have had and my drive to succeed as a mental health specialist who is broadly engaged with clinical issues across a wide spectrum of concerns and challenges. I feel that cultural diversity is especially important to the practice of psychopathology insofar as the cultural heritage of those who suffer from mental illness is often very much colored or shaped by cultural mores, pressures; and, often, problems of adjustment to the broader outlines and great freedoms of life in America.
Having been intrigued by the study of psychology since I was an adolescent, I decided to major in this area as an undergraduate student. Now, at 27, I feel strongly that I have an adequate level of preparation, maturity, and professional experience to make a profound success of graduate school and to excel to the fullest extent of my abilities. Deciding on the University XXX was a decision based on extensive research, which left me convinced that your program is the best fit for my interests, preparation, and potential. I am especially drawn to the international recognition of your program as one of the finest programs in clinical psychology in the world. I look forward with keen anticipation to an extremely rigorous learning experience in assessment and intervention techniques with a solid grounding in psychopathology research.
Research is my greatest passion and working as a research psychologist in the university setting is for me the greatest joy; and I look forward to a lifetime of professional discovery in the academic world. My linguistic abilities are highly developed, being fully fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese as well as English. I am also fluent in Teochew, a unique Chinese dialect, and these abilities will help me in the future with both my research and my teaching, especially insofar as these take place in an international context with international or cross-cultural interests at the forefront.
Another cornerstone of my application to your program is my extensive volunteer work with both the Singapore XXX for Mental Health (Club 3R/Oasis Club), and the XXX Association for the Deaf (Public Education group), I am an enormously hard worker who is very determined to give 100% on a professional level to become the most effective professional that I can become. Having always wanted to pursue an academic career, I have placed special emphasis on the development of my research skills ever since I was an undergraduate student, working very hard, and accumulating a great deal of research experience, as a research assistant after my first degree and now in my current position as a research fellow in a major university.
The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to help us to increase our understanding of clinical and personality disorders as part of Asian society and culture, most specifically, in Singapore. Studying and doing research in the United States has left me convinced that Western theories in clinical psychology and personality have great potential for being adapted to non-Western societies, and I see this whole question itself as having great merit. Thus, I am first and foremost concerned with the complex interception between personality and identity--culture, cross culture, assimilation on the one hand, and psychopathology on the other. Furthermore, I feel strongly that there is a profound need for Asian psychologists to receive training directly from Western-educated professionals in order to successfully promote and advance this field throughout Asia.
I addition to my high levels of motivation and determination, I am also a compassionate woman with a deep and abiding optimism concerning human nature and the possibilities of science. I am well read and well travelled having visited China, Hong Kong, the UK, in addition to the USA. And I have been to Greece for annual psychology conferences for the past 3 years. These experiences have served to greatly enhance my fascination with culture and psychopathology and I bring an open mind and heart to your program, full of questions and a great zeal for learning. Your program is my first choice because of its profound strength and excellence in the areas of psychopathology and personality research, and the enormous respect that I have for the proven research records of your faculty members.
I am also very drawn to the study of children and I am also intrigued with the possibility of having the opportunity to study them more closely in the future and perhaps specialize in this area as well, the Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science track. I think that the issue of developmental psychopathology in children is especially well oriented to the study of culture, and would fit quite naturally with my study of psychopathology as related to the development of cultural identity. I want to thank you for consideration of my application.