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American history has been my special passion for many years. Thus, I am applying to your program so that I can become professionally engaged in what I find most meaningful in life. I am especially interested in doing graduate work in the area of the recent meltdown of the US economy and its historical antecedents. I am especially keen about the task of coming to better see our economic trouble through the refractory lenses of other problematic points in our history, especially the great depression. On a broader level, America in decline has caused me to increasingly become fascinated by the more general reasons why great, powerful civilizations tend to fail, especially the case of the Roman Empire.
I feel strongly that historians, at least some of them, should be specifically devoted to those studies of history which can help to serve as guides to better understand our present problems, helping us to learn from our historical mistakes and stop repeating historical errors. I am deeply troubled by the failure of the American economy and I look forward to struggling to unlock the historical keys of the American economic failure of today.
XXXX is my first choice for graduate study for many reasons, my intrigue with the work of the faculty, its location, and what I sense is a ‘best fit’ with my own personal history and intellectual areas of special interest; this is especially true with respect to the history of California and the U.S. West. Your program also has a distinguished emphasis on all of my other areas of interest in addition to U.S. History: European, Latin American, and East Asian—the areas in which I have travelled. I look forward to a rigorous exposure to historical interpretation and research theory, combined with in-depth analysis of field concentrations, historiography, and research methods.
I appreciate the way that M.A. candidates in your program have the opportunity to work on projects directly related to their career goals—in my case becoming a teacher of history at the High School or Community College level—and the scheduling of many classes on Saturdays and at night, as this will help to make my schedule more flexible. I have a disabled son who was born with Fragile X Syndrome. He is nine years old and non-verbal and I always try to devote as much time to his needs as I can at the same time that I do not jeopardize my ongoing education and professional development. I have been involved in fund raising, education and have volunteered for many events related to his illness and medical research being done on his disease. And I have volunteered my time with the Children's Hospital of Phoenix, as well as time with Habitat for Humanity.
Over the last twenty-five years, I have been dedicated to educating myself and my peers in the financial services industry. As a largely self-taught specialist in the fixed income arena, I have labored to provide honest and secure financial services to normal people with modest resources. Now, however, I feel that through a lot of hard work, I have finally earned to right to return to the academic world to pursue my primary intellectual passion. I like to think that my candidacy to your program is bolstered by a wealth of knowledge, maturity, exuberance, and experience. My real world experience has long served as a gateway to my intellectual interests and is closely related to my deep and abiding appreciation for the study of history.
My greatest strength is my character, critical, independent, and fiercely dedicated to principles of fair play, teamwork, and professional standards. For example, as an investment advisor for a major Wall Street firm, when we were asked to sell mortgage backed securities, I was very skeptical from the beginning and focused my own research on the risks entailed, subsequently advising my own clients not to take a chance on these risky investments—despite the fact that this decreased my own income. I was always very conservative with my clients' money, safeguarding it as if it were my own. Now, I wish to continue to enrich my understanding of America’s economic history, especially since the great depression and I look forward to bringing my superlative work ethic and uncompromising values, ethics, and professional integrity to your program as a graduate student in the History Department.
Finally, my wife anticipates being transferred to China for several years, about 4 years from now. Thus, it is my hope to continue to broaden my horizons after my Master’s Program by moving with her to China, teaching, and immersing myself in the areas of cross-cultural history and education. I trust that these experiences will make me a stronger teacher back home in California, more adept at making cross-cultural experiences come alive in the minds of my students. The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be have a positive effect on students, as a result of my passion for history, human development, and my great love for diversity. I have travelled extensively throughout almost all of Western Europe, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico and Canada. I want to thank you for your consideration of my application.