Communication and Leadership

Why would you make a good candidate for our school?

Why would you make a good candidate for our school?I maintain that if we all spoke before thinking and took action without leadership, communication and leadership could not exist. As a result of this observance, therefore, I will try to describe in detail why I have chosen to be a leader in our society. All I can possibly tell you is the sort of experiences I’ve had that demonstrate how interested I am in helping others, and how in a roundabout way this involves communication and leadership abilities. Just as sure as I was in my reasoning to join the Army, I am sure I want to join your Masters program here at Gonzaga University. I have always wanted to make a difference in our world and the Army was one way that I knew that I could. When I turned eighteen, I joined the National Guard. Bright eyed, bushy tailed, and full of hope for the future, I went to basic training and eventually was deployed to Iraq at the tender age of twenty. When most young adults are this age, they are worried about tests and what to do on a Friday night, but not me. I wanted to help others, and because of this, I was in a Middle Eastern culture saving my friends’ lives and learning hard lessons that I would not even wish my worst enemy to learn. I learned how communication, or lack of communication, was the difference between life and death, and how important great leadership was for an organization, or a mission, to run smoothly. I saw firsthand events that will be in history books someday, such as witnessing the Iraqi Constitution being written, or watching Iraqi women get enough courage to walk out of their homes and vote, with pride, for the first time ever in the history of their people. I knew my purpose in life this day- I was going to be a leader, not a follower, and make history on my own. I was going to work with Iraq war veterans who have experienced these same types of life altering events that I have.Upon arriving home from the war zone, I transferred to Gonzaga University to pursue a B.A. in sociology. I chose Gonzaga University for many reasons: the strong Jesuit background, the excellent professors, and the emphasis of wanting to make future leaders for our society today. My experiences at Gonzaga have complemented the worldly experiences I received by deploying, and have made me into the holistic woman that I have aimed to become. I have engaged in an internship with the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization that honors and empowers the wounded veterans that are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. This past summer, I traveled for three straight months going from coast to coast, military base to hospital, and talking to individual soldiers about any problems that they may have, whether it be personal or connected with the military, and how the Wounded Warrior Project could help them. I connected with these people, and realized during this time that this wasn’t just a job; this was my passion and now my life work. I was going to make a difference in these veterans’ lives. Through the Wounded Warrior’s outreach program, my goal was to personally touch the lives of every individual who has been severely injured during the global war on terror. During the visits, I provided these soldiers information about Wounded Warrior Project’s programs and events, benefits, education and employment programs available, as well as other information pertinent to injured service members. Most importantly, the visits provided a place of healing, where veterans received the support and encouragement they needed to move forward, from one veteran to another. Active outreach programs are critical to ensuring that this generation of veterans does not fall victim to the homelessness, unemployment, and substance abuse that Vietnam veterans faced during their transition back into civilian life. What I learned was a harsh reality. As rehabilitation progresses, these individuals return to their home communities, where they often face isolation and a disconnection from the support and encouragement needed to continue recovering. Many of these injuries include traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and blindness, injuries which will continue to present challenges for these warriors for the rest of their lives. This reality hit home for me, and I realized that I want to work for the Wounded Warrior Project and spend my life selflessly serving others that have served.I feel that my interest to become a great communicator and leader to serve others fits extremely well with the Communication and Leadership Studies department at Gonzaga University. I would be elated to have the opportunity to study in a department where there is such a plethora of professors who share my passion for the liberal arts and for serving others. That is also why I chose Gonzaga University to get my undergraduate degree. The breadth of research done at Gonzaga would allow me not only to pursue my interests in depth with talented researchers, but would also allow me to eventually pursue some of my secondary interests in other areas of communication as well. It is because of these opportunities that Gonzaga is my top choice for graduate study. I am confident that graduate study at Gonzaga would prepare me well for my long term career goals of holding a leadership position with the Wounded Warrior Project. My undergraduate experiences at Gonzaga University in Sociology has fostered my love of and dedication to research and provided the necessary tools to pursue my goals. I know that the opportunity to pursue my Master’s degree at Gonzaga would allow me to transition and grow from a soldier to a student to a leader, and allow me to communicate to the best of my knowledge and in a way to make significant contributions to the ongoing problems that disabled veterans face on a daily basis. Overall I am pleased with my academic record, and I believe that it has prepared me very well for graduate school. As you may notice, however, my grades are much better for liberal arts core and sociology classes. Each semester, I took sixteen to twenty credits, and my duties for the National Guard and my internship with the Wounded Warrior Project made my life well rounded. Most of the “damage” to my GPA occurred in math and science classes; I will be the first to admit are not my strongest suit. I learned important facts about the philosophy of science in those classes, but as I learned over time, my interests were clearly elsewhere (i.e., in working with people).I assure you that my recommenders have adequately addressed my qualifications for your graduate program. I hope you will seriously consider me as a student in your program because the passion of communication and leadership studies is well-represented by the faculty in your department and I share that passion as well. I sincerely believe I would make an excellent student in your program, and I am prepared to work and study hard in order to meet the high standards that Gonzaga University is known for. Thank you for your consideration.

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