Iam applying to the master of public administration program focusing on thenonprofit management and leadership specification, to prepare me for a careerin nonprofit management. The program’s specialization in nonprofit managementis a great fit to my long-term career goals. One of my proudest accomplishmentsis when I put my interests and background into action by co-founding the Development Aid Foundation, an NGO thatsupports indigenous development Ghanaian organizations through volunteerism.Through this, I had the opportunity to volunteer in an orphanage withinternational volunteers and it further fueled my desire to expand my horizonsin development. Communicating with the orphans I handled threw my life intoperspective – we take many things for granted which we shouldn’t. I recognizedmy niche in development would be education policy after this experience.                                                                                                            Myfocus as an undergraduate was with an eye toward graduate school and aprofessional career in nonprofit management.

I’m applying to the School ofPublic, Nonprofit and Health Administration’s master of Philanthropy &Nonprofit Leadership to prepare me for a long term career in developing andmanaging nonprofit work in Africa. My background in economics and geographycombined with a master’s in public administration will enable me deepen myunderstanding of quantitative research methods, financial economic developmentand strategic management skills. I hope to use the lessons learned indeveloping sound philanthropic strategies in my areas of emphasis.  Asa research assistant at the Center for Migration Studies (CMS), I had the goodfortune to work with Mr. Emmanuel Quarshie, communications officer under thesupervision of Dr. Joseph Teye. I employed mixed methodology in generating newknowledge related to migration and poverty by creating new datasets andpublications; conducting interviews with ” kayayei”women, engaging policy makerswith key research outcomes on migration and poverty linkages.

This experiencefurther expanded my niche to poverty-induced migration issues in sub-SaharanAfrica.                                                                                                             Duringmy internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers, I worked with the strategy andoperations unit on many transactions complementing economic research with indepth policy interpretation. One example was when I served as a researcher andparticipant for the PwC Business School:Sustainable Business Forum to engage the private sector on sustainabilityissues and enhance business resilience. I carried out research on environmentalbusiness challenges pertaining to Ghana. I also conducted and coordinateddialogue amongst some nonprofit industry participants (International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN NL), TheNetherlands Embassy, Water Resources Commission (WRC), A Rocha Ghana) atthe school and shared practical activities to help boost business resiliencethrough key practices to engage the private sector. This advisory experienceexposed me to the intricacies of nonprofit policy advisory work and reassuredmy resolve to pursue a degree in public administration.

                                                                                                            Thepublic administration program parallels with my own philosophy when I waspleased to learn the program’s capstone project which is ideal to my long-termcareer goals. Wealth transfer and the underlying principles thereof continue tointrigue me. I have loved finding out why specific financial ideas workreliably in certain zones while proving disastrous when applied elsewhere. Ilook forward to expanding my niche in this field through research opportunitiesas I plan to share my results from my personal and group projects with otherswho are interested in the implications of their research.

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Broadly, my researchinterests seek to determine the root causes of extreme poverty and migration,rigorously evaluate programs that target these causes, explore how economicactivities in sub-saharan Africa as a whole can influence migration and somesustainable economic policies. In the long-term, I would like to be engaged inpublic policy work through cutting edge research that has clear solution-drivenpolicy implications, under my own think tank firm when I return to Ghana. Thisis where I know I would have the greatest impact.

 Theoverall lessons and skills I have internalized from my academic, professionaland volunteer experiences including extensive number crunching, excellentcommunication and strong ethical standards define my strong sense of purpose asa future graduate student at Grand Valley State University. If accepted intothe nonprofit management and leadership program, I will bring a unique way ofunderstanding and perspective through my Ghanaian background. I would use mymarginalised background to contribute to class interactions to motivate othersand myself in the program to succeed.

                                                                                                            Inconclusion, I feel Grand Valley State University is the best place for me tobe. The primary factors drawing me to the School of Public, Nonprofit andHealth Administration includes: (1) I am especially excited about the PA-643,PA-663 and PA-670 specialization courses which will add layers of pricelesspractical knowledge of nonprofit management (2) I look forward to enhancing myresearch interests through the guidance of my personal advisor (3) Theopportunity to work on a capstone project in thematic areas of my interest. I amconfident that my academic and professional leadership experiences haveinstilled me with the depth and maturity that the s department demands, andthat, given the opportunity, I will be a valuable asset to the program.

I hopeto be seriously considered for this program and you will seriously consider myqualifications and arrive at the same conclusion. I thank you for yourattention to this material and I am grateful for your consideration.