2014 Award Winning Essay

 

Describe your career goals and how you plan to achieve them. (700-1000 words)

 

One of the most important lessons I have learned in statistics is, “Correlation does not imply causation.” Therefore, I have become the subject of my own experiment. The independent variables in this experiment are my willingness to learn, level of diligence, and initiative power to make a change in my community. The dependent variable in this experiment is success. As a future epidemiologist, I have noticed that those independent variables have positively correlated with my level of success, making me reconsider that maybe correlation does imply causation.

 

According to World Health Organization, epidemiology is a branch of medical science that deals with incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population. From my research, epidemiology can lean towards the public health sector as much as medical science. Therefore, the most attractive path towards my goal to become an epidemiologist includes studying Public Health for my undergraduate education.

 

Like many prospective college students, I have my reasons to for studying Public Health. I spent three years volunteering at a medical center where I had the experience of observing patients being treated for a variety of reasons.   During the summer before my junior year, I was privileged to study Statistics for a month in a program called Summer Ventures. With help from university professors at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, I wrote my own research paper on how the Baby Boomers cohort will affect the Social Security program in the future. After Summer Ventures, I realized that the combination of medical science and mathematics is my true calling. Throughout my high school career, those experiences are what have inspired me to continue learning and challenging myself.   In the future, I hope to apply them towards studying the effectiveness of cancer treatments, surgery success rates, and other methods of treatment.

 

At this point, I have not completely confirmed my admission to any of the prospective institutions that have accepted me. However, it is already assured that my undergraduate years will consist of a rigorous academic curriculum, extra-curricular activities, study abroad programs and internship opportunities to gain knowledge as I venture through those years. Therefore, I will not only be learning inside the classrooms, but outside as well. Just like Summer Ventures, I intend to conduct my own statistical research at the university, absorb new knowledge, test my time-management skills, and appreciate the challenge I am privileged to receive. Also, I will treat myself to a summer or semester at another country, preferably a Spanish speaking country, to gain new perspectives by interacting with the different ideas, people, and relive the experience of feeling home at a foreign land. My volunteerism will continue as I commit my time serving a different community, but still conserving the same idealism to help, inspire, and serve others. To become an epidemiologist, I must accept that I must become more than just a Public Health major. I must become enlightened.

 

In order to fulfill my career goals, I cannot stop my education with an undergraduate degree. My willingness to learn will continue as I pursue my Master’s Degree in Epidemiology to fulfill my career goals. Throughout this process, I plan to diligently apply my undergraduate degree to further enhance my mission to study how infectious disease affects population.   Originating from Nepal where infectious diseases like malaria, typhoid fever, and malnutrition are prevalent, I have found that every geographic location has its own set of diseases that need to be addressed based on direct influences within that area. Contrary to popular belief, I as a future epidemiologist can have just as much of a positive impact on individuals as their direct caregivers.

 

During my undergraduate and graduate years, I want to take action, travel to a developing country to work with new data and people, tackle research projects, and make the most out of my educational experiences. I look forward to hav ing the opportunity to apply what I have studied and knowledge that I have gained in the state I know best. I know I will have the ability to study and contribute proper clinical trials, treatment methods, and awareness that will reduce the number of people affected by saving lives.

 

As much as I have to follow the statistical rules during classes and independent research, I am willing to accept that correlation does imply causation if I continue to be diligent and take initiative to reach my goals.

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