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Fellowship, Coasts and Communities, Turkish

Born and raised in my native Turkey, for the past 10 years my husband and I have made our home in Boston were we own and operate a coffee shop. What we love most about America and especially Boston is the international flavor, which we enjoy every day visiting with people from all over the world who drop into our coffee shop. I have learned a great deal from the patrons who have dropped in over the last several years.

My husband and I are not so much interested in making money as we are in enjoying life. Still, I feel the need to serve my community, the more I come to love America the more I want to protect her; particularly the more vulnerable members of our society. I earned my MBA at XXXX in 2007 and I want very much to put what I have learned so far to work not in the generation of wealth, but in service to my community. This is why I am applying for your competitive fellowship program, so that I might earn the PHD in Organizations and Social Change. At the center of my studies and the research that I seek to undertake for the future, stand all of the issues surrounding low-income families, especially those with children.

There was a big earthquake in Turkey in 1999 and along with my friends and colleagues I shared in the enormous task of preparing and distributing basic emergency essentials, especially food. Many of my colleagues lost their relatives and I tried to emotionally support them; I bonded with many children at this time, teaching them, looking after them, and helping them to survive their grief and trauma. My own sense of service is so deeply rooted in this traumatic experience that I feel especially excited about the participating in a fellowship program that is oriented towards disaster preparedness here at my new home on the Atlantic coast of the USA.

I seek a broad based education that will enable me to think creatively about the enormous gaps that exist between developed and developing countries, and the way in which this is related to structures of poverty and social unrest. I want to examine closely questions surrounding the International Monetary fund and the suggestion that its policies have accomplished little more than create dependence and perpetuate poverty. I want to study the politics of famine in Africa and draw as many lessons as I can with respect to what we might be able to do, as well as recognizing and dealing with our inherent economic and political limitations.

In addition to my experience in the earthquake of 1999, I see two other principal strengths to my application, the fact that my undergraduate studies were in the area of Food Engineering, combined with the strategically important geopolitical location of my country of origin, serving as a bridge between Europe and Asia. I graduated from one of the finest universities in Turkey, Ege University and my studies in food sciences, safety, and engineering were broad based and serve as an excellent foundational and compliment to the studies which I know wish to undertake on the question of hunger and how it is related to structural poverty.

I have worked as a Project Manager for a big catering company, XXXX, and then in the area of Quality Control Assurance, helping me to develop both my engineering and managerial skills and to improve my knowledge base about international business practices. I have always closely followed new developments in the area of Food Science and Nutrition and I intend to always stay current for much of the research taking place in this field.

After leaving XXXX I moved to London to seek my fortune and destiny abroad. I worked for a variety of companies in the UK while learning to speak English well enough to be able to excel. When I felt confident enough about my language, I came to the United States to earn my MBA degree at the University of XXXX. I am told by some that they still hear some British English in my accent.

While earning my MBA, I worked as a Teaching and Research Assistant under the supervision of Prof XXXX. I assisted with student discussion sections and completed assigned research tasks. This experience helped me to gain considerable understanding concerning what it takes to teach to students from a broad variety of different backgrounds, and cultures. This experience also made me very enthusiastic about the prospect of teaching myself one of these days.

After finishing my MBA, I started working at Corner Café. Corner Café was a great opportunity for me to learn first-hand how effective communication and right management are the essential ingredients for a successful organization. I have learned how to cope with problems efficiently with professional manners and how to establish relationships with co-workers as a team. Until now we have been dealing with financially supporting our family and raising our two young children, but now I want to start working on reaching my lifetime goal and earn the doctoral degree that will enable me to make the greatest social contribution possible.

Since I earned my MBA at the University of XXXX, I personally appreciate how UXX has one of the strongest management programs in the country.  I see your fellowship program and doctoral studies at UXX in Organizations and Social Change to be the perfect way for me to make the best use of my Food Engineering background and experience as well as the advanced understanding of economics and international business that I have acquired as a result of earning my MBA at UXX. Your eminent faculty and the individualized nature of the doctoral program in Organizational & Social Change track, especially working with Prof Maureen Scully, will definitely bring out the best in me and prepare me for making my finest social contribution.

If I am accepted to the program, I am especially interested in studying the consequences of coastal disasters, and how do they affect the daily lives of local people, particularly women and children. I am very interested in studying topics about everything having to do with the empowerment of women and the protection of their children, because I believe that societies will only be able to develop adequately in a sustainable fashion once a certain safety net is in place with respect to education and health, in addition to basic necessities of food and potable water which are still lacked by so many. In particular, I want to learn as much as I can about the especially critical situations that arise concerning these basic needs in times of natural or human caused disasters. I want to focus on supply chain management in times of crises and pay particular attention to the issue of the distribution of perishable food items as part of disaster relief.

After completing my PhD, I would like to work in an academic environment where I aim to give the best of my knowledge and experience to students. I truly believe that a doctorate degree in Management and especially the Organizational & Social Change track from University of XXXX will be the optimal way for me to prepare myself for meeting my future as a professional that is profoundly dedicated to helping the Developing World to make sustainable progress.

I understand that the selection process is very competitive. Nevertheless, I feel strongly that I have the background, determination, and enthusiasm that will enable me to make important contributions to your program and beyond. I believe that in fact I am uniquely qualified for contributing to our understanding of supply chain management and issues surround perishable food items, and to learn how to confront and deal successfully with the many challenges that arise in this area.

I thank you for considering my application.

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