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MA Communication Studies, Saudi Woman

Human communication has long stood at the center of my world and I knew well before starting college that this is the area in which I wanted to major. And at the time that I formed this conviction, it took imagination and courage, because up until just a few years ago, women in my native Saudi Arabia had to go abroad to pursue an education in this field. It was only two years ago, that the Taiba University established the first communication department that allowed women to enroll, segregated from male students of course. However, the number of female academics who were qualified and available to teach in the department was limited; thus, they admitted only a very small number of students. But it was too late for me anyway, since I had already graduated in 2005 from the College of Education with a BA in English Literature and a GPA of 3.89. Moving to California has been a liberating experience for me, living in a land where women can study what they want and do anything else that pleases them for that matter.

 After graduation, I was hired at the Charity Organization for Orphans’ Welfare as a secretary and a translator. But my job wasn’t restricted to those tasks. Working long hours with 50 vulnerable orphans – boys and girls – listening to their stories, worries, fears, observing their behaviors; I became very much involved in helping caregivers assess and deal with their special social, psychological, and emotional challenges. Soon, I was offered an overtime position as a communicator and counselor in the evenings and I never left the orphanage on time. Morning, afternoon, and evening I spent with them, struggling to alleviate their pain, studying with them, working on their health issues; sometimes we just hung out and had fun. After a while, I became an advocate, defending their rights, serving as their voice to the outside world. And it was here that I found my greatest sense of fulfillment as a professional communicator, serving as a voice for the voiceless in our society. I became their vehicle of expression in every way, from exploring their taste buds through cooking to consulting with psychiatrists on their behalf, many having been abused, facing a grueling uphill battle to achieve anything resembling a sense of normalcy and security in their lives. One year ago I had to leave the orphanage to go to the United States, however, our relation didn't stop at that point and we are still keeping in touch.   

 In addition to my paid position with the orphans I have also work in the communication field as a volunteer, teaching English at an institute for older ladies with limited resources, women who never had the chance to study when they were younger. And I was able to build strong relations with them. I also worked as an English teacher in a secondary school, perhaps the most difficult professional experience that I have had, since the students were from so many vastly different social environments and cultural backgrounds, and they were not very fond of either English, going to school, or the teachers. Yet, soon, I found that by praising their abilities, I could win them over, and their English vastly improved and I was also able to build productive relations with them. Our relation also didn't stop and we are still in contact. When the school director noticed the improvement of the student's performance, she offered to extend my contract.  

 Over the past couple of years, I have become more aware of the inadequacy of my own knowledge base and analytical tools. I look forward to learning so many different things in your program, building a new platform for professional growth, multicultural awareness and communication, embracing psychology, technology, the science and art of communication in the Western World.

 I have a most passionate fascination with human communication, the many ways communication functions to create, sustain and transform life, social relations, and cultural norms and I have come to the conclusion that the best opportunity to advance my education and professional standing would be to earn the M.A. Degree in your program. The experience will provide me advanced study of human communication in its various and diverse forms, contexts and processes. Your facilities, high level of scholarship, and multiculturalism of your university make me confident that I will be stimulated throughout the course of my studies, learning from sharing with other graduate students in addition to my coursework.

 Being a student in the United States for a year has greatly helped my own communication skills and I deeply admire the high quality of communication between teacher and students in the American classroom inspiring me to want to improve communication skills between teachers and the students in the Saudi classroom. Your program will prepare me well for a variety of options upon graduation. My professional dream is to find a challenging position with a leading organization where I can handle challenging projects in a most efficient fashion, building bridges, resolving conflicts, in short, facilitating communication, continuing to enriching my own communication skills at the same time that I developing professionally and expand my creative interests and abilities.  

Being admitted to your graduate program would be a great responsibility, require a lot of hard work and be a profound honor. I want to thank you for your time and consideration and I sincerely hope that you will consider my application positively. 

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