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Dr Robert Edinger with Son David

MA Political Leadership and Public Service

I hold a bachelor degree in Political Science and International Relations awarded by Thammasat University which is one of the most prestigious in Thailand and from which many of the country’s leading politicians and members of the judiciary are graduates. Having graduated and moved to North America, to improve my English and to seek voluntary work relevant to my goals. My hope is to find a post with an NGO or inter-governmental organization working for the betterment of rural communities in South East Asia. My immediate aim is to take a higher degree that will help me towards achieving my goal. I also intend to pursue a Ph.D. ultimately, as a further step towards fulfilling my potential and aspirations.

I have always been interested in politics and current affairs since childhood. These were subjects of great interest in my household and I followed the discussions with interest and realized that the world could be changed for the better by those who involved themselves in government even at a modest local level and decided that I would like to do so.

My academic journey to date has not been an easy one. My studies in Thailand were nearly curtailed because of the impact of the Asian economic recession that occurred at that time and had a negative impact on my family’s finances. However my teachers were keen to retain me on the program and they found me various paid duties in college to enable me to continue to study. These duties related to liaison with inter-departmental and external organizations and these led to appointment as part-time coordinator promoting projects for a local non-profit organization. I know that I would not have been appointed had I not demonstrated an outgoing and intellectually curious personality who could be relied upon to carry out appointed tasks diligently and intelligently. After graduation, I was in the top ten students in my class and so was given the opportunity to join Toyota Motor Corporation for a year. I was involved in the design of a new service and benefits package that was implemented and resulted in a decrease of 20% in employee turnover in two consecutive years. As a result of this work, I was designated to attend various international seminars and management training courses. I was also involved with several charitable projects undertaken by the Toyota Foundation and various government agencies.

Since arriving in the US, I have worked for the Thai-Los Angeles Association and, on occasions, for the Thai Consulate to facilitate and coordinate legal projects for Thai-Americans living in the area. This was extremely interesting work and called for communication skills of a high order and an empathetic approach to the individuals who were assisted.

I have adjusted easily to the contrasts in culture that I have encountered since moving to North America. I speak Spanish and have undertaken some volunteer activity in South and Central America and in the Caribbean. I also speak Japanese and can communicate in French at a basic level, which I intend to improve. Apart from enabling me to ‘give something back’, volunteer work has exposed me to different peoples and styles of government at various levels and also some of those things that interfere with its proper function, such as corruption and reluctance to participate. I am fascinated by other cultures and enjoy sharing information about my own. I have happily worked and socialized with people from many different cultural and social backgrounds and I look forward to extending this experience within the program. I find that a well developed sense of humor is appreciated by people of all types.

I have carefully researched available programs and am particularly interested in your own which is closely fits my requirements. I am aware that XXXU is growing in terms of student numbers and reputation. I understand that one aim of the program is to enhance critical thinking skills and the ways in which knowledge is applied and I am particularly interested in these aspects of the program. I also feel that this program will provide the kind of supportive but challenging academic environment that I seek. I hope to be able to pursue at least part of my studies on-line and see that this option is available in your program. The curriculum also has the breadth that I seek and is one that will stretch me. I am also aware of the work of the Docking Institute which possesses and applies the kind of expertise that I hope one day to bring to communities in Asia.

I have several research interests, namely: Political Ethics, Political Philanthropy and Politics and Religion. I hope to be involved in assisting research in one or more of these areas.

I am aware that the program will attract many well qualified applicants but I genuinely believe that I am an exceptional candidate. I hold a bachelor degree in a relevant discipline; I am multi-lingual; I am hard working and passionately interested in the subjects covered in the curriculum; I have been exposed to many different cultures and political systems during my volunteer work and I am sure that this will enable me to ‘add value’ to my class. I undertake to participate enthusiastically and diligently in the program in order to excel within it.

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