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PHD Counseling Psychology, Education, UAE

July 17, 2015

I consider myself to be a cosmopolitan young woman from the UAE, especially since I have now lived in the USA 3-and-a-half years. I have also spent three months in Germany almost that long in Scotland and 3 weeks in London. I have a special passion for Thailand and have gone several times for two weeks each. In each place that I have passed through, I enjoy studying the customs of the people, especially in terms of their vocation and commerce, career, sense of professional identity and moral standards, etc. I have known for some time now that I wanted to become a professional career counselor in the UAE, and this has helped me to focus my studies of human behavior in the workplace from an international perspective, which is especially appropriate given the increasingly international character of my country. We have much to learn from the USA about the management of diversity.

I am especially excited about the prospect of studying cultural influences on the career choices of young individuals as well as how school counseling can be helpful for students in making wise choices concerning their majors and career paths. The University of XXXX, XU’s Ph.D. Program in Counseling Psychology through the School of Education is my first choice for graduate school for three principal reasons. First, I very much appreciate the way in which your program is explicitly devoted to the development of creative and innovative mentoring and apprenticeship models. I look forward to contributing to the diversity of your program as an Arab woman from Dubai.  Finally, my fiancé is already studying in your university and I would like very much to be near him.

My decision to study counseling psychology was greatly reinforced when I first learned years ago that there is a shortage of well-trained counselors in my home country. In fact, I have discovered that there is a general lack of understanding of a counselor’s role in a variety of important areas, including social work as well as education. After earning my BA in Human Services and Counseling, I continued to do a lot of reading in my spare time about counseling and its relationship to a variety of academic fields. I came to realize the importance, in particular, of the role of the school counselor, and the opportunity of making a positive impact on student attitudes and behaviors that will serve them well for a lifetime of growth, learning, and prosperity. In Arabic we speak of children as the seeds of society. I think it is also useful to think this way of adolescents, older children who are forming ideas, dreams, and visions concerning the professional or vocational identities that they will one day assume. As our young people grow, so will our society.

This is why I decided to get my M.E D in school counseling, which is a new profession in my country. It disturbs me that school counselors in the UAE are often foreigners, or simply any teacher with 6 years of experience and no training at all in counseling beyond a couple of short workshops. Throughout the course of my studies towards the Master’s Degree at Kent State University, I became increasingly sensitive to the importance of cultural issues and factors. I look forward to exploring these critically important issues further, with much greater intensity at the doctoral level at XU.

Completing your distinguished program will enable me to become a pioneer in the areas of school and vocational counseling in the UAE. I want to make increasingly creative contributions to the development of our counseling profession in general and school counseling in particular. I want to help students to become aware of their capabilities, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and how to use all of this to become as productive as possible, finding fulfillment and joy as active contributors to society in general and humanity at large. My goal is helping students to be themselves and make choices for themselves, not as a result of peer pressure or exaggerated parental influence, especially when it involves a choice of career that will be with them for the rest of their lives. I want to foster self efficacy and self realization in students’ career choices.

After returning to my country upon graduation, I plan to teach at a university and to conduct and coordinate research in the areas of both school and career counseling. I intend to contribute everything that I can to the development of school counseling and career counseling as a new profession in my society, working closely with related or relevant organizations for the purpose of increasing their awareness of the importance of counseling as a profession in the UAE. I will labor to correct misconceptions regarding counseling as a profession and the roles of professional counselors. I look forward to decades to come working closely with school personnel and families in the promotion of effective and liberating counseling for their children, helping teachers to be able to accurately recognize and be aware of and sensitive to the needs of those students who are in special need of counseling. I hope to work with schools and educational zones to establish comprehensive school counseling and guidance programs that are culturally sensitive, thereby facilitating the maximization of students’ personal and vocational development.

I thank you for considering my application to your program.

 

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