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Sample 1st Paragraph MA Organizational Psychology

I am attracted to your renowned program at XXXX University for a variety of reasons. Foremost among them, however, is the fact that you chose to include the concept of "gemeinshaftgefuhl" in the mission statement on your website, suggesting how XXXX sees the quality of our health as residing in our community life and social interconnectedness. As a young woman raised in Indonesia my personal understanding of international diversity is enhanced by the fact that I am also Indian and partly educated in India. While Indonesian (reading and writing) was my first principal language, English has now become the language that I use constantly in my day to day activity, But, I also speak Hindi with complete fluency and I hope to use this language as well at some point in my career. I am also well traveled, which I think can be quite useful for pursuing a career in organizational psychology; in my case, traveling extensively in Australia, China, Egypt, and the USA as well as Indonesia, India, and my new home, Canada.

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Masters Degree Program Admission: Social & Organizational Psychology

Samples of My Work on Behalf of Applicants for the Masters Degree in Social/Organizational Psychology

The Humanitarian Side of a Master´s in Social Organizational Psychology

One way to make a difference in the humanitarian world is to offer your services to aid workers. With rising political, economic and environmental instability, more and more of the world’s citizens are becoming dependent on international humanitarian organizations.

There are an estimated 200,000 paid humanitarian aid workers, along with thousands of volunteers, providing aid all over the world. These individuals live and work in some of the most hostile and dangerous regions, which often dramatically affects their physical and psychological well-being in the long run.

They work long hours in high-risk conditions, make decisions in life-and-death situations, struggle along with few aid supplies and face fierce moral challenges that cause high levels of stress.

Olivia Westguard is a former humanitarian worker. She was in Central America after Hurricane Mitch.

Olivia says that: “When you are surrounded by mass suffering and chaos, it’s hard to know where to start. There were so many people in such rough shape. They would walk for miles, carry each other, camp outside our clinics. The lines were never-ending.”

“Doing triage, it was up to me to figure out who was in the worst shape and who could wait. At times I felt like I was playing God. I had to pick the life-threatening cases first and just leave the rest. I felt pretty sick about it sometimes, especially when we had to stop and there were still people waiting. We could never do enough. It was overwhelming. We were already working 18 hours some days.”

Studies have found that around 80% of aid workers experience distress symptoms. Three to seven percent suffer to an extent that interferes with their duties. Exposure to this kind of environment does also come with security risks.

Aid workers operate in violent and volatile regions, making them vulnerable to personal assault and kidnapping. There has been a recent surge in news stories covering violence towards humanitarian workers in the Horn of Africa, Sudan, Libya, and Egypt.

In 2011, The Aid Worker Security Database reported that more than 500 aid workers were murdered, wounded or kidnapped while in the field that year.

While many organizations train staff in debriefing procedures, there is controversy regarding the procedures’ effectiveness. The methods involve an evaluation of the event, addressing immediate thoughts, emotions and coping strategies, but perhaps it´s not enough. There are some critics who think the debriefing process may actually be harmful to victimized aid workers and cause re-traumatization.

Extensive exposure to communal and personal trauma can have a long-term impact on the mental health of humanitarian aid workers. It may result in a variety of issues, such as post-traumatic reactions, feelings of hopelessness, depersonalization, detachment and burnout.

Most humanitarian organizations’ mental health resources focus on preparing aid workers for difficult situations with the hope that it will develop greater psychological resilience in the event of a crisis. But as Westguard explains: “There is nothing that can prepare you for the moment you have a gun to your head or the days and weeks after. There is nothing that can prepare you for how it will feel to have a child die in your arms, to see bodies lining the streets, to hear thousands beg for help and not have enough for everyone. There is no information session or manual that can tell you how that will feel or when or how it will hit you. We [aid workers] end up just trying to talk it out with each other, but we aren’t qualified therapists.”