In order to get a better understanding of who I am as a candidate, it is necessary to recount to you some of the most profoundly character-building moments in my life; in my case, my understanding of Communications ties back most clearly to my time in the United States Army. While in Basic Training, I learned discipline, leadership skills and a strong work ethic – all vital attributes necessary to being a fully responsible and self-actualized member of society. I feel these traits would also help me greatly in pursuing a Communications degree at the University of Texas-Austin.
While in the Army, I participated in the Psychological Operations School; this was a challenging, complex course load that taught me many different skills in Communication to use in a variety of contexts. During this time at Psychological Operations, I learned many Communication skills in my training – most specifically, I learned how to persuade and influence the receiver through interpersonal skills, even through television and radio formats. Learning how to talk people through tense situations and harried emotional states was something I found very rewarding, and I prided myself on my ability to reach out to those who need it. My time in this program was rich and rewarding, and it was then that I understood that I had a natural talent for Communication as a practical skill set.
It was actually the experience of being deployed to Afghanistan that made me appreciate that Communications is an effective tool, which leads me now to pursue a major for it in the University of Texas-Austin. Given my prior education training, I used Afghan public radio to advertise the professionalism of our troops, as well as our commitment to the Afghan people to helping them achieve positive regime change. While working as a radio operator in Afghanistan, I was able to cultivate a system that persuaded and influenced the receiver to be more open and cooperative with American forces, thus making our job easier and possibly saving lives. My efforts were successful in establishing a positive rapport between the Afghan people and the Afghan Police and Armies that were legitimately attempting to help them and keep the peace. As radio operator, I also used the public radio broadcast to bring the people current and forthcoming Government plans to improve the well-being of the Afghan people. While there, I feel I performed a vital service to the Afghan people and to my own country; I understood that Communications was a field I was both skilled at and passionate about, and so I chose to pursue a higher degree.
With my practical use of communication within my work in the US Army, I believe I can bring another view and use of communication that is not normally offered by the University of Texas-Austin. By bringing this unique expertise and experience, I believe I can contribute to the overall culture of the department, and further cultivate my skills by learning from the university’s celebrated Communication program. It is my utmost hope that, if accepted, I can use this experience to reach my fullest potential in the world of Communication, and apply this combination of education and experience in very positive ways for my community and the world at large.