My primary goal in applying to Walden University for Ph.D. program is to prepare myself for a future career in forensic human services administration. Interested in furthering the current body of research and in improving techniques used on the study of the theoretical foundations of organizational behavior and the practice of management and planning. I am very committed to pursuing human services administration and I believe Walden University Ph.D. program will provide me with an excellent foundation in the area of organizational management and planning. With a Ph.D., I will be well prepared to lead a very promising career. While I have no doubt that the program will push me to my limits, I am confident that I can face the rigorous challenges posed by graduate study and thrive under the demanding environment that advanced studies entail.
Curretly working as a Project Director in Africare, previously working as a Senior Technical Advisor and Program Management Specialist with USAID, and, Program Manager and Project Coordinator in Save the Children and CARE International respectively, I believe I have gained a strong background experience in the specialized course of graduate study that will motivate me accomplish advanced research in human services administration. My professional and work background over the last 18 years is especially strong in organizational behavior, project planning and management, my primary field of interest.
Project planning and management consumes my professional work life; I do not intend to study it because I find it somewhat interesting but because I am devoted to it; I want to make it my professional career. Participating in this program not only will it demonstrate my determination to gaining a high quality education and the seriousness with which I treat academics, but also will attests to my leadership ability, maturity, and responsibility, both as a supervisor and manager at Africare and other programs in the future.
My highest level of education is Masters in Development Studies specialization in Population and Development from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands (2003), while my undergraduate education is a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Social Administration (SWSA) from Makerere University, Kampala Uganda (1992). From my transcripts, you will see that not only was I a well-balanced student, I actually thrived in rigorous, upper level courses, courses akin to graduate-level courses. Armed with the confidence that I can excel at difficult courses, I believe I can achieve the highest level of success and satisfaction by taking the most demanding graduate program of this nature.
Further, you will notice that I have already done some of the theoretical courses offered in this program I am applying for both at undergraduate and master’s level. Therefore, this course offers me an opportunity to cement my professional career at a higher level. I have not had any inconsistencies in both academic record and work experience. This is the major motivation for me to apply for this course specialization as I strongly believe that my academic background and work experience will enable me grasp the concepts and theory in this program, and thereafter, translate the acquired body of knowledge into practice.
I have not authored or published any research work in academic journals. Nonetheless, I have participated in many project based studies especially operational research, baseline studies, mid term project reviews and final project evaluations. You will notice from my academic transcripts that my ability to excel in the course work is almost same as my demonstrated performance in conducting research papers (dissertations) both at bachelors and masters degree programs. Research has become a fundamental part of my professional career, and, I hope it will stay the primary component of my future career.
Over the years, I have been intimately involved in every aspect of project-based research, from design stage, data collection and analysis, to dissemination of research findings to wide audiences including but not limited to; donors, host governments, and project beneficiaries. I have learned what it takes to be a project researcher, but more than that, I have learned how fulfilling and interesting organizational research can be. Soon, I will be participating in a baseline study of my project under the direction of Futures Group International, a US based Research and Development Company. This project will undoubtedly further advance my academic and professional skills in knowledge management and learning, but also, reinforce my passion for research.
Work /Other Experience
I have worked in four large organizations with an average lifespan of four years per project. During life of projects, I oversaw the establishment and management of the project coordination and technical teams, and, provided overall leadership in many project departments. My main functions focused on technical advice, management of the design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all components of the project that included; program development, capacity building, and advocacy. I ensured adherence to the work plans, programmatic and financial reporting requirements; managed country and field offices, and, ensured their efficient operations. I supervised and conducted performance appraisals of all project staff. Further, I maintained close liaison with headquarter offices, partner organizations and host government offices. I represented the project on stakeholders, donors, forums and managed partner relations. Lastly, I ensured the timely submission of all project deliverables to donors including but not limited to, annual work plans, performance monitoring plans, quarterly, annual and Reports.
In my daily professional work, I manage non-public not for profit private voluntary organizations that are largely funded by US government federal funds. To be successful in my work, I maintain effective working relationships with all project staff and stakeholders. These relationships require high-level organizational management and interpersonal skills. I effectively work within teams as I train, mentor, and support colleagues to accomplish tasks. I exercise significant judgment in resolving technical, and/or, operational problems encountered during project management, and determine the need for consultation with superiors as well, if circumstances do require. I do believe that these personal attributes will continue to enhance my success in my career and graduate study.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics reports, more than 2 million individuals taking graduate-level courses are enrolled in distance-education classes. The Internet revolution and web now provide a formerly missing ingredient in distance education–quick and easy communication between students and instructors, and among classmates. Distance education often is a great fit for me because I currently find it difficult to skip my job to get to a university campus for class. I had always wanted a Ph.D. degree, but it has been hard to suspend a career and a family for it. As I searched the globally known online university courses, Walden University came up. Walden University is globally recognized distance learning and online pioneer University. I had always ignored Walden University advert on my yahoo page but I got more convinced to try to make an inquiry, and here I am.
With my mind set on the very specific goal of enrolling for Ph.D. study program, and, preparing myself as excellently as possible for a 4 – 5 year study program, I am fully confident that, I will not only be able to fulfill my dream, but to contribute substantially to the Walden University body of knowledge as well.