Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

Recommended Posts

This is my first draft of my Statement of Purpose for a Masters of Public Policy. I wanted to get other people's opinions before I send it along to my recommenders. Thanks!




Food has always been a big part of my life. Growing up I was lucky enough to enjoy a warm family meal every night. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter always meant a big feast with lots of extended family members and friends. For me, food was something that brought people together and created lasting memories. My family dinner table was a place of communion, fellowship, nourishment, and a means of reconnecting with those I cared about most. From my experiences growing up around a food conscious family, I have developed my own food conscious.

As I grew older, I began to take notice of how important access to food really is. Once a month, my family participated in a potluck dinner at our local homeless shelter. We brought a homemade dish and joined the families for dinner at the shelter. In high school, I volunteered at soup kitchens and for Meals on Wheels. Being able help provide those who would otherwise go without food a warm meal helped me appreciate that I never had to worry about where my next meal would come from. I also began to realize that there was something profoundly wrong with America. If we produce enough food to provide for everyone, why are there so many people that still go hungry?

At the University of Wisconsin, I found an organization that reflected my values in access to food. My freshman year I joined the UW-Madison chapter of Slow Food, a national organization those mission it is to provide access to clean, fair, and affordable food to the community. The more involved I became in the organization, the more interested I became in learning about agriculture and food systems.

During my final semester at Wisconsin, I enrolled in what would become my favorite class, the Sociology of Agriculture taught by Jesse Gilbert. It was my favorite class not only because I was interested in the topic but also because it challenged me academically. I was one of just a few undergrads enrolled in the graduate level course. Class discussions and assigned readings sometimes became very heavy with terminology I was unfamiliar with, but because of my interest and perseverance I was able to work through the hard parts. My proudest moment in that class happened when my professor was passing back midterm papers. He read my paper out loud to the whole class as an example of exceptional writing. I knew then that this field was something that not only interested me but it was something that I was also good at.

The more I learned about American agriculture in and out of the classroom, the more I saw how broken our system is. It was in those moments that I realized I wanted to be a part of creating solutions that increase access to healthy foods while also bringing economic and social benefits to communities.

In order to do this, I believe that pursuing a Masters degree in public policy at X College is the best route. X College will not only provide me with the tools I need to succeed but also great opportunities to connect with leaders involved in public policy. Coming from a large university where professors have hundreds sometimes thousands of students a semester, it is hard to connect with professors.  At X, I would have the opportunity to build relationships with professors and learn more about their own research. The location of the campus itself also provides many opportunities, as it is located in a very unique part of the country. I could not think of a better location to study than in X because of its reputation as the frontrunner in state and national policy and politics.  

Earning a Masters in Public Policy from X College will enable me to pursue a career in food and agriculture policy. During my time at X, I hope to make connections with professors, local organizations, and other professionals in the field. With an education from a great program that offers many opportunities to connect with the local community, I believe that I will be able to start my career in developing and advocating policy decisions that will create more efficient and equitable systems. 

Edited by emullin90
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a thought, if you only plug in a university's name where you have the Xs your SOP might come off as not being focused enough. That's my opinion though. I would suggest tailoring each SOP to the specific school it is going to making it look like you did your research. Does that mean more time spent researching, yes, but ultimately I believe it to be worth the time! Otherwise, it is well written. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO max 1 line about your family and max 1 line about your pre-university experiences making you aware of food access issues. Use the space you save to develop your fit and plans further. It's very general. I don't see how it's worth mentioning that the "location" provides many opportunities if you can't say what they are. Is there any graduate program where you wouldn't connect with professors, professionals, and the community?


I also wrote my SOP recently and struggled to articulate my plans more than my background, but going through and writing out my thoughts for myself -- not thinking about adcom or word count -- was very helpful in shoring up the second half. Know what you want so you can say what you want.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.