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During my sophomore year, I took an elective history course, “Rediscovering the Lives of Women.” Learning about prominent female figures in history, as well as how society perceived and affected them, prompted me to reflect on how gender shapes my identity and personality. As a woman, I’ve often been told to be sweet and smile more often — and told not to overreact or be so emotional. I always considered these expectations false and unfair; still, I truly am an emotional person, and this is especially true in regards to women’s issues. My heart ached when I read that at least one of every three women globally will be beaten, raped, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. I worry about the 140 million girls and women who are currently living with the consequences of female genital mutilation. The fact that women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the food, but earn only 10% of the income and own only 1% of the property is simply overwhelming. These statistics rattle me because, if I had been born in a different corner of the world, I would be the one who is suffering.
I realize that having a pair of X chromosomes means not only having to overcome inequalities — it means taking on more responsibilities. Since we girls and women are those who know best who we really are, we have to take the initiative. I expect to emerge as a mature and accomplished female leader upon college graduation, working with international organizations to make the world a better place for women. I believe that the ILR’s interdisciplinary curriculum could afford me the education that matches my interests perfectly, and could help me grow as a problem solver capable of viewing social issues in all their different aspects.
In the ILR School, all students are pursuing the same major, but no two students will have identical experiences. The ILR requirements would guide me to explore various fields such as labor history, sociology, public policy, economics, and organizational behavior, all of which are relevant to my career goals and crucial to nurturing a well-rounded perspective. In addition to the rigorous training, I would have the freedom to shape my own academic endeavors to fit my specific aspirations. In particular, I am deeply attracted to courses that focus on non-profit organizations, gender issues, and international human rights, since I hope to delve deeper into these topics.
I also appreciate that the ILR School gives great support to its students by offering an abundance of opportunities in research, internships, international programs, and career services. The Freshman Externship Program would enable me to start exploring my prospective career fields early on and to become familiar with workplace etiquette and protocol. The India SVYM Global Service Learning program fascinates me, mainly because I would like the chance to be immersed in a different culture and have a positive impact on global communities. I believe it would be a wonderful experience to learn about Indian culture from within, develop non-profit leadership, and gain greater knowledge of gender issues in the context of aiding local women.
To realize my career goal of working with international organizations to improve women’s lives around the world, I must acquire broad knowledge in various fields and learn how to best apply my expertise in practical circumstances. In these respects, the ILR School has the richest resources and opportunities possible. I am positive that an ILR education would make it possible for me to dramatically improve the lives of women, wherever in the world they reside.
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