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MPA, California State Government

April 18, 2016

The UXX XXXX School is the only graduate program to which I am applying for three reasons: its location a few blocks from the California State Capital, the policy outreach opportunities that are an integral part of your program, and the fact that the XXXX School is recognized consistently as being near the top of the rankings. Clearly, your program represents the optimal springboard upon which to continue building my career as a professional servant of the State of California. I have enjoyed increasing levels of professional responsibility for the last several years providing me with invaluable opportunities in management. I hope to continue to assume greater levels of responsibility corresponding to the ongoing development of my expertise in change management. I like to think of myself as on the forefront of change due to the fact that I am the IT man in the organization who oversees the development of our information and communication systems. My extensive experience as an IT manager for the State of California is probably the single-strongest aspect of my application to your competitive program. Given the ever-more-prominent role that IT communications and data management play in political organization and policy development, I am pleased to find myself at the center of action with respect to change management.

At least one member of every generation of my family has served in the United States military since before the Civil War. This fact alone had an enormous impact on the formation of my identity. (To this day I still have a military hair cut and probably always will.) My world came to a grinding halt, however, when I was rejected for military service for a minor illness which, while it has no impact at all on my performance as a civilian employee, barred me from military service. I adjusted to this bad news little by little and channeled my energies into public service and administration, going on to complete my undergraduate studies in History with a minor in Political Science and jumping straight into California State Politics with an internship in 2004. Following my internship I worked as a Campaign Consultant and finally a Legislative Aid, first for Assemblymember XXXX (AD-07) and then for Senator XXXX (SD-02). For the past two years, I have been working for the California State Board of Equalization.

I look forward to a long and highly productive lifetime of service to the State of California and by extension my country. I have spent many years cultivating the foremost military virtues involved in civic service and I am confident that my passion to serve will enable me to excel in your distinguished MPA Program at UXX Sacramento. My long term goal is to one day serve as the Executive Director of a State Agency or as a Chief of Staff for a political campaign.

My desire to serve the public began when I was a child, instilled in me by my parents and grandparents who taught me to envision doing something that would have a positive impact. Thus, I seek to harness the energy that my heritage has endowed me with in my growth professionally as a civil servant in California and perhaps at some point on a national level. My grandfather was a freedom fighter recognized by the Indian Government for his selfless contributions during the liberation of India and then his work in improving the lives of Indian people in general. My father was the principal of a high school in California until he retired; at which point he devoted the balance of his life starting and running five rural schools in India in order to provide an enhanced learning environment to children and adults in villages, something like his own Indian Head Start Program. As I grew up, I was an eager apprentice, working hard to arm myself with fundamental knowledge in public and governance affairs. I participated in boot camps and volunteer programs providing community services to local neighborhood organizations where I grew up in California. In 1983, when I graduated from college, I won a National Urban Administration Support scholarship from the Indian Government and had a chance to study Political Science for one academic year at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. This experience early on taught me the importance of celebrating diversity, something which could hardly be more important in today’s California. I also learned a great deal about how the Indian government works and its systematic approach to addressing the needs of the public.

I always labored as a student to stay engaged with numerous community services and I continued to do so during my internship in India at Swami Vivekanand Jankalyan Sansthan. I am especially proud to have been part of the team that created the Ranchi Self-help Clean Water Distribution Project, which offers an example of what a dedicated community of people can accomplish with a clear focus and a strong desire to improve their lives. Over the course of the last 2 decades, I have volunteered my time to organizations as an IT development expert because of the spiritual fulfillment that accompanies social service, and a concern for the welfare of the neediest among us, especially in California but also throughout the world, peace, children, the environment, etc.

My interests in the environment and sustainable development encouraged me to seek out community projects with great promise but few financial resources. I have volunteered my services to community organizations in Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Kenya, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE, UK and US. I firmly believe that people tend to be limited not so much by their ability as they are by their vision. I have a vision for the future of continuing to help many more community organizations in emerging countries, especially those that have been torn by conflict and face the inevitable post-conflict challenges as they rebuild their communities.

From 2006-2010, I served as a Legislative Aide to State Senator XXXX. In that capacity, I became a Project Advocate for the XXXX project and went on to manage communications for one of the largest Information Technology projects in the State of California, the Centralized Revenue Opportunity System, a $279 million dollar project current being undertaken by the California State Board of Equalization to modernize the technology that supports the collection and administration of sales and use-tax and other tax-and-fee programs throughout the state. I would go on to spend the next several years working directly for the California State Board of XXXX where I remain until today. My current title is Regional Outreach Manager. The advance of my own communication skills have been greatly enhanced by my professional position, interacting with internal staff, California State agencies, elected officials, legislative committees, taxpayers, labor unions, etc. 

I especially look forward to studying under Professor XXXX since I admire his research a great deal and I am most keenly interested in questions of both passion and purpose in public administration. I have now spent the last three years in state service at the CA State Board of XXXX, the Outreach Services Division, and the XXXX  project.  I have learned over the course of the last three years to think critically and creatively about my work and I feel that I have a lot to share with the academic community at the XXXX School as a result of my experiences and the challenges that I have faced. As I see it, there is a distinct need in California, particularly in state government, for people to develop new skills for public management and the proper implementation of the innovative techniques that we must employ to ensure success in a new, globally competitive environment fed by IT. The XXXX School can provide me with what I need the most at this time, an in-depth understanding of Public Administration, particularly in terms of systematic knowledge. Completing your program will greatly enhance my theoretical understanding and grasp of empirical approaches, empowering me to make creative and sustainable administrative decisions.

I thank you for consideration of my application.

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