Monday, June 16, 2008

Personal Statement

When I applied for the Stevens Fellowship in November 2007, I had to write a Personal Statement demonstrating why I was such a great fit for this opportunity. This is what I wrote:

PERSONAL STATEMENT (2008-2009 Mary Elvira Stevens Traveling Fellowship)

I am a waste management consultant for Portland International Airport (PDX). I am a graduate student earning my Masters in Public Administration at the Mark Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. I am a trail-runner, biker, and weekend adventurer. My professors and colleagues know me as The Girl Who Works With Trash (And Loves It).

Since I last applied for the Stevens Traveling Fellowship Application to study waste management practices in Germany in 2005-2006 (and was denied), I moved to Portland, Oregon to establish a formal foundation of knowledge about waste management. Earning my master’s degree and working in the field has acquainted me with:
  • Waste Management Vocabulary: Waste streams, waste audits, commingled, construction and demolition waste, life cycle analysis, tipping fees, etc.
  • Waste Management Professionals: Haulers, processors, the public, custodial staff, policymakers, residences, businesses, stakeholders.
  • Waste Management Processes: product design, source separation, rebate, disposal, outreach and education.
Two years of hands-on professional experience and a graduate degree have prepared me to venture into foreign countries as a trash-ambassador. I believe that proper waste management is integral to a sustainable future in the United States. I want to spread my wings and see the world through the eyes of a waste-stream watcher, and bring that perspective back to the U.S. to share with our communities.

Temper? One of my nicknames is “Sunny”.

Sense? Yes. See my experience, listed above.

Travel Desire? By visiting familiar (Germany, the Netherlands, and Costa Rica) and unknown (Norway, Sweden, and Argentina) countries, I can gain deeper insight into places I’ve been while also discovering unexpected insights and unearthing new paths.

Love of beauty? Increasing the sustainability of waste management has a profound effect on our global environment, economy, and attitude. For that reason, I think waste is beautiful.

1 comment:

David Ross said...

Looking forward to a vicarious global journey through the world of trash.