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I'm applying to U of A School of Public Health's health promotion program, and I was wondering if there are any other current students/applicants on this forum that have tips on writing the statement of intent? I'm struggling a bit since I feel like I should be more specific with what I would want to do with my MPH degree, but to be honest, I am not 100% sure on what career path I would choose within health promotion. I know that I would like to focus on chronic disease prevention, I know that's really broad, but I was hoping to learn more about the specifics for that once I'd be in the program. I was also wondering if anyone has any other general tips related to the application as well. Any advice is welcome! 

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Welcome,

I'm assuming when you speak of chronic diseases that you are referring to non-communicable diseases (as opposed to infectious disease). 

Have you done work in this area? Maybe it would help to tap into the kinds of work you've done to get to this point. 

- G 

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Yes sorry, I mean non-communicable diseases! I have work and volunteer experience that is directly related to it, like being an RA for a study looking at COPD development among certain vulnerable populations. I was also thinking that some of my experiences could be indirectly related to both non-communicable disease prevention and just health promotion in general, such as being a mentor for first year students where our priority was to promote resources and activities related to their mental health.

They want us to talk about what we hope to achieve in the MPH graduate program, and I'm having a hard time with that in terms of how specific I should be. Is it too vague to say something along the lines of "I would like to learn about how I can contribute to the field of non-communicable disease prevention as a health promotion specialist", and then go into talking about my experience in that area so far that will help me. Someone also told me to mention an age group I'd like to work with, but I'm mentioning experiences with people at various ages, and I'd be just as happy working with youth as I would be with adults. I'm trying to keep my public health career path as open as possible, but I'm worried that will come across as me being unsure or not straight forward enough if that makes sense.

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16 hours ago, pandabear said:

Is it too vague to say something along the lines of "I would like to learn about how I can contribute to the field of non-communicable disease prevention as a health promotion specialist",

A bit vague as you can be more specific on types of conditions or settings as well. For example, addictions or child populations or seniors, etc. 

Someone also told me to mention an age group I'd like to work with, but I'm mentioning experiences with people at various ages, and I'd be just as happy working with youth as I would be with adults. 

See above

I'm trying to keep my public health career path as open as possible, but I'm worried that will come across as me being unsure or not straight forward enough if that makes sense.

Don't worry my letter was terrible but I was at least able to convey my passion clearly. I think that's usually the most important aspect

I'll review your letter if you would like. 

- G

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I'll definitely be more specific. Thanks so much for your help!

I'm hoping to submit the application by tomorrow since they only send reference requests once you hit submit, and this year it's due on November 30th so I'd like to give my referees a month. Two days is a super tight time frame so I don't want to stress you out about having to review it so quickly!

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  • 9 months later...

I'm quite late on this, but I just wanted to say thank you. The notes I had jotted down on that word document were so vague and I was probably going to submit a letter that didn't convey what I had to offer and why I really wanted to be there. Even my previous posts on these forums probably make it obvious that I've been kinda lost throughout undergrad, and really unsure of myself (also - thank you to the people who were so supportive on my other posts in case you are reading this). But honestly briefly talking through how to start my statement of intent with you really helped me get going and focus on being myself instead of worrying about what I think they would want me to say. And I'm happy to say that I'll be starting my MPH this fall! As of right now, I don't know if I'll apply to medicine, but wherever I end up, I know I'll be doing something I love :) 

so yea, that was my long version of saying thank you for helping out! :) 

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On 8/10/2019 at 5:42 AM, pandabear said:

I'm quite late on this, but I just wanted to say thank you. The notes I had jotted down on that word document were so vague and I was probably going to submit a letter that didn't convey what I had to offer and why I really wanted to be there. Even my previous posts on these forums probably make it obvious that I've been kinda lost throughout undergrad, and really unsure of myself (also - thank you to the people who were so supportive on my other posts in case you are reading this). But honestly briefly talking through how to start my statement of intent with you really helped me get going and focus on being myself instead of worrying about what I think they would want me to say. And I'm happy to say that I'll be starting my MPH this fall! As of right now, I don't know if I'll apply to medicine, but wherever I end up, I know I'll be doing something I love :) 

so yea, that was my long version of saying thank you for helping out! :) 

Congratulations! What are you doing your MPH in? 

Enjoy but this is also an important time especially with practicum and capstone projects to consider. The better you are at building your networks and doing a good practicum and capstone the more likely you become employed by the end of it. 

- G

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/14/2019 at 5:58 PM, GH0ST said:

Congratulations! What are you doing your MPH in? 

Enjoy but this is also an important time especially with practicum and capstone projects to consider. The better you are at building your networks and doing a good practicum and capstone the more likely you become employed by the end of it. 

- G

Thank you! I will be specializing in health promotion, but I'm also really interested in health policy and management so I'll probably take lots of electives in that! I should definitely start thinking about what I would want to do for my practicum. I know finding a paid position shouldn't necessarily be a huge factor, but did you find that students struggled to find paid practicum positions? The only reason is because I was hoping on moving out with my SO around the same time as my practicum, so it would be nice to have an income! (of course if I don't get a paid position I will be staying put at home)

Also on a bit of a side note, did you ever notice that it was frowned upon to mention that you'd like to pursue a career in medicine after completing an MPH, even if the field you want to end up in will be 100% related to the skills and knowledge you gain with an MPH? I'm struggling between wanting to be clear with my advisor on what I want to ultimately do, but also making sure that they know I am in this because I truly want to be there and am not taking it for granted.

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