care field at a very early age because my mother was a nurse and I spent considerable time in my childhood observing her at work. I was attracted to the idea of helping people with physical problems, although 1 had no thought about any specific specialty. However, in time physical therapy became the logical focus of my attention for a number of reasons. For one, I have memories from a very young age of my grandfather in Czechoslovakia, disabled by a stroke, his problems unmitigated by any attempts at physical therapy. 1 will never forget the devastating consequences of this. Conversely, 1 clearly recall suffering from scoliosis when I was 6 years old and having physical therapy permanently relieve me of the problem. My grandmother, too, was helped by physical therapy after suffering a hip fracture when she was 89 years old. She is 95 now and still quite active. So, even within my own family, 1 have seen the benefits of physical therapy in a dramatic way and how it can positively change an individual's life. I have been impressed, too, by the fact that physical therapy provides a non-invasive means of treatment that can yield such long-lasting results.
Until two-and-a-half years ago, my professional background was in the area of mechanical engineering. After a while, though, I decided 1 wanted finally to make the move into the medical field. Physical therapy represents the perfect choice, a career with definite parallels to the work 1 have done previously; within it I will be able to draw upon my knowledge and understanding of mechanics and motion, and also use my analytical abilities to resolve challenging clinical problems. Four months as a volunteer and two-and-a-half years as a physical therapy aide have only served to corroborate and enhance my interest in the profession.
As far as my professional goals are concerned, I want to specialize in geriatrics and neurological disorders, and come to be known for my professionalism, effectiveness, and compassion. Currently I work for a hospital group with separate in-patient and outpatient facilities. This has given me a chance to observe patients over long periods of rehabilitation and develop rewarding relationships. It is my goal to do the same once 1 become a registered physical therapist. I hope to be working then in an acute care hospital with an outpatient facility and participate in research that furthers growth in the profession.
I HAVE BEEN PLANNING a career in geological sciences for several years, but as an undergraduate 1 concentrated on getting a solid background in math and science. After graduation, 1 took a job to allow myself time to thoroughly think through my plans and to expose myself to a variety of work situations. This strategy has been very valuable to me in rounding out my career plans.
During the past 18 months 1 have had firsthand experience with computers in a wide array of business applications. This has stimulated me to think about ways in which computers could be used for scientific research. One idea that particularly fascinates me is mathematical modeling of natural systems, and I think those kinds of techniques could be put to good use in geological science. 1 have always enjoyed and been strong in areas that require logical, analytical thought, and 1 am anxious to combine my interest in earth science with my knowledge of, and aptitude for, computer-related work. There are several specific areas that 1 have already studied that 1 think would lend themselves to research based on computing techniques, including mineral phase relations in igneous petrology and several topics in structural geology.
I have had both lecture/lab and field courses in structural geology, as well as a short module dealing with plate tectonics, and I am very interested in the whole area. I would like to explore structural geology and tectonics further at the graduate level. 1 am also interested in learning more about geophysics. I plan to focus on all these areas in graduate school while at the same time continuing to build up my overall knowledge of geology.
My ultimate academic goal is to earn a Ph.D., but enrolling first in a master's program will enable me to explore my various interests and make a more informed decision about which specific discipline I will want to study in depth.
As far as long-term plans, I hope to get a position at a university or other institution where 1 can indulge my primary impulse, which is to be involved in scientific research, and also try my hand at teaching.
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