Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

I became inspired to pursue a graduate degree because I wanted to enhance my natural gifts and abilities to their greatest potential. I believe my natural gifts are empathy, compassion, listening, and encouraging. The profession that I feel correlates best with these qualities Counseling. This field however requires a graduate degree and numerous hours to become a licensed professional in, as promoting the wellness of one’s psyche can be very complex due to the limited observable symptoms.

My fascination of the mysteries of the universe come from an internal perspective, meaning, helping people understand themselves and their relationships better is very interesting to me; more so than the outside world. My graduate training has helped me to consider all the factors contributing to a person’s behavior, whether intentional or otherwise. My favorite part about my graduate training is my school’s motto of “creating positive social change.” Creating real change starts within ourselves, and it is very rewarding to see people gain new understandings of themselves and their abilities. Just as I am on a journey of self-discovery of how I can utilize my gifts to make a difference in the world, I am teaching my clients the same in how they can maximize their potential to enhance themselves and their relationships. An ethical mandate of counseling to be aware of one’s own biases and how one’s frame of reference influences how a client’s presenting symptoms and circumstances are interpreted. My graduate training, I feel has taught me more about myself than any other experience in my life, of which I am very thankful for. Self-awareness can increase the authenticity and rapport presented to one’s client, which overall, improves the therapeutic alliance. Overall, I believe my graduate studies in counseling have helped me to pursue my purpose and utilize my strengths to become the person I am meant to be.

Rachel from Oregon
Walden University (distance learning)