Kibbutz. I liked that word as a child because the sounds
of its letters were fun to hear and pronounce. I used the
word frequently, because I grew up in Israel, where the kibbutz
lifestyle is common. I was grateful for my good upbringing
and for the admirable values that were instilled in me, but
I was also ambitious and determined to have a career -- even
though I was not encouraged to place any importance on that
decision. As kibbutz children matured and started families
of their own, the adults assumed that they would settle down
as members of the community and work in one of its various
branches, such as agriculture or community service. With or
without encouragement, I always knew that I wanted a different
lifestyle for myself, so I intended to earn a degree in higher
education and work successfully in that rewarding profession.
A degree in education seemed important because throughout
my life, I have spent much time helping others, and I wanted
a profession that would incorporate caring and compassion
as integral components of my work. Helping people consistently
led to fulfillment as I served people in many different ways.
In the eighth grade I volunteered as a surrogate granddaughter
of an elderly woman who lived alone. Twice a week I would
visit her in the afternoon, and we would chat while drinking
cups of tea on her front porch. When her hand shook, I would
hold the cup for her and appreciate the warmth of her kind
expressions of gratitude. As a teenager, I would listen as
many of my friends came to me for advice on personal issues.
I would offer them an objective viewpoint and help them put
things in perspective. These satisfying and meaningful experiences
were instrumental as I considered various careers.
When I graduated from high school, I still had not chosen
my profession and was not as enthusiastic about classroom
teaching as I had been previously. At that time, I was more
concerned with my mandatory two-year service in the Israeli
army and how I could turn military service into a meaningful
and rewarding experience. Reflecting on my experiences as
a drill sergeant, I recall the countless challenges I overcame
on a day-to-day basis. One of my most profound experiences
occurred when I prevented one of my new recruits, Limor, from
committing suicide. She was grieving because her fiancé
had just been killed in a terrible car accident. Limor and
I spent many hours talking about her feelings and her future.
Even though I had no formal training in handling this type
of situation, I somehow found the right words, and she went
on to complete the rest of her military service successfully.
Through this and many other experiences, I discovered my talents
for leading and motivating others and became even more determined
to work with people for the rest of my life.
Still, it took me some time to complete the turns of my career
kaleidoscope. After graduating from college in the United
States, I accepted a position at Paychex and found myself
working in recruitment within the corporate Human Resources
Department. The field of human resources was new to me, and
I was fascinated and challenged by my assignments. I worked
in employee development as a trainer for one hundred sales
department employees. This work developed my passion for helping
others achieve their true potential and showed me the great
need for companies to encourage their employees' career development
by providing the proper training. My own lack of direction
and guidance in choosing my profession reinforced my interest
in studying career development.
To explore my options and solidify my choice, I audited two
graduate-level courses at Rochester Institute of Technology
(RIT) and found the course work quite stimulating and rewarding.
The vast range of courses and invaluable resources offered
by the Human Resource Development Program will allow me to
develop a wide perspective of the field. The staff, faculty
and other students have been friendly and supportive, indicating
to me that this environment will promote my successful education
and future career. I want to earn my master's degree at RIT
because its human resources program will provide me with the
educational foundation that I need to reach my personal and
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