Business and Economics Personal Statement 2

Sample Business and Economics Personal Statement

Having gained academic and employment experience within business, I have become more and more aware of the practical impact of economic theory within a real world context. Pursuing this interest through study and extra-curricular reading, I have become entranced by the disparate political and philosophical positions that economists adopt, and I am determined to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments and how they apply to the industries of which I have been a part.

In previous years, I have prioritised gaining practical experience within the workplace over pursuing my academic ambitions, electing to join a company rather than completing my original degree in my native Korea. As I have gained further understanding of the way in which an understanding of economic theory informed my profession, however, I have returned to my studies with a renewed vigour. I have taken a Foundation course at Surrey University, graduating with a grade of 73% and offering a comprehensive overview of the field.

As my interest in Economics has grown, I have sought out ways in which I can expand on the knowledge learnt on this Foundation course and gain a sense of the inspiring breadth of the subject. Last year, for example, I took part in a summer school on Intermediate Macro Economics at the London School of Economics, which demonstrated the numerous connections between the global economic environment and the performance of specific businesses. This fuelled an ongoing interest in the political, as well as practical, implications of economics and the links between the two, which have never been more apparent than at this moment of global financial crisis. While my goal would be to ultimately return to the business world, and apply my new found knowledge there, through complimenting my practical knowledge with a broader theoretical basis I have gained a sharper sense of the interconnected worlds of politics and economics and the effects that this has on business. I can imagine no more exciting time to become involved with this essential discipline and hope that, by understanding the challenges facing the global economy, I will be able to help whatever company I find myself working for to weather them.

Of course, the hands-on experience that I have gained through employment has also proven to be essential in shaping my interest in Economics. Through working with Shin-hwa Plc, a motor vehicle company, I have seen how theory is implemented within a practical context. In my role as a member of the management aid team, I observed and participated in a number of aspects of the day-to-day running of the business including research, sales, management and document translation. This experience has also been ongoing, as I am currently working part-time for the company from the UK and when I return to Korea for holidays, and anticipate that this will be a fruitful way in which I can continue to develop my knowledge of the practical application of theory as I study. Being part of the management team also offered the first taste of the emotional rewards that working within the business world can offer. As I gained skills, knowledge and experience through my role, a sense of drive and ambition was fostered within me that saw me attempt to perform above and beyond the duties I was allocated. This desire to know the way in which every part of the business functioned is the primary reason that I returned to education, having realised that without the theoretical knowledge that university study could offer I would never achieve my full potential within business. Returning to academia having gained experience in the real world of business has made me a more dedicated and determined student than I was before, as I am aware of the reciprocal relationship between practical and theoretical knowledge, and the potential of each to inform the other.

In my spare time I like to read widely around my chosen subject. I have particularly enjoyed the work of Professor Ha-Jun Jang, including Bad Samaritans and 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism. The latter in particular, while essentially a light-hearted read, really proved to be a valuable exercise in rethinking the assumptions behind my own studies. Other scholars, such as Noam Chomsky, have also made me reassess some of my fundamentally conservative views, which has also been one of the most inspirational elements about returning to my studies. While I still find that I tend to favour a fundamentally conservative economic approach, gaining an understanding of the different ways in which the same problem can be looked at has ensured that I approach each economic problem in a more methodical and logical manner. This can only have a good effect on my future career as it will make me more adaptable in my implementation of the theory I have learnt and more able to change with the ever-shifting economic situations in which business is done. By widening my reading to include a range of news media, such as The Economist and The Guardian, I am always looking to expand my horizons and to approach the study of Economics with an open mind that can assess the validity of all viewpoints.

My time at Shin-hwa and my desire to learn more about my subject so that I might reach a higher level within the business world have confirmed the dedication and drive that have characterised me my throughout my life. At school, I was a heavily involved member of the academic community, serving as an elected Class President a number of times and creating and managing a club dedicated the Japanese culture. This role offered a real chance to hone my leadership and teamwork skills as I was jointly responsible for all aspects of running the club, including managing budgets, and meeting and event organisation. I was also a keen sportsperson, playing a key role in the Canoe Club and winning several gold medals in competition. In sport, as in business, a competitive drive is essential if you want to beat the competition. I have tried to take the lessons I have learnt from competitive sports into the business world; including a desire to expand my knowledge of markets so that I am aware of how competitors may be reacting to changing economic conditions rather than solely focusing on the performance of my own company. Honing organisational and management skills through learning discipline and drive during my Military Service, I am now confident that I have the skills and ability to achieve my ambitions. Upon completion of my two years of military service I received a commendation letter commenting on my consistent and impressive performance.

Having pursued interests in business and economics through practical experience and theoretical study, I have demonstrated a commitment and intellectual hunger that will drive me to perform to the same high standard in future. I am inspired by both studying and working in the UK, and see this next step as an opportunity to lay a foundation for even greater success in this country, be that academic or practical, before returning to Korea with the expertise I have gained. Korea’s prospects for economic growth, due to Free Trade Agreements with the EU and the USA make it a very exciting proposition for a new graduate and I am hoping place myself in the best possible position through gaining knowledge of economic theory and practical experience of living and working across international contexts. I hope to simultaneously continue my academic journey by completing an MBA, building on the in-depth knowledge I have gained in the UK to ensure that I have the best possible grounding for a successful career within my chosen industry.

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