Economics Personal Statement

Sample Economics Personal Statement

My interest in economics developed out of my study of history as I came to understand the pervasive importance of economic matters in the success or failure of a nation state. Studying the industrial revolution revealed to me the key role of economic development in the political and social changes in Britain in the nineteenth century, and it was clear to me that the decline of Britain’s industrial sector marked the decline of the country as a world power. Equally striking was the experience of totalitarian states which attempted to control their economies in an entirely artificial way. The Soviet Union collapsed largely because its misdirected economy could not continue to support the needs of the nation. These speculations led me to the understanding of the importance of economics in many human affairs and I am very eager to study the subject at degree level to try to find answers to some very pressing questions about the world we live in. In 2008 the world’s financial systems collapsed into crisis and prosperous countries quite suddenly found themselves facing bankruptcy, while rising economies lost customers and poorer nations found themselves even worse off. Forces of immense scale were (and continue to be) at work which could change the world so rapidly, and it must be asked whether we can predict or control them. The exhilaration and challenge of economics for me is in the way everything can be debated, even the fundamentals. Economics is a science which has to cope with human unpredictability, and the results of economic decisions can have immense consequences.

I have undertaken work placements which have given me a taste of economics in action. I spent a period with the private equity investment firm Apax Partners, where I was presented with a project to analyze media consumption patterns in relation to the performance of the economy. This involved investigating data and reports and presenting my findings to the investment professionals in the firm in a PowerPoint display. It was economics at work, with all the thrill of the intensely relevant. At Barclays Capital I had the opportunity to shadow traders and researchers in the investment bank, where I learnt much about various macroeconomic models used to evaluate the performance of the economy. At Credit Suisse the highlight was the course they offered on “Making an Impression”, about presenting oneself to an employer. And for two years I have worked part-time in our family business, a food retailer, dealing with customers, developing management skills and handling money.

Outside my economics interests, I teach maths as a volunteer at a local primary school, unlocking pupils’ potential wherever I see it. I am a school prefect, with many responsibilities for the smooth running of the school, and I am a School Peer Mentor, looking after new pupils and helping them through the sometimes daunting transition between primary and secondary school – work I love and find very rewarding. I am the Economics Editor on the school magazine H.E.L.P (History, Economics, Law and Politics), which has found recognition in libraries beyond the school. I also worked on the school website, a challenging and exciting venture, despite my own limited computer knowledge.

I have read several key works in my subject, including Paul Collier’s The Bottom Billion, and Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom, and I keep abreast of new developments by reading The Economist and The Times, and by attending lectures, including one soon on economic development, one of my strong interests, at the LSE. I am bilingual, with Cantonese as my mother tongue and fluent English, a very useful asset in an increasingly international world. I am hard-working, meticulous over detail, articulate and highly motivated. I enjoy working with others but have the confidence to succeed on my own. I have immense intellectual curiosity and much determination, and I hope you will consider my application.

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