Economics Personal Statement
Submitted by Megan
From an early age I have always questioned where my money came from and what happened to it once I'd spent it. I found it hard to understand why money even existed in the first place. Eventually I began to reflect on greater questions, such as: ‘does scarcity really exist?’ Then I was introduced to Economics. I have found myself drawn to the topic and I have developed my understanding of the subject from engaging in standard Economics lessons, taster lectures, debates and further reading around the subject. Despite a small, basic room being where my understanding for this subject has stemmed from, every lesson I engage in manages to take me beyond the blank walls of the classroom – and I must I say I love to travel, so this has been delightful. Over time I found myself reading The Economist and listening to daily news programmes and TED talks about the global economy. This has become a daily ritual, holding as much importance to me as taking my five a day. I am now able to recognise how interlinked Economics is. For example, some governments actively control their country's balance of payments through the use of policies (such as taxation and subsidies) aimed at promoting or discouraging exports or imports. But this can have knock on effects, impacting unemployment levels. I look forward to studying such linkages in further depth – and on the plus side, strengthening my understanding would allow me to question topics unrelated to Economics (some which may even be discussed over the dinner table).
In the past few years I have participated in work experience and internship programs to help provide me with a greater perspective on the practical career opportunities available for those interested in an Economics- and Mathematical-related degree. For example, I have completed work experience at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in which I worked on different aspects of Economic Development: I wrote a detailed, analytical case study on tax policy within Ghana; and constructed a survey used to evaluate the effectiveness of a child development project within India. From doing so, my understanding of the effects of introducing new economic policies within an LEDC (e.g. Ghana and India) has developed. Undertaking an Internship at Cambridge Associates showed me how I would be able to apply my mathematical abilities in the financial sector. In both internships, I was able to shadow employees and participate in workshops, feeding to my passion for Economics. Lastly, I was able to arrange work experience at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, at which I interacted with a range of professionals from various departments, learning more about trade and how to interact with people professionally, both in person and via email.
I feel that Mathematics and History have provided crucial problem-solving and analytical skills that improve my ability to analyse quantitative data regarding the economy, helping me to understand and objectively debate complex world issues and trends. In addition, I believe my extra-curricular activities at school have provided me with the opportunity to strengthen many personal attributes. For instance, being Deputy Head Girl has required me to have fast and innovative thinking when facing issues that require my immediate attention. I am also a Year 12 Ambassador, which has helped my leadership skills – by organising events for my school such as open evenings, which has coached me on how to lead groups of people to work efficiently to achieve our aspiring goals. Furthermore, being a member of the school council, a GCSE Mathematics tutor and a volunteer at my local British Heart Foundation store has required interacting with various types of people, advancing my intercultural awareness, communication and team work skills.
Participating in my school's Gospel Choir, Netball Club and playing an actress role within a Julius Caesar play are all ways in which I am able to express myself, have fun with my peers and let loose after a long day – this is a tradition I hope to continue at University.