Economics BSc Personal Statement
Submitted by Frank
Economics is the most significant of the social sciences, its far reaching theories describe, influence and impact every part of our lives. I was first introduced to economics when studying the changing economy of the UK in one of my GCSEs. In this I learnt about the substantial changes which have occurred to UK employment, primarily as a result of globalisation, a unit I have later studied in greater detail in my Economics A Level. The globalising economy is particularly interesting to me, especially because of the deep unhappiness some now feel with it, thus prompting a rise of populist movements. Economics is open to discussion over what is right or wrong, and as to why things occur. To debate how to describe and change the hundreds of issues in the world, and why they have come about is unique to economics, and something I enjoy.
Globalisation can certainly be a force for good, ‘Globalisation & Its Discontents’ by Joseph Stiglitz, depicts how international public institutions like the IMF have prescribed policies to emerging economies, like Russia, to help them open up their markets, promising the prosperity of the West. Instead they have suffered from recession as money flows out of the economy, hurting growth. As a result, the ability to compete internationally falls, deepening the issues. It is particularly interesting to see how institutions created by the West to help, have in fact hurt instead, and the impact they have on the economy.
I have challenged myself academically, entering the LSE Economics Society Essay Challenge where I evaluated the impact of protectionism. I also entered the Royal Economic Society’s essay competition, discussing the macroeconomic effects of a maximum wage, and more effective alternatives, the main advantage being a decrease in inequality. Through entering these competitions I developed my essay writing and referencing skills. In my EPQ I discussed how the government is working to solve London’s housing crisis, something which has brought about asset inequality. I analysed policies and solutions only to discover that they were having limited effects, while some suggested policies endangered economic stability. Economics isn’t just academic, it doesn’t have right or wrong answers, it has real, measurable impacts on people’s lives. When theorising and building arguments, we must also criticise in order to look at how to overcome such issues, a skill I have developed in my A levels. In econometrics, mathematical models effectively show general trends, but not local issues, hence why the government’s policies haven’t been effective. I also attended the SOAS economics summer school where I participated in lectures and seminars, learning that policies used to combat the crash, namely deflationary fiscal policy, had a regressive impact on women, opening my eyes to social inequality. The summer school showed me how university life operates, while I participated in debates, discussing the effects and grounds for austerity. This solidified my desire to pursue economics as a degree.
Having chaired the teaching and learning committee of my school’s Junior Leadership Team, I have been able to work as part of a team to synthesise ideas effectively to present to senior staff to suggest improvements to the school’s educational system; this has allowed me to develop my presentation skills. I am also employed in a small independent cafe, giving me an insight into how a small business is effectively managed. While volunteering at the British Heart Foundation, I applied and developed fundamental skills, such as organisation and time management in order to complete my tasks. I have also reached grade 5 in the piano and continue to play, currently working towards my grade 6.
Motivated by challenges, and new experiences, I consider myself to be a dedicated student who would be an asset to your university, and hope to gain a degree and use it as a platform to work to solve the deep issues of inequality.