Mathematics and Economics Personal Statement
Submitted by Arnav
The combination of the holistic approach of Economics with the precise detail of Mathematics is exciting and would give me the skills to excel in the field that I am interested in: the financial sector. I was reading a BBC article about issues Scotland had with the public expenditure they received, which initiated my interest for understanding a broader range of economics. This brought my attention to the Barnett formula, which uses the accurate nature of Mathematics in Economic methodology and is a model used by the Treasury in the UK to distribute the amount of public spending that is allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
A-level Further Mathematics has helped me develop skills such as critical thinking and creativity through attempting complex questions which often need considerate methodology. I have always tried to push myself when it comes to Maths and this has been shown through my participation in the UK Maths Challenge, attaining a gold certificate and the "Best in the Year" award. Studying Further Maths has introduced me to matrices and vectors, so having the opportunity to simultaneously manipulate the two when studying Linear Algebra at University would be quite captivating. I am intrigued by the way statistics at A-level can be used as a means of drawing conclusions from data and I would like to be able to extend these ideas and have the opportunity to analyse experiments and collate information that can genuinely be useful to society. A full understanding of Economics will allow me to engage with the current affairs and explain why certain economic phenomena occur by relating it to the economic performance of a country.
In order to gain a stronger understanding of macroeconomics beyond my studies, I applied for an extremely competitive week-long summer work experience programme with Lloyds Banking Group in 2017, providing me with a greater insight to their Group Corporate Treasury (GCT) sector - arguably the bank's most important team known for being the “bank to the bank”. I learnt that GCT manage the flow of cash between the deposits that divisions bring in, and the loans they lend out through four main functions: balance sheet management, funding and liquidity, capital and issuance. The most valuable skills I gained from the programme was through the trading game that I played. I had 6 assets and used the stock market to judge how much of my assets I should buy or sell and when would be the best time to make the trades. This gave me an idea of the level of risk-taking that is involved, not just in trading but also with how banks operate. Presenting to employees on what I had learned about the FTSE 100 was also a vital experience as it allowed me to work on relevant skills in relation to my aim of wanting to apply economic theory to real world scenarios. I was required to identify drivers of the index, both economic and fundamental, and answer technical Q&A raised by the audience.
I have developed a range of transferable skills through non-academic activities; by playing tennis outside of school at a county level, representing my age as well as the men's team and winning many club tournament competitions. My passion for tennis extends beyond playing, as I coach younger children aged 4-9 to develop their playing skills. I have captained my school cricket team on several occasions as well as doing my Higher Sports Leaders Award (Level 3), where I worked with younger students by getting them involved in a variety of sports. My communication skills have been further enhanced during my National Citizen Service (NCS) programme as I volunteered with the elderly at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, providing them with entertainment. This has enabled me to gain confidence in my communication skills through adapting them in different situations depending on my audience, which I believe is an important skill to have, not only at university but also in the world of work.