Politics and International Relations Personal Statement
Submitted by Daniela
Growing up in Colombia, I have experienced first-hand the consequences of living in a country where corruption and widespread ignorance of the true power of democracy have affected generations of citizens. When I came to England, I was exposed to a completely different political environment that offered safety and stability, opposed to the societal violence and uncertainty that I saw in my home country. This ignited my desire to educate myself on the workings of politics in theory and in practice. The 2015 general election inspired me to get involved in any way I could, being 15 at the time, I was unable to formally express my beliefs by voting and instead became a member of the Labour Party.
My interest in political theory was fuelled after attending a lecture on Liberalism at the Royal Institute. I began reading Nozick's 'Anarchy the State and Utopia' which furthered my understanding of this ideology. Despite it opposing my views, especially on the points of minimal taxation and state intervention, I found myself fascinated by his ideas and began to question my own beliefs and reasons why I was not a liberalist. It is this self-scrutiny catalysed by the study of different ideologies and theories that in my opinion proves why the study of political theory is so fundamental. It deals with timeless questions that allow people to view the world from a different perspective. It questions the way morality, power and authority can shape lives.
With political apathy being a problem in younger generations, I was eager to get involved in a school mock election where I led the campaign for the Labour Party. In turn, I gained valuable experience articulating my ideas to a younger audience and developed my critical thinking skills through the analysis of opponent campaigns. I attended the 'Guardian Live: Election Reaction' event, where a group of political journalists met to discuss the unexpected result of the General Election. This insight enlightened me to a different side of politics, a more practical one that I had not been introduced to in the classroom. As an avid reader of the Huffington Post and Politico, I keep up to date on the ever changing world of politics and link current articles to my schoolwork, a skill I believe will be transferable to my course. As a politics prefect, I actively help the department by promoting the subject to younger students. In my Spanish A-Level we have held extensive discussions on Catalonia's fight for independence and the declaration of an unconstitutional referendum. This fascinates me as one of the things I'm most looking forward to exploring in my degree is the political workings and cultures of other countries. A-level Business has also shown me the way trading blocs can greatly affect international relations within countries, some which have recently caused the British public to vote for Brexit.
I have enhanced my interpersonal skills and confidence through my long-term part time job as a receptionist in a leisure centre. My role involves working with a range of people and often requires me to use my initiative to overcome any difficulties that may arise with the customers. This experience has been paramount to my personal development and has made me a more responsible, independent and self-disciplined individual. Commitment to any kind of work is of huge importance to me.
Studying politics at university will provide a solid foundation which will increase my chances of working for the Foreign Office and ultimately pursuing my ambition to become a diplomat. To aid this, I plan to complete a civil service fast stream scheme following my degree course. Being fluent in Spanish, the world's second most spoken language, will be of huge benefit in this pursuit. My immense and genuine passion for politics, coupled with many transferable skills I have acquired make me a serious candidate worthy of consideration. I look forward to the opportunities university will bring me and my aspiring career in politics.