Ever since I discovered that Economics is the study of how individuals and markets behave and involves predicting trends on a national level, I have been keen to learn more – not only to be able to take part in conversations concerning the economic problems of today, but also to be the person who is predicting these trends.
Subscribing to The Economist and reading texts such ‘Starting Economics’ by George Stanlake and ‘Brilliant Economics: Making Sense of the Big Ideas’ by Phil Thornton has confirmed to me that Economics is the subject I want to study. One aspect that particularly interests me is how the study of Economics affects everybody, on all sides of the wealth scale, from the poorest in Africa to the richest on Wall Street. This was highlighted to me after reading ‘Poor Economics’ by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, alongside ‘Flash Boys’ by Michael Lewis. Furthermore, I have completed a nine-week long Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) by the University of Warwick called ‘Big Data’. This was extremely interesting, as it showed me how researchers are currently studying the very relevant topic of Big Data, which is an area of study I could potentially be involved with in the future. The course has also taught me basic programming skills in ‘R Studio’ for data analysis. I am registered to take part in another MOOC called ‘Discovering Business in Society’ by the University of Exeter, which will teach me the basics of how businesses work and how they connect with the greater socio-economic environment.
The broad range of subjects I am studying at A-level has helped me to develop a wide variety of skills that are essential for an economist. For example, I enjoy the challenge of problem solving in Mathematics, and this has given me the ability to solve and think about problems in a logical and rational manner. On occasions when I have been unable to solve problems, I have learnt to persevere and be flexible and try different approaches. Chemistry has helped me to develop practical skills through performing many investigations, analysing the results and presenting them in a clear manner. It has also given me practice of forming conclusions based on data collected. Tudor History has encouraged me to analyse, form a judgement and write concisely to ultimately present a clear argument. Spanish has been challenging but I have been dedicated to achieving my target. It enhanced my work ethic as I undertook extra studies and activities outside of the classroom, such as subscribing to a Spanish magazine. In addition I mentored two Year 10 students in Spanish each week to help them with any issues they had and I gave them strategies to help them learn their weekly verbs, along with activities to improve their writing and speaking skills. Doing this greatly improved my own Spanish as well as enhancing my leadership and organisational skills, as I planned all the sessions. Learning a language has improved my communication skills and has helped me to appreciate other cultures.
For the past year, I have been working as a waitress in a local restaurant. Having to balance my work around my studies has helped me to improve my time management as well as the ability to prioritise. I have learnt how to communicate clearly and concisely, as this is essential for dealing with problems efficiently. I am very comfortable working in a team, as I have had lots of experience doing so in both my part time job and my sporting interests, which include the school netball team, tennis and squash. Being a member of several sports clubs evidences my commitment and dedication to my interests, as I always attend all possible practices, even when it is cold in the winter!
At this stage, not only do I feel well prepared to but I am also very excited to take on the challenges of this economics course.