University of Birmingham, Politics and I/R Personal Statement

Politics and I/R, University Of Birmingham

Coming from a developing country to an advanced world at fifteen made a big impact on how I see the world. My attention was drawn to dissimilarities of welfare, social peace and economic growth. I read once how Mexico is happier even though it has a lower GDP than the UK, and this contrast has made me want to understand more about the correlation of soft measures like satisfaction with hard measures like wealth. I find it fascinating how such factors can diverge, producing unpredictable and, indeed, volatile outcomes. This has encouraged me to look for solutions to the many economic problems we currently face.

My A-Level choices have proved to be very rewarding, especially Economics as it has not only taught me how economies function but also how the world is governed. I find it fascinating how it is applicable and relatable to everything from prehistoric societies to our own. Spanish has taken my learning to another dimension as part of the course relates to key topics in my other subjects such as immigration, as most financial disputes these days are related to it. It has also developed a range and sophistication in my arguments and ideas.

Taking Business Studies for A-Level was a natural decision for me. Watching the American version of ‘The Apprentice’ every week at the age of 9 provoked my interest. Something about Donald Trump’s ambition to create an empire to my young eyes gave a first insight as to how some industries might succeed and how others might fail depending on not only strategy but passion and determination.

But having the opportunity to travel to Asia, Europe and America was what gave me an insight into the reality of countries and not merely how the media portrays them. The contrasts I perceived between Europe and Latin America compelled me to explore the different factors that drive both economies. This broadened my perspective on culture, and in particular the way economies evolve and the role business and politics play in that change. This was reflected while I was at school debates such as TECMUN (Tec Model United Nations) as we analysed differences between conditions in developing countries and long established economies.

After I moved to England, I realised how corrupt societies could be as I was able to comprehend the practices in business and politics that comply legally but fall short of moral ideals. I began to read ‘The Economist’ but it was ‘Nudge’ by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein that revealed the barrage of corporate influence steering consumer choice – how we are all unconsciously ‘Nudged’. The link to politics was now clear: the Private Sector and the Government incentivise us indirectly and directly by using small factors. Societies are different, and it makes me interested in finding a way of helping people, communities and societies to become stable and sustainable.

During the summer I gained valuable experience by working in a business-coaching firm as a marketing assistant. This involved many tasks such as generating leads and attracting consumers and key knowledge I had gained in business studies I now saw work successfully.

In my spare time I compete in triathlons, which I not only enjoy, but give me strength and confidence in my daily life. These competitions have also given me greater self-motivation and discipline. I also enjoy reading books such as ‘The Undercover Economist’, ‘Velocity’ and ‘The Goal’. These introduced me to a new perception of daily life and reasoning. But what left me perplexed was ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek as it triggered my passion as it gave answers to my questions but also showed me how to ask the right ones. This threw me into a spiral of why’s and how’s and I look forward to finding an answer in my further study at university.