Accounting & Finance Personal Statement
The act of buying and selling can have one of two consequences: riches or rags. I struggled to comprehend how an investor could depict which stocks were the potential 10-baggers and which would decline in value. Reading Peter Lynch's 'One Up On Wall Street' I learned that investors should use the P/E ratio rather than stock price as sooner or later earnings make or break an investment in equities.
After closing that book, I reached the epiphany that investors rely upon accounting to obtain critical information about the financial wellbeing of businesses in order to make rational decisions. It was from this moment I knew I wanted to study accounting and finance and immerse myself in how the two disciplines interlinked.
I have been exposed to the world of finance from a tender age via my mother, who is a practising accountant, and my father's private investing in the money markets. This exposure increased when I enrolled onto the Young Enterprise programme. Securing the role of finance director in this initiative enabled me to improve my financial and numerical skills as my position required me to manage shares, cash flow and the company bank account.
Drawing up financial statements from raw data was a challenge that I happily surmounted. My curiosity for accountancy led me to take part in the BASE accountancy competition where I tackled complex and challenging tasks and appreciated the importance of working through financial statements systematically and meticulously. Working within a team, I was tasked with analysing the risks of in-housing the fictitious company, carefully considering the various costs and security risks.
This year I was selected to attend two programmes by Morgan Stanley and KPMG. Topics at Morgan Stanley included mergers & acquisitions, where I effectively applied the 'market efficiency hypothesis' devised by Eugene Fama in discussions with my superiors on the complexities of hostile takeovers.
At KPMG they stressed the importance of communication and introduced me to the idea of accountancy as a language rather than a practice. It enthralled me that a simple spreadsheet could disclose the financial wellbeing of a business without the need of dialect. I concluded that accountancy is interwoven throughout the various financial areas and is crucial to maintaining order within a business. From these experiences I gained invaluable knowledge and an insight into the world of accounting and finance beyond the classroom.
Being exposed to the inputs, outputs and processes of a business, studying economics has seen my interest in finance grow ten-fold. It's fascinating to uncover the holistic approach to the world of accounting and finance, as I learned that within any successful enterprise, investment or transaction there stands an accountant.
Maths has developed my analytical and evaluative skills through simplifying complex data into graphical representations and taught me the importance of precision as one incorrect calculation can have a catastrophic outcome.
This lack of precision, I noticed, correlates to financial malpractices that have great repercussions on corporations. I recognise that accounting is heavily associated with forming decisions and interacting with people.
Psychology allowed me a brief insight into behavioural finance and encouraged me to look further into the irrational decision-making of some leading investors and the significant effect that inefficiencies in capital markets have on financing decisions.
Being peer-elected as house captain has made me work on interpersonal skills whilst managing my time effectively as I balance school work with motivating and organising over 150 students to take part in a range of competitive events.
I appreciate I have much to learn, but I hope my experiences and passion will enable me to face the challenges of accounting and finance and transform my deep-rooted enthusiasm for business into a central aspect of my being.
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I got an offer from LSE, Bath, Leeds, Newcastle and Nottingham (Nottingham lowered my offer from AAB to ABB)
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