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Business and Management Personal Statement

When I was nine, my father placed a twenty-dirham bill in my hand and asked me to bargain with a merchant into letting me purchase a thirty-dirham scarf for two-thirds its price. I remember the look on his face when I returned with both the scarf and an ice cream cone. By discovering concepts such as trade in my business and economics classes, I came to understand the implications of what I had done that day. I then became captivated by the simple formula that makes a firm run, but also by how complicated it is to apply that formula to create a sustainably profitable corporation. This underpins my interest to study management on a higher level at university.

I am keenly interested in economics for its analytical and broader approach to understanding business. I enjoyed key concepts such as the 'Law of Diminishing Returns' where I came to understand how variances in input can influence a firm's short term productivity. Equally, numerical concepts in "Theory of the Firm" allowed me to make sense of what I was taught in mathematics, where derivatives can be used to create cost/profit curves.
I am intrigued by business structures and corporate governance, as the success of any business model is greatly attributable to a strong working team. I recognise that within any corporation, the organisational culture plays a key role in each department's efficacy. Having a keen interest in psychology and having studied it at a higher level, I am able to look at human interactions in business through concepts of human behaviour. This is more apparent within marketing where theories such as Leon Festinger's on cognitive dissonance explains why compliance techniques such as 'foot-in-the-door' and 'low-balling' are so effective. However, techniques such as these question the ethics of how a firm decides to conduct business.

This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at ####, a corporate advisory firm in Geneva. During this time, I reviewed financial sheets, observed meetings, edited presentations and facilitated research into local businesses to boost clientele. The tasks were appealing to me, as they were more tangible in contrast to case studies I had learnt at school and required a higher level of critical thinking. I also benefited from shadowing the managing director, where I came to appreciate the multi-faceted nature of business operation, where complex decision-making often entails having not only a shrewd financial acumen, but also the ability to delegate effectively.

Moving from the United Arab Emirates and to Switzerland, I have acquired insight into the workings of both Asian and European markets, even if from the perspective of a consumer. After a few months of living in Geneva I was shocked to note that most brands that are presented to consumers are local or from nearby countries, such as France. Having lived for numerous years in a country where international brands and zero tax were the norm, these differences made me question how external factors can influence management across different countries. This propelled me into reading "Managing across cultures" (Warner and Joynt, 2003), where articles and studies on countries ranging from China to South Africa explore how economic development, social characteristics and industrialisation are key determinants in managerial differences.

Growing up in Geneva and Dubai, in a multicultural family as well as environment, I had the opportunity to attend international schools and as a result speak English, Pashto, French and Urdu. This experience, has enabled me to truly value the different perspectives people can have on a given issue and I look forward to learning alongside peers and from faculty who come from all corners of the world.

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This statement got me offers from; St Andrews, Durham, Bath, Surrey and Loughborough :)

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