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Economics and Management Personal Statement

If I were to use one word to describe economics, that would be "decision".

Since young, I was always confounded by my inclination to weigh the potential gains and losses before making decisions. The very first economics class solved the puzzle - I learnt that this framework is the rational choice theory. Economics, as I subsequently discovered, studies the rationality and irrationality of the decision-making process, and her relevance to the real world and the analytical rigour in methodology deeply impressed me.

It fascinates me how diagrams can succinctly capture complicated decision-making process in economics. To enhance my understanding of the principles underlying the graphs, I tapped on my proficiency in Mathematics and proved the graphical relationship between marginal cost and average cost curves with differentiation techniques. As one of the four students in the entire cohort that qualified for the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, I believe that my mathematical prowess will enable me to cope well with college economics.

When I qualified for reading Higher 3 Economics in Year 2 due to outstanding academic performance, I accepted it without hesitation. Taken by fewer than ten students in the entire college, the course was extremely challenging – its seminar format propelled me to discard the mentality of expecting standard answers from tutors and starting to find solutions to complex questions on my own. For instance, I have been particularly interested in the policies that improve levels of innovation in the Singapore economy and went to conduct independent research on her 50 years of economic development. Noticing that Singapore's policies focused particularly on firm's product innovation, partly due to her highly risk-averse population profile, I proposed plans to develop a "failure-friendly" economy that could allow entrepreneurship and process innovation to flourish in Singapore.

Subsequently, I submitted the above policy recommendation to the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in the Presenting Futures economics essay competition. The fresh perspective and rigour of analysis impressed the panel of judges, and I won the Top Five Commendation Prizes in the nation, competing against researchers, working economists and university students. I was also extremely proud to be the only foreigner among all the prize-winners because my consistent effort to learn more about the country that I study in finally paid off.

To share my suggestion with an even wider community, I went one step further to write to Singapore's best-known newspaper, the Straits Times. Seeing my commentary getting published was much more rewarding than winning the prize itself, as I know that I was actively contributing back to the Singapore society.

Juggling academic workload, economics competitions and co-curricular commitments, I learnt valuable time management skills. Furthermore, leadership positions in the Chinese orchestra, such as the Head of Finance Committee, trained me to become an effective communicator as the job required liaison with a total of around 100 band members, teachers and online ticket buyers. Being responsible for 869 tickets and over 10,000 SGD of revenue has also greatly enhanced my management skills.

Born in China's second-tier city Chengdu and schooled in Singapore for four years, I believe that my multifaceted perspective will be a valuable addition to the university's diversity. Not only a committed student who makes full use of the opportunities provided by my institution via participation in many competitions and seminars but I am also keen in community work and served as the Head of Music Committee in the college overseas volunteer trip to Cambodia. I look forward to university life in the UK, the country that kick-started my desire to explore the world in an immersion study programme at 14, and I am positive that choosing to study in the UK will be a sound decision.

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