Economics & Politics Personal Statement
My perception of the world changed on September the 11th 2001, when I returned home from school to find that a terrorist organisation had attacked the World Trade Centre.
The attack destroyed my feeling of security, provoking me to probe and question the world around me in a way I hadn't before and sparking my interest in current affairs.
The importance of political decisions and economics soon became apparent, how can the two disciplines be overlooked, when almost every issue or headline from the food on our table to the death of thousands in a terrorist attack, is related to one or both of the subjects?
My favourite area of economics is macro; I particularly enjoy comparing and evaluating the different tools and management strategies that the government can use in controlling the economy.
It is interesting to assess not only how different ideas affect the economic climate, but also the political reasons and repercussions of such decisions.
I keep up to date with developments within the subject by regularly reading The Economist and David Smith in The Times.
For me, one of the most interesting features of Economics is the way in which the theory can be applied to the very simple situations, for example the way that Steven Levitt is able to compare the Klu Klux Klan to Estate agents in his book Freakonomics. However, I look forward to using the skills that I have gained in Mathematics for the more complex, like game theory, at degree level.
Reading books like 'The Wealth and Poverty of Nations' by David Landes has opened my eyes to the global inequality of wealth, and the negative effect that groups like the WTO have on 3rd world countries.
I have campaigned to 'Make Poverty History', improving my presentation skills while gaining greater insight into Wyn Grant's ideas on pressure groups by presenting assemblies to the lower school and volunteering in Oxfam. My team work and organisational skills were developed while working as a group of Charity Committee representatives who were asked to organise a human 'Make Poverty History' band around Salisbury Cathedral.
Learning about the reforming agenda that Tony Blair introduced to his party in 1997 motivated me to get involved with the Labour party on the less glamorous local level, and so I have gained insight into local and regional meetings.
I enjoyed outlining ideologies like the 3rd Way and conservatism in my AS course, it was interesting to study the core ideas and beliefs behind policy, so developed my understanding by reading 'Political Ideologies: an introduction' by Andrew Heywood.
I was lucky enough to be invited to represent my school at the 2005 Dicey Conference at Trinity College Oxford. The two day conference allowed me to explore one of my favourite topics, 'Who rules the UK?', with significant figures and aware students from all over the country. It strengthened my opinion that power and influence has moved from directly accountable institutions like Parliament and the Cabinet to less democratic bodies like the city and the media.
This opportunity to discuss with a spectrum of different opinions is mirrored in my school life, where I am an active member of the Debating Society and get the chance to talk to and grill guest speakers at Politics Society.
I have been involved in a unique Student Research programme, where I have led a team of yr 7's towards a presentation to the staff on what we think makes the perfect lesson. In investigating lesson structure, I have gained essential research and presentation skills as well as growing a lot more active in my own learning.
I have proved how committed and responsible I am, while perfecting my teamwork and leadership skills by taking on the roles of Head of the Sixth Form Council, a Head of House and a Senior Prefect.
I feel that my passion for both Politics and Economics makes me worthy of a place on a joint course, and I look forward to getting involved in both academic and social aspects of university life.
This personal statement was written by Shane_Garvin for application in 2006.
Shane_Garvin's university choices
London School of Economics
The University of Durham
University of Bristol
University of Bath
The University of Manchester
Green: offer made
Red: no offer made
As you can see from my UCAS choices, I got offfers to study economics and politics at Durham, Cardiff, Bristol, Manchester and Bath. I've accepted an offer from LSE to study Government and Economics. Not really sure if this is an economics or politics statement - it's pretty equal in both!