Economics Personal Statement
My experiences over the last two years have been life changing in every way. I have been educated in three different countries and three different languages. I am South African and went to state schools until the age of 16. In 2002, I lived in Germany with a local family on a one-year exchange program, and went to a German state school with no prior knowledge of the language.
This was one of the most difficult tasks I have ever set for myself, as I had to take all subjects in German. I received A's in every subject but one. I also learned how to interact with a different culture, how to speak a foreign language and how important friends and family are. In 2003 I joined my family in England and went to the American Community School (ACS). Now I speak German and English in addition to Afrikaans, my first language, fluently.
I have also developed a strong interest in Economics. I am most intrigued by macroeconomics and trade theory, because of their international relevance and degree of complexity. Investment banking has long been a passion of mine, particularly the field of mergers and acquisitions. For over a year I have been meeting with financial analysts in the M&A field, learning that the vocation requires a strong mathematical background as well as sound analytical ability. I read avidly about mergers and acquisitions in The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Economist.
The structuring of deals fascinates me; consequently, my IB extended essay is in Mathematics on the subjectivity of business valuation. In this essay I contest the commonly held belief that mathematics can guarantee an objective valuation of a business and assert that it is essentially an art rather than a science. I am looking for a programme that will satisfy my strong mathematical ability and great interest in Economics. I would bring to the course a highly adaptable approach to learning and an international perspective on global economics.
Last summer I was selected by ACS England to attend the Global Young Leaders Conference, a two week conference on global leadership, in Washington DC. I had the chance to use my economic knowledge for a trade simulation, in which a trade embargo between Canada and Australia was debated. The most valuable experience at this conference was interacting with students who share my love of economics and global politics. I used this opportunity to contribute my input on global issues and economics.
In March 2004, I attended the Model United Nations conference in Beijing, representing Kenya on the Economic and Social Council. I provided economic insight to my council and saw how trade barriers affect developing countries, through the eyes of Kenya. Prior to the conference I had never realized that developed countries have so much power and that developing countries are so misrepresented.
In summer 2004, I was selected by a panel of educators to go on an internship to India, with ORBIS, an organization that deals with the prevention of blindness in the developing world. This opportunity to work with the poor was rewarding and moving; I saw the way people were living in the slums, and I was able to help them with one of their most important senses.
The experience cured my own blindness as much as it did theirs. Seeing so much poverty and suffering put my life into perspective and this experience has made me a wiser and more compassionate person. While the last two years have been an intense learning experience, I know I still have much to learn about life and believe that I can do this at your university.
This personal statement was written by reinvol for application in 2004.