Economics Personal Statement (with Social Sciences)

Home to 250 million people, various religions and hundreds of different ethnic groups, the country I come from is prone to different conflicts of interest. Persisting poverty and the threat of radicalism are two of the many problems that contribute to Indonesia's economic complexity. This leads me to ask: how can economics, politics and social studies address these intricacies? By strengthening the economy at the micro level? By focusing on welfare economics? Or both?

The J curve theory dictates that a fall in the exchange rate of a country's currency will increase its current account deficit in the short run before reducing it in the long run. However, this theory, along with other economic theories, tends to be oversimplified.

In the 1998 collapse of the Indonesian economy, the loss of confidence in the Rupiah and an extreme reliance on imports were some of the contributing factors put forward by economists at the time. Yet, the reality is more complex. In "A Fate Worse Than Debt", Susan George showed that corruption rendered the lending schemes suggested by the World Bank and the IMF unusable. Furthermore, events like the 2008 financial crisis and the Eurozone debt crisis created a difficulty for Indonesia to export its goods, consequentially slowing down the improvement in the country's balance of payments. "Ceteris Paribus" is practically non-existent and therefore creates a dynamic nature that interests me in economics and social sciences.

Studying A level Business improved my understanding in the commerce world. Maths and Physics were quite a surprise. Initially thinking that they are loosely related to social sciences, I realized that they improve my logical thinking. General Paper allowed me to be more expressive, teaching me how to structure opinions into cohesive writing pieces.

Having a socio-anthropologist mother and a father who is a wildlife biologist, I had the opportunity to join them on work-related trips to rural parts of Indonesia. One of the most valuable experiences I gained was when I stayed with the indigenous Dani Tribe in the Baliem Valley, Papua. As an 11 year old boy, I learned that although lacking in education and healthcare support, they can sustain themselves living in a modest lifestyle and an almost non-cash economy. Different societies have different needs; and these needs cannot be satisfied by only using one single approach to development. Effective government policies should consider different aspects that are unique to every region and society.

I believe an exposure to different languages, opinions and ways of thinking is essential to effective economic, social and political communication. Spending a year studying language in China not only improved my command of the language, but also exposed myself to their ideas and work ethic. There, I was given the opportunity to participate in the ASPAC Chinese-English Bilingual Festival. Debating on world issues, it showed me how to form my own opinions and augmented my interest in public speaking. I also joined the Harvard Model Congress Asia in Seoul, where I debated about Microfinance and The Game Theory in International Corporate Tax, allowing me to apply economic theories I learnt into real life issues. Coaching twice a year in a motivational camp honed my leadership and interpersonal skills, while being a three-time member of the Prefectorial Board taught me the responsibility of improving student welfare and coordinating schoolwide events. Singing in school events and musicals improved my self-confidence and being a member of the school varsity basketball team taught me the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.

Studying in the UK will expose me to an environment which will help me grow both academically and as a person. Through studies and fruitful discussions with lecturers and peers, I hope I could gain a comprehensive understanding in my subjects, and allow me to make a meaningful contribution to the development of my country.

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Author's Comments

Made 11 drafts for this statement. I guess that helps me a lot as it allows me to compare and the latest version,whilst occasionally using the older versions for reference. Sounds a bit technical but It got me accepted in all the universities I applied to.

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