Economics Personal Statement (International Student)

The United Kingdom possesses one of the oldest education systems, with its academic stature known as the golden standard for the rest of the world. Tradition and diversity are simultaneously infused into its academic and social culture, breeding skills of the highest caliber. I highly respect such principles, and when integrated with my dedication to international education, it breeds my hope to be graced with an opportunity to study economics and its associated interdisciplinary subjects in the UK. Every morning I open my computer to read the news on BBC, and my commutes are accompanied by Morningstar UK and lectures from various economics departments throughout England.

I myself embody the concept of international economics. My father is from a rural mountain town in Asia and my mother from the capital city Beijing, while I am an American student living alone near Washington DC (my parents work overseas). My interest in economics began when I co-founded an AI-based startup, which ended up greatly outperforming the world-renowned Khan Academy’s educational software. When that feat was published in the scientific journals, and my team decided we wanted to commercialize our software and so I learned about raising investment capital to help us expand. Soon I began spearheading the company's overseas expansion plan and working with private preschools to use our firm's newly minted proprietary linguistics software in their classrooms.

My experiences evolving through my start-up revealed that my true passion and talent is situated in economics, and not just computer science. This encouraged me to enroll in AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, and AP English Language in hopes of acquiring the skills I needed to continue in the field which I love so dearly. I received full marks in each subject and directed my amassed knowledge to competitions where I represented my high school. That same year, I became the district champion for DECA Business Management and FBLA Economics, and then went on to become a state finalist.

The economics lectures in class introduced me to diminishing marginal utility and the value function though Kahneman and Tversky’s paper on prospect theory. It concluded that humans are more sensitive to losses than gains and their risk aversion is relative to current wealth. However, I didn’t think this accounted for all decisions, so for the past year, I have been co-authoring an original research paper revising traditional prospect theory, now published in the International Journal for Economics and Social Sciences. Our model accounts for goal-setting; while the original function has a smooth marginal change based on a perceived loss or gain, ours yields higher values placed on progress immediately before a goal is hit, and diminishes thereafter.

Such intellectual experiences encouraged me to further my understanding of economic relationships, exploring it in a real-world context. Consequently, I secured a summer analyst internship at CASIM, the leading private equity fund based in the Asian-Pacific, and flew alone across the Pacific Ocean. I was the company’s first-ever high-school intern. My ten-hour workdays consisted of me combing through cash flows and previous funding in their draft prospectus, synthesizing international market research, and calculating liquidity ratios. There I watched as game theory and market externalities played out in the real world.

At the end of the summer, I felt a vast sense of accomplishment differing from one stemming from a well earned A+ or 1st place. The content of my report affected the dreams of real people by procuring funding for these small businesses. Enriched by this journey, I flew back, more ambitious than ever to work towards my new dream: running an international venture capital of my own. I'm looking towards university education in the UK as the first real step in building a strong foundation in this field and propelling me towards my career ambitions in the future.

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