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Geography & Economics Personal Statement

The complex relationship between geography and economics, and the impact of economic policy on society, has always interested me. In particular, I am captivated by how the natural world can alter economic policies, and comparatively how an economic policy can have numerous effects on society and the environment.

This relationship has been deep rooted in our society for centuries, and has had to evolve over time to meet the ever-growing demands of the world. From the beginnings of colonialism to the current migration/refugee crises, these two disciplines have shaped the world we live in today.

Geography is everywhere; it’s in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the cars we drive. Thanks to globalisation, we now have a global economy in which anything and everything is available in all corners of the earth. But at what point does this go too far and become unsustainable?

We need geography with economics to understand how the global trade system operates in the way it does, and why there are both winners and losers. In Joseph Stiglitz’ “The Price of Inequality”, he warns of globalisations’ negative impacts, stating that it can hamper progress of developing nations as well as creating issues in the major global powers. One of the fundamental purposes of geography is to try and find the most sustainable way of managing these issues to try and come up with the fairest and most beneficial outcome.

This is something that intrigues me, so in my Extended Project I am looking into the water crisis in Ethiopia, where I will assess the role of physical and human geography in both causing and aiding it, and whether or not economic policies can help the crisis.

The disciplines of geography and economics are key to managing the world’s current crises. Studying the Common Agricultural Policy in geography made me realise how much geography and economics intertwine, and this allowed me to be more synoptic in my responses to questions. Furthermore, it also encouraged me to look closer at the complications surrounding the world’s resources.

In “Water wars: privatization, pollution and profit” (Vandana Shiva), the author challenges the concept of a person or country ‘owning’ and making a profit out of natural resources they happen to find, likening it to terrorism. The particular example she uses is India, where privatisation of water has led to its availability falling by two thirds in 50 years.

The studies of geography and economics in the 21st century are effectively trying to find a way in which we can continue to develop the world without causing unsustainable damage.

Earlier this year, I undertook an internship at Michelmores law firm in Exeter, where I worked in the conveyancing department. Here I found that I was able to apply some of my subject knowledge to the workplace, and it made me realise that social sciences like economics and geography are some of the most relevant courses to study.

Completing the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold awards have shown me that being able to work and communicate well with others is an important asset, be it through the volunteering or the expedition.

In the last year I have been a part of the Cambridge University Shadowing Scheme, in which I shadowed a geography student. Here I attended a lecture on the impacts of coastal flooding and a supervision summarising the coastal system.

I have also attended the Bristol University Sutton Trust Summer School, where I spent a week as an economics student, attending lectures on world trade, libel and economic growth in developing countries.

This year I am also partaking in The Bank of England Target 2.0 competition, where fellow students and I will try to come up with an innovative method for the Bank to reach its inflation target or 2%. These experiences gave me a brief insight into the life of a student, and hammered home my desire to further my understanding of these subjects.

Geography and economics are constantly evolving and adapting to meet the never ending changes to the world, and that’s what drives my enthusiasm for the subjects.

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This website was great for me before, so figured I'd upload mine as well. Got 4 offers, and an interview at Cambridge, so can't be that bad!

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