Geography Personal Statement Example 35
In June of 2021, a historic meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin took place in Geneva, prompting closure of the city, including my school. The meeting was a reminder of how the complex dynamic between people and power shapes communities and environments at a local and global scale. In a world drowned by fake news, I value geography for its ability to grant me a less biased perspective on contemporary issues, helping me assess the limitations created by my own prejudice.
Having been introduced to the growing power of the global middle class (GMC) in school, I decided to do some further reading. ‘Factfulness’ by Hans Rosling revealed the power of generalisation, as I learnt how stereotypes and bias influence decisions at every scale, weakening the progress of human development.
The podcast “Rethinking Development”, further supplemented this view by explaining how ignoring the economic power of the GMC was a major market error for TNC’s. To learn how to create less biased, longer lasting solutions to the consequences of rapid economic change, I decided to focus my Extended Essay on the relationship between the nutrition transition and diabetes.
Using mapping softwares such as ArcGIS I learnt to present and analyse data in an effective way. This helped me appreciate the importance of technology in the deduction of patterns, and therefore successful evaluation of geographic models. In addition, my fluency in three languages enabled me to find and use data from multiple sources, while my strong base in biology and chemistry gave me the unique ability to evaluate ‘wicked’ problems, like the rise in type 2 diabetes, from a natural and social science perspective, allowing for a holistic evaluation of multidisciplinary issues.
The relevance of my geographical knowledge to everyday life is another aspect of the subject that I thoroughly enjoy, as it reveals the global significance behind local phenomena, such as the disappearance of disposable plastics in Swiss supermarkets. A presentation I signed up to about sustainable design in the company Tetra Pak highlighted this.
Explaining how something as simple as changing a plastic straw to paper, was actually an elaborate process of interconnectivity between the SDGs, the European Union, TNCs, and consumers. IB geography has helped me understand the importance of scale when assessing the success of policies like the European ban on single use plastics, as well as the power of consumers, whose choices have an influence on government policies.
My effective work regime, which will enable me to make the most of my time at university, was shaped by my involvement in extracurricular activities. As leader of the school newspaper, I honed my leadership skills, uniting my peers with a shared purpose, and delegating tasks in order to benefit from people's individual strengths.
When I joined the club, the student body's engagement was low. I took the initiative to lead a re-launch of the newspaper, redesigning the web interface to make it more engaging and accessible across all devices, and publishing more content in video format. Although the challenge required a significant time investment, building a community in which students could access reliable and relevant content was extremely rewarding.
In August, during my four day expedition on the Gold Duke of Edinburgh, one of the team members forgot to bring their share of the food. Though stressful, I was able to quickly adapt and volunteered to create a ration plan. Through teamwork and resilience, we were able to ensure everyone was well fed.
In a polarised world, the beauty of geography lies in its ability to bridge divides by fighting stereotypes with facts. I wish to study geography so that, armed with the tools of reasoning and rationality, I can contribute to the creation of policies that have the power to improve people's lives.
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University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
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