Mathematics and Actuarial Science Personal Statement
Mathematics is not just a mere subject but a universal language. Its plethora of Greek symbols interlaced with numbers makes it seem like a clandestine code, which has to be deciphered. This aside, I believe the real magic of Mathematics lies not with its method of execution, but its definite solutions founded on irrefutable proofs, not ignoring the seemingly endless array of applications.
Having studied Physics my awareness of these applications has increased substantially. For instance, the laws laid down by Newtonian Mechanics are seen to govern the everyday world and are difficult not to witness. In Computing, I have explored the logical arm of Mathematics put into practice: Finite State machines, Boolean equations and the programming languages themselves. Even Chemistry like my other subjects echoes the hallmarks of Maths. Through reading Du Sautoy’s “Finding Moonshine” I discovered that Chemistry, the study of molecular interaction, utilises Mathematics in the form of symmetry. Overall, it never ceases to amaze me how Mathematics seems to be everywhere at once, even in places you expect not to find it.
After participating in a stock exchange competition, I was fascinated to learn mathematical models are used in forecasting something as volatile and stochastic as the stock market. In fact, to find out more, I attended the PriceWaterhouseCooper Business Insight Day. There, I was informed about the consultancy role Actuaries play in corporate firms using their ability of Mathematics as a tool to assess financial risks, and as a result, I started to consider seriously a career as an Actuary.
The same employability skills that were constantly stressed by my school, I saw firsthand at my work shadowing placement in a company managed by Viridian Group Plc, where I observed the most important of these to be communication, especially the ability of a professional, such as an engineer, to convey difficult technical knowledge to non-specialist customers.
Activities in school have helped me to work towards these professional skills and further enjoy Mathematics. For example, being the Financial Director of a Young Enterprise company gave me a valuable insight into running a business and made me more confident in expressing my ideas with clarity.
After being selected by interview, I also had a large input as a team member in the Engineering Education Scheme, where we were assigned a project in which we had to analyse and solve a real-life problem encountered by a firm. Our agreed project involved the design of a Six-Way Underground Distribution Board (UDB) lifting device, and by carefully considering factors such as which handle length would give the required torque, which structure provided the most equal distribution of forces, we foresaw the eventual fabrication of a prototype.
This was followed by our delivery of one formal and many informal presentations, which after each member received a Gold CREST (Creativity in Science and Technology) Award. Conveniently, the scheme also tied in with my Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award which I am currently pursuing and hope to complete when I leave Methodist College. The Award’s physical and mental hurdles have been demanding and require unyielding determination to strive for goals, a practice which I still hope to employ as a future Actuary.
Having been a rower for three years and now currently pursuing a martial art, the importance of dedication is not a new concept for me. Even though Maths can be extremely difficult and at times even impossible, I wish to give it my utmost dedication; it is an ever expanding subject in which my enjoyment will never cease to diminish.
This personal statement was written by mzaidi630 for application in 2010.
I felt I worked quite hard on it, I did a lot of prior research and analysis. I would really recommend doing 1 month research and spend a few weeks drafting, which would eventually culminate in a final draft. IT IS ESSENTIAL YOU GET IT CHECKED BY A CAREER ADVISOR (Get the oxbridge one if you can). In terms of my applications and offers:
LSE (BSc. Actuarial Science) - Offer at AAA excluding Computing
Oxford (BSc. Mathematics) - Rejected. Failed entry test horribly :(
Warwick (MMORSE) - Offer at AAA (if I remember correctly)
MMORSE = Masters in Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics (What a mouthful!!)
Queens University Belfast (BSc.Actuarial Science) - Offer at AAA
Heriot Watt (BSc. Actuarial science) - Offer at AAB
In the end I chose LSE as my firm offer and thankfully I met it.
I really hope this helps and my advise as always would be to work super hard!!!