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Economics Personal Statement 2

Example Economics Personal Statement

My enthusiasm for Economics has developed out of a powerful sense of the way apparently small events can have such large consequences in the human world. We are all living through a period in which it has been impossible to ignore the vital role economic factors play in everybody’s welfare and quality of life. The crash of 2008, beginning with the collapse of the American sub-prime market, seemed to impoverish countries which only a short time before had been very prosperous, to deprive emerging economies of their markets and seriously darken the prospects for poor countries. The causes of this became of interest to me and exploring the situation led me to begin reading economic theorists such as Keynes, who provided a way out of the depression of the thirties, and the very contrasting Hayek. I am deeply interested in the question of how far and how effectively governments can intervene in the market to solve crises, and to what extent economic factors are controllable at all. The Bank of England’s attempts to control inflation seem to me to be a good example of the problem, constrained as they are by considerations of the effect on employment of any tightening of credit. All the questions of consumer behaviour, competition, interest rates and the role of investment interest me and spark my imagination, and I am eager to study the subject at the highest level.

If Economics as a subject looks essentially at how the world works, then Philosophy complements this by asking whether our conception of that world is valid or needs refining. I became interested after studying Religious Education at school, which led me on to exploring epistemology, logic and the philosophy of mind. I was struck by Wittgenstein’s notion of the language game as an analysis of meaning, and reading Tom Sorrell’s Descartes: A Very Short Introduction opened up the whole question of our perception of the material world and how certain we can be in our assumptions about it.

My long-term ambition is to complete a Master’s in Economics and then work in finance. I have undertaken some work experience for this. I spent time with the Walsall Council Finance Department, using a range of software to professional standard, checking accounts and supervising other trainees. I had a placement at Halford’s in the Finance Department, where again I used advanced software such as SAP and created spreadsheets for various functions. I was able to look at risk-management and its role in the business world. I work in a retail business, with responsibilities of handling money and responding to customers.

Outside my academic interests I enjoy sports particularly rugby, which I have played at team level for five years. I am the school chess champion, responsible for team organisation and leadership, and have played for England. The game is good training in strategic thinking and analysing. I have been House Captain at primary and secondary school, a clear indication of how school staff have valued me. I am keen to keep abreast of developments in my subject, and have read books, such as John Kay’s The Long and the Short of It, DasGupta’s Economics: A Very Short Introduction, and Heilbronner’s The Worldly Philosophers, which interested me particularly because he dwells on the problematic way that “scientific” economic theorists risk losing touch with human reality. I enjoy analysing data, work happily as part of a team, and I believe I have a real skill in reasoned argument, though I am always ready to listen to others’ opinions. My commitment to my studies is total, and I have the necessary qualities to become a successful undergraduate.

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