Example Economics Personal Statement
My wish to study economics has grown out of an increasing interest in current affairs in the media, and my growing sense that most things in the public world come down to considerations of finance. I am deeply interested in how the world “works”, and the way that politics is so deeply intermeshed with economic realities and the availability of resources. Economics is intriguing because it offers ways of predicting future events and a system of “laws” like a science, and yet it is not exactly the same as a science because of the uncertainty that is central to any analysis of human behaviour. It also has the attraction of immediate relevance. The present economic crisis is momentous, with wealthy countries suddenly, in a few months, coming to the edge of bankruptcy, and the new economies of Asia suffering the disappearance of the markets that have given them prosperity. To work in this field, and to run a business equipped with a sound knowledge of economics, seems to me to be of the utmost human importance and offers great professional satisfaction.
The economics I have already studied has given me a good insight into the way the subject affects our lives. The May general election appeared to me to be a sort of contest between the “Classical” and “Keynesian” theories. I have read widely in the subject, including books by Niall Ferguson, Robert Skidelsky and John Cassidy (How Markets Fail), Dasgupta’s Economics. A Short Introduction, Kay’s The Truth About Markets and Joseph Stiglitz’s Globalisation and its Discontents, and I read The Economist regularly. I am keen to study the ways that consumers behave, how monopolies distort markets, and the balance between markets and human welfare. I am also interested in macroeconomic issues such as the interaction of the main sectors of the economy – production, finance and the labour market. The amount of money in the economy, the way aggregate spending is determined and its relation to supply are fascinating questions. There is much to learn and the concepts are complicated, but the interest, both intellectual and human, is consuming.
I have some experience of the world of business economics; I had a placement as an assistant manager at “Kazakh Altyn”, a joint stock company dealing in mining and metallurgy, where I worked in the international affairs department. I was involved in financial modelling with a group of experts, and I wrote translations of papers from Russian into English. I sat in on company meetings and observed the formulation of company policies. It was a thrilling taste of the reality of the world of big business and international economics. I also had a brief internship at the Kazakh Embassy in London, working as an assistant to the ambassador and writing translations of papers. It was exciting to be at the heart of international affairs in this way, and helped me to develop my communication skills and my ability to work with others in a team.
At school I had a very active life. I attended the after-school economics workshop, where we discussed current affairs and argued about economic theories. I was also a keen sportsman, playing football and rugby for the school team, which was good training in self-discipline and cooperation. I also worked in a drama competition as a director and actor.
I am polylingual, having Kazakh as my mother tongue, and fluent Russian and English, a great asset in the modern globalised business environment. The career options open to someone equipped with an economics degree seem immensely diverse and thus very attractive. Economics is a subject that I feel touches on nearly all human activities in some way, from political decisions to questions of household management and planning how we as individuals wish to live. I have a good academic record, and can promise to make a great success of a degree course, and I hope you will consider my application.
This example Economics personal statement should be used as a point of reference when composing your personal statement on your path to university education.
Fine tuning the opening sentence of your personal statement is a task most students dread, particularly because so much attention is given to the opening sentence as it should catch the reader’s attention. You’re told that there needs to be a wow factor involved and that your sentence should set the tone and quality of the rest of the personal statement. No pressure, eh?
In fact, writing a strong opening sentence is relevant to more than just university applicants. You'll also need a strong opening statement for applying for an apprenticeship or a school leaver scheme so sorry guys, you’re not off the hook.
We’re not going to lie — the opening sentence is pretty important, but it’s also important that the personal statement doesn’t go downhill from there. Think of your personal statement like a football team — even if you have the best goal scorer in the world, if you have a dodgy defence or mildly-interested midfield, it’s not a great recipe for success.
Overused Opening Sentences
Whatever you do with your opening sentence, make sure you use something different to the most overused statements.
“But how do I know which opening sentences are the most overused?” I hear you cry. Well, we did some research and found an article by UCAS that listed the most overused opening sentences. Here they are:
1. From a young age I have (always) been [interested in/fascinated by]… (used 1,779 times)
2. For as long as I can remember I have… (used 1,451 times)
3. I am applying for this course because… (used 1,370 times)
4. I have always been interested in… (used 927 times)
5. Throughout my life I have always enjoyed… (used 310 times)
6. Reflecting on my educational experiences… (used 257 times)
7. Nursing is a very challenging and demanding [career/profession/course]… (used 211 times)
8. Academically, I have always been… (used 168 times)
9. I have always wanted to pursue a career in… (used 160 times)
10. I have always been passionate about… (used 160 times)
11. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world… (used 148 times)
The (over)use of the quote from Nelson Mandela about “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” is particularly cringe worthy — if you’re going to include a quote, make sure it’s more than just a popular quote that you once saw on Instagram. Show that you’ve done some reading around the subject and be prepared to properly explain why you like a particular quote.
Writing Your Opening Sentence
Aside from avoiding overused quotes and words such as ‘passionate’ or ‘deeply fascinated’, we recommend being original and referring to personal experiences as a way to draw attention.
For example, if you were writing a personal statement for a History course, you could open with something like, “Making an evacuation suitcase at the age of nine made me realise for the first time how historical events had affected real people.”
Not only does this draw on personal experience and highlight your knowledge of a certain area of history, it also provides you with an opening to elaborate upon your interest in social history. If you already know what graduate job or scheme you want to pursue after university, then you can further relate your opening anecdote to your future plans.
Don’t sit in front of a blank page for ages and furiously try to come up with the perfect opening sentence. If you’re stuck on your opening sentence, then perhaps try writing it last. After all, writing the rest of your personal statement will allow you to see the finished piece before adding the token opening sentence. The best opening sentences refer to your experiences, so think hard about what stands out in your memories in regards to your relationship with your chosen subject. Jot them down and then make one of these memories attention grabbing for someone who doesn’t know you.
Opening sentences are tricky, but they don’t make or break a personal statement. For more information on how to write a personal statement, check out these articles: