Economics Personal Statement
Having worked in the financial sector for over six years, I am now driven to supplement this experience with a strong theoretical underpinning in the financial markets through further study. This will not only assist me in performing to the best of my abilities in similar roles in the future, but will also broaden my knowledge so that I may play a valuable and necessary role in the economic restructuring of my native African continent. I have researched potential postgraduate courses thoroughly, including speaking to an alumni, Raul Kreidler, now of Eurohypo, and it is apparent that LSE creates graduates with the skills and knowledge to make a true impact in the real world. The calibre of the faculty and students encourages real engagement with the subjects studied, and ensures that there is a desire to remain ahead of the curve and at the forefront of new and exciting academic movements. There is also an ongoing commitment to applying research to real economic situations; which, having worked in the sector already, I believe to be truly admirable. The pioneering contributions of the Financial Market Group, for example, demonstrate that research is created with practical application in mind. This approach will combine well with my professional experience, and my voluntary work with Bankers Without Borders, as well as proving to be essential to my future career. With my ultimate goal being to contribute to the continuing economic development of the African continent, studying at a university like LSE, that is engaged with development in both this area and the wider international community, will allow me to gain the foundation of knowledge necessary to achieve this.
As a Central African Republic (CAR) national, I have witnessed from afar my country’s sudden drift to economic and political instability back in the 1990’s and the last decade’s accelerated economic growth across the region. Development issues, such as political instability, lack of infrastructure and state development, extreme poverty, food insecurity and climate change, mean that the potential this growth offers for stabilising the economic wellbeing of African nations and their people has been slow to materialise however. I was particularly inspired by the private sector led economic development that I witnessed on exchange study programs in both China and Vietnam and believe that both of these countries have much that they could teach Africa about creating policies and systems which could similarly stimulate economic development. Studying at LSE would build on these intellectual experiences to extend my financial knowledge and foster my potential to contribute to African economic prosperity. By utilising the knowledge I gain through work and study, within an institution such as the African Development Bank, I hope to foster growth by strengthening the private sector as a mean to reduce poverty. By gaining the theoretical knowledge of finance in general, and an in-depth knowledge of corporate finance and risk management more specifically, I will be in a position to advise corporations on ensuring their productivity and economic profitability. By building on my professional experience in the field through further study, I hope to become part of revolution in both the real economy and the financial markets of this region; improving full information sharing and increasing access to finance through bank loans to market offerings, through applying my knowledge of investment analysis, financial valuation, international finance and global financial markets. Through promoting economic prosperity through reforms of financial markets, it is my hope that a day will come when services such as education, healthcare, will be available to a generation of Africans who will no longer need to travel abroad for opportunities which they lack at home.
My existing professional experience in the financial sector is one of the key factors which fostered my intellectual interests and my desire to more fully understand the theory behind the practice. After receiving my Bachelor in Business Administration, I started my career as a member of a funding team, first as an associate and then as the German funding desk representative at Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG’s and the wider DEPFA BANK Group’s treasury in Frankfurt. I have not only gained strong product knowledge but also have a solid track record in the global Debt Capital Markets; including the execution of private placements in excess of 4 billion euro equivalent on the domestic and international senior unsecured and covered bonds markets, both in plain vanilla and structured formats. I have also been involved with global syndicate desks in the structuring and execution of high profile and strategic global benchmark transactions, which received several industry awards. Participating in investors’ roadshows in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, marketing the Covered Bond product with an emphasis on Hypothekenpfandbriefe (German Covered Bond backed by mortgages), Oeffentliche Pfandbriefe (German Covered Bond backed by loans to the public sector) and Assets Covered Securities (Irish Covered Bonds), enabled me to gain professional experience on the international Fixed Income markets by being at the forefront of the international development of Covered Bonds. During my last rotation, in the aftermath of the liquidity crisis in 2008, I was part of a strategic team involved in driving the successful restructure of the DEFPA Group and the establishment of Pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank and FMS Wertmanagement under the patronage of the SoFFin, guaranteed by the Federal Republic of Germany. To enhance my experience of working across international finance, capitalize on my financial expertise and my knowledge as a frequent borrower, and to broaden my awareness of products and asset classes, I moved to London in 2010. In my current role, as a Senior Bond Syndicate Manager on the Private Placements Desk at Societe Generale, I draw on my previous experience in bond trading across international markets to trade medium and long term notes (MTNs). I have worked on numerous transactions across various jurisdictions, gaining valuable insights into the financial strategy of different issuers ranging from Sovereign, Supranationals, Agencies, and Financial Institutions up the credit curve to Investment Grade Corporates. In the fast-moving, fixed income markets, I have become able to quickly assess and understand the directionality of the markets articulate this understanding to clients. In order to make a greater contribution to my clients, organization and industry, I am looking to enhance and strengthen my knowledge of financial fundamentals in the Fixed Income and Credit Markets. By studying part-time, and continuing to work within the sector, I believe that one activity will successfully inform the other, helping me to become a simultaneously stronger student and professional as I progress.
By combining my existing knowledge and experience with an ongoing intellectual development in the inspiring and challenging environment of LSE, I will am confident that I can continue to make great strides both towards achieving my potential as a student of finance and realising my ultimate ambitions within the ongoing economic development of the African continent. I am particular inspired by the prospect of benefiting from, and contributing to, a highly international student body and faculty; with each of us bringing our unique experiences to bear on elucidating a picture of global markets. As such, LSE offers a truly unique opportunity for me to be part of a mutually rewarding learning process, which makes the most of my existing skills, knowledge and experience, while also offering further avenues for continuing intellectual and professional development.
Hopefully this sample Economics personal statement will provide students with inspiration to write a personal statement to make them stand out from the crowd.