History Personal Statement
I have always been intrigued and captivated by our past. As a child, history came alive for me through watching shows such as Time Team and What the Romans Did for Us. Likewise, the gory tales and unexpected twists of the Horrible Histories book series appealed to my imagination. My appreciation and understanding of history has of course matured considerably since then, but the ability for the past to amaze and intrigue me remains as strong as ever. History has unquestionably been one of the subjects that I have been the most motivated by at school. Over the last years few years at GCSE and A Level I have immensely enjoyed studying a range of subjects and periods, such as the history of modern conflict in Ireland, the Soviet Union and nineteenth-century Britain. I have explored the historical periods and themes covered in my coursework and exams through going beyond the main course texts. For example, Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Court of the Red Tsar projected a new and exciting slant on Stalin’s Russia. At the same time, I have also enjoyed reading more controversial works of history, such as Hitler’s Willing Executioners by Daniel Goldhagen. I also appreciate more books that cover a wider chronological period such as Amos Elon’s engaging The Pity of It All, which I have recently completed. My passion for history also extends to visiting historical sites, which I find helps bring the historical accounts I read in books to life. I had the good fortune to visit Pompeii recently, and also had the more sombre experience of retracing the footsteps of First World War soldiers in the trenches in Ypres.
I am currently in the process of finishing the 5000-word essay of my Extended Project Qualification, which examines the demise of the British motoring industry. Researching the business and political decisions behind the industry’s failure has brought to life some of the business theories I am currently studying in the Business A Level syllabus. The EPQ course has significantly developed my aptitude for research, extended study and essay writing.
My second love is drama and onstage performance. Being extrovert, confident and enthusiastic, I have had the opportunity to play lead roles in a range of productions. Working as part of a team to a deadline is an activity I thoroughly enjoy. I have also found that my experiences of the stage have given me the confidence to be active and opinionated when participating in class discussions during history lessons.
This year I have held the posts of house prefect and boarding prefect at my school. These positions have helped to improve my social and communications skills. Motivating and directing children to participate sports day events as an inter-house captain has enabled me to build on my leadership skills. Working with another prefect to organise school charity events has taught me to how to project manage and delegate. I am also involved with the charity Christians in Sport, a charity close to my heart. This summer I will be supporting them as a youth leader at their summer camp in Brecon. Sport is also a serious passion of mine, and I have been a first team player in the school’s rugby, hockey and tennis since the age of 15. I enjoy the team work and reward of encouraging team mates.
I recently completed a work experience placement at JP Morgan, where I observed the international market of trading. This has given me a good idea of what it truly means to work under pressure. Answering the phones in the busy IT Operations Department and communicating with overseas markets has also triggered an interest in relationships between international communities. From this personal statement I believe that a history degree will equip me with the analytical skills I will need for my chosen career path in international business.