History Personal Statement
History Personal Statement example
My enthusiasm for economic history has developed mainly out my present degree course. As part of my Economics and Law degree at Leicester I have been working on a module in international finance, which has included a close examination of the empirical evidence used to support or refute various economic and financial theories. This has involved an understanding of historical thinking in economics, and the effects that actual events have had on this thinking and the way economists have responded to them. The changes in economic thought since 1918 have particularly interested me – such phenomena as the (to modern eyes) very odd insistence on the importance of the gold standard after the first world war, the Great Depression and the Keynesian response, which, even now that we understand the inflationary potential of governmental deficit financing, is still an essential part of the economic armoury of a modern nation. The emergence of the Bretton Woods system and its more recent decay are fascinating events in the way they explain so much about the way our world works. Post-war recessions and the shifts in economic power between nations and ethnic blocks are all deeply interesting subjects I should like to study in detail. My particular interest at present is in the economic development of Asia and other “infant” economies. It has long struck me that most history is in a way economic history. Empires have risen and fallen largely in accordance with their wealth and its decline, their access to, and loss of, resources and trading partners. Human history is filled with examples of human ambitions which have failed or not been achieved because the economic realities intervened to frustrate them. If we can know enough about the economic history of the world and understand it properly, there is a chance we can order our present economies in a more stable fashion and predict the future reliably. It is perhaps amazing that a knowledge of economic history did not prevent the banking crisis of 2008!
My present degree course strongly supports my plan to study economic history. The economics element has given me a mathematical and analytical training and taught me to deal with complex organic concepts, while the study of law has called for the development of research skills using a wide range of resources. I am always keen to keep abreast of economics news and the shifts in economics thinking by reading books on the subject and following events in the media. At the same time my work experience has equipped me with types of knowledge which I feel will be useful to me in my further studies and in my planned career as an economics adviser or consultant. I worked for a while in an advertising agency, seeing the world of business first hand. This helped me to acquire and develop good communication and negotiation skills. I also shadowed a solicitor as part of a work experience placement and have a good idea of his day-to-day responsibilities. Working in the real world has given me a strong sense of responsibility, which I think the economist must have, because his theories have a direct impact on other people’s lives and standards of living.
At my present university I hold the position of treasurer of the Trading and Investment Society, which is a support organisation for experienced and novice traders. I help organise weekly meetings and manage the society’s budget. It has been a very enjoyable experience and has helped me to manage time effectively, as well as calling for some management skills and the ability to work with a group of people. I have also worked at the University annual Law Fair as a volunteer and taken part in the Law School’s debating competition, reaching the semi-final. This was good practice in constructing arguments, communicating clearly and using accurate spoken English. I have a number of languages, fluent Persian, my mother tongue, and equally fluent English and Dutch, along with intermediate Pashto, and I see this as a great asset in an increasingly international and globalised world.
Outside the classroom I am a keen sportsman and play football at a competitive level, having even spent a year at the youth academy of the Dutch professional team PSV Eindhoven. I continue to enjoy the game and as captain of a team I have gained good experience in leading as well as working with others.
Economics is such a pervasive subject in its relevance to other studies, such as law, mathematics and history, that it can hardly fail to fascinate. It appeals to me because of its supreme and immediate relevance to all our lives, and I have no doubt at all where my future career lies. I am hard-working, attentive to detail and reliable in my studies. I work well with others, but am equally happy working on my own and have the confidence to take responsibility for my own decisions. I am extremely adaptable, the result perhaps of having lived in three different countries in the course of my life. My multi-lingualism is a great strength. I am totally committed to my subject and my ambitions, and I hope you will consider my application.
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