Politics and French Joint Honours Personal Statement
As Marat once wrote, “I beg my reader’s forgiveness If I tell them about myself today. It is neither out of vanity nor self-conceit but simply a desire to best serve the state.” My passion for French culture introduced me to the country’s motto, which presents a simple solution to the often evasive problem of successful democracy, and I have always been intrigued by political systems and the foundations on which rest the success or failure of society as a whole. I am thus driven to study Politics and French in order to one day take my place on our rapidly globalising political stage. My A2 studies across both diverse and interconnected disciplines have cemented my desire to pursue the joint schools at university. I completed my Politics coursework on the contrasting powers of the French President and Prime Minister, and found the semi-presidential system an interesting example of the flexible nature of democracy in practice. This is particularly relevant today as we seek to implement more global continuity, a dichotomy expressed in Friedman’s “The Lexus and the Olive Tree”, which deals with the struggle between traditionalism and globalisation. Economics also developed my ability to analyse the role of government in society, through studying examples such as America’s struggle with illegal markets in Garland’s “Gangs in Garden City”, and Bingham’s “Fieldnotes on Democracy”. Studying French has provided me with ample opportunities to develop my language skills and I also regularly attend the French Institute for films and lectures, and the CREALangues camps, allowing me to gain a 97% in my French oral at A2. I regularly read Le Monde and enjoy reading and analysing French texts both in class and independently.
I have gained work experience in the fields of both social responsibility and law, which in practice are often closely linked. I worked at London’s Doughty Street Chambers alongside human rights barristers, assisting on cases including a high profile violation involving the prison system, and realised the shortcomings within our judicial system. During my 2 weeks at the New York headquarters of IBM, I assisted the Director of Strategic Projects on a project on the involvement of GenY in sustainable entrepreneurship and was able to conduct field research on GenY across the globe, broadening my knowledge of a social demographic with many different needs. I am currently undertaking a gap year and have enrolled on the Cours De Civilisation Complet de la Sorbonne, where I will be fully immersed in the language and culture daily. I also shadowed my local councillor for 2 weeks, an experience which inspired me to apply to work in Tony Blairʼs private office, and am currently undertaking placements in both the fundraising office of the Conservative party and the production team of Question Time.
I have a strong sense of social responsibility and aged just 12 I ran a a successful Blue Peter Appeal for UNICEF. In 2008 I led a team that won a national competition to travel to India with the Wings of Hope charity; our efforts included events from soup sales to an Ice Skating Disco and presentations to JPMorgan. I went on to participate in the TFL ‘Green Light’ campaign aimed at increasing the use of public transport, alongside people of different ages and different social backgrounds. Further, as Deputy Chair of a borough award-winning Young Enterprise team, I helped win achievements including a Distinction in the Exam Certificate 1. I have gained grade 3 Guitar and grade 5 ballet as a result of dedication to both music and sport and find both very relaxing.
Studying Politics and French will be a unique chance to cast my net even wider to other activities, and I am excited to gain new knowledge and skills which will allow me to promote social responsibility in politics both at home and abroad, in the footsteps of social thinkers who helped forge the democracies we enjoy today.
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