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Accounting Finance Personal Statement Lse University

This Personal Statement was part of Jun Long’s successful application to the University of Oxford to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). The same personal statement also gained Jun Long offers to read Economics at the University of Edinburgh, University College London and King’s College London.

Besides being of monumental significance to the global economy as well as the politics of my country, the year 2008 was also the year I started reading the newspaper. That was what got me interested in economics and politics.

Over the years, I watch the development of the global economy, ranging from the European Sovereign Debt Crisis, the fluctuations of the global oil price, to the slowdown of global trade. My observations of the tepid recovery of the global economy suggested to me that the global economy is suffering from structural problems. To understand more about economics, I expanded my knowledge by reading widely, including Time, The Economist, local newspapers like The Star and also books.

I read “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty, which informed me about the nature of income inequality in current times. In the book, Piketty argued that the growing inequality was part of the structural design of our current economic system, and as long as r remains larger than g, income inequality will continue to grow. Many things from this book were surprising, however the patience and ingenuity that Piketty had in assembling his data as well as his urge for his fellow economist to focus more on empirical data were two things that I gained. I also read “The End of Alchemy” by Mervyn King. In here, King suggested that the structural problems of the current banking system, not greedy bankers, were to be blame for the global financial crisis. All the economic actors were stuck in a prisoner dilemma, they had to act the way they did. The role of incentive was a central message that I gained. King suggests banking is inherently unstable due to its design, and gives a solution that I find interesting, but at the same time idealistic.

Why too idealistic? The changes in the Malaysian political scene across the years gave me clear insight on the difficulties of implementing changes through politics. After many years of promise of change by politicians, nothing much has come out. This led me to question the idea of democracy as the best system for governance.

Recently, I started reading “The Republic” by Plato. I have not finished it yet, but from the parts I have read, I was surprised by the argument of Plato that to maintain justice in a nation, a government that was autocratic and restricted individual liberty was needed instead of democracy. Through my various readings, I also came across one article that talked about how the founding fathers of United States created an election system that attempted to reduce the power of the masses. Originally this idea seems to be against the principles of democracy, but the fact that Donald Trump has a possible chance of becoming the president led me to think that the founding fathers’ idea had some rational.

Meanwhile, my participation in student government allowed me some insight into the nature of governing. I learnt about how hard it is to satisfy the different stakeholders, the college management and the students. I also had a first-hand experience on why governments suffer from efficiency problems. Bureaucracy, without a doubt was the thing that slowed many changes. In order to implement changes in the college, there were many process which sometimes required months of following up. However, managing to eke out small victories like extending classroom hours to allow students to study was something that motivated me to continue being in student government.

Economics require excellent mathematical skills, which I have been developing and had managed to obtain a gold medal from the Kangaroo Math Competition and Distinction in the Euclid Competition. Currently, I am attempting the DOE gold award and I continue to be active in my college Toastmaster’s Club. I enjoy running and sometimes participate in charity runs. I also enjoy reading during my past time. Currently, I am under the National Scholarship sponsored by my country.

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I have applied for the Msc in Accounting and Finance for the LSE, and have to write a personal statement. a

A personal statement that describes your academic interests and your purpose and objectives in undertaking graduate study. If you are applying for a master's or diploma programme this is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the selectors.

Please can I have some feedback?

We live today in a multi-polar world where immense financial and economic activity has resulted in wealth being amassed and destroyed on an unprecedented scale in different parts of the world. This dynamic has been driven by the effects of globalization and the structural shift between developed and emerging markets. The recent crisis in financial markets and the global geo-political situation has brought with it challenges which will require increased depth and understanding for the changing dynamics of markets and economies, which will present opportunities to build a more robust rigorous system and institutions. I believe this backdrop provides for a great opportunity to further my academic studies in the area of finance.

My interest in finance started from a young age when I was given the opportunity to shadow a broker for a week. I was able to gain a firsthand experience in the markets. It was the fast-paced environment, the ability to analyse large amounts of information that first sparked my interest in finance. It was from this experience that I felt studying finance at an undergraduate level would satisfy my interests and provide me with a solid foundation for my future career. My desire to pursue further academic studies is fueled by the enriching experience I have had at Cass Business School. Being surrounded by intellectually engaging individuals from diverse backgrounds and an academically rigorous course has stimulated a passion of finance as an academic study. Further studies in finance especially one that is more mathematical will deepen by understanding of the financial markets, which I believe is going to be crucial to succeed in the financial services industry going forward.

Within the field of Finance, I am most interested in topics ranging from valuation, security analysis, and portfolio management. I am particular interested in investments, and I find the different valuation techniques from discounted cash flow models, relative valuation, and contingent claim valuation stimulating to study from both a theoretical and practical level. I also have a deep interest in portfolio theory, and portfolio asset allocation. This interest was developed from the numerous summer internships I undertook within the investment management field, my undergraduate courses in security analysis, company valuation and also my involvement in the trading and hedging society at university which together gave me invaluable insights into the global markets and the valuation techniques used by some hedge fund managers. It is with this interest that I seek to deepen my knowledge in the above areas.

A Masters in Accounting and Finance at the London School of Economics will help build upon my existing knowledge in an environment which is international, one in which I can be challenged intellectually and socially, and one where I can develop and think independently. Also from past experiences I have realised that having a strong grasp of accounting is vital, since financial statements provide the fundamental information that is used for valuation purposes and is crucial for the investment process. The modules provided in the Accounting and Finance course such as "financial reporting in capital markets" and the "valuation & security analysis" will equip me with a strong foundation in accounting.

My long-term career plan is to become a successful portfolio manager or a hedge fund manager. I have always had a deep passion for investing, and I have read many books such as "The Intelligent Investor", "One up on Wall Street", " Money Mavericks" , and the numerous summer internships I have done within investment management have led me to pick this career path within finance. I hope to achieve this goal after a number of years of experience as a successful analyst. I believe that the Accounting and Finance masters programme at the LSE will firstly, provide me with the ability to think independently. Being able to think independently and having a view which may be contrarian is extremely important within the investment management field, one's ability to come up with new and fresh ideas allows one to identify missed investment opportunities and generate high returns. As mentioned before the course content will be vital for a career in investment management as a strong understanding of company accounts and particular asset classes will be crucial.

I also believe that I can contribute a great deal towards the programme and to the university as I am highly committed and focused to my chosen area of study finance. I have been working already on a finance website which seeks to connect ideas about investments amongst professionals, finance enthusiasts and students. I have also been an active member of societies at university, and wish to be a contributing member to a number of societies at the LSE.

LSE Masters in Accounting and Finance will provide me an opportunity to deepen my understanding of finance and accounting in a more meaningful way, and in an environment which will be academically challenging and allow me to develop further as an individual. Also, being surrounded by like minded individuals who share the same passion and desire about the subject will allow for an exchange of views and ideas that would benefit all parties.I appreciate your taking the time in considering my application and I hope that the information I have shared has demonstrated both my academic ability and my passion to form part of your prestigious academic institution as an MSc student.