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My career in the next 5 years. Oxford MSc Financial Economics Personal Statement


Celoise 1 / 4 1  
Jan 3, 2016   #1
Hi everyone,

I am applying for Oxford MSc Financial Economics program, and really wish to get in. Here is the personal statement I have written. I have edited it myself several times, but I am really unsure about it, and any critique is welcomed!

Prompt: How do you hope to see your career developing over the next five years? How will the MSc in Financial Economics assist you in the development of these ambitions? Maximum 500 words

My response:
After some exposure to Financial Economics at undergraduate level, I found myself attracted to underlying mathematical and economic models of securities and assets. I wish to learn more fundamentally and broadly on the subject, and apply what I learn in class to real-world investment evaluations and decisions. My career goals over the next five years are thus to get a better understanding of various products and positions in finance industry, and to find a job that combines quantitative and qualitative analysis, preferably requires research and for the buy side. I wish to see myself working in London, or other cities in Europe. I plan to take CFA Level I in June 2016, and hopefully receive CFA charter by 2017.

MSc Financial Economics can help me to achieve these goals in many aspects. Academically, its curricula combine theories with application. One of the most rewarding experience in my undergraduate Investment Analysis class is to use Discounted Dividend Model to estimate the value of Prudhoe Bay Royal Trust. Together with other two group members, we determined that the underlying value of the security is lower than its current price, and there exists a speculative opportunity. In MSc Financial Economics, I believe I will be able to learn more fundamentally of these finance theories and models; more importantly, I will be able to apply what I learn in class to real-life finance problems immediately through the strong application component of all courses and Oxford Saïd Finance Lab.

Professionally, MSc Financial Economics provides a good transition from academia to work. My teamwork experience in Financial Economics classes has been extremely rewarding, but I did not have many teamwork opportunities at undergraduate level as a Mathematics major and I wish to learn from and contribute to a competitive and collaborative group of peers, and prepare myself for teamwork in future workplace. Furthermore, world-class career service in Saïd and numerous career events will advance my job search tremendously. While I know clearly that I am intrigued by mathematical and economic models in finance, I am uncertain about the type of financial institutions I want to work for. Through three days of training in "financial markets and institutions", abundance of career events, and strong alumni connection, I will understand my company preference better.

In my study abroad semester in Amsterdam, I found that I prefer Europe cities as my future working place. More importantly, visiting my friend in Oxford let me realize how much I love collegiate system, and compact yet vibrant college town for education. Studying in Oxford for one year, then finding a job with finance and investment in London or other European cities then become my dream. Combining with my ambition to learn more about finance and investment, and to become CFA charter, MSc of Financial Economics in Saïd can advance me in so many ways, and lead me into a career that I have planned for myself. Therefore, I sincerely apply for a position in your esteemed institution, and aspire to make strong contribution by my background and academic achievements.

Thank you beforehand for any comments!

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Jan 3, 2016   #2
Eloise, I think that the essay will be better and stronger if you skip / delete the paragraph that relates to:

MSc Financial Economics can help me to achieve these goals in many aspects. Academically, its curricula combine theories with application...

The reason that you should not use this part in my opinion is quite clear. The MSc reviewer will be looking for a more real world application of your college level learning instead of taking into account your college level exposure to class projects and such. As an MSc student, you will be expected to have gathered at least a few years of actual work experience in the field before enrolling in advanced studies. More weight is given and considered to your professional experience when compared to your early academic background.

This paragraph in particular also has problems:
Professionally, MSc Financial Economics provides a good transition from academia to work. My teamwork experience in Financial Economics classes has been extremely rewarding, but I did not have many teamwork opportunities at undergraduate level as a Mathematics major and I wish to learn from and contribute to a competitive and collaborative group of peers, and prepare myself for teamwork in future workplace.

Do not degrade yourself or your abilities in any application that you write. What is the sense of applying if you are telling the reviewer that you are lacking in certain aspects that are expected of this kind of student? Instead of propping up your application with positive information, you are actually bringing yourself down a few notches as a student. Don't do that.

Rather than discussing your lack of experience, present instead your experience as an intern during your graduate year. If you lack professional work experience, an internship at a notable organization can usually take its place as you are already immersed in a real world setting and have to deal with problems or situation that, as a professional, you would potentially have to deal with. The way you react to those events during your internship can definitely help increase your chances for consideration.
RaaH 1 / 4 1  
Jan 3, 2016   #3
I rewrote paragraph 1 and modified your CFA charter target to 2018 because it takes 3years to complete the CFA.

I got interested in the underlying mathematics and economic principles involved in modelling securities and assets during an undergraduate course in financial economics. I'm enthusiastic to learn more and see how this principles are used in investment evaluations and decision making in real time. Over the next 5 years I wish to build a thorough understanding of financial products through quantitative and qualitative analysis, this would help me excel as a research analyst in a buy side firm preferably in London or other cities in Europe. I plan to earn the CFA charter by 2018.
OP Celoise 1 / 4 1  
Jan 4, 2016   #4
Hi vangiespen,

Thank you so much for your advice! I really appreciate your opinion about the "Professionally" paragraph. I should not mention something that I am lack in, but bring about more experience I have had.

However, for your opinion about the "Academically" paragraph, the problem is, Oxford MSc Financial Economics seems to be a pre-experience program, and to be honest, I am a senior at college, and have not had much work experience so far. My internship experience is not very noteworthy either. What would you advice under this situation?

Thank you again for all you suggestions! I will keep editing and thinking of some better experience to write!
OP Celoise 1 / 4 1  
Jan 4, 2016   #5
Hi RaaH,

Thank you for taking the time to edit the paragraph! The CFA suggestion is extremely helpful! Some says one can take 2 levels in one year, but there may be some restrictions? I need to do more research on this.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Jan 4, 2016   #6
Eloise, when you are applying for graduate school, even if it is a pre-experience degree, you should always try to beef up your application with any sort of work related experience. Be it an internship at a small company, or a big shot position at a large company, the reviewers will give the work experience, as long as it is related to your interest in the MS studies, equal weight and consideration. So even if you were only attached to a small company, for as long as you learned about something related to your desired MS degree, you should mention it, even if the pre-experience MS degrees do not require it. it is additional information that will help show that you are capable of taking the full MS course later on in the future and allow you to showcase your skills and talents, even with a "lack of experience".

Additional information that you might want to add in relation to your pre-experience details would be the reason why you believe that you should make most of the degree that you do have now with this pre-experience MS. This will make your internship or part-time work experience relevant to your application. Explain how this degree in particular will help you, in your own thinking, maximize the benefits of a pre-experience MS. You already display your ambitions for your future, so just increase the attention upon that with the information about your internship experience.
OP Celoise 1 / 4 1  
Jan 5, 2016   #7
Thank you for further clarifications. I just finished another application, and want an early sleep so badly. I will edit this essay tomorrow according to your suggestions. Cheers!


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