Hi everyone, I'm drafting my essay of application to a MS program in Computational Finance. I've researched on this site and benefited a lot from other people's articles. Now I hope to get some advice on my first draft. Please feel free to give your comments. Thanks in advance!
I have worked 6 years as a data analyst and decided to pivot to computational finance. My strengths are technical capabilities and problem solving skills from a business perspective. But I have not taken any class in Finance, and never worked in Finance as well.
Here's the first half of the essay (without the conclusive first paragraph), explaining how I grew the interest and why I wanted to pursue a career in Finance.
Math has always been my strength in life, from elementary school, to college and graduate study in Physics, and further to professional working. In my 6 years of work experience as a data analyst, I have been using statistical and non-statistical models on solving marketing problems across many different industries and areas. I came to believe that numbers are the magical answers to all phenomena in our world, and I enjoyed using numbers to solve problems in professional tasks as well as in everyday life. Two years ago, I started to research on financial investment models with friends. We built models to predict and to ensure higher returns of combinations of soccer lotteries based on the bankers' data. With the gain and loss along the way, I obtained lots of satisfaction and grew great interests in the computational applications in investments. In fact, this off-work obsession, although did not provide me big income, became more intriguing than my day job. I used all my spare time to read related books and web posts, and to test and modify the models. The deeper I went into the subject, the more tempted I felt. I look forward to pursuing a career in finance and investment.
Besides its challenging and intriguing nature, Computational Finance is also very promising in terms of career development. Today the popularization of financial services has been greatly increased, benefiting from the revolutionary development of financial technologies. Take the development of investment methods in China as an example. Instead of paying by cash and keeping all their money in saving accounts a decade ago, now the average Chinese people pay with payment apps in their smartphones, and occasionally invest or loan with such functions in the same apps. Behind all these popularization, there are larger scale of calculations, modeling and estimations, requiring professionals that possess both Finance knowledge and technical capabilities, and therefore creating unprecedented job opportunities.