Hi I'm applying for the Msc in Accounting & Finance at LSE. This is my first draft... Your help is very much appreciated. Thanks!
Please describe your academic background, strengths/interests, ambitions/research interests.
During these dire economic times, the emphasis on quality accounting and finance practice is greater than ever. These two areas have been my area of focus in my education and career goals. I am looking to take another step towards my aspirations by gaining more knowledge through enrolling in the MSc Accounting and Finance program. I believe I have what it takes to do well as well as contribute to LSE during my graduate study.
I was born and raised in Indonesia until I was ten when I went to Singapore seeking better education while my family remained in Indonesia. After graduating at the top of my class from my secondary school, I decided to pursue my college education in the US despite of my family's strong disapproval.
In March 2009, I graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a Summa Cum Laude and College Honors after spending only three years, instead of the customary four years, pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in Business Economics with Minor in Accounting. I managed to stay on the Dean's List while being active in extra-curricular activities in clubs such as the Golden Key International Honors Society as well as the UCLA Student Accounting Society. I also volunteered at Special Olympics Southern California, a non-profit organization that provides activities to mentally challenged individuals. Here, I learnt the different accounting system involved in running a non-profit organization as compared to a for-profit.
My initial interest in accounting and finance started when I was young. I observed how my parents, who were running an electrical supplies distributing company, struggled through the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. Many businesses closed down and it finally led to a riot, as people demanded political reforms, which made it even more difficult for us, being a Chinese minority in a 90% Muslim population. After a couple of years, my parents managed to bring the company out of financial troubles through proper budget planning and restructuring.
At UCLA, I had the privilege to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds through organizing events and project work. This gave me an insight to how people work and opened my mind to other perspectives. My professors are experts in their fields and the teaching programs are very flexible and diverse. My courses span across economics, finance, management as well as accounting. My passion in finance was further developed during my college years, particularly in hedge fund investments, real estate and currency exchange. I have been keeping track of the current updates through news and articles ever since.
I always have a deep curiosity in the relationship between countries and how they interact for finance and business purposes. With the situation in the global market getting more complicated and volatile, it has become increasingly important to make informed decisions to minimize risks. When I graduated in 2009, the US was in the middle of the biggest financial meltdown and it was difficult to find a promising job when thousands were losing theirs each day. I was glad when I found one though not a well-known firm in my field of interest but it unexpectedly gave me a peek at the education system in the US. It was a supplemental education service provider that has contracts with government schools to provide extra tutorials to underachieving students with financial difficulties. The whole system looks good on paper, but on practice, I think the policy has numerous flaws. As soon as I learned the ropes and the business operations there, I decided to explore other opportunities.
My professional goal is to have a strong career in financial consulting and finally able to run my own business. I will continue to seek and gain valuable experience through education and work experience. I turned to Singapore, which has increasingly become one of the strongest economies in the Asian region. I am now working as Accounts Consultant in a management services firm, providing accounting and corporate tax consultancy to small and medium enterprises. My work scope includes meeting clients, preparing financial reports, analyzing their financial conditions and giving tax-saving advices. From the job, I get to practice what I learned in school and apply it in real-world situation as well as gain skills in leadership, management and analytical thinking. The learning curve is very steep especially when I had to master Singapore's accounting and tax policies in a short time to make practical recommendations to my clients.
Through my two years of work experience, the learning curve is very steep. I am glad that I have great supervisors that are willing to guide me. I am not afraid of hard work and I am very independent. I want to be able to make a difference one step at a time. With my knowledge, I hope to assist people to achieve better standards and help propel other businesses through proper practice.
LSE is a leading world-class research institution that I believe will help me advance to the next step in my long-term goals. I thrive on challenges and having lived in many countries, I am used to being out of my comfort zone and adapt well to atypical situations. I have experienced the US and Asia, and now I am looking to delve into another region. What better way to do that than to immerse myself in the international community at the heart of London.