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LOI for MA in Economics and Finance - about myself, my goal, why master's program, etc.

tjhornet 1 / 1  
Dec 12, 2018   #1

a critical bridge between me and my goal

Please help review and let me know your thought on my LOI that i plan to submit as part of my application. My essay goes as followed. Thank you so much!!!

My overall plot for this essay is:
1. Briefly about myself and where I start
2. My goal
3. The need for studying in Master's program
4. How the school and program can help

The financial crisis in 2008 drastically changed the fates of companies and families all over the world. I still remember my parents' reactions on the day the meltdown hit Vietnam's stock market. The world seemed to be turning upside down in the living room. I felt ashamed as I could not help them throughout that tough time. Desiring to share their worries, I started delving into finance materials such as "A Random Walk Down Wall Street", "The Economist", etc. My thirst for knowledge continued to college, where I took my first courses in economics and finance. These courses enabled me to connect the dots and fill in the gaps in my understanding. For the first time, I could see the integrated economy within my eyes, grasping how the crash of the US' financial market crippled economies half a world away such as Iceland's or Spain's. Looking back at what happened to my loved ones in the crisis, I realized that the financial world needs experts who, while excelling at their technical skills, could look out for the benefits of the society. Setting my goal to become a financial investor with a refined macro perspective on the economy, I took on a double major in Business Administration and Economics, and a minor in Mathematics during college. After graduation, I polished my ability first as a researcher at DEPOCEN, one of Vietnam's best economic research centers, then now as an analyst at Indochina Capital, one of the country's leading investment funds, while studying for my CFA.

Through my education and work experiences, I realize that a wise and responsible investor cares about more than just the financial benefits. He possesses a long-term vision when running his businesses and managing people's asset because he understands the value of that hard-earned money. He helps share the burden of society and assists those who seek financial support. These two characteristics, in my opinion, lie at the core of finance: bridging capital to people who have continuously shown courage, responsibility, and innovation, in their works. This aspect of finance aligns well with my personal principle as I firmly believe that the best way to succeed is by empowering people along my path. This principle and my passion for finance form my long-term career goal: to become an angel investor who utilizes his own capital and financial skills to invest into responsible and innovative companies and projects, in turn, promoting a sustainable growth of the economy. Thus, I will need to correctly valuate such companies and the risks as well as upsides associated with these projects prior to funding. Working at a top investment banking or venture capital firm after graduation will provide excellent practical experiences for such work, which hence is my short-term goal.

Working at an investment fund with the main focus in the real estate industry, I have exposure to many aspects of finance such as financial modeling, capital structuring, and project valuating. Specifically, I understand the importance of financial models and capital structuring required at the foundation of a successful venture. Since the implementation of a project could be affected by elements which were previously unaccounted for, its financial model provides the guideline for the project to follow till the end while capital structuring assures the sufficient capital flow for the project and keeps the investors satisfied. Working on these financial models helps me visualize the development of a project, and, if the timeline or the delivery of a project change, know how and what to consult the investors to ensure of the project's success. However, learning on the job has its drawbacks as my skills and knowledge are narrowed within the scope of the real estate industry. On the other hand, investment bank and venture capital require a much more in-depth understanding and advance technical skills to perform on the job. The scope of work at a top investment bank is more extensive and entails knowledge and skills in corporate finance, assets management, and risk analysis, being building financial or valuation models for various projects or utilizing suitable capital structuring techniques for different products at different development stages. Consequently, a strong mathematical and technical ability is an essential requirement at both investment banks and venture capital firms. Moreover, macroeconomic and pattern recognition skills have always played a vital role at these jobs as these companies must constantly be aware of the market situation and actively look for business opportunities within it. Furthermore, a good venture investor contributes more than just his capital to a company, bringing brand, experiences, guidelines, and most importantly, connections. He can often introduce the company to the right people at the right time, assisting to solve a pending or urgent issue.

A degree in both finance and economics will be a critical bridge between me and my goal. The mathematical and technical nature of the program will provide me with valuable skills needed to get into investment banking or venture capital firms. Extensive courses in financial management and economics will elevate my analytical skills and strengthen my economic and pattern recognition ability. Additionally, residing at one of the world's financial centers, Boston, the program has access to the most updated knowledge and finest equipment of the finance world, and can connect its students to the brightest minds in the industry, helping me become a wise angel investor with extensive and valuable connections. Lastly, Brandies University alumni have been long known for their contributions to mankind as shown by their Fields medals, Nobel Prizes, and Pulitzer Prizes. These alumni set a clear path for other Brandies students to follow and continue to contribute to society, which certainly is something I aspire to do. I truly believe that Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance at Brandeis University can help me achieve both my short and long-term goals, that I am fit for the program, and once graduated, that I will contribute vibrantly and with commitment to ensure the benefits of the society as a Brandies University alumnus.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,797 4780  
Dec 13, 2018   #2
James, there is a lack of advanced planning in your letter of motivation. While I understand the background story that you presented, it took over more than half the essay. When more than half the essay should have been dedicated to explaining your intentions for your future career as a CFA, in relation to the program, courses, and training you can receive if you are admitted to the university. The last part of the essay, paragraph 4 to be exact, delivers part of the information that a letter of intent should cover. That means, you need to work on the first half of the letter or, you have to produce 3 paragraphs before the 4th one to better explain your letter of intent. The paragraphs can contain the following (suggested) information:

1. A more definitive narration of how your interest in financial investments developed. The age reference is lacking in the original presentation. So the reader has no idea what age you were and why you were so affected by what you heard going on with your parents investments. BTW, remove the "etc." reference, that is not academic in approach. Simply end the sentence to make your point.

2. Explain how your current work exposure has motivated you to pursue higher academic learning. What is it about your job that you would consider the catalyst that sparked your interest in higher studies?

3. What motivated you to choose this university for your masters course? How does the university teaching program align with your work experience and educational background so that you came to believe that the course you are interested in studying can further motivate your interests to become a CFA?

These additional information should help to clarify and strengthen this presentation. It will come across as you having valid and strong intentions for your desire to become a highly educated and well-skilled CFA in the future.
OP tjhornet 1 / 1  
Jan 2, 2019   #3
Happy new year 2019! Thank you very much for your response and insight. It is really helpful and i will use these insights for my revision of my essay. Hope you can have another look then.

On the other hand, I would like to get into a somewhat different field for my Master's study which is Data analytics and my background is not strong enough yet. I want to apply for this coming fall. Do you have any pointer for writing such essay? You may start a new thread, thanks.

Again, thank you much!

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