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'a policy think tank' - SOP Msc Economics, your academic interests


Riddi 7 / 16  
Dec 27, 2011   #1
"Describe your academic interests and reasons for applying. Detail your career objectives and any relevant non-academic achievements as well as any publications. Outline any other relevant experience including attendance at specialist workshops or short courses. "-----this is the prompt of my SOP.

I would be happy if you can help me edit it and also comment on its flow and relevance and if it sounds superfluous anywhere. Thanks :)

I am keen to further my knowledge in economics and develop expertise in the field of microeconomic policy and development economics by pursuing MSc. Economics at University College London (UCL). It would be clichéd to say that I want to work in the field of development economics, only because I have lived my entire life in a developing country and is quite exposed to the dynamics of a booming economy. I would rather say that the desire to work in this field is in continuation with my work experiences as intern and the understanding that I have developed about the micro-level economy and its importance in development.

It was my internship with Mansha Manav Kalyan Samastha, an NGO that sowed the first seeds of interest in microeconomic policies and development within me. I was not just exposed to the positive changes that were coming through microfinance, but also to an alternative to government subsidized credit facilities in the country. It was also enchanting to observe the operation of large scale economies and the incentives that were collected by the private microfinance companies here. In my opinion, microfinance is a key to understand the process of unlocking the market at the bottom of the pyramid for private sector (which so far has remained out of it) and thus bringing better choices to poor at affordable prices through market competition.

I believe a year spent at UCL under Lecturer Beatriz Armendariz who has expertise in the field of economic development, and has conducted extensive research in microfinance in Latin America and has a number of articles and books to her credit (for instance "The Economics of Microfinance") can assist me in my goal. Besides, studying at UCL, I can take advantage of its expertise in microeconomic policy with research centres such as Evaluation of Development Policy and Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy.

The interest that I developed at Mansha for market based solutions for addressing different developmental issues motivated me to do my second internship with Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi-a policy think tank. I worked on a paper titled as "Management of Parking Spaces in Walled City, Jaipur-a case study of Bapu Bazaar and Jauhari Bazaar." I tried to explore the viability of an efficient price mechanism and management practices to address the current and future policy prescriptions in this field. Recently, my paper has also been accepted in a journal called 'Nucleus-An Interdisciplinary Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences' (ISSN-0972-7523) and would be published in its forthcoming edition.

In future I want to work either with a policy think tank in my aforementioned field of interest or pursue a career as an economist in private or public institutions or in an international organisation such as UNDP, World Bank, etc for a year or two and then to pursue PhD in economics to further my career in academic and research.

In order to acquire more research skills I am now assisting Professor Alpana Kateja , University of Rajasthan, on a paper on health inequities across different states in India and factors affecting it. Besides being an academic achiever and a university topper in my current undergraduate study, I have been actively involved in entrepreneurial activities. My friends and I have been successful in coming out with an independent newsletter 'Aakaar' and spreading its circulation to five colleges in the city.

I would like to end my essay hoping that my credentials can convince the admission officers to offer me a seat in my preferred course enabling me to reap incentives from a world class faculty and culturally diverse classroom.

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,324 129  
Dec 27, 2011   #2
It would be clichéd to say that I want to work in the field of development economics, only because I have lived my entire life in a developing country and have since been exposed to the dynamics of a booming economy.---I made some small changes here.

I would rather say that the desire to work in this field is in continuation with my work experiences as intern and the understanding that I have developed about the micro-level economy and its importance in development. ----hmmm... I think you can say something even more concrete.. something about what you actually intend to do. Learning econ is a means to achieve a goal, so what is your goal? Maybe you will have many goals throughout your professional life, but you can focus on one goal that inspires you right now. Just like a candidate running for office, you have to tell the people about a clear, well-devised plan that you are ready to carry out.

It was my internship with Mansha Manav Kalyan Samastha, an NGO, that...---IO added a comma.

...can take advantage of its expertise in microeconomic policy with research centres such as Evaluation of Development Policy and Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy.----Again here, it is great that you mention these examples, but when you take advantage of them it will be for the purpose of achieving that goal you are going to share with the reader.

In future I want to work either with a policy think tank in my aforementioned field of interest or pursue a career as an economist in private or public institutions or in an international organisation such as UNDP, World Bank, etc for a year or two and then to pursue PhD in economics to further my career in academic and research.---This is very clear, and it shows that you are already looking to the future, but there is one final element to add to this part of the discussion. It is that same goal that I have been talking about. You may want to get involved in these organizations, or public or private institutions, etc., but you must have a reason for wanting to be involved in them. Why is econ a more attractive field than education, politics, or something else? it must be better for you because of your own personal life philosophy and the values you care about the most. So what message will your career send, and what is really the goal?

This is already very good; I am just challenging you to take it to the next level by capturing your philosophy and intention... by capturing what you stand for, and sharing it with the reader.

Very impressive examples, here... like this, excellent: My friends and I have been successful in coming out with an independent newsletter 'Aakaar' and spreading its circulation to five colleges in the city.
OP Riddi 7 / 16  
Dec 28, 2011   #3
thanks fore the review Kevin! the word limit is around 650 words, considering that do you think I should also include some points regarding my undergraduate course as well?
mihir89 1 / 1  
Dec 28, 2011   #4
The overall SOP is Excellent !!
It is very coherent and concise.
Kevin already made some good suggestions.
I dont think you need to add any more examples just follw Kevin's advise.
Best of luck.
deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 29, 2011   #5
Just one suggestion:
Maybe don't use poor but underpriviledged.

It sounds good to me, but I kind of lack the enthusiasm for economic terms,
so I cannot really evaluate it.


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