I am writing a personal statement for the MSc Accounting and Finance/Finance with Private Equity at LSE. This is my dream school.
Please can I have some feedback urgently.
Thanks in advance
"You must submit a personal statement which should be between 1,000 and 1,500 words. It should describe your academic interests and your purpose and objectives in undertaking graduate study.
If you are applying for two programmes please ensure that your personal statement addresses why you are applying for each programme. In the case where your two programme choices are unrelated, you may submit two personal statements - they should be clearly headed within a single document."
Today's post-recession era has been extremely cruel to aspiring graduates looking to launch a career in the Capital Markets; especially to candidates who haven't got degrees from the 'Top six' Universities. This is however the reality that we all face and my Coefficient of Determination ' ' (please see appendix) would/may prove this theory. This is my second time of applying to study at LSE - first application (2012): MSc Finance - albeit with a slight variation in my new first choice (MSc Accounting and Finance) and second choice (MSc Finance with Private Equity). In short, thank you for rejecting me. The rejection was a real eye opener into what is expected cognitively, intellectually, and practically from capital market participants from time zero.
However, my underlying reasons and motivations for seeking out a career in financial services stems from a passion and interest in unearthing alphas relative to proposed benchmarks. My long term career goal is to combine fundamental and quantitative analysis effectively by becoming a Quantitative Equities Analyst. I believe that returns can be exploited effectively from both combinations - Quants: through mechanisms such as Multi-Linear Regression, Time Series Analysis, Correlation, helping to predict returns and relationships - and - Fundamentally: via reclassification and adjustments to Operating expense that impact EBIT for example, cash flow projections characterised by strong past earnings growth and a combination of low levels of inflation.
My post-graduation knowledge has been fuelled by taking on the IMC- Level 4, and CFA (Level 1 I passed at the first attempt, and I am currently a Level 2 candidate), as well as my nine months experience working at Capital Partners as a Trainee Analyst. I gained practical analytical skills from analysing small capital stocks with a maximum market capitalisation of £10m for their risk and liquidity characteristics. Whilst my work was essentially passed onto more senior analysts, my contribution helped to streamline and increase efficiency of the end-to-end user process, with the main aim being the inclusion of the stocks in client portfolios. My experience further reinforced the importance of team work, prioritising time, and the magnitude of a healthy work-life balance which I intend to continue whilst I study for a Post-graduate degree. Furthermore, the fast paced, pressurised environment I experienced provided me with the opportunity to work on large data sets using Excel and Morningstar (forecasting potential clients' portfolio cash flows) re-powered my interest in finance which was developed by my decision to study Business with Finance for my Undergraduate degree.
I had three core motivations for studying Business Management with Finance at Undergraduate level. I wanted to understand the macro-economic (inflation, real GDP, Foreign Currency appreciation/depreciation and its impact on exports, imports, and consolidated financial statements) and micro (internal influences such as Managerial capability, Internal risks that may crystallise, for example Operational risk, employees performance and circumstances that may boost or affect this) factors firms encounter and operate in, and how all these factors impact upon the stock performance and perceptions of investors, and other capital markets participants. Secondly, I wanted exposure to accounting (Management Accounting to be specific) and statistical concepts, and lastly, I was partly influenced by my Dad who is a Chartered Accountant (retired Chevron employee), a man whom I very much admire for his high level approach to his field or practice.
I may have come across as scripted, but I can assure you this is not the case. I am just a simple individual who after a few years of absence from education - gaining a commercial exposure of the business world through most all of my early-to-mid twenties - has finally found myself, my passion, and I am absolutely committed to realising my goals and objectives, through a short -term five year plan, medium term ten year plan, and a long-term twenty year plan. I am now officially in Phase two - my medium term plan - and I believe that LSE will be the instrumental fulcrum for both my personal professional success and personal relationships I would forge.
Significantly, my rationale for applying originate from my interest in studying topics such as 'Applied Valuation Techniques', 'Financial Engineering', 'Financial Reporting, Capital Markets, and Business Combinations', 'Private Equity', and 'Topics in Portfolio Management'. These topics underpin my career goal of becoming a successful Quantitative Equities Research Analyst as well as complementing my personality as an individual with a more than average appetite for risk adjusted for a given level of premium and expected return. Specifically, I am fascinated by the Active Management theory of Portfolio Management, Asset Allocation, Portfolio Optimization, Mean-Variance Analysis/Treynor-Black Model, and Active Returns achieved from Portfolio factor tilts and a Manager's skill in terms of picking securities included in client portfolios, in correlation with a sound understanding of Behavioural Finance.
On the other hand, I thoroughly find Private Equity stimulating. The concept of investing in privately-owned companies and the challenges faced by analysts in finding comparable companies in order to perform Market-based approach for instance, or the normalisation of earnings component of financial statements - that may not be available due to non-existing laws by International Accounting Standards or relevant regulators enforcing such publications - were initially introduced to me through the CFA Level 2 curriculum. Whilst I credit the CFA Institute for the invigorating theoretical learning exposure, I believe in order to further expand and achieve a more comprehensive, well-rounded understanding in relation to further advanced topics such as Leverage Buyouts, as well as the technical knowledge to build models relating to it, I would have to study the course under the guidance and tutoring of respected academics with a history of excellence, and record for administering robust Masters' programmes. I sincerely have confidence that my journey towards uncovering alphas or perhaps returns not explained by the CAPM (although this is more relevant to Public Companies) in the Private Equity realm could effectively start October, 2014 at LSE.
On a personal note, I believe I can contribute towards the programmes I have elected to study via my dedication, determination, and commitment. I was a member of a few societies while I was at University, as well as presently being part of a ten-man strong investment finance group comprising of good friends and colleagues from Renaissance Capital, Nubuke Investments, Exotix etc. where topics such as issues influencing Emerging Market returns, the return of the Developed Markets etc. are discussed. I hope to continue in this fashion and participate in different existing groups and societies, perhaps even establishing a new society with the permission of the University of course, if I am given admission. I would also like to share my experiences and optimistic, open-minded personality with other LSE students. I have an embedded determined attitude in that I never give up on comprehending concepts which may seem arduous at first, because I believe I must excel during adverse and challenging educational and life phases in order to continually lay foundations for a stronger future. I am of the belief that the LSE MSc program may not always produce all the answers I need or seek, but I will learn to adapt to find them when these situations arises.
The opportunity to study MSc Accounting and Finance or MSc Finance with Private Equity at London School of Economics will further develop and build upon my existing knowledge because of the environment and intellectual ethos LSE fosters, as well as the international and well diversified environment on offer where social and intellectual challenges are present, thus further developing and enhancing my analytical and logical mind-set. I cannot reiterate enough what admission into LSE to study Accounting and Finance, or my closely-aligned second choice - MSc Finance with Private Equity - would mean, or even begin to quantify the magnitude of a favourable decision. In other words, my chosen course of study is my gateway towards career enhancement and fulfilment, and I am of the firm belief that LSE is where I would be nurtured and elevated into a different class due to the facilities, distinct quality of teaching, intelligent and well diversified students carefully selected by this highly respectable institution; all powerful elements and reasons for my application to study at LSE. Not only would I be studying in the heart of London, effectively providing good links with the financial world, I would also be equipped with the indispensable (technical) tools and theoretical knowledge, as well as exposure to like-minded individuals who are passionate about their future careers, thereby allowing for the exchange of ideas and views that could only be beneficial for all parties.
Ultimately, I have a dream - to be respected by my peers and colleagues for my dedication to the Capital Markets via my ethical approach, my potent dedication to my field, my independent ability to think subjectively, and my interactions and conduct of clients, colleagues (both junior and senior), capital market participants and other professionals. This dream I hope to realise through hard work, discipline, and commitment to my short term and long term goals. I honestly want to reflect upon my career after retirement with content and happiness, knowing I exercised all available opportunities and resources that I was presented by God, Universities and Business Schools, Bosses, and the financial backing of my icon and role model - my father.
In concluding, I want to thank the Admission's tutor for taking his or her time to consider my application, and I hope the information I have relayed would be sufficient in demonstrating my academic ability, and my enthusiasm to be a part of your prestigious academic institution as a Masters student.