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Personal Statement Masters in Data Science / Finance Major


lethalasian 1 / 2  
Jan 27, 2020   #1

1 Page personal statement/SOP



I never had a clear and linear path in life. I wasn't like one of my fellow students who built their first computer at 5 years old or won national math competitions at 8. I was just a normal kid from xxx trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life. Going through my classes in college I always felt like there was something missing. It wasn't because I didn't have a passion for my major, I just felt like I didn't have opportunities to apply what I had worked so hard to learn.

During my last year of college, I went to talk to my derivatives professor about how I felt, and he recommended me to look into the stock market. From the start I felt mesmerized by it. The strategies, the constant data, and its embodiment of our economy all represented within this single interconnected system. After some experience in this industry it became obvious to me that the future of trading would be data based and I want to be a part of it. While I didn't have the knowledge to create complicated algorithmic systems or build strategies based on machine learning, it didn't stop me. I began to create my own systems based on historical price data and technical indicators. However, no matter what, there were always bugs and outliers that needed to be tweaked and every result changed with the slightest change in data sets. This first introduced me to the importance of data science.

Being a finance major, I never had the chance to learn technical skills such as coding, data analysis or complex math. However, this will not stop me from trying to learn data science. I self-learned Python through building trading algorithms and backtesting it on Quantopian. I am currently taking Calculus 2 and will continue by taking Linear Algebra in the summer. The xxx data science program is adequately designed for a student like me who wants to learn everything I can about data analytics.The core curriculum is very inclusive and covers all the topics which I need to break into a quantitative role. Reading through the curriculum I believe this program would be a perfect fit to prepare me for my future goals.

I currently trade equities and have experience investing in Forex and derivative products through fundamental and quantitative research. I conducted research on data from macroeconomic indicators, asset price momentum, as well as mean reversion data with VBA and Thinkscript. One of my strategies that worked well in recent history (3-year period) focused on daily price movements, using a 9-period exponential moving average and slow stochastic oscillator. Through back testing on Thinkscript the system was able to generate profits of 29,150 on ticker $AMZN trading 100 share lots, with a max drawdown of 7,384 in a 3-year period. This was a very basic strategy I implemented, and I look forward to creating more complex data backed strategies studying at xxx.

I believe what makes me unique is my background in finance and experience as a trader. With the knowledge I will learn in this program I will be able to build models and combined with my experience as a trader, I can easily determine if a strategy can work in real world situations. The skills I would learn from this program will make me a very attractive candidate for funds as a quantitative researcher. I would focus on idea generation through testing data sets as well as implementing ideas based on research papers. This is my dream career and my goal is to develop and test new trading strategies based on data and inefficiencies in the market.

While it is quite unrealistic to believe that life might be as linear as I want it to be, I have a strong certitude about my academic and professional accomplishments in years to come. I look forward to gaining a competitive edge by improving my knowledge of various statistical techniques and upgrading my analytical skills through the well-structured curriculum at xxx.Thus, I feel that the right time has arrived for me to complete my master's degree in data science to fulfill my educational needs.

Holt [Contributor] - / 7,893 2170  
Jan 27, 2020   #2
This personal statement is supposed to be only a single page long, regardless of double or single spacing. The letter should not be more than 500 words long with 350-450 being the best word target for all application forms.

I believe that the problem with the personal statement is that you wrote it more like an "academic in relation to career choices" biography instead of as the foundational interest statement that it should have represented. The personal statement for a masters course needs to show how your career has begun to require you to acquire more advanced knowledge in an emerging or related field in order to stay ahead of the game. That means you have to explain how your interests as a trader will be helped by increasing your data science skills.

The personal statement needs to show the development of that interest. It has to be based on personal and / or professional reasons, not because you were influenced by a confusion that you had in the past. Nor does being lost regarding career choices make for a valid reason to choose a particular masters course. You need to show that you have a personal motivation for wanting to advance your skills in this area. More importantly, you need to add a self reflection regarding your academic goals as it relates to the masters course.

The self-reflection should be the basis for the discussion regarding why you chose to apply for admission to a specific university. Overall, the essay is misdirected. It doesn't properly apply itself to the requirements of a personal statement. You need to revise the essay using the suggestions that I have made. Using the guidelines, you should be able to write a proper personal statement within the page requirement / word count.

By the way, don't delete this essay, It can be reworked and reworded into an effective statement of purpose when required.
OP lethalasian 1 / 2  
Jan 27, 2020   #3
Hi thanks for the quick reply Holt.

I will try to change the essay into about more how data science will help my career as a trader. I want to become a quant researcher which requires the skills of python, coding, statistics and modeling which i currently do not have. Hence my need for this masters program.

I do not have much professional experience and my work (full time job) does not require these skills however i want to change into a role that requires these skills.

Any advice on how I should edit my essay into something more complete
OP lethalasian 1 / 2  
Jan 29, 2020   #4
Hi holt i will correct this! Do you have any advice on how to conclude my essay? And is it really okay to have 500 words for the Personal statement?


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