/ Economics GKS personal statement undergraduate - public economics
Hello, this is my personal statement draft for GKS-U scholarship. I supressed my personal information with ***, but apart from it, it is the way it is now.
GKS-U scholarship essay
"What about printing more money?" My 10 year old self asked my mother after she said we could not pay for the bus fare, so we had to walk 6km to go to my school everyday. She kindly replied, " the "government is the only one that can print money." Reflecting about this experience, I see the omnipresence of economics and its impact in our life. I am the eldest kid of a single mom, and I have two younger siblings. My humble upbringing made me maintain a great regard for my academic success, as I envisioned education as a key to change my reality, I strived to be the number one student along all my educational journey. As I developed my reading skills before starting elementary school, my love for books flourished at a young age, and this habit prompted me to enjoy self-studying, which made me skip a grade whilst still in elementary school and graduate almost two years earlier. This experience also contributed to developing maturity by studying with peers older than me. In addition, I started looking forward to educational opportunities abroad in middle school so I self-taught myself English in 3 years despite not having Internet access. My dedication to my studies made me be nominated as a Gold student in Mathematics in 2018 by my outstanding maths performance in that year.
When starting highschool in 2019 I noticed that my peers struggled a lot with Mathematics and English, so I did a personal project to help them learn it better and faster, creating and leading a study group, in which we had weekly study sessions together and I tutored them by teaching these subjects in a more fun and simple way. This project was fruitful, because the students from my group performed 20% better compared to before the beginning of the tutories. Thanks to these results, I was elected as a class representative by the principal of the school. My role consisted in not only helping and representing my classmates, but also assisting my teachers in administrative tasks, and representing the school in outside events, such as when we participated in the TV program *** , where politicians and students discussed relevant issues together.
Over the summer break from freshman period I was looking for opportunities to make money, so I started offering social media management and analysis for companies. From 2019 to 2021, I managed 7 accounts and worked with 4 companies, one of them being a traditional company in the textile field in Brasilia and their spin-off company in the glass segment. I built the online presence of both companies on Google, Instagram and Facebook, and during my work I learned about graphic design, copywriting, data analysis for media platforms and created marketing campaigns that got a great conversion rate. This experience led me to appreciate Statistics and Forecasting.
My focus on welfare economics developed by growing up in the second most violent city of ***. Social issues such as criminality, unemployment, lack of access to education made me reflect about the causes of this issue.When studying the economy of Asian countries, I noted that Brazil and South Korea started their development plan almost simultaneously, through the Five Year Plans of South Korea, and the 50 in 5 implemented by Juscelino Kubistchek in Brazil after the foundation of Brasilia. This disparity between the results in both countries prompted my interest to learn more about the Korean economy. When I participated in the Cambridge Immerse Essay Competition, I wrote about the importance of the study of Economics, arguing that it empowers individuals and politicians to make better decisions, and my essay was one of the 5% awarded in the 13-15 year old category. While researching, I got in contact with the works of Lee Kuan Yew, Ha Joon Chang, Pigou and Amartya Sen, and I was influenced by their views on public economics, which fostered my interest in economic policy making. In the next edition of the essay competition, I participated in the 16-18 year old category and I wrote about the impact of Adam Smith in society, and discussed the role of the State. While crafting that essay, I got a grasp about behavioural economics through Theory of Moral Sentiments and it complimented my knowledge about statistics, by understanding the mutual relationship of Economics with other social sciences. My essay was a finalist among 5 thousand essays and I got a £2,397.50 scholarship to participate in an Economics summer course in Cambridge. Despite not being able to attend the program because I could not afford the other expenses, the research process itself was a very fruitful experience.
During quarantine I decided to share my knowledge about autodidactism and language learning online. For this I created my blog, ***. The process was very challenging, I created the blog from scratch using HTML, and on April 4 2020, my blog was released. After 2 years, my blog transformed from a hobby to a potential source of income, currently reaching visitors from over 20 countries monthly and being monetized by Google Adsense.
My admiration for Korea comes through its values of discipline, excellence, ethics and its strong result oriented approach that embraces education and competitiveness At the end of 2020 I heard about the GKS scholarship, hence, expecting to be a GKS scholar, I started looking for a way to afford the application process, so I offered paid academic consulting and English tutoring to gather the money, and started learning the basics of Korean language..
In July 2021, I participated in a summer course called *** United World College. During two weeks, I learned about the culture of Hawaii and studied the impacts and solutions for food security and approaches to system thinking and strategic planning. My greatest learning was about the ahupua'a, a system for land development that ancient Hawaians used as a zero waste management system that respects the cycles of nature. Through this course I got a deeper understanding about the impacts of capitalism on people and nature, and met incredible mentors and students. I produced a school project for Sociology in the last semester of senior high school where I compared the income tax system of Brazil and South Korea, and noticed how the Brazilian income tax system collaborates for wealth concentration and inequality. My work was praised and I got the maximum grade for the year in the subject.
After successfully graduating as a Valedictorian in highschool, I concentrated my focus on the Korean language and achieved topik level 3, almost level 4, after 11 months of self-studying Korean. In march of 2022, I started taking French classes every Friday at a government language school called ***, an UNESCO partner institution. During the first semester I volunteered to be the representative, and this experience contributed greatly to improve my social skills. as they offer many events and activities, and I keep playing this role now.
This year I was one of the 135 students selected among over 20.000 applicants to take an apprenticeship at ***, the *** company of Brazil, the best in this segment in the world. Before actively starting my activities in the company, I went through an intense two month training at their partner institution, ***. There I learned a lot about company management, accounting, work law and logistics as well as I got in contact with highly skilled mentors. As their educational model is focused on developing technical and soft skills, everyday we have to do presentations, pitches, create reports, which challenged me to employ my knowledge, I achieved a great performance during the training process, so the institution selected me to lead my team and represent the institution in ***, an open innovation race in which multidisciplinary teams develop solutions to real problems presented by companies in less than 6 hours. My team won the regional round in first place, and now we will participate at the national level solving a bigger problem in less than 72 hours. This experience was amazing because I had the chance to redesign their supply chain and develop a practical, low cost, ecological and effective solution for the inventory control issue that the company was facing. In addition, working at *** made me observe economic phenomena such as international trade by writing reports about the huge volume of parcels and telegrams circulating daily through aeroplanes and trucks and the division of labour between over 100 employees in my unit that works in perfect synchrony. I also refined my skills on management softwares such as Excel and WMS.
I believe that their innovative curriculum from Korean universities will allow me to build on what I have learned through school and through my work experiences. As a GKS scholar having the full support to focus on my studies, I hope to bring Brazilian creativity, optimism and energy to Korea and take many intellectual challenges, growing academically, professionally and culturally, and ultimately get back to Brazil and apply my expertise as Analyst of the Central Bank of Brazil.