/ SOP for economics master: development and public policy
I plan to apply for the CEMFI but I don't have much confidence in my SOP.
I would be very happy if you could help with it and let me know how I can improve it. Thank you : )
Here's the prompt:"a short text, of around 500-600 words, explaining their motivation and goals for the undertaking of this program. Applicants should also comment on how the program connects with their background, and with the overall orientation of their academic and professional careers."
My purpose for applying to CEMFI is to develop expertise in specific fields like development and policy analysis and become an economist in the future. The desire to work in these fields is in continuation with my research and work experience.
My initial interest in development came from a book called "China's Hidden Agricultural Revolution" written by Philip C. C. Huang. Living in a prosperous manufacturing city, I was quite interested in his description of China's characteristic rural-urban migration. I did research into this area and finished a paper about urban-rural income gap from the perspective of labor market distortion. Not only did I study the dual structure proposed by W. A. Lewis, but also I considered the informal economy in urban areas and built my own revised model by introducing the urban labor market segmentation between migrants and urban natives. In my opinion, labor market distortions and urban biased policies are the main obstacles to promote labor mobility and further to narrow the income gap.
This experience also made me aware of my limitations and therefore sparked my desire for graduate study. I find that the research process is really like the procedure of diagnosis and treatment, and in my opinion the best prescriptions are policy tools. Therefore, how to solve such economic inequity by making fiscal policies is one area that I want to delve into.
In this research, I realized the critical role of policy in development, but the seeds of the interest in public policy were sowed within me much earlier. In my freshman year, I carried out a summer practice project and visited several logistics parks. Surprised at the high vacancy rates in the policy-supported parks, later I grabbed the opportunity to be an investigator in a statistical survey on economic parks. While conducting questionnaire surveys and visiting over 100 enterprises, I discovered that policies would be more effective to adjust to more specific aspects, like locations and target industries. Taking the initiative to latch on these opportunities for real practice, I started to think serious questions and was gradually attracted by policy evaluation.
My interest seeds in policy and macroeconomic analysis started to germinate during my internship in Nomura International (Hong Kong) in summer 2015. I gave presentations every few days and used the valuation and other analysis methods to evaluate companies and interpret policies. I interned in Hong Kong from July to August, the period when Chinese government tried desperately to support stocks by policy tools after the market crash. It's enchanting to observe the incentives of external policies and the reaction of the financial market. The close touch with the fast-changing financial market let me realize that applied research and finance-related topics appeals to me more.
In future I want to pursue PhD and become a researcher in my aforementioned field of interests. The coming graduate study will be one of the deciding steps forward. CEMFI provides a variety of elective courses with great flexibility, and I notice there is a special attention to applied and policy issues, like the financial area. Since my academic interests lie in both economics and finance, CEMFI becomes an exceptionally appealing choice for me. And while the academics are breathtaking, what attracts me even more is the research opportunity and summer internship. I like economics' closeness to reality and I think CEMFI attach great importance to the students' practicality. In CEMFI, I will find the correlation between theoretical knowledge and the real life, and my education purpose through rigorous training and the various research opportunities.
Thank you for your kind consideration of my application.