This personal statement was part of the student’s successful application to LSE, University of Bath, University of Warwick, City University and Loughborough University for Accounting and Finance.
Sometimes life reserves the right to give us nasty surprises – it throws inherently unpredictable, incalculable occurrences straight in our paths. “Black swan” events are what the academics call it. I still vividly recall my father relating to me the rise and subsequent demise of his property development venture in the late 1990s as a result of the Asian Financial Crisis. Back then I was too young to comprehend the mechanics and broader implications of such a rare, disruptive global event. However, today, I’ve begun to understand that highly overleveraged corporations, fuelled by an unsustainable investment boom at the bequest of hubristic CEOs had set the scene for the largest crisis the region had seen for decades. I am keen to understand how prudent financial management would have averted the downfall of my father’s business and how realistic investment assumptions could have driven better allocation of capital to various projects. It’s this desire that has fuelled my interest in reading Accounting & Finance at university, propelled by my belief that I can find answers through this field of study.
At the LSE Economics & Leadership Forum recently, I was able to engage in an array of emerging issues increasingly encountered by corporates. I joined my fellow peers in deliberating the impact of technology on traditional business models and how the emergence of increasingly cost-efficient start-ups has disrupted incumbent corporations across all sub-sectors. This further piqued my interest in understanding the impact of technology in rationalising cost structures and the role of modern finance in weeding out those slow to adapt. Work shadowing an investment banker over my summer break, I saw how financial models can be applied to ascertaining the value of businesses but more importantly how valuations are largely dependent on exogenous assumptions. Reading The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, it dawned upon me that accounting adjustments and valuation methodologies can be highly subjective, but the best investors neutralise the impact of this subjectivity by incorporating a “margin of safety” to minimise downside risk. I look forward to equipping myself with the skillset to analyse both quantitatively and qualitatively the intrinsic value of these companies vis-à-vis the study of Accounting & Finance at university.
Having a high affinity for mathematics and statistical manipulation, I relish the challenge of solving complex Mathematical problems. My exposure to Physics and British Parliamentary style debates has pushed me to think out of the box and come up with creative solutions to complex issues at a moment’s notice. I am thrilled that Accounting & Finance allows me to apply Mathematics to solve problems that form an integral part of everyday life. Decisions ranging from which mortgage to take up as a first time buyer to allocating and diversifying your personal investment portfolio all revolve around financial theory. The opportunity for practical application of these theories thoroughly excites me.
Having juggled multiple leadership positions of high responsibility in high school and now at college, I pride myself in being results-oriented and meticulous in execution. As Vice President of my school choir club and having held senior leadership positions on the School Prefectorial Board, I’ve learned how to lead a team under immense pressure but also to listen and act on the feedback of others. Being recognised as an Outstanding Leo Member, I am struck by the importance of giving back to the community and have used my involvement as a platform to raise funds in aid of underprivileged children in the rural outskirts of Malaysia. In my own small way, I believe that I’ve inspired others as much as I’ve been inspired to become more and that’s especially meaningful for me. At university, I want to be challenged further and to ultimately apply my knowledge in creating a positive change for my people.
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