The thing that first peaked my interest in doing a degree in Economics and Finance was the constant news coverage, especially growing up in a time of unparalleled economic uncertainty and confusion. Such as the Global Financial Crisis in 2007, and the ongoing situation with Brexit. In addition, my interest in finance began last year with Carillion going through financial turmoil, as a result of, at best woeful negligence, and at worst financial fraud. This situation personally affected me as a close family member worked for the firm at the time.
Both Economics and Finance incorporate a significant amount of mathematics, which has always been a strong subject for me. I won the mathematics award for my year at my secondary school in Year 11, and attended the ‘Maths Inspiration Event’. This was a series of talks from leading mathematicians about the practical applications of mathematics in their work. I found this fascinating, and it made me more certain of my aim to pursue a career involving a practical application of maths. This built on an interest developed from my mechanics based EPQ.
During the summer of 2018 I attended a work experience programme run by the investment firm Brewin Dolphin. We were given an insight into the daily activities of an investment and wealth management firm, and educated about the different levels of risk that need to be considered, depending on the desired outcome of the client and the time limit to achieve that goal. We participated in a lot of team activities. These were of particular interest to me because of the content of the exercises, such as choosing which companies to invest money in, over a year, and then at the end of the year whether or not to withdraw the investment and reinvest, or stick with the current stock. It was done in the past tense, so we had to apply the principles that we had been taught, with how the markets reacted to times in the past decade, since the crash.
Teamwork coordination comes naturally to me as I have been a member of sports teams for years, having played football from a young age. Being a goalkeeper, it is essential for me to be able to communicate and organise the rest of the players, a trait that has stuck with me. I have also participated in smaller team sports such as badminton and won both the doubles and singles tournaments for the ‘School Games’ event held between schools in Shrewsbury. This demonstrates that I am comfortable working in teams regardless of the size. I am also a confident leader as I was the leader of my NCS team, when we organised two fundraising eventS for charity. These experiences taught me the importance of not only maintaining a high level of self-motivation but transferring that to members of my team to complete the task to the highest standard.
Whilst I find teamwork skills an essential trait, I am also aware of the necessity of being confident working independently. I have had to be competent and fluid in my extra-curricular activities, such as competing in singles badminton, as there are no team mates to rely on. Another example of working independently is in my Karate black belt grading. Karate also taught me self-discipline from a young age.
My interpersonal skills have also been developed through my roles volunteering as a ‘Student Ambassador’ and working as a referee. As an ambassador I interact with prospective students and their parents, giving them a student’s perspective on life at college. As a referee I have to remain calm under pressure and exercise great patience. At times I have had to diffuse a situation and intervene in a disagreement in order to prevent escalation, and input deescalating measures. I know that keeping a calm head will be a useful asset for any career path that I choose to take in Economics and Financial roles. I look forward to completing an Economics and Finance degree, which will to enable me to utilise the aforementioned traits.