Applied in: Winter 2013
University Offers: LSE, UCL, Bristol, Queen Mary, Warwick
To me, Economics is the intertwining of science and art. The models, theories and flow of thought in Economics concepts I learn in school is similar to that of science and mathematics, where logic is used as the basis of theories. What I find interesting is the fact that in some cases, these theories do not hold in the real world. The fluid and dynamic nature of Economics fuels my curiosity to want to learn more about it. I believe that reading Economics at a tertiary level will allow me to understand how these concepts are derived and at the same time, gain better insight into how Economics can influence people and societies alike.
In my free time, I enjoy reading Economics-related articles on magazines such as The Economist or online newspapers such as Project Syndicate. These out-of-textbook readings allow me to gain greater knowledge of economies outside of Singapore. For example, reading up on the wide-ranging issues that may arise when the Federal Reserve (Fed) starts tapering their bond-purchasing program known as quantitative easing is both eye-opening and intriguing. In addition, I find it fascinating to read about how different economists will have contrasting schools of thought. The differing economic visions of India’s top political rivals, welfare economist Professor Amartya Sen and Professor Jagdish Bhagwati, demonstrates this. It is interesting to read about how they both make use of economic concepts to support their respective visions, but yet their visions are not aligned with one another. From my readings, I learn to draw the links between real-life examples and theoretical concepts. It is this real-world application that sustains my growing interest in both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, beyond what we learn in our textbooks.
I am particularly interested in the application of economic concepts in policy-making. This interest was sparked by my experience in organizing an outing for the elderly at the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society last year, where my interactions with the elderly allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of their changing needs. Currently, I am in the midst of helping out in a community initiative called “Project Upstart” which raises funds for the under-privileged children at the Little Arts Academy. This experience highlighted to me how the fruits of economic success in a nation does not always trickle down to the lower strata of society. Through my various community involvement experiences, I reflected upon some of the pressing problems Singapore will face in the future; an ageing society, rising income inequality and worsening social mobility. This got me to think about how current governmental and economic policies must change to suit the changing societal needs.
Besides reading up on Economics and getting involved in volunteering activities, I also enjoy sports. My experience in my extra-co curricular activity, Wushu, is an exhilarating and enriching one. Trainings taught me the importance of dedication and devotion to one’s profession while representing my college at competitions cultivated a strong sense of sportsmanship within me. I also served as part of the executive committee for Wushu and this gave me the opportunity to bring a group of individuals from vastly different backgrounds together to form a team that is bonded, motivated and hardworking. As a leader, I often had to give motivational talks or resolve disputes among team members. From these experiences, I learnt to communicate better, which made me a more confident public speaker. In addition, the need to prioritize my time given the hectic schedule of trainings and school work allowed me to develop my time-management skills.
Fuelled by my passion and equipped with the above qualities, I hope to read Economics at a higher level in the United Kingdom as I believe that a tertiary education overseas would be a valuable experience to me and would allow me to become a more mature and independent individual.