With so many university personal statement examples available, how do you know if you’re reading a good one?
Reading examples of personal statements can be valuable when applying to a university or college course.
After all, personal statement examples can teach you how to write and structure your application, and you can quickly learn how to write a personal statement by examining others.
Undergraduate personal statements should highlight relevant academic and practical experience, academic skills, ambitions and suitability for the degree field. This undergraduate personal statement example for Economics and Finance clearly illustrates these three critical elements.
Undergraduate degree personal statement examples are sometimes referred to as personal mission statements or statements of purpose, so if you’re tasked with writing a personal mission statement, the following example will work for you.
I’ve broken down this personal statement example section by section, with a commentary on each element.
That way, you’ll see its strengths and weaknesses and get some inspiration for your own personal statement.
Once you’ve read the personal statement example and analysis, you’ll be able to download a pdf of the whole document, to use as inspiration for your own!
Undergraduate Personal Statement Example: Economics and Finance
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“A recent conference organised by my local Somali community centre highlighted the economic and financial issues faced by many African countries today. An advocate of independent learning, I was informed enough to proactively question the origins of these economic and financial dilemmas, and my participation enabled me to view the problems in Africa as multi-dimensional, arising from increased economic, financial, cultural and historical incompatibilities with an ever-globalising world. Appreciating the orthogonal nature of economic and financial issues enabled me to think beyond media representations of the ‘Dark Continent’. Consequently, I have chosen to embark upon the interdisciplinary course Economics and Finance, as it is essential in helping me to grow, navigate and ultimately change the world around me.”
Commentary and Analysis
This introduction begins exceptionally convincingly, with a strong connection between the writer’s personal commitments and ethics and the subject matter of the undergraduate degree course they are applying for.
The paragraph also establishes the writer’s academic strengths, and their use of vocabulary indicates a sophisticated connection to economics and finance. The content also indicates a significant level of maturity and worldview.
The personal passions of the author also combine with their academic knowledge to provoke a sound sense of educative and professional ambition, justifying their application and indicating a strong connection to the subject they’re applying for.
If you’re struggling with your personal statement introduction, check out my article on how to write perfect opening paragraphs here.
Personal Statement Example: Section 2
“Spending time working for NHS Test & Trace allowed me to witness first-hand the impact the pandemic had on working families; I spoke to people from a wide range of backgrounds, many of whom could not afford to stay at home and self-isolate even though they were a contact or a confirmed case. As a contact tracer, I had a bird’s-eye view of the economic impact of the pandemic and am aware of its national and global reach. Seeing how nations of different economic standing dealt with the virus illustrated the variety of economic and financial factors that affect a country’s sense of priority, capacity and willingness to respond. This experience served as a catalyst for my academic interest in economics and finance as I had a direct, almost ethnographical understanding of how government decisions can have lasting effects on economic agents at a micro and macro level.”
Commentary and Analysis
Again, a sophisticated and mature paragraph that links the writer’s personal views with the course. Outlining work experience is important in an undergraduate personal statement example, and in addition to adding weight to the writer’s ethical and professional ambitions, it also indicates that they have experience working in a professional environment.
A number of transferable skills are also referenced, and although they are largely implied rather than specific, they certainly indicate a high level of suitability.
Lastly, the writer makes a strong connection between their experiences and their academic ambitions, strengthening their suitability in the mind of an admissions reader.
If you’d like to learn more about how to structure your personal statement or statement of purpose, check out my awesome Personal Statement Template eBook here. It’s full of detailed examples of what to include!
Personal Statement Example: Section 3
“My engineering studies necessitated different problem-tackling perspectives, and the qualities and skills required for success are highly transferable to the undergraduate requirements of Economics and Finance. Throughout my studies, I critically analysed problems by actively questioning underlying theoretical assumptions prior to investigating and formulating methods to solve them practically.
In Access to HE: Engineering, I developed my understanding of planning projects from the ground up and identifying the tools necessary to its fulfilment. For example, in the topic Engineering Materials, I was tasked with costing inputs and assessing outputs, ensuring the largest cost/benefit structure to aid efficiency. To facilitate this process, I was detail-oriented and measured all inputs into sophisticated formulae, developing my knowledge of CAD, calculus, spreadsheets and the fundamentals of programming. This monitoring of cost, revenue and product can easily be linked to principles in microeconomics, as engineers constantly battle with creating accurate economies of scale. I believe that my familiarity with the effective employment of mathematics and statistics, changing software and fluid analytical components has successfully prepared me for undergraduate study.”
Commentary and Analysis
Using the details from academic study works extremely well. However, whilst the writer makes mention of the value of some specific aspects of the course, they could have made much more of a connection between their experiences and generic elements of the courses they are applying for. This works well because when an applicant does this, they make a clear link between their capabilities and the demands of a degree course.
The second paragraph paints a picture of an exceptionally capable student. It is detailed, comprehensive, and rich with pertinent vocabulary. Even though there is not a direct link between engineering and economics, the writer manages to make some compelling connections.
This way of writing maximises the value of the author’s previous educational experiences and makes a direct connection between these and the courses they are applying for.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Section 4
“Last year I participated in ‘The True Cost of the Clothes on Your Back’ event, which outlined the exploitation of labour in developing nations. The event exposed the typical wages labourers in developing nations earn before the clothes are sold to developed nations at prices which are unsustainable for the global environment and the growing populations of working poor. To actively develop my understanding of some of the Marxist views represented at the event, I read the ‘Communist Manifesto’ and ‘Techno Capitalist Feudalism’. This independent reading helped illuminate some of the ongoing employee-employer problems within capitalist models in a globalised arena.”
Commentary and Analysis:
This section certainly shows applied reading and research and shows a high level of enquiry and purpose. It also indicates that the writer is capable of using literature to inform their real-world interests.
Again, although it doesn’t explicitly reference economics and finance, this section of the personal statement example shows flexibility and the capacity of the writer to apply skills across a range of contexts.
The one thing that all successful personal statements have in common is that they are concise, engaging and accurate in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Consequently, I always recommend Grammarly to my students and clients.
It’s an outstanding tool for ensuring your personal statement is rich with detail whilst hitting those all-important word limits. Check out the free version of Grammarly here, or hit the banner for more information.
Personal Statement Example: Conclusion
“My aims are to use the academic and personal experiences I will gain as a mature student to further my understanding of economic and financial thought, principles and ideas. Subsequently, I intend to employ this knowledge by working to help offset the many inequalities facing developing nations, in a bid to uplift the disenfranchised.”
Commentary and Analysis
This conclusion is understandably brief, given the character count for UK undergraduate personal statements, but is probably the least effective aspect of the entire application. The first sentence is quite vague and could, perhaps, have been used to discuss the value that the candidate might bring to the university environment.
The last sentence, however, does clarify the writer’s intentions very clearly and gives the reader the sense that the applicant is dedicated to their path of study.
In summary, this reads as a mature and purposeful personal statement example, which quite cleverly identifies the transferable skills from a slightly disconnected set of learning experiences.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.
Whether you’re looking for personal mission statement examples or an example of personal purpose statement, I hope this personal statement example has been helpful. Above all, I wish you every success in your academic career.
If you’d like to work with me to develop your personal statement 1:1 and write a powerful mission statement, I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Find out about my personal statement support services by clicking here or on the image below.
Research and content verified by Personal Statement Planet.