With so many university personal statement examples available, how do you know if you’re reading a good one?
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.
Reading examples of personal statements can be valuable when applying to a university or college course. But what exactly should they contain?
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 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 can download a pdf of the whole document to use as inspiration for your own!
Undergraduate Personal Statement Example: Economics
Personal Statement Example: Introduction
“The unprecedented pace and scope of global economic change shape our lives in unfamiliar and complex ways. The COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war in Ukraine and the rising surge of authoritarian populism in Pakistan all challenge social and financial norms, leading to unpredictability in individual behaviour and international markets. Having experienced first-hand the vastly differing economies of the UK, Pakistan and Qatar, I have developed an interest in how economics affects education, employment and income. Comparing each country’s response to the pandemic and observing the long-term impact of the decisions taken, I’m keen to learn which new ideas will replace the old paradigms, how inflation can be tamed without triggering a recession, and whether it is possible to grow global prosperity without exacerbating inequality at a national level.”
My Commentary and Analysis
This writer begins this personal statement example by displaying an informed and comprehensive understanding of global politics and current affairs. Although this doesn’t seem directly connected to the study of economics, it’s actually a sophisticated way of introducing the topic. Economics and global affairs are inextricably linked, and displaying this knowledge allows the writer to evidence their knowledge comprehensively.
They then outline their global experience and begin to suggest the ways in which global politics and finance are interconnected. In doing so, the writer introduces their motivations and suitability confidently.
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
“I thrive on undertaking research into current financial issues and sharing my perspectives with the world. Following the IMF’s reporting of US tariffs on Chinese imports, I analysed how economies rival one another as part of a wider war of geopolitical positioning. Additionally, I examined the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and its economic effects on neighbouring countries. My articles ‘How the US-China Conflict Affects Asia’ and ‘The Economic Impact of the Afghan Crisis on Pakistan’ were featured in Pakistan’s New Reporter newspaper.”
My Commentary and Analysis
Here the writer outlines their research and clarifies their understanding of international trade and finance a little more broadly. This works well, as it adds some depth and development to the previous section without repeating content.
The theme of international trade continues throughout this personal statement example, but the impressive aspect here is the reference to the articles that the writer has published. Again, this is an important aspect to include as, for an undergraduate example, it establishes the writer as a uniquely qualified and motivated candidate.
It’s unusual for an undergraduate applicant to have this level of experience and clarity of motivation, so don’t worry if that isn’t something you have achieved yet. The key thing is to make the most of each experience you have and outline its value to your application and ambition.
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 relief work has exposed me to many societal disparities, fuelling my interest in economics and finance. I’ve witnessed first-hand the interplay between poverty and the economy and researched economic theories and their implications in real-world contexts to understand these real-life complexities. Deeply moved by the impact of the pandemic lockdowns on those reliant on a daily wage in underserved communities in Pakistan, I was inspired to set up a youth team for the food charity FoodShare and distribute warm meals through the uncertainty of constant lockdowns. This led me to research and discover theories such as Sens, which focused on income inequality and capability deprivation.”
My Commentary and Analysis
The writer outlines their philanthropic and relief work with relevant examples, all of which serve to establish their understanding of the role of economics in real-world settings.
The focus is beginning to move away from economics, and whilst the content is impressive, it would be sensible to relate the material to the subject area a little more fully at this stage in the personal statement.
Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!
Personal Statement Example: Section 4
“Initiating a drive to plant trees as a member of my college’s Green Club, I realised that a financial incentive for growing trees, given directly to landowners in underserved urban and rural communities, would contribute precisely to the economic stimulus they need. My findings were substantiated when I read Dambisa Moyo’s ‘Dead Aid’. I admire her views on development in low-income economies and her arguments for using trade as a growth and development strategy in Africa rather than relying on government-to-government aid. It is experiences like these which have convinced me to pursue this course of study.”
My Commentary and Analysis:
This is a highly complex paragraph in many respects. It outlines an additional aspect to the writer’s experience and motivation and gives the reader a deeper sense of the engagement the writer intends to have with the subject matter.
Offering evidence of research increases the writer’s range of academic skills and suitability for the course. This is important at this stage of the personal statement, as there have been few references to academic or transferable skills before this point.
Undergraduate personal statements usually focus on the academic skills developed in further education. As this applicant has focused on other elements, it’s good to see the writer has begun to reference them at this stage.
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 commitment to degree-level economics is reflected in my decision to study A-level Law during my gap year. This has developed my essay writing, analytical and critical thinking skills and taught me to apply logic and reasoning to reach decisions. Equally, attending the Young Leaders summer program at Buckley University last summer allowed me to develop my project management, team building and leadership skills whilst learning about sustainable development goals. I researched the pandemic in Canada and terrorism in Somalia and presented my ideas from an economic viewpoint, arguing how a country’s stability is directly interlinked with its economic growth, affecting the sustainability of development goals. I valued the opportunity to represent my team and take the lead in public speaking and debating at the Oxford Union Chamber, and was proud to win the ‘Best Debating Team’ prize. I won first prize in the Marshall Young Mathematician competition whilst at college, allowing me to put my mathematical, logical reasoning, problem-solving and analytical skills into practice.
A diligent, dedicated and motivated student, I’m confident that my personal qualities, practical experience and academic interests will fully support my commitment to reading for an economics degree.”
My Commentary and Analysis
The first paragraph above is, perhaps, the most effective and relevant in this personal statement. This is because previous academic skills and experiences are referenced, and their value is considered in relation to the degree course applied for.
The writer then outlines their co-curricular activities. These are highly relevant and impressive examples, and including them here shows the scope of the applicant’s commitment and quality. Referencing the award the writer achieved and considering the transferable skills gained is a compelling strategy that adds to their suitability for the degree.
In summary, there are some significant strengths in this personal statement example. The applicant is mature, engaged and accomplished. They show a range of experiential and practical skills, and the depth of their achievements makes them highly suitable.
In contrast, there’s a lack of formal academic depth here and not very much content that reflects the writer’s personality. Equally, there could be a wider reference to the value that the writer would bring to the university environment.
For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.
Click here or on the banner below to get your free download of this complete personal statement example.
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.