The Student Room Group

Personal Statement from Oxford Student for Year Abroad at Yale - Review

If anyone has any constructive criticism on my personal statement, I would be very eager to take it onboard. Thank you!
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Prompt: Please provide details of your future career aspirations and how you plan to contribute to your chosen field. Please also provide a detailed outline of your proposed study plan for the US and how it will help you achieve these aspirations.

I was initially scared to depart the [XXX city] council estate of my upbringing for Oxford University. I thought I would find myself outcast from the social weave. Scrutinised if anyone discovered that I could call such a place home. How naĂŻve of me. I have found a genuine sense of belonging that I have seldom felt in my entire life.

We have made leaps in our societal understanding of inequality. However, each journey home underscores our enduring, archaic economic understanding of inequality. In the 1990s, income equality within countries began to go backwards for the first time since the industrial revolution. The mechanistic approach of neoclassical economics was developed during the industrial revolution. It cannot guide us through the upheavals of a technological, complex, and mysterious world. This is why I apply to the Henry Fellowship today: Using quantitative methods and a bottom-up approach, I aim to evolve our understanding of economic inequality within countries, yielding tenable solutions in my career as a policy advisor. Cross-attending classes at the Yale Schools of Economics and Sociology, alongside engaging with The Center for Algorithms, Data, and Market Design, will be indispensable. The uniquely cross-disciplinary learning, bottom-up approach, and collaborative community of Yale positions me to contribute towards my aim in a way I cannot harness elsewhere. I will better understand the drivers of economic inequality in the Information Age, revolutionary methods in the field of economics itself, and the sociological foundations of modern economic inequality. This time, I would not be scared in the slightest.

Whatever one’s political stance, the data is clear: excessive economic inequality is not good if we wish to i) make progress and ii) do so in a way that strengthens humanity. Today’s world is evolving in a stranger manner than we can conceive. Economic inequality will only accelerate if we fail to evolve our understanding alongside it. But we must proceed with humility and caution.

Catalysing ideas across economics, computation, and sociology is therefore crucial. Yale is the only institution with the cross-departmental approach necessary to achieve this. “Tragedies of Social Life and Methods to Address Them” provides a pivotal foundation due to Professor Erikson’s distinct, bottom-up approach. However, achieving my goal hinges on the concurrent fertilisation of techniques across sociology, computation, and economics. The Center for Algorithms, Data, and Market Design at Yale (CADMY) uniquely equips me with the environment necessary for this multidisciplinary approach. Emmanouil Zampetakis and Jonas Lieber are both members at the CADMY. Their classes “Economics and Computation” and “Machine Learning for Economic Analysis” bridge the gap between computation, sociology, and economics. This is particularly enriched by the “Computers, Networks, and Society” class within Yale’s Department of Sociology. The delicate nature of economic inequality is heightened when exploring alternative methodologies. “Economics of AI and Innovation" provides the grounding required through Professor Eva Chillotti’s unique experience within the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory. My eagerness to contribute to Yale’s “Computational Social Science” and “Behavioural Sciences Workshops” strengthens this. I will be able to contribute as a policy advisor only through developing a distinctly holistic, disciplined, and coherent perspective on the drivers of economic inequality. This requires combining a bottom-up economic approach. The uniquely cross-disciplinary approach of the Yale community is thus indispensable for me to go beyond neoclassical economics.

However, I also need direct relevance to the practical drivers of inequality in the Information Age. This is necessary for me to find tangible solutions. Orazio Attanasio’s class “Labor Economics: Inequality & Social Mobility'' distinctly positions me to derive this. Professor Attanasio has delivered revolutionary solutions as a National Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and a Research Director at the IFS. This has already had a profound impact on my understanding of the challenges that will continue to face cities like XXX. But, not only will I derive an understanding. I am enthusiastic to enhance the uniquely intellectually curious environment within the Labor and Public Economics group at Yale. This strengthens the character that is critical for me as a social scientist and policy advisor, soaking up such inherent curiosity from the nature of those at the forefront of the field. Finally, Yale offers the unique chance to complete a senior essay under the supervision of an expert advisor. The committee awards prizes for using new economic tools and data to offer fresh insights. This enables me to fulfil my study aim, offering tenable solutions to the changing dynamics of economic inequality using revolutionary economic methods.

Having only been fortunate enough to travel outside of the UK once, my understanding of economic inequality is UK-centric. However, any policy advisor who wishes to make tenable contributions requires an understanding of economic disparities worldwide. This opportunity is only available to me at Yale, through the class “Poverty and Social Welfare Policy in the US”, alongside the unique opportunity to travel within the US as a Henry Fellow. I aim to compliment this by building upon my leadership positions within societies tackling economic equality at Oxford - the 93% Club and the Crankstart Council. Volunteering for “Splash at Yale”, a student-run society inviting underprivileged students in grades 7-12 to the Yale campus, I aim to improve access to education and further discourse on economic inequality within the US. Finally, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am eager to brighten the experiences of other Yale students within Yale’s “Queer Student Alliance'', building upon my leadership experience within the XXX College SU.

My path from a XXX council estate to Oxford clarified the progress we have made in our societal understanding of inequality. But, it also convinced me of the critical need to evolve our economic understanding. Yale’s platforms are unique. They will allow me to understand the changing drivers of economic inequality in the Information Age and are necessary for me to contribute to evolving the economic methods we must use to address them.
Original post by willa2769
If anyone has any constructive criticism on my personal statement, I would be very eager to take it onboard. Thank you!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prompt: Please provide details of your future career aspirations and how you plan to contribute to your chosen field. Please also provide a detailed outline of your proposed study plan for the US and how it will help you achieve these aspirations.

I was initially scared to depart the [XXX city] council estate of my upbringing for Oxford University. I thought I would find myself outcast from the social weave. Scrutinised if anyone discovered that I could call such a place home. How naĂŻve of me. I have found a genuine sense of belonging that I have seldom felt in my entire life.

We have made leaps in our societal understanding of inequality. However, each journey home underscores our enduring, archaic economic understanding of inequality. In the 1990s, income equality within countries began to go backwards for the first time since the industrial revolution. The mechanistic approach of neoclassical economics was developed during the industrial revolution. It cannot guide us through the upheavals of a technological, complex, and mysterious world. This is why I apply to the Henry Fellowship today: Using quantitative methods and a bottom-up approach, I aim to evolve our understanding of economic inequality within countries, yielding tenable solutions in my career as a policy advisor. Cross-attending classes at the Yale Schools of Economics and Sociology, alongside engaging with The Center for Algorithms, Data, and Market Design, will be indispensable. The uniquely cross-disciplinary learning, bottom-up approach, and collaborative community of Yale positions me to contribute towards my aim in a way I cannot harness elsewhere. I will better understand the drivers of economic inequality in the Information Age, revolutionary methods in the field of economics itself, and the sociological foundations of modern economic inequality. This time, I would not be scared in the slightest.

Whatever one’s political stance, the data is clear: excessive economic inequality is not good if we wish to i) make progress and ii) do so in a way that strengthens humanity. Today’s world is evolving in a stranger manner than we can conceive. Economic inequality will only accelerate if we fail to evolve our understanding alongside it. But we must proceed with humility and caution.

Catalysing ideas across economics, computation, and sociology is therefore crucial. Yale is the only institution with the cross-departmental approach necessary to achieve this. “Tragedies of Social Life and Methods to Address Them” provides a pivotal foundation due to Professor Erikson’s distinct, bottom-up approach. However, achieving my goal hinges on the concurrent fertilisation of techniques across sociology, computation, and economics. The Center for Algorithms, Data, and Market Design at Yale (CADMY) uniquely equips me with the environment necessary for this multidisciplinary approach. Emmanouil Zampetakis and Jonas Lieber are both members at the CADMY. Their classes “Economics and Computation” and “Machine Learning for Economic Analysis” bridge the gap between computation, sociology, and economics. This is particularly enriched by the “Computers, Networks, and Society” class within Yale’s Department of Sociology. The delicate nature of economic inequality is heightened when exploring alternative methodologies. “Economics of AI and Innovation" provides the grounding required through Professor Eva Chillotti’s unique experience within the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory. My eagerness to contribute to Yale’s “Computational Social Science” and “Behavioural Sciences Workshops” strengthens this. I will be able to contribute as a policy advisor only through developing a distinctly holistic, disciplined, and coherent perspective on the drivers of economic inequality. This requires combining a bottom-up economic approach. The uniquely cross-disciplinary approach of the Yale community is thus indispensable for me to go beyond neoclassical economics.

However, I also need direct relevance to the practical drivers of inequality in the Information Age. This is necessary for me to find tangible solutions. Orazio Attanasio’s class “Labor Economics: Inequality & Social Mobility'' distinctly positions me to derive this. Professor Attanasio has delivered revolutionary solutions as a National Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and a Research Director at the IFS. This has already had a profound impact on my understanding of the challenges that will continue to face cities like XXX. But, not only will I derive an understanding. I am enthusiastic to enhance the uniquely intellectually curious environment within the Labor and Public Economics group at Yale. This strengthens the character that is critical for me as a social scientist and policy advisor, soaking up such inherent curiosity from the nature of those at the forefront of the field. Finally, Yale offers the unique chance to complete a senior essay under the supervision of an expert advisor. The committee awards prizes for using new economic tools and data to offer fresh insights. This enables me to fulfil my study aim, offering tenable solutions to the changing dynamics of economic inequality using revolutionary economic methods.

Having only been fortunate enough to travel outside of the UK once, my understanding of economic inequality is UK-centric. However, any policy advisor who wishes to make tenable contributions requires an understanding of economic disparities worldwide. This opportunity is only available to me at Yale, through the class “Poverty and Social Welfare Policy in the US”, alongside the unique opportunity to travel within the US as a Henry Fellow. I aim to compliment this by building upon my leadership positions within societies tackling economic equality at Oxford - the 93% Club and the Crankstart Council. Volunteering for “Splash at Yale”, a student-run society inviting underprivileged students in grades 7-12 to the Yale campus, I aim to improve access to education and further discourse on economic inequality within the US. Finally, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am eager to brighten the experiences of other Yale students within Yale’s “Queer Student Alliance'', building upon my leadership experience within the XXX College SU.

My path from a XXX council estate to Oxford clarified the progress we have made in our societal understanding of inequality. But, it also convinced me of the critical need to evolve our economic understanding. Yale’s platforms are unique. They will allow me to understand the changing drivers of economic inequality in the Information Age and are necessary for me to contribute to evolving the economic methods we must use to address them.

immediate thoughts

It's not clear in the structure that you have directly answered the 4 specific questions they ask. The reader has to pick their way through, selecting certain sentences and applying them to the questions. This will not aid you if their scoring process rigidly follows their question.

The concept of the difference between growing up on a Council estate and going to Oxford might not be apparent in the US, you might consider explaining what a Council estate is in a US equivalent term.

Check all your sentences make sense eg "This requires combining a bottom up economic approach" - combining it with what?

Tenable keeps appearing.

Make sure you haven't got sentences that just tell them about themselves. They know about themselves and what they have to offer, they want to know about you and how you will use their opportunities.

Generally impression is a bunch of good ideas, but lacking in structure and focus. It's a bit of an eager splurge, than a cool analysis. Having said that, the US style is very different to the UK style, and I've very little direct US experience.

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