Grade this Essay - Financial Engineering

Your task is to read this fictitious college entrance essay, and grade it on a scale of 1-10 on this survey I will publish the results of the survey next week and also provide my brief critique of this essay!

Why are we doing this? There is no better way of learning how to write a great college entrance essay than by grading it by putting yourself in the admission officer's shoes.

Statement of Purpose: Financial Engineering

Finance as a branch had always fascinated me right from my middle-school days. I have also been watching the Chinese financial crisis in recent times and believe there is a better way to handle financial markets with innovation and leading edge technology.

The penchant for this field stems from motivation through my family. My father is a pharmacist and is credited with significant drug research throughout his career. He used to say, "Dreams are the greatest motivators of life. Dreams coupled with vision make life purposeful and powerful. An entrepreneur acts to convert dreams and vision to reality." He taught me two significant financial lessons:

  1. Perform a risk reward analysis before investing in a project. Provide a slot for innovation and technology edge, which may be the true differentiator from others.

  2. Spread risk across portfolios; never put all your money in the same basket.

The combination of finance and engineering is the amalgamation of my dreams. With an affinity for science, I got ‘A’ grades in all my AP science classes. I was a leader in my robotics club and that taught me a wide interdisciplinary span of engineering skills ranging from programming to mechanical and structural design. It also encompasses 3D printing, which is another expanding area with rich opportunity for an entrepreneur.

With the aim to pursue financial engineering, I paid particular attention to entrepreneurship related courses and activities such as DECA and AP Statistics. DECA exposed me to economics, business planning, management, leadership etc. My focus on STEM subjects has provided a strong foundation in mathematics and computer programming. Mathematics was one subject in which I was always excelled right from my middle school days. I participated in the Siemens science fair in my junior year and our project on corrosion control received high appreciation. I was part of a team that focused on engineering, business, finance, arts and management aspects. I realized the essentiality of multidisciplinary approach in developing successful technical product that has the highest economic return. I also took part in organizing a fund raising, publicity and general management for robotics with about 50 students, which provided experience of teamwork in achieving complex tasks. I took strong initiative in cultural events and sports activities as the group leader in the school as my extracurricular.

In the future I see myself, as a Finance professional, designing structured products for society by incorporating cutting edge methodologies and sophisticated tools in order to cater to the above-mentioned requirements. To achieve this I would like to gain exposure to the latest practices adopted in the field of Financial Engineering and Risk Management. I would like to bring this acquired expertise to help companies thrive in a dynamic environment.

As a high schooler, I have striven to achieve well-defined career goals and to develop my attitude towards technology, curiosity, and proficiency in academic subjects to achieve that goal. The major in Operations Research and Financial Engineering (ORFE) will be a major step to span the gap between what I am and what I want to be; that is, a global techno-commercial entrepreneur, where there is a vast scope for development of new technology and availability of trained and expert manpower. Above all the ORFE program will be an opportunity to work with the guidance of expert professors and to compete with students from all walks of life, which will prepare me to meet the challenges in the real world.

I believe that my educational background has instilled in me the qualities required to meet the rigor of this demanding profession. The world will look for tremendous financial reforms to provide growth, sustainability and quality of life to billions in the near future. The reforms are possible through individuals with sound skill coupled with finance background.

I look forward to the positive response of the admissions committee to open to me the portals of Princeton University to achieve the above goal in my life.


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