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Application Essays for Duke Fuqua

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Throughout my life I have had two great passions, that is, economics and helping my country. It is my belief that China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world in this century. The majority of China’s success can be attributed to growing business opportunities. Though great economic strides have been made in China, there is still a lot that needs to be done in order to propel the country to greater heights. I believe that business more so economics would be very beneficial to China at this point. I would like to study economics under the Duke Fuqua Masters of Management Studies (MMS) program, so as to gain the requisite academic foundation to start a financial consulting company in China and hopefully help the growth of the Chinese economy.

My love and interest in economics began at an early age. While in high school I started my internet store which did very well. My father who was a successful businessman also inspired the passion for business in me. During summer holidays I would work at his firm helping in whatever I could. Through these experiences I was able to sharpen my business sense and gain a deeper understanding of economics and business in general. I was able to learn how companies operate and how to gauge the success of a company. I was also able to understand the dynamics of financial goods and services. It is through these experiences that I was able to develop a great passion for economics. Having witnessed the rapid economic growth of China I realized that I wanted to be part of making history. I wanted to be one of the contributors to the great advancement in China’s economy and global position. My passion for economics deepened when I started reading renowned books such as the “Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith, Karl Marx’s theory on economics, the Keynesian theory among many other economic theories. These great economists and philosophers advanced various theories on economics that made me develop great interest in the subject. I also have a passion for mathematics which is a significant part of economics. Mathematics unlike what most people believe is interesting and fun. It is interesting to solve problems using mathematical formulae, especially practical problems.

I know that the Duke Fuqua MMS program is rigorous and fast paced but I believe I am up to the task. This is because I have honed my analytical and quantitative skills. This is evident from the tasks I did during my undergraduate studies at the Syracuse University. While pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Economics at the university, I was able to stress test portfolios and also work out the VAR (value at risk) measurements. This shows that I can be diverse and I am able to analyze various facts and present different perspectives. I also used a cleaned covariance matrix to come up with an efficient frontier. I was very passionate about both of these evaluations and evidently quantitative economics and risk management. My passion for risk management will enable me to work as a financial risk assessor for many firms in the near future. It will also enable me to offer people and companies, professional advice on risk management, especially in the long term when I open my own financial consulting firm. I am passionate about the economics part of business because it is complex but at the same time very applicable and logical. After graduating from the Duke Fuqua Masters of Management Studies program, I intend to utilize my passion in economics and mathematics to work in the field of economic affairs. I believe that the Duke Fuqua MMS program will be instrumental for me to gain the academic foundation to launch my career as an economist and long term financial consultant. I greatly feel that given the opportunity to join the Duke Fuqua MMS program I would be able to fulfill my obligation to myself and to serve my country as a competent economist.

I understand that it is very important for one to be a team player in any group projects. It is equally important to rise to the challenge of leadership in order to take on new responsibility and be accountable for certain projects as well as to showcase leadership skills. I have been involved in many team projects in my professional as well as academic life. In many occasions I have been a team player but in others I have worked as a team leader.

Between June and August 2011, I worked at Knight Frank, Shanghai. While working at the company I was given the opportunity to work as an intern in the BD team. As an intern, my main responsibilities were to assist the director of global company consumers in the market in Shanghai, to build a consumer list and to analyze data from previous projects in order to make new timelines for new projects. When performing these tasks at the company, I was able to work both as a team leader and a team player. At the Knight Frank Company I was able to work as part of a team whose main function was to support the director of global company consumers. This is because being a multinational company, the amount of work it required to coordinate consumer needs meant that there had to be a huge amount of team coordination and cooperation. During the period I worked with the support team of the director of global company consumer, I was able to interact with a number of people and work under high pressure situations. I was able to learn that I am a good team player and am also able to work under a lot of pressure. I was also given the opportunity to prepare a consumer list for the global Knight Frank Company. This gave me the opportunity to work as a team leader as I was in charge of ensuring that the list was accurate for the Human Resource Manager. I also learnt to take specific instructions and to interpret them in the proper manner. I was also involved in making new timelines for new projects. This was a major responsibility on my part and it enabled me to coordinate a number of team members in order to allocate the proper timelines for every team project. My experience at Knight Frank Shanghai was very productive and it taught me a lot about being able to take instructions from my superiors as well as rising to the challenge of leadership. This is because as an intern I was able to adapt to different tasks and managers that I was assigned to.

I was also part of a very successful team at the EFG Bank in Shanghai where I worked as a personal financial assistant between June and August 2010. My role in the bank was varied as I was assigned to various tasks within the organization, all of which I had to work under the supervision of a manager and also as part of a team.  I assisted in designing fliers for some of the bank’s products which became very successful and helped to market the products. While in the bank, I also took part in various team building exercises which helped in strengthening team spirit. Having had CSI membership in the American Red Cross Association, I have also been given numerous opportunities to work as a team leader and as a team member. I have on many occasions assisted members of my cohort to win various medals.

The fact that I have been involved in many teams and worked as a team leader I have acquired the requisite skills to be able to participate in the team activities both academic and extracurricular at the MMS program at the Duke University. I would be very pleased to be part of the distinguished class of MMS students at the Duke University. I believe the MMS program will equip me fully for my future responsibilities especially as an economist. 

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