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MPhil Economics, Microeconomics, India

October 28, 2013

It wasn’t exactly like a lightening bolt, but something drastically changed my outlook on life and my vocational orientation. After four rigorous years of intense training in one of the toughest electrical engineering colleges in India, I underwent a type of vocational conversion experience. Attending the Introductory Microeconomics course at the Summer School of the London School of Economics and Political Science opened my mind to the power of diversity.  The course introduced me to microeconomic analysis as a way of understanding the world.

I understood that microeconomics entails the study of the allocation of scarce resources--a skill which is urgently needed in the diverse world today. I was able to look at things in a much more inclusive manner after analyzing the supply and demand curves, budget line, types of goods with income and substitution effects, indifference and Engel curves, the functioning of firms, market factors and welfare economics. 

As an electrical engineering and electronics graduate, I tend to be more objective and analytical in my approach to life. Yet, the course at LSE ignited with me a unique passion and heartfelt enthusiasm for the field of economics. My professor in the Introductory Microeconomics course at LSE Dr._________ had a striking ability to bring principles of economics to life and into the real world.

I come from the Nadar caste which has traditionally been called a “Backwards Community.” The original profession of the Nadars was the cultivation and climbing of Palymra palm trees. Traditionally, it has been difficult for a person of a specific caste to break out of the vocational mould assigned to their group.

However, my grandfather, the late Dr. H.S.S. Lawrence was an extraordinary man.  He never accepted any labels that society might impose.  He obtained a first class education and transformed the education system in my home state of Tamilnadu and at UNESCO Afghanistan.  I had a very close relationship with him.  He was not only my grandfather; he was a close friend and one of my biggest personal fans. His stellar example and encouragement has helped motivate me to do something great with my life. My grandfather’s life was epitomized in the words of Longfellow who wrote, “The height of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” Grandad had a grand purpose in life-the reformation of the educational system in our state, and he achieved that purpose. I too, have a grand purpose in my life.  I believe studying at Oxford will serve to clarify, refine and embolden my resolve to achieve that purpose.

Unfortunately at an old age, my grandfather contracted Parkinson’s disease. I helped him move around, took him to church, other social activities and helped him remain physically active. It was a good experience for me in humanity while it was saddening to see a loved one suffer from such a disease. I felt good that I was able to contribute in a small manner to helping a person I revered and loved.  I feel entering XXU would be a grand credit to his memory and to the love and encouragement shown to me by my parents. 

 Although I have been pretty well occupied with my studies, I play cricket on a non professional level. Every weekend, I play cricket and keep myself fit. In school, I captained inter-house teams of croquet and cricket. Cricket in India unites all the people. If opposition parties are striking on a particular day, they would not do so if India is playing a cricket match as all the people will be glued to their television screens.

Economics gives a whole new dimension to the meaning of life. The book Freakonomics is a classic example which demonstrates the importance of this field. The authors’ colorful example of how corruption can seep into the competitiveness among Sumo wrestlers is particularly striking.  Although one may not agree with all their points of view, they do inject some lively new lines of thought into the field.  All activities in life are influenced by economics.

 Their book reminds me of the classic maxim, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”  We can see how unfettered materialism and greed have severe negative ramifications on a nation’s economy. Hyperinflation due to corruption and economic mismanagement of resources creates a tidal wave of oppression and hardship which rolls over the common people.  I feel the cutting edge training I would receive at Oxford would give me the tools needed to influence economic policy and make a difference in people’s lives on the corporate and government levels.

 The MPhil program in Economics will cull from economic theory the concepts, principles and techniques of analysis which have a bearing on my decision making process. I believe that XXU will hone my leadership and technical skills towards a strong career. XXU will lay a solid foundation for me to build on, in facing challenges in the competitive corporate world. As an Economist, I can help organizations in using the increasingly specialized skills and sophisticated techniques which are required for successful decision making and forward planning. I look forward to a strong and meaningful relationship with XXX University.

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