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Please, review my SoP for PhD in Finance


answers: 3
Nov 22, 2009, 02:04pm   #
Hi Friends,
please review my statement of purpose for PhD in Finance and feel free to make any suggestions how to improve it. I will be very grateful for help. Thank you very much in advance :)


I am applying on the suggestion of Professor ***, with whom I was honored to have a short written conversation, and he told me that *** University's Finance Department faculty is ranked #1 in the world in term of publications in top research journals. Additionally, Professor *** mentioned that he had written considerably on the subject of M&A and has plenty of research going on the subject, and will be happy to work with me if I am admitted to the *** University Finance Department. Having studied some of his publications, I have realized that his works are on the foremost edge of the finance science. Therefore, I have a dream to work under his supervision and I am sure that I will do my best in order to become a deserving apprentice of Professor ***.
“The importance of finance in the global economy may be compared with the value of the circulatory system in the organism” my father, a former Assistant Professor and holder of M.D. degree, once said to me.
Since I was a child then, I didn't attach much importance to his words. Nevertheless, my parents realized that finance is the blood of economic system, and studying finances without obtaining profound knowledge in economics is like being one-handed guitarist trying to play solo. Therefore, I started attending private high school with the economic emphasis, where I was among the top students. When I was taking my classes of basics of the macroeconomics there, I realized that my father was absolutely right, since finances touch all the spheres of human beings, so does the circulatory system when it comes to human organism. Since then I have become interested in finance science more and more and eventually decided to carry on my education at the university, where I could expand my financial and economical background.
Currently I am a senior student at the International Economics and Management department at one of the best economic universities in Ukraine - **** University. I have studied different undergraduate courses, including Statistics and Microeconomics II, which equipped me with necessary knowledge and skills for making independent research.
During my first and sophomore year of studying at the university I have had a number of researches concerning the types and kinds of ownership, where I have studied their main advantages and disadvantages paying particular attention to corporate ownership. These studies allowed me to gain solid theoretical basis and prepared me to pursuing further, more sophisticated, research. Since corporate ownership turned out to be the topic, which is of great interest to me I started going more and more into corporate finance issues. For approximately half a year I have been working on research dealing with mergers and acquisitions in the international business under the supervision of Professor ***. There I studied theoretical aspects of M&A, their classification and analyzed the empirical problems of such processes in Ukraine. The study indicates that acquisition often leads to underestimation of acquired company's assets or substantial reduction of its assets’ prices. It was revealed that companies possessing technological advantages are more likely to create corporate entities in new sectors of economy, while technologically backward corporations often obtain technology through acquiring foreign companies. Also, Greenfield investments, as an alternative to M&A, offer investors more opportunities for corporate control and restructuring of host companies than acquisitions.
Completing of my research papers had significantly developed my analytical skills and allowed me to obtain profound theoretical knowledge in corporate governance and M&A. Moreover, it was a challenging practice of how to work in conditions of time trouble, incomplete data, and lack of reliable information.
At present I am focusing on detailed examination of payment methods in corporate acquisitions, such as by cash, stocks, and mixed method. I am also interested in studying different issues of managerial financing preferences for acquisitions, in cases of low and large managerial ownership fraction.
I feel that teaching and conducting researches is my true vocation, since I grew up in a family, where academic values and passion for research work were instilled from an early age. I truly believe that at the *** University as a Ph.D. Program student I would be provided with a wide range of theoretical as well as practical challenges and opportunity to work with and learn from some of the cutting-edge adepts of the finance science. It will be an honor for me to carry on my studying finances, especially M&A with the help of such world-class faculty as Professor *** and Professor ***, whose publications and academic interests influenced me significantly while choosing the most appealing school and program.
I would like to pay attention of the admission committee to the fact that in the mid-June 2007 my grandfather had suddenly passed away. That was a strong emotional setback, since he had always been a close person for me. Thus, I received some bad grades for my exams at the second semester of my studying at the university. Nevertheless, the admission committee may reveal from my transcripts that despite such a challenge happened in my life, I have overcome it and shown good performance at the third semester of studying.
I am hoping that admission committee considers my personal as well as academic background to be interesting, since it would be a great experience for me to become a part of big family of students, who are honored to study at the *** University.

Nov 23, 2009, 10:13am   #
This is coming out very well! Here are a few minor things though;

...#1 in the world in terms of publications in top research journals.

During my first and sophomore years of studying at the university I have done a lot of research concerning the types and kinds of,...

These studies have allowed me to gain a solid theoretical...

Moreover, it was a challenging practice of how to work in conditions of time constraints, incomplete data,...

I feel that teaching and conducting researches is my true vocation, since I grew up in a family, where academic values...

I would like to call the attention of the admission committee to the fact that in the mid-June 2007...

That was a strong emotional setback, since he had always been a close person to me. Or how about, "since we had always been very close"?


Nevertheless, the admission committee may reveal from my transcripts that despite such a challenge happened in my life, I have overcome, it and shown good performance in the third semester of studying.
Nov 23, 2009, 11:52am   #
Susan, thank you very much for your informative response))

Some of my friends say that this statement doesn't have a "hook", which may attract admission committee's attention to my application. Are there any suggestions how to make this statement more attractive?

Thanks a lot in advance :)
Well, your mention of talking with a professor at the school sure would get the attention of an admissions person I think. However, people often use a good "narrative hook" or "attention grabber" or whatever you want to cal it -- right at the start of the essay.

One that I saw in these forums started like this:
"Will you please sit still?" I adjusted my camera and....

I thought that was interesting. It made me want to sit still!

Look at other essays here for ideas, and please give people feedback to help them. Try the "Unanswered" function.



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