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Six years of assiduous study in finance have equipped me with extensive finance knowledge and a solid mathematical foundation. Most importantly, these years have nurtured my aspiration for a thriving career in finance research. I am therefore writing to apply for acceptance to the PhD in Finance program.
I did not come by this momentous decision to pursue a PhD lightly; my personal and academic experiences combined have helped me define and clarify my purpose. It was in September 2008 that I entered university.
Nothing could stimulate my interest in finance more than a starting point at a financial catastrophe. Fiery discussions about the financial market reminded me of the first time my father introduced finance to me. His words "finance is to economy what the vehicle is to the traffic system" triggered my original interest in finance and inspired me to explore this area. I thus resolved to transform finance into the fastest and safest "vehicle" in the economic system. However, in the crisis, I noticed the evident uncertainty involved in employing even the most sophisticated financial instruments; and this instigated my uneasiness over the future of finance.
Eventually, my desire to delve into the nature of financial instruments led me to the quantitative aspect of finance, an area which, I believe, deserves in-depth comprehension and application.
As my transcript reveals, I have excelled in the quantitative courses, including mathematics, statistics, econometrics, etc. The mastery of quantitative methods enabled me to study finance handily and insightfully. This also won me opportunities to participate in various academic activities, which not only provided me with research experience, but also the pleasure of applying knowledge innovatively.
For instance, in the research project “Finance Stratified Education Pilot Study and Reform Practice”, I analyzed statistical data by comparing the volatility reflected from the preferences of students classified by grade and department. Although it was not the conventional approach, I exploited the information that might be neglected without thinking creatively. And in the research “Collaborative Precaution of Bancassurance Risk”, I proposed to unify some risk detecting procedures for banking and insurance industries concerning the trend of financial conglomerates, which got recognized by industry practitioners. These experiences emphasize me for the cruciality of innovation in research and also made me aware of the importance of advanced knowledge. I thus determined to continue my study at a higher level.
In 2012 I was honored to be admitted to University of L with a Master's grant, and entered the MSc in finance program specialized in financial engineering and risk management. Through intensive and tough coursework, I equipped myself with abundant skills in financial modeling and have been deeply attracted by financial derivatives and empirical finance. My strong interest and enthusiasm keep motivating me to explore these areas, and a distinguished academic record offered me the confidence in my talent. With an expanded horizon, I have seen how sophisticated models are devised and evolve based on people’s cognition and persistent challenges from crises. Additionally, I find myself more captivated by the development of finance theories and models than the application of established ones. In my mind, there are no best models but only better models. As a consequence, I finally realize that an academic career is the most suitable to me, and a PhD in finance will be necessary for achieving my goal.
My research interests lie mainly in financial derivatives and empirical finance. To be specific, in the area of derivatives, I am very interested in structured products, interest rate derivatives and derivatives market. I have outstanding performance on relevant courses, and I hope to develop top-notch expertise in this field. One of the most important motives of my ambition is the gradually opening derivatives market and internationalized money market of China, which I believe are key elements in China’s economic transformation in next decades. And I am eager to make my contributions as a successful researcher. In the area of empirical finance, I am very interested in the application of big data on asset pricing and risk management. I believe that big data is a huge opportunity for empirical research of finance and it can bring an upgraded comprehension of the economy, the impact of which will be enormous. I am really expecting to seize this opportunity and work on this direction.
My long-term professional goal is a career in academia as a member of faculty in a top university. My dream is to become an influential scholar who is able to provide high quality research and professional advice for the industry, public and the government, which is really to “transform finance into the fastest and safest "vehicle" in the economic system”.
Mindful of my goals, I found the PhD in Finance program at the renowned University of Pennsylvania a perfect fit for me. First, the program is powered by a distinguished faculty covering all areas of finance. This guarantees that I will be able to achieve an expertise of high quality and to conduct top level researches based on my interest. Second, the outstanding graduate placement record indicates a promising career prospect. The worldwide influence will facilitate the realization of my objective of entering a top university after graduation. Third, the international environment will bring me exciting opportunities of working and communicating with the best talents in finance. All of these have filled me with longing for the PhD program. Therefore, I look forward to your favorable consideration of my application.
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