Math, numbers, figures, accounting, and finance can be very boring subjects. The mere mention of these to some people may lead to immediate napping. But for a chosen few, these words get the blood pumping, they elevate heart rates and their bodies are filled with excitement. These chosen few have found their calling in formulas, calculations, spreadsheets, values and digits. But, it is often this ability to master numbers over words that have many of these individuals in hot water when they have to write essays or statements. This is most prominent when writing personal statements to the governing bodies of departments such as those for Accounting and Finance. For those who are used to doing the “work” and then presenting a solid figure at the end, often feel a bit of frustration when they have to navigate the vast lexicon of words to describe their goals, intent and motivations. Personal statements can be tough but when broken down into manageable bite-sized chunks they it quickly loses its mystique and can be quickly written with ease.
As with other similar introspective pieces of writing the first question to be answered in an accounting and finance personal statement is the Why. You must illustrate to the reviewer why you are interested in this field of study. Name the aspects of it that draws your attention, that captivates it and your history with the wide field of accounting and finance. It would be a good idea to include real examples that can help demonstrate your connection with the subject matter and its role in your life. The goal in this portion of the statement is to show that you have an intimate connection with the accounting and personal finance, and not just a passing interest. Everyone likes money and they believe that it makes the world go ‘round, but you must be able to convey to the reviewer that you understand the role of money and how it has the ability to affect the world on a grand scale.
Next is the other Why. Why are you a suitable candidate for the Accounting and Finance department? This is where you can show off a bit and note your accolades in the field. Let them know the highest level of education you have received thus far, any notable projects or research you have participated in, and how you have independently furthered your education. Perhaps most important is to show initiative and interest beyond the books and the classroom. If you have “real world” experience, such as working for a bank or an accounting firm, this would be the perfect time to mention it. Show them that accounting and finance is not just a course you are taking to get a degree or diploma, but are treating this education as training and strengthening of your skills for use in the real world. Those reviewing your personal statement would have most likely come from the “real world” whether working for themselves or in a corporate firm, and this part of the personal statement has the greatest potential to resonate with them.
The next piece of information that you will want to impart to the reader in your statement are the things that you want to learn in Accounting and Finance. You can approach this in two ways the first is by going wide and the other narrow. The “wide” approach is a generalist approach in which you convey your interest in the subject at large. You show that you are open to learn about the entire gamut of the accounting and finance worlds. This shows that you are curious and want to explore the various facets of the subject and industry. The “narrow” approach is like that of a sniper. You pick a, relatively speaking, small target and are prepared to pursue it rabidly. Get granular in your explanation and show that you not only have great information about it already but are hungry for more. This approach will automatically paint you in a “specialists” light but it also shows that you already have an elevated grasp of the subject matter and have a definite direction.
Finally, briefly explain your plans to apply the knowledge you will be learning. The keyword here is briefly as this is statement is but the first step and this is still considered a pipe dream. However, this last portion can also show the reviewer that you actually have a goal in mind before stepping in this world, other than “make money”. All in all, a succinct personal statement should not be more than 800 words in length. You do not, after all, want to reinforce the stereotype and bore the reader to sleep. Those familiar with writing essays should treat this the same way with each paragraph building upon the strength of the previous. This statement should be at once, a self-introduction and an argument as to why you are the right candidate for the Accounting and Finance department.
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