PHD Economics, African American

December 28, 2012

A young African-American man originally from Texas, now living in North Carolina, I am very mature at 28; dedicated and an enormously hard worker, I want to devote my life to the study of economics because of both my fascination with how the world works as well as my passion for economic research. The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to help to find pragmatic solutions to social and economic inequalities, especially as they pertain to ethnic groups and urban enclaves. With a special interest in human capital, I hope to contribute to the diversity of your program and to benefit from the association of my peers from many parts of the world.

 As an undergraduate business major, I was required to take three semesters of economics, increasingly becoming captivated by the scientific analysis and the practical application of economic principles for determining everything from the elasticity of demand to utility maximization. My intrigue with business economics led me to apply to the American Economics Association’s (AEA) Summer Program in 2005, where I completed an intensive nine week program—for two consecutive summers—designed to prepare especially promising minority students for doctoral programs in economics. The program placed a strong emphasis on economic theory, the development of quantitative skills, and how to go about conducting research. This program cemented my desire to pursue a Ph.D. in this area and helped me to better appreciate the usefulness of economics. Most importantly, I discovered the power of economics for addressing social issues, the burning questions closest to my heart, such as:  “Why was criminal activity so pervasive in my neighborhood?”, and “Why were illegal drug so ubiquitous?”  I see economics as the foundation of the social sciences, and I dream of making the ghetto more productive, helping to free adolescent black males from the chains of their own delusions, helping to inspire economic productivity and human capital formation rather than gun toting and pushing drugs.

 Obtaining my master’s degree in economics has provided me with rigorous training in the areas of mathematics, econometrics, economic theory, and research methodology. To date, I have conducted four research studies, two in collaboration with others and two independently. My training thus far has been empowering and stimulating; which is why I yearn to acquire more by studying towards the Ph.D. in your distinguished program. Since August 2007, I have worked as a valuations analyst in the structured products group at Credit Suisse. And this real-world experience has taught me a great deal about the intricacies of macroeconomics and the links between monetary policies and financial markets.

 My career ambition is to conduct research in an academic setting; with a special eye to where I came from and the heart to develop sound, creative ideas that might make a difference in the lives of those who remain behind. 

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