College Essays

University of Pennsylvania

Prompt: How will you explore your intellectual and academic interests at the University of Pennsylvania?

Most kids would be upset about moving, but I was excited about selling our house. I could finally put my academic strengths and interests of statistics and business into real practice. I offered my parents to monitoring the listing prices of compatible houses in our neighborhood and plotted the numbers of houses sold each month for the past few years on a graph. From my analysis of trends of the local housing market, I persuaded my parents to put our house on the market in March because per my chart, that is the time when most houses receive offers. As predicted, we immediately received an offer, and my parents were eager to accept it despite a $15,000 deduction. Nevertheless, after comparing to the closing prices of similar houses, I insisted a counter offer with my research. In the end, we closed just $5,000 under our listing price.
Using economic data and modeling to make predictions with greater accuracy is gaining more importance everywhere, and these are skills I hope to hone over my next four years at Wharton. Concentrating on statistics, I look forward to applying these skill sets in producing useful consolidated data that are actionable in making broad decisions as a future quantitative analyst. 
Wharton can help me lay a solid foundation to become a skilled quantitative analyst working for a multinational investment bank. With Wharton linking data and business in such an intimate and practical manner, I will gain strong theoretical concepts and know how to apply this knowledge to real-world situations. The opportunity to intern and consult through Small Business Development Center is extremely attractive to me. Additionally, Wharton’s statistical seminars delivered by scholars from around the world offer contemporary thinking and provide a rare view of the power of mathematical modeling. 
Wharton offers many statistics courses directly connected to business operations, which would be essential for me as I wish to work in the finance industry. For example, STAT422 closely integrates applications of regression modeling and modern methodologies into the cost-benefit analysis of bank lending practices. On the other hand, many finance courses, such as FNCE206, link an enormous amount of statistical theories to business practices such as derivatives. I love the way Wharton integrates the finance and statistics courses. I would be able to gain profound understandings in both fields to help me make right decisions in the future as a quantitative analyst. 
Additionally, as someone interested in international business, I’m fascinated by the Wharton Global Research & Internship Program, which would allow me to gain experience in conducting international research on economics and sociology. I would learn different business models in different countries and apply the knowledge liberally in my thinking. Interacting with different cultures can provide me with insights into different areas around the world, which can help me analyze foreign companies or predict the outlook of a country’s currency. 
My interest in international business comes from my background. Having life experience both in China and America, I’ve gained a wider view of the world. Through my interactions with these two vastly different cultures, I witnessed how different values of different countries can drastically shape their economic beliefs. For example, with China’s suffering through international wars, they emphasize diligence and fortitude, which can be seen in their determination to rapidly industrialize and strengthen their economy. Meanwhile, Americans’ emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship was derived from constantly defending their freedom and independence. With all those international opportunities offered by Wharton, I can enrich my international understanding even better and become a more well-rounded quantitative analyst. 
Quantitative analysis is objective. Nevertheless, choosing what variables to analyze depends on the knowledge of the quantitative analyst. In Wharton, I will build my experience and instincts to choose the best variables and models, through comprehensive financial training, compelling research, and opportunities that allow me to have a stronger understanding of this fast-paced ever-changing world.

Tips for Writing: 
After I started writing some “Why College X” supplements, I realized that these prompts actually ask more than what you like about these colleges. A lot of these “Why College X” supplements ask what qualities of college X attracts you , but you should try to go beyond just describing classes or programs that are attractive to you. College admission officers probably know these programs better than you. These information are all available on their website, so anyone can access them. Hence, if all you do is describe how good College X is, that does not make your supplement essay unique or memorable. These questions implicitly ask why your past experience fits this particular college. So not only do you have to describe programs/classes/unique qualities you like about College X, but you also have to talk about yourself and how you are qualified to go to College X. For example, saying a lot about how you have researched on Alzheimer’s and College X has a program designated specifically for Alzheimer’s, that can help make the supplement more focused and unique. 

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