Masters Statistics, Economics, Chinese

I was fascinated by numbers from my first arithmetic lessons. While others struggled, I saw patterns and possibilities and knew, even then, where my future lay. I was lucky to receive strong encouragement in my passion from my parents even if my great enthusiasm for numbers was a little mystifying to them. I have never regretted my choice, I am thoroughly enjoying the program in which I am now engaged and in which my grades reflect my diligence, natural skill and enthusiasm. I also have experience of applying my skills and knowledge in ‘real world’ projects. I have been successful in all the projects in which I have been engaged. These have provided experience, which is highly relevant to your program and to my future employment, and they have also provided me with that great personal satisfaction derived from the approval of superiors for ‘a job well done’.

My initial exposure to the practical applications of Statistics occurred in my freshman year. As a member of the operation team in the China Entrepreneur Network (CEN), I assisted my team director in establishing the level of ‘member satisfaction’ by using R and ran the linear regression of club member satisfaction on time spent per week in club activities, feedback on events and different teams. We added more events for inner motivation and adjusted organisation structure by changing into events leading structure according to the results from our estimation. I was so impressed by the apparently ‘magical’ efficacy of this method that I was thoroughly ‘hooked’.

My fascination was further fired with the realization that the applications of statistics are almost limitless in that they have the potential to beneficially affect almost every area of people’s lives. It provides a basic and vital component in enabling governments and organizations of all kinds to fulfil their core purposes and provides the basis for them to maximise benefits to all stakeholders in any organisation. I see Statistics as a kind of ‘weapon’, and as such it can be (and has been) used for good and for ill. The entrenched view of a member of a government or a board room may become a major factor in the output if he/she can influence the wording of a survey questionnaire or the choice of samples used. I understand that the statistician must always seek to be an independent, disinterested and objective ‘truth seeker’ rather than a tool ‘proving’ that what is untrue is true, or vice versa, on behalf of vested interests.

My ultimate aim, once that I have acquired sufficient skills, knowledge and experience, is to become a highly effective consultant assisting businesses and NGO’s in acquiring and interpreting relevant information to enable them to reach their goals and maximize their effectiveness.

My major subjects at undergraduate level are Statistics and Economics. My choice was made because both can be considered to be as much ‘arts’ as ‘sciences’ in that both require high levels of interpretative and intuitive skills in order to ask the right questions and then convert data into truly usable information for the final user. A poorly trained and/or motivated statistician constitutes a great danger to the organisations that they nominally serve and, indeed, to society in general. It is my firm intention to remain highly motivated and enthused and to be trained at the highest level in order to ‘make a real difference’ rather than merely to make a living and it for this reason that I seek admission to the program.

My undergraduate program is heavily geared towards the practical under the supervision of a first class faculty and I feel extremely grateful and privileged to have been a participant. I have been an enthusiastic and effective member of the program and have been awarded high grades, reflecting this, in my work to date.  The project based course has enabled me to apply all the abstract theory into the real world data set when analysing. For instance, in the course relating to survey sampling techniques, taught by Professor Walter R. Mebane Jr., I learned and applied the specific processes involved in designing sample surveys and analysing data, including designing adequate questionnaires, estimating population size and sampling size, using different methods of sampling such as simple random sampling, stratified sampling, cluster sampling and making estimations using ration, regression and difference estimation.  In one of several projects applying these techniques, I conducted a sample design project to estimate the proportion of females in each department in the Engineering School of the University of Michigan, the average study hours per week and the relationship between study hours per week for students in the Engineering School and the relationship between study hours per week and the grade point average. Such exercises have not only sharpened my skills in the application of statistical methods but have provided interesting and usable information.

In the current semester, I am studying econometrics which has emphasised for me the power of Statistics in the real world. It is clear that the economist cannot function without the statistical information required to support theories and projects. During the coming semester, I intend to undertake the Data Mining Course and the Capstone Seminar of Statistics to learn more about the application and evaluation of statistical methods and applied research problems, as a preparation for the Master’s program.

I realize that it is important for a statistician to have an approachable and friendly demeanour if they are to be effective in their work. I am of Chinese ethnicity and have happily studied, worked and socialized with people from many ethnic and social backgrounds. I enjoy sharing knowledge about my own culture and in finding out about other people’s lives and cultures.  I also am blessed with a highly developed sense of humor.

I know that the program attracts many well qualified applicants. However I genuinely feel that I am an exceptional candidate who can ‘add value’ to the program by bringing insights born of an excellent theoretical grounding, experience of a variety of ‘real life’ projects, a possession of those natural aptitudes and characteristics required in order to excel in this field of study together with a successful academic career to date and, perhaps most importantly, great enthusiasm, commitment and diligence.

Thank you for considering my application.

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