#1. I am planning to major in economics. My father regularly used to follow business and economic news in the print and electronic media. He would often tell me economic news and stories to spark my interest in the business world and would encourage me to ask him questions if I don’t understand something. I still remember him telling me that economics is not either a science or an art but lies somewhere between them. I started developing interest in economics because I realized it helped me better understand the way the world works at both individual and macro levels.
Economics fascinates me because its theories appear to be common sense at first yet there is hardly a consensus as to how they work in the real world. After doing extensive study on history as well as different economic ideologies, I have reached the conclusion that while past provides us with valuable economic lessons, the economic crises rarely follow the exact same pattern as in the past because our world has been changing at a tremendous pace. Not surprisingly, most economists fail to predict a crisis. The importance of economics can also be judged by the fact that major differences between the two political parties in the U.S. often arise from different economic ideologies.
Last summer, I was working at a fast food joint which had been a family run business since the beginning of the 20th century and was particularly famous for its burger. Even though the fast food joint also offered combo meals, most consumers didn’t purchase them because combo meals were almost double the price of the shop’s famous burger which accounted for most of the consumer traffic. My manager knew I had good grasp of economic concepts so she suggested I develop the marketing strategies to increase sales of combo meals.
As I carefully analyzed the data, I found that the cost of each soda drink was only few cents. I also reasoned few customers would go for more than one refills due to diminishing utility concept in economics. As a result, I suggested the shop offers unlimited refills on combo meals which the manager accepted. It was apparent just after a week that the marketing strategy had been a huge success. The sale of combo meals jumped up by about 30 percent while our experience showed less than ten percent of combo meal consumers requested more than one refills.
#2. The personal quality I am most proud of is curiosity. Curiosity is the reason I try to acquire knowledge on a wide range of subject matters and am not afraid to ask questions. When I come across something I don’t understand I take time to research on it to better grasp the concept instead of merely avoiding it for the sake of convenience. Curiosity has also helped me become more objective thinker because I do not blindly believe or trust everything I see or hear but instead try to determine what may have contributed towards a particular event or why certain people behave the way they do.
Curiosity has played a huge role in the person I am today. If it were not for my curiosity, I would never take the initiative to read books on different subject matters or meet people from different backgrounds. These experiences are the reason I am open-minded and am not afraid to admit when I may be wrong. My curiosity also ensures I keep exposing myself to opinions and ideas that may clash my own beliefs and point-of-views. As a result, my thinking horizon expands and I acquire a better understanding of the world around me.
Curiosity has also helped me realize the importance of asking questions because sometimes the hardest thing is to ask tough questions. I believe one of the reasons some economists rarely change their point-of-views even after they have been proven wrong is their huge egos. I want to be an economist who keeps exposing himself to other point-of-views even if they may be in conflict with my own convictions and it will be difficult without a healthy dose of curiosity.
If it were not for my curiosity, I would be easily influenced by everything others tell me and would rarely have opinions of my own. Even though many believe government spending should be reduced, I believe government spending should be reduce but now is not the time if the lessons from the Great Depression are any indication when President Hoover’s Administration ran deficits due to numerous government spending programs. Like many I am also concerned about the increasingly growing debt level but I also believe decisions should be made after taking into account the realities on the ground. I understand current budget deficits are not sustainable in the long term but hard choices have to be made because most things in the world are not black or white but mostly fall in the grey area.
I understand I may not be the smartest person out there but I will do better than most of my colleagues because my curiosity means I would never stop learning. I will also form better judgments because I do research so as not to be influenced by the noise out there. My curiosity keeps reminding me there is so little I know and so much more I have to learn.