Significant Contribution to the Economics Program

Economic Major

Prompt 1. I have a unique background that I feel will allow me to make a significant contribution to the economics program at the University of California. I come from Japan, and although the stereotype of Japanese is that we are an insular culture, I was raised in a different environment. My family is entrepreneurial in nature and thus I was raised with a more cosmopolitan approach to life. From an early age, I have traveled, to over 20 countries already. This exposure to cultures unlike my own gave me a unique understanding of the world around me and my role in it. I learned that it is important to understand myself, in order to better understand others.

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Self-knowledge led to the pursuit of a wider variety of goals than my peers. I pursued English, and have won prizes in . My worldview expanded. I always viewed getting an education abroad as essential to my development. My experiences in the homogenous, system only convinced me further that my studies in economics should be pursued in the U.S. system. My parents were against this idea, but that only motivated me further. My excellence in English was driven in large part by my desire to make myself a better global citizen even without the benefit of an overseas education.

I have always had a fondness for economics. Because of my strong international exposure, I am especially fascinated by the global aspect of economics and finance. I feel that my experiences growing up have prepared me for this next step because they have given me the framework for of goods and capital. As I work now for an LA-based Japanese trading company, I can see how my experiences to date have made me more effective in my role. I can also see how enhancing my economic education will further improve my skills, my value to my company, and my value to the United States.

I look back on my upbringing and I can see how this has contributed to my desire to pursue economics at the University of California. I have always pursued challenge, but in my life I have also kept my challenges focused on specific goals. I have long loved the pursuit of both business knowledge and international cultural competency. Each step on my journey thus far has taken me closer to these aspirations. I have continually adapted my dreams as I complete further steps on my journey. After finally being able to move to the United States to further my studies as an international student, I started to build my career and meet some of my personal goals such as marriage. My dream of pursuing economics now is simply the next logical step in my journey as a globally-minded businessperson.

When I have my degree, I know that my career objectives will be taken even further. I will be able to take on every more sophisticated positions — positions of leadership. Each step in my life, I have set small goals that support broader goals. Now that I have achieved many of the goals I had growing up, I know need to take the next step to becoming a global leader. The complexities of U.S.-Japan trade relations, and other trade relationships in the , are where my future lies. I feel that with my dual country experience, I will be able to make significant contributions to the study and practice of economics in this field. What I have accomplished thus far in life supports this goal, and earning an economics education is the next step.

Prompt 2. My move to the United States has been a challenge for me. I have worked long hours to pay my international student fees. However, this experience has helped me to grow into a successful woman, able to manage any challenge. I arrived in the United States with international experience and strong English skills, but the differences in the culture were vast. I had little money and despite my travel had never lived in a foreign country on my own. I worked my way through my early education years at a multitude of jobs. I have been a disk jockey, a tutor, modeled for bridal shows and worked in restaurants. Not only did I gain from the breadth of these experiences, but I learned first hand the value of working hard to achieve my goals. I look back on this period of my life and I realize how difficult it was at times, but also how it has helped to shape me into the woman I am today. I know now that the challenges I faced when I first arrived in the United States provided me with a strong test of my character, something that I will need throughout my life. I arrived as an adolescent, now I apply to the University of California as an adult, ready to take the next step in building my career and my American life.

Nonetheless, I have made great strides in my acclimation to American life. I have recently married and taken on a role with a Japanese trade company in Los Angeles. This position has been very worthwhile. I feel that I have accomplished a lot thus far, but that it is time to build on my past accomplishments.

I consider my successful move to American life to be a great achievement. Japanese people often have difficulty adjusting to life outside of Japan. Yet I know have a family and a career to take pride in. I am a manager in product development. In this role, I manager trade show exhibits and television marketing for my company. I feel that my experience as a dual Japanese and American is extremely valuable in today’s world, with the strong focus on . I am proud of the steps I have taken so far in building myself and my character. I have responded to every challenge with drive and creativity, and look forward to continuing along that path at the University of California.

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