In an essay, discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how you might contribute to social or cultural diversity within your chosen field; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree. (Word Limit: Approximately 800 words).

In this essay, I would like to talk about my family background, the major intellectual challenge I have faced, and how I can serve educationally the underrepresented segments of society with my degree.

I come from a Chinese family which abounds in the spirit of intellectual inquiries. My parents are both university professors in economics and business who have made important achievements in their respective fields. With their heightened awareness of the importance of education, they funded my undergraduate and graduate education in the U.K. Having developed my own intellectual aptitudes and research potentials, I can now share their academic interests and their commitment to research. More often than not, our routine evening dinners would become mini-seminars and all of us truly enjoy our free play of the mind.

It would be wrong to assume that my parents, with their limited source of income, have financed my expensive education in the U.K. out of a materialistic concern of helping me secure a well-paid career. We are prepared to do anything for education in order to cultivate that rare quality of moral integrity and moral responsibility. As professors of economics and business, my parents fully supported my decision to learn accounting because accounting, far from being a profession of monotony dealing with lifeless figures and numbers, is closely connected with human realities and values. “Why is there reckless inside trading on Chinese stock market? Why is the practice of fraudulent information disclosure by listed companies so rampant? Why do disillusioned small investors on the stock market have to commit suicide as a result of the listed firms’ deceptive practices?” They taught me to understand essential moral points in the first place during my intellectual pursuit.

Throughout my undergraduate program at the University of Reading and the Master of Science program at the Business School of Manchester, I kept wondering why accounting principles and standards are so rigorous. I wondered why my professors talked about those rigorous and stringent principles and standards as a matter of course. I also wondered why western researchers take all the trouble to develop so many sophisticated models in accounting, finance and economics. As I kept delving deep into my studies, I realized that this is not only because western market economy is mature but also because, first and foremost, this market economy is morally-oriented and legally-based. It is the need of human moral behavior.

However, even in the western world, auditing and accounting scandals do occur, as in the case of Enron and Anderson scandal. This further testifies to the need for strict auditing and accounting standards.

I achieved straight A’s in all my quantitative courses and I did my best to be error free in my empirical research, dissertation, essays, assignments, and reports by performing repeated computations and verifications concerning even the minutest details. This is a major intellectual challenge and many students would not consider it a big deal if they do not meet this goal. For me, it is a matte of responsibility and a necessary preparation for a career in accounting research. It has been a moral objective that I must realize.

In my proposed Ph. D. program in accounting, I expect to study how to examine the role of accounting information in firms and financial markets, focusing on how firms report information to investors, how investors process that information, how information affects stock prices and trading volume, the uses of accounting information in managing firms and compensating employees, and the nature of the auditing process.

This degree program will be vital to my envisioned career as a faculty at a leading university in China where I can serve educationally underrepresented segments of society. I will endeavor to make accessible to my prospective students the kind of rigorous accounting education I receive in the West. Together with my future students, I will perform cutting-edge research, investigate into potentially fraudulent information disclosure, and promote the quality of information disclosure.

As an emerging financial market in the world, China’s financial market is morally and legally flawed in many ways and an important number of individual small investors are inevitably the underrepresented and powerless segments of society against the listed companies that malpractice and manipulate. They buy stocks with their hard-earned money, only to be misled to bankruptcy and various forms of family tragedies. By helping develop a healthy system of financial information disclosure as well as the healthy operation of the country’s financial market as a whole, I will certainly serve the unprivileged groups of our society.

As I look back on my past and look into my future, I am most grateful to my family for having inculcated in me some of the most fundamental human values. By learning accounting and practicing accounting research that can benefit the societal welfare of the underrepresented social groups, I will achieve a meaningful self-actualization in a field of intellectual inquiry which I am so passionate about.



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