Sungjoon Chang / Northwood HS / 10th Grade
I want to major in finance. Finance is defined as the management of money, typically by the government or large corporations. I want to be a finance major because I love math and I love economics.
Math has been my favorite subject since middle school; I enjoy solving equations like they are puzzles. Completing the puzzle and writing down my final answer gives me satisfaction: satisfaction that I just finished a problem that I have been wrestling with for the past couple of minutes. I intend to expand my knowledge of mathematics in college and apply the concepts that I learned to my career. I love economics because of two movies. The Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short. I watched The Wolf of Wall Street when I was thirteen.
I was fascinated by the creative way in which Jordan Belfort made his money, how he cheated the system, and how the authorities finally caught up to him and punished him of his crimes of cheating out millions. Belfort‘s extravagant lifestyle that ensued with his newly found wealth was fascinating; it showed me what happens when someone is presented with large sums of money, without knowing how to properly spend it. The movie taught me to be cautious of my actions, whether it be at my job, my personal life, etc. I watched The Big Short two weeks ago. Compared to The Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short is much more economics-oriented and describes the events leading up to the 2008 Financial Crisis in a masterful way. Although the concepts were complex and difficult, the movie allowed the casual viewer, like me, to understand them quite easily.
One way the movie made these hard concepts approachable was through breaking the fourth wall and using cameos such as Margot Robbie to explain the concepts, directly talking and interacting with the audience. Thanks to this creative addition to the already interesting movie, the movie became more interesting and relatable, further drawing my attention to the world of economics, opposite of what I expected. The movie taught me that money dictates the world; dealing in money can cause people’s lives to be ruined, as shown in the movie and in real life. I would consider myself a risk-taker; after watching this movie, I was drawn into corporate finance like a magnet. Even though both movies were based on true stories, some details might have been blown out of proportion. Nonetheless, I have these two movies to thank for leading me to a path that attracts me so much.
I want to be an investment banker when I grow up, which is perfect for a finance major. Investment banks provide the following services: Underwriting, Mergers and Acquisitions, Sales and Trading, Equity Research, and Asset Management.
To put it simply, investment banks raise capital for companies that want to go public, facilitate the buying and selling of businesses, work with the government to raise money, research investment opportunities, and manage the investments of individuals and institutions. Investment banking requires a wide range of skills, such as financial modelling, business valuation, making pitchbooks and presentations, transaction documents, relationship management, sales and business development, and negotiation.
Financial modelling and business valuation are the two main skills that I would like to employ in my future career, as I like to analyze data and draw up a conclusion. I also do not mind the nitty gritty work.
One aspect in which I would like to improve is social skills. Social skills are crucial in the banking industry since you would be interacting with clients and potential clients, so I would like to perfect my conversation skills and develop confidence in my ability to perform at a high standard. Although being a minority in an industry heavily dominated by white males might present some obstacles, I believe I have what it takes to succeed.
<Sungjoon Chang / Northwood HS / 10th Grade