I am applying for the Ph.D. program in
finance in the Melbourne school of business-University of Melbourne for the
spring 2018 admission.
My motivation and desire to pursue a Ph. D.
stem from my predilection for teaching. After my first degree (B.A Hons.
Psychology with sociology) from university of Ghana, I was posted to Yendi
secondary school for my national service. I taught social studies and government.
It was challenging yet the challenge paved way for a new discovery about myself
which hitherto I did not know- I discovered my talent for teaching and my
passion for helping students acquire knowledge and improve their life skills.
My dedication and astuteness in my work, led to my appointment as the
counselling master for the first year students.
Subsequently, I left in 2004 for the UK where
I studied for my MSc. Financial and Legal Management at Thames Valley
University- now University of West London. I graduated in Msc. Financial and
Legal Management in 2007. It was in the course of this program that my interest
for finance became apparent; as I was more inclined to and passionate about all
the finance related subjects. To further demonstrate my proclivity for this
subject, I conducted my graduate dissertation in corporate finance- Corporate
Financing Decision in Ghana: Equity or Debt. My interest has not waned …………
Upon completion I came back to Ghana in
2009 and landed a job in a multinational finance house company as one of their
branch managers. After two years working with them I lost the interest and
passion for the job not because it was not well paid. Quite the reverse, the
salary was good; there was the opportunity for career progression and other
perquisites that were too attractive to leave behind.
However, the intrinsic desire for the
experience I had in teaching at Yendi secondary school overpowered the
extrinsic motivation to stay. To fulfil my desire and ambition, I resigned when
I got a teaching position at Northern Business College as a business finance
and management teacher.
I present the summary of my graduate
dissertation in lieu of my first research interest. I did my research in
corporate finance- Corporate financing decision in Ghana: Equity or Debt. The
study investigated whether capital structure is a value relevant for the equity
investor and whether firms in the same industry maintain the similar proportion
of debt – equity ratio and if this optimum range of capital structure differs
significantly among industries.
The result was overlapping and contradictory
as it showed that market value increases in debt – equity ratio for some firms
and decreases for others. The F – test analysis also revealed that there was no
significant difference in debt – equity ratio among firms in the same industry
it however contradicted the finding of previous studies (Bradley et el 1984)
that different industries would maintain different debt level of capital
In the field of financing and capital
structure decision the broadest question I would like to explore include: Why
do firms issues equity or debt? How do firms determine their capital
structures? What are the value effects of capital structure decision? Under
what condition do firms opt for a specific instruments and the value
implication of these choices. What are the preferred combinations of financing
instruments for Ghanaian companies? I would like to conduct this research using
companies in Ghana as my sample population.
My second research interest is financial
institutions and regulations. The provision and complexity of financial
products are growing rapidly and dramatically in the emerging Ghanaian economy.
The authorities are dealing with a growing number of complaints from the public
as well as increasing media coverage on consumer complaints
Economic development hinges on capital
mobilisation- if financial consumers are not protected well enough to feel
secured to participate in the financial market, there would be no capital
mobilisation for economic development. Building and maintaining consumer
confidence and trust in financial markets promotes efficiency and stability
which helps to create positive outcomes for both financial institutions and
this broad spectrum, l would like to explore financial consumer protection
policy and financial services law and regulation in Ghana. Research questions
of prime importance to explore in the Ghanaian financial consumer protection
policy include the following;
How do we protect financial consumers-For
example what types of law we use and how well they work and why we protect
consumers in the ways we do.
Within the financial services law and
regulation I am particularly interested in the techniques of regulation. What
are we trying to achieve by regulating:
Is it consumer protection, confidence in
the financial market or competition between providers?
How is consumer protection designed and
incorporated into regulatory framework? If there are breaches in the regulation
how quick does the regulator respond? Are there provisions for victim customers
to seek redress- for example financial ombudsman?
How do the current regulation, supervision
and practices within the financial service industry bring about inclusive
banking and financial services to the rural poor?
Having completed this program, I will come
back to Ghana where I will seek a tenure position in one of the country’s
universities. The future for finance Ph. D holders is brighter as more new
universities, both local and foreign are being established whilst the ten
polytechnics are converted into technical universities. The ever increasing
demand for qualified lecturers will create a dearth and paucity of lecturers in
The university of
Melbourne finance program is a good fit not just because of its outstanding
faculty and interdisciplinary approach to finance. One distinguishing feature
of the PhD program is it expanded core and more focus field, than is usually
the case. Additionally, in my quest for
a suitable PhD program, I was thrilled to discover that the program is
structured into a two tie course. The first being taught, in which one is expose
to fundamental finance theories and ability to synthesize existing knowledge
necessary for a research in finance. With Melbourne tag around my neck I am
confident it will ease my burden of securing a tenure position in one of
Ghana’s universities and anywhere in the world.