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Shamus

Sum up your experience of studying Economics at the University of Exeter

Reading Economics at Exeter has been an enriching experience; the curriculum combines a balanced blend of theoretical and applied economics which is good for any aspiring economist. Besides reading Economics, I also had the opportunity to delve into Leadership Studies, which broadened my academic skillset. The flexibility to pick subjects within and beyond the Economics department also provides the opportunity for me to broaden my knowledge.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter rather than another institution?

Exeter has a reputable Business School among other UK universities, with a strong Economics department and is one of the few institutions in the UK to offer a curriculum in Leadership Studies. Besides the academic offering, the city of Exeter and the county of Devon are the perfect places to experience the quintessential British lifestyle!

Why did you choose to study in the UK?

Coming from sunny Singapore, I have always been interested in experiencing living abroad and especially in a place with a different culture and seasons. The UK has always been my first choice because of the rich British history and culture! Most importantly, the UK provides the opportunity to travel around the EU, and yes, I did spend a lot of time travelling around and out of the UK.

What has been your career path up until now?

After Exeter, I went on to do a master’s degree in Economics at the London School of Economics to further my training in economics. Thereafter, I started my first post-schooling career in policy work – a domain of work which allows me to use my knowledge and skillsets in Economics. Someday, I might consider coming back to the UK to do a PhD in Economics.

Describe your current role.

I am a policy analyst for the Singapore government. My role supports the government in understanding, designing and delivering better policy implementation.

What skills and attributes did you gain from your course, co-curricular activities and studying in the UK, that helped you achieve your career goals?

Over the last three years, there were many opportunities through coursework and co-curricular activities that help develop two important skills: self-confidence and critical-thinking. During your time at university, you meet more people and do things beyond your comfort zone by joining societies and events – this helps you build self-confidence as you challenge yourself beyond what you are comfortable with. This comes in handy because networking is an important aspect in developing your career! Your academic training will grow your critical thinking skillset to help you become an independent thinker and active contributor at work. This is an important skillset that employers want – so take time to sharpen your skills by challenging assumptions and reading widely at university.

How did your university help you prepare for life beyond graduation?

Every experience gained at university is an important lesson for life beyond university. Whether it is approaching a challenging essay question, solving a difficult mathematical problem or managing teams in your project group, such processes can be very daunting as an undergraduate. Nevertheless, the experience at university will train you to become a self-directed learner, to always think about ways to help you tackle the problem is the most effective way possible - you will realise that many of these experiences in critical thinking and problem-solving skills will come in handy in your life beyond graduation.

What steps did you take to find employment?

Finding employment begins during university – start by preparing your CV, doing career research and attending career fairs. The Career Zone and the Business School at Exeter provide a lot of support and resources to help students seeking opportunities both in the UK and internationally.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to current students?

Enjoy yourself and explore beyond your comfort zone. Along the way, remember to make new friends and never be afraid to make mistakes along the way. University is about learning more about a subject that interests you, and also an opportunity to discover yourself.

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