FAQ at the Open Day (Economics Version)
Yesterday I helped out at the Open Day and I was asked a lot of interesting questions. A lot of the same ones cropped up so I thought I’d share my opinions on some of these:
What do you write in a personal statement?
It’s essential to show your interest and enthusiasm for studying economics. It’s unlikely that you’ll have any economics related work experience but you can imaginatively relate your interests to economics or talk about what inspired you to choose it. I loved going to carboot sales where I bought really cheap video games and sold them on eBay. I related this to behavioural economics (especially around the endowment effect which is where sellers value their item more because they own it) and linked this to what I loved in the behavioural economics books I read. I then mentioned why behavioural economics is becoming so important and why I wanted to study economics as a whole. I had a friend who based their whole personal statement around the book ‘A Christmas Carol’ and knew someone who related their hobby of horseriding to economics (this was very niche but done very well).
I’d also recommend showing an appreciation for mathematical concepts and knowledge of some economic theory (if you study Economics A-level, what is your favourite topic?). If you include books you’ve read, mention what interested you in them rather than listing book titles. Most people read Freakonomics, the Undercover Economist and say they have an Economist subscription so unless you elaborate on an interesting point within these, don’t include them. Be very specific with everything you say (ask yourself “so what?” after everything you write) and avoid cliche quotes such as “I’ve been passionate about economics from a young age”.
Is the course at Warwick mathematical?
Yes- it’s a BSc economics and very analytical. In first year you do a maths module that is an extension from A-level which provides you with the main techniques for economic analysis. In second year, you study econometrics where you can use mathematical and statistical techniques to test economic hypothesis and even forecast future trends. However, there is a lot of flexibility in your module choices and although I believe maths is an integral part of economics, I don’t love it. So 25% of my BSc Economics degree is Spanish and this year I do optional modules in: behavioural economics, trade and industrial economics. However, my friend who loves maths did modules in linear algebra etc. so there is a degree of flexibility in how mathematical you want to go.
Is the course difficult?
If you put in the effort and work hard from the start, you’ll do well. The course is academically challenging and you will learn a lot of content. Some parts will be harder than others but there is a lot of support at Warwick if you’re struggling. There are office hours where you can speak to tutors and lecturers, additional drop-in sessions and so many resources (including lecture capture where you can re-watch lectures). The entry requirements are A*AA so with this it is assumed you will manage the course just fine. And if you really enjoy economics, you won’t mind too much when it gets hard!
Are there economics-related societies?
Warwick Economics Society is the largest student-run society on campus. They hold many socials throughout the year including tours, nights out and the famous ball. In addition, EconSoc organise many career events- for example mock assessment centres, CV clinics, talks from employers and companies etc. There is also Warwick Economics Summit which is one of the largest student run conferences in Europe. In addition to this, there are other economics-related societies including: consulting, finance, behavioural science, accounting, investment forum etc.
Within the economics department, there are many ways to get involved including becoming an economics ambassador (where we help at open days and events), a student mentor, or even part of the Economics Student-Staff Liaison Committee.
For anyone who visited the open days, I hope you enjoyed it and if you have any questions, feel free to send me a message. See you soon 🙂 x