The Economics Department Has Got You Covered
Recently, I posted about how Warwick sets you up for a good career path, but here I focus on the Economics department and how the undergraduate Economics degree prepares you for the future workplace. So whether you’re a prospective student searching to see if Warwick is right for you, or if you’re a current Economics student trying to find hope in the group work struggles we face as deadlines approach, I hope you enjoy this read.
The thing that stands out most about the Economics undergraduate course is group work. Initially, I was hesitant about the amount of group work involved, with five major group projects throughout term 1 and 2. But soon, I realised that we were developing crucial communication, organisation and leadership skills throughout the process. Moreover, when you run into problems, this is where growth happens.
First-term included a History essay, Macro video project (Brexit update for members of the public) and an Economics briefing project (a country-specific economic outlook). Managing meetings between lectures and ensuring people were holding each other accountable was rewarding, but a steep learning curve. There were great benefits to be reaped as well, for instance consolidating our understanding of History content when discussing academic research in a group. Also, being able to look at the essay from three different perspectives and highlighting where more clarity was needed served us well.
Then, the learning curve became steeper as we moved onto a Macro report (acting as economists for a car manufacturer) and a STATA project (investigating a hypothesis based on a large dataset). This is where becoming more efficient during meetings became essential. Eventually, we would take minutes, recap what was discussed, confirm next steps and most importantly, set an agenda for the next meeting.
As well as developing strong connections between other economic undergraduates, these projects taught us something that is easily missed in degrees. Working alongside people that think and work differently is a skill that comes through experience, so I feel very fortunate that through the challenges faced, we have been able to overcome these initial barriers – plus it serves as great experience during job interviews.
Aside from the degree itself, the Economics department offers career fairs like having Economic consultants come on campus to talk about their experience (and give away freebies). Furthermore, at the start of the year, we had Stephanie Redding helping us gain clarity on all the different opportunities available on campus. Hearing about MyAdvantage was also invaluable, where we could sign up to firm-specific events and network evenings where firms would pay for us to have a full three-course meal in Leamington Spa – they know how to get us signed up!
As well as this, we got to attend an Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS) fair. This is a scheme that anyone at the University can undertake and is great when preparing for future academic endeavours. All you would need to do is find a tutor, draft a research project proposal, apply for funding and you could even travel abroad to undertake your research project.
The number of opportunities available to explore career paths can be overwhelming, but the Economics department ensures that we know what there is to offer and thereby allows us to make the most of such opportunities.