Warwick Economics Careers Support – OurWarwick

Warwick Economics Careers Support

I talked about a useful new resource from the Warwick Economics Department in the last post and this is an extension of that, linking more personally to how I’ve benefitted from the department career-wise.

Firstly, here’s a key insight I resonated with from one of the new videos the department launched to help us with careers advice: Develop a deep understanding of the industry you’re applying to.

I talked about the importance of taking a process-oriented mindset in the last post and this piece of advice gives the key to unlocking that mindset shift. Taking a process-oriented approach means beginning to delve deeper into the inner workings of the industry. It means understanding commercial awareness, not just because it’s a category that will come up in the interview, but because it determines the lives of so many and because it is part of this fascinating Economic machine that can determine which companies rise and which ones fall.

Firms can always take away your hope when you dream of working for them, but they can never take away the process you choose to enjoy. That process-oriented mindset will bring you two things: enjoyment and the result. On the other hand, a results-oriented mindset seldom brings you even the result. For more on this paradigm shift, I recommend reading the Practicing Mind.

Here are three things that have specifically helped me while being in the Economics department at Warwick:

[1] Economics modules.

Stata is difficult and group projects can be frustrating at times. But one thing I’ll give them credit for is that they are useful experiences to train you in key competencies. As well as actually developing the skills such as teamwork, time management and being innovative, they give you solid substance to talk about when convincing the interviewer you have these skills. However, do remember that partaking in society related activities and extracurriculars (especially the less-common ones) is extremely important otherwise you’ll continuously be referring to the same examples. I talk about enriching yourself in this boost your CV post and smashing behavioural/competency interviews here.

Secondly, the macroeconomic and optional modules you might take from WBS are very valuable in giving you the seeds for building commercial awareness. Even econometrics can be useful e.g. regression analysis was used in the investment banking internship I did in the summer for forecasting company cash flow projections. The relevancy of Economics modules grows even stronger when you’re interested in applying to Economic consultancies.

As well as understanding how a central bank influences the economy through interest rates and monetary policy, or how trends evolve in the global economy, these commercial awareness-based group projects provide a realistic insight into what real-life work looks like. Providing consultancy advice or explaining the economic context of a deal to a client involves a balance between researching, writing and communication skills, instead of just being theory or questions based. I even saw overlap between us ‘pitching’ our dissertation projects in year 3 and the company pitches that take place when raising capital from investors.

[2] Societies linked to the Economics department or that lots of Economics students are part of.

Secondly, one of the greatest contributors to standing out in an application process is the rest of the cohort. Warwick is full of very talented and ambitious students and considering we tend to become the average of the 5 people we spend most time with, this is something to be harnessed. Getting involved with societies like the Warwick Finance Societies, Warwick Consulting Society, Warwick Economics Summit and Warwick Economics Society among many others will put you in a unique position to build skills and grow from others also striving for an ambitious start in their careers. For example, you could create application study groups where you keep each other updated on where you’re thinking of applying to or give each mock interviews. You could also reach out to people that were successful in a particular application process which you faced challenges with to improve your application technique the next time around.

[1] Stephanie Reading.

Once you’ve enriched yourself with the different experiences mentioned above and you’ve applied to several positions ready to be interviewed, I strongly recommend looking for interview practice. Stephanie Reading is extremely helpful with this, as well as providing more general career advice and direction if you’re feeling stuck. As Careers Consultant for the Department of Economics, she offers a lot of support to students and in my first year, a mock interview with her massively helped me calm nerves and improve interview technique before an in-person interview.

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