Hannah Dudley from Toothill School in Nottinghamshire came to NTU for her work experience as an Economics Research Assistant. We asked her how she found it.
The definition of economics is the study or science which deals with production, distribution and consumption. At first glance it sounds dry but when you consider how this affects your life as an individual in society – you’ll understand what all these terms mean for someone else’s wellbeing.
In my 11th year, I was contemplating A level options, with only a vague idea of what I wanted to study at university. I knew I was interested in economics, having studied it at GCSE, but I was not aware how important it is to us in so many ways.
In my 11th year, I was just starting to consider A level options. I only had a vague idea of what university would be like and an interest in economics from studying it at GCSE. I did not know how important this subject is in our lives and the future
Take for example the UK’s relationships with other nations. They’re all tied together through effective economic transactions. These are always underpinned by economics in terms of transferring wealth, capital goods and services between them. It is a global language that I knew almost nothing about before my time here at university!
When markets crashed globally back in 2008 though – things have changed greatly. Now more people understand how trade works or what its advantages could be if done right. I can’t help but feel that my life can be changed forever by the recent economic turmoil. I found myself more curious about economics, what was happening in Europe and Asia-Pacific nations like China? How does this affect us at home with our own countries’ financial problems as well as tuition fees going up for universities across UK? I needed to find out more!
I knew my school had links with Nottingham Trent University so I contacted them about a potential economics placement. The week long internship at the Newton Building was almost here, and it really excited me! Then the excitement turned into nerves as soon as my internship was a few days away!
On my first day at the university, I met Professor whom I would be shadowing. He told me about the topics we would be discussing and responsibilities for the week ahead. The material we were covering ranged from EU economics in relation with free trade deals up through international monetary policy decisions made by national governments around Europe or even worldwide. I attended an engaging discussion about the the structure of the various institutions across EU. It was fascinating stuff that I had never heard discussed before outside an economics classroom.
I also had full access to the university library and picked up the biggest economics textbook I could find!
I am feeling more confident about myself and my future prospects after the week of work experience. The deep discussions on economic issues have provided me with valuable insights into economic landscape and how society operates today.
The placement has given me an opportunity to encounter many new ideas where there was once only one opinion presented without any other perspectives offered up by discussants. This forced reflection helped me develop critical thinking skills when faced with choices.
The economic issues facing society and institutions are rarely clear, so it was extremely useful to develop skills in order to better understand these problems. Overall I have enjoyed my internship – it was a fantastic insight into what study economics would be like at university.
I used my improved analytical and critical thinking skills to enter the Royal Economic Society Young Economist of the Year essay competition.
The main challenge was researching and writing an essay on the economic implications for an Independent Scotland. But it proved rewarding as I managed to land myself a joined third and winning £250 prize money. I also got invited to the Royal Economic Society Public Lecture.
There is no doubt that participating in the placement provided me with the passion and skills to work at this level!
I would suggest everyone should take part in programs offered by their respective universities. These can help you develop skills like confidence and analytical thinking along with gaining insight into university life while also learning more about different courses available!
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