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My Surrey experience - Dominic Spanos, BSc Economics

"I would definitely recommend a Professional Training placement. Aside from the technical skills you gain in your chosen field, you get the opportunity to hone your soft skills. You learn things about being in a working environment that just cannot be taught."

"The high ranking the University has, overall and for my chosen subject, was what initially attracted me to the University of Surrey. This was enhanced by the upward trajectory the University has been on for the last few years. Perhaps crucially though, the opportunity to embark on a Professional Training placement was highly attractive in its ability to provide much needed real experience that many students at other Universities are not able to gain.

 

 

Since I was sixteen I have wanted to study economics. The appeal of a subject that seeks to explain the behaviour of the world around us was inescapable. The ‘invisible hand’ of economics is all pervasive and opens doors to a host of opportunities when entering employment.

 

 

Econometrics particularly appeals to me. It is a tool that will be exceedingly useful in the workplace and allows you to explore complex relationships between real world variables, drawing inferences and stimulating your thinking about how the world works.

 

I lived in International House in my first semester. Living on campus is a great way to make friends and help to settle you in to the whole University experience. The flats were well maintained and spacious; I would definitely recommend it.

 

Being part of the Tennis Club and Poker Society has helped me meet new people and encouraged me to get out and do something regimented every week. The Economics and Finance Society is informative and they organise some good nights out!

 

The staff at the University are more than helpful and always available to answer questions and offer advice for the future. The facilities at the Sports Park are incredible. I frequently use the gym, squash courts, tennis courts and the pool; all of which are top quality. Guildford is a picturesque town with a good nightlife and is in close proximity to London.

I undertook a Professional Training placement with the Bank of England. I found out about this opportunity through the University’s helpful page displaying various opportunities. After my initial application, I had an assessment day at the Bank. The University puts on various workshops helping you to improve your CV and brings large firms in to hold mock interviews. The latter was especially useful and the feedback I gained was a massive help in obtaining my placement.

 

I worked as a Research Assistant in the Monetary Analysis, Monetary Assessment and Strategy division. My work involved aiding analysts on updates to Monetary Policy Committee publications such as the Credit Conditions Report. Throughout the year I embarked on numerous projects on a variety of topics, including impulse response functions to a change in bank rate. I gained enhanced technical skills in econometrics from conducting ad-hoc analysis and improving existing processes. The highlight for me was using the close working relationships I had developed to conduct large multi-departmental projects. 

 

I would definitely recommend a Professional Training placement. Aside from the technical skills you gain in your chosen field, you get the opportunity to hone your soft skills. You learn things about being in a working environment that just cannot be taught. The rigours of the working world will also stand you in good stead to come back and put your new-found ethic into completing your degree. The contributions I made to the Bank throughout the year are something I am very proud of.

 

Since starting University, I am much more confident and assertive. I have learned to take initiative and always ask questions. I plan on applying for a masters degree in the future."

 

Read more Student Profiles and find out about our Economics degrees.

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