Student profile
Ewan Taylor, Surrey Economics and Finance BSc student

Ewan Taylor

"The excellent placement support and Surrey’s proximity to London made it one of my top choices. I chose Surrey as my number one option due to the opportunity to study Economics and Finance rather than pure Economics."

Entry year


Placement company

HM Treasury

Is there a song that reminds you of Surrey? Why?

Douha (Mali Mali) – Disclosure. Reminds of me my first year at Surrey during lockdown. I got along well with my flat and this song was always on when we had music on.

What’s something you couldn’t live without at university?

Minstrels (from the fridge) and milk. I finish most days with some minstrels and a pint of milk.

Describe your experience at Surrey in three words

Rewarding, enjoyable, growth

Why did you choose to come to Surrey? What appealed to you? 

Surrey appealed to me as I was certain that I wanted to do a placement year. The excellent placement support and Surrey’s proximity to London made it one of my top choices. I chose Surrey as my number one option due to the opportunity to study Economics and Finance rather than pure Economics. The campus is also lovely with great facilities and strong sports too, which meant I could continue to progress my swimming.

What was your first impression when you got here?

Surrey has a beautiful campus, especially when the weather is good. The Students’ Union did a fantastic job at putting on events to make new students feel welcome and to meet new people.

Why are you passionate about your subject?

I find Economics and Finance to be incredibly stimulating and thought-provoking. As the subject matter is applicable to everyday life, I enjoy considering the consequences of every action as well as being able to prepare myself for a career in finance.

The course content builds on from previous teachings very well. There is a large range of optional modules to choose from meaning that I have choice to learn about topics that will interest me and challenge me. Typically, the exams require students to apply learnings rather than regurgitate information, which has meant that I have retained the knowledge to a much better extent and excelled further in my final year.

Who was your favourite academic and why?

I have enjoyed learning from many academics at Surrey. My favourite lecturer has been Dr David Walker-Jones as I enjoy his easy to understand, but challenging style of teaching. His methods are often creative which reward students who put in effort. Dr Walker-Jones teaches game theory with passion which aided me to achieve a really strong understanding of the various approaches and solutions.

What were the facilities like on your course? 

The facilities are good at Surrey. There is a variety in lecture hall and classroom layout which vary depending on class size and engagement style. I found this to be beneficial as I could collaborate with fellow students where needed. Particularly during the pandemic, I was impressed by the number of facilities still available to students with the COVID-safe adaptations that the University made.

What careers support have you received? 

When searching for a placement year, there was copious amounts of support from job searching to CV-preparation. Dr Sims supported my application process for HM Treasury by conducting a mock interview with questions that were very alike those that came up. The support gave me the confidence to land the job very early in the application cycle.

Looking forward, I have had fantastic support from Dr Eric Golson and my lecturers about choosing a master’s programme. They have offered incredibly sound and useful advice which has enabled me to have great options, which I likely would not have considered without them. I am without doubt on a better trajectory than I would have been if I had not had their support.


Surrey Economics and Finance student, Ewan Taylor, outside HM Treasury

Have you been on a Professional Training placement? 

I completed my Professional Training placement at HM Treasury in Westminster. I worked within the Financial Stability Unit, focusing on macroprudential policy strategy.

My work was incredibly varied, and I was fortunate to have been given many responsibilities. Highlights may not be the correct word but having worked from August 2022 to July 2023, it was not the most stable period for the UK economy. Supporting HM Treasury’s member on the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee meant that our team had to navigate the Government’s response to events such as the ‘mini-budget’, the ensuing LDI crisis as well as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. I developed professionally the most in times of pressure and became significantly more confident in my own abilities.

A highlight would be that in the near-future, the Capital Buffer Framework legislation that I contributed towards should be passed by Parliament, meaning that will have helped write a UK law! I am also more interested in capital buffers than I would care to admit – the countercyclical capital buffer particularly.

Would you recommend doing Professional Training placement to others?

Yes! I wanted to do one as my older brother had had a positive experience when he did one. I have no regrets. I learned and developed massively. I have returned to Surrey as a much better student which has shown up in my grades. I also have a much clearer picture of what I want to do next and how to achieve that as I now have an established professional network. I loved working in Westminster and being able to live with my student friends in Guildford.

Ewan Taylor, Economics and Finance UG, holding sports trophies

Are you part of any clubs or societies? 

I have been part of the swimming club the whole time I have been at Surrey. Being part of a sport or society is a great place to start if you are worried about finding friends with similar interests. I ended up living with other swimmers in most of my years and I have loved being part of the swimming family. As president of the swimming club, we had great success and even won Best Club!

What are the best things about life at Surrey? 

Surrey has a beautiful campus in an ideal location. The campus is very close to the town centre, shops, the train station and therefore London. The social life is better than most would expect and has many options.

I have had many memorable moments at Surrey, and I am sure I will have more in my final few months. However, my best memory so far is winning Sportsman of the Year at our 2023 Sports Awards. I was incredibly proud to be recognised for my achievements and to have success both academically and athletically is not always easy!

How has your time at Surrey had an impact on you?

I have matured massively over the past four years. I am a much more well-rounded and intelligent individual. I have made great friends and I firmly believe that Surrey has allowed me to establish a strong foundation for success in the future.

In September I will moving to Los Angeles to study at UCLA for a master’s in financial engineering. I am incredibly excited about this next venture, and I am incredibly grateful for the support I have received from Surrey to have been able to achieve admission.

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