Student profile

Vedanta Dhamija

"Both of my supervisors have been very supportive in my PhD journey. Their expertise in the subject has provided me with valuable insights and I really look up to them as people and as researchers. They have always been around to guide, despite their busy schedules, and at the same time have encouraged me to work independently."

Entry year
2018

Choosing my subject area

I hadn't always planned to do a PhD. After completing my masters, I worked for about three years in research institutions, the corporate sector, and government bodies. While the roles in these organisations involved a lot of application of what I had acquired through my prior education, I felt that I wanted to be more associated with economics, as I truly enjoyed the intricacies of the subject. That's when I decided that I wanted a career in academia, and doing a PhD seemed the obvious stepping-stone for achieving that goal.

Choosing Surrey

I was always interested in specialising in macroeconomics in my PhD. Surrey’s well-renowned School of Economics does a lot of research in the areas that interest me, and there's a dedicated Centre for International Macroeconomics (CIMS), which appealed to me the most. I felt that studying at Surrey would provide me with the right training and supervision to develop a specialisation in this field.

Why are you passionate about your subject?

Even at school, I was always intrigued by the global macroeconomic landscape, which is why I chose to pursue my education in this subject. Over time, I came to realise that economics is mathematics with a story. This mix between science and social science, the possibility to impact lives, and the rigour involved in the subject is what makes me passionate about it.

Fantastic facilities

The generous research fund made available by the School has allowed me to attend prestigious summer schools which helped me upgrade my skill set. The office space provided in the School of Economics has been very conducive to working long hours. The library is well-stocked with resources, and I have used it to access datasets.

Teaching staff

"Both of my supervisors have been very supportive in my PhD journey. Their expertise in the subject has provided me with valuable insights and I really look up to them as people and as researchers. They have always been around to guide, despite their busy schedules, and at the same time have encouraged me to work independently."

Collaboration opportunities

There are ample opportunities to do collaborative work and it is encouraged by the School. In fact, for the first chapter of my thesis, I’m working with my supervisor and another colleague from the School.

My time at Surrey

The overall experience has been positive. My supervisors, the postgraduate research director, and all faculty members and staff in the School of Economics are helpful and approachable. My colleagues, across different cohorts are very supportive – be it with working through coursework, practicing presentations or just coping in general.

I also appreciate the seminars organised by the School on a weekly basis- it keeps us abreast of the latest research. Additionally, being a teaching assistant has been an enriching experience for me.

Surrey life

When I chose Surrey, the location of the campus wasn’t initially a factor in my decision, but I think I got very lucky in that aspect. Guildford is a great place to live, with its beautiful English countryside and lots of places to explore in and around the town, a beautiful high street, and London is only thirty five minutes away.

Additionally, the campus is vibrant and multicultural, and there are lots of events happening. The lake on campus is definitely a highlight for me.

Advice for students

Doing a PhD is challenging as the journey involves many ups and downs, and it sometimes becomes hard to stay motivated throughout. I feel it is important to stay patient, keep going back to what inspired you to do the degree in the first place and to be passionate about your research.

The programme lets you deep dive into a field that you are interested, in but is also a journey of self-discovery that helps you realise your potential.

 

Discover more about our economics programmes, including our PhD Economics.

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