See what our successful undergraduates have to say See what our successful undergraduates have to say

Andrew Barber

Course/ Year Graduated: BSc Economics 2013
Employer: Somerset Capital Management LLP
Location: London

Career so far:

I was very fortunate at the time of graduating to have recently completed an internship at a small research brokerage firm where I was able to demonstrate my IT skills. At the time of graduating I had two job offers. One was from PWC, and second was for an internship opportunity at a small boutique emerging markets investment firm which was listed on the UEA careers page. I opted to go for the one year internship, which even though there was no guarantee at the end, I thought the small team, wealth of knowledge and exciting opportunity was too good to resist. I was right in following my gut feeling and have never looked back. During my one year internship starting July 2013 I got to sample the investment team, marketing, and operations departments. In April 2014 I sat down with my boss who offered me a permanent contract.

I now work in the operations team in a middle office role where I am in charge of monitoring best execution (large emphasis in recent regulation MiFID II etc.) for both FX and equities, calculating management and performance fees for investors and calculating performance returns for the various client portfolios. The highlight has been the responsibility to seek out TCA vendors and submit my proposal to the executive committee who then sided with my choice. I have also conducted various other successful projects which have been recognised by my superiors and resulted in more independence and trust in my line of work.

How do you think your studies prepared you for employability and gaining you current position?

Studying Economics gave me a broad skill set for which I could transfer to the working world. You quickly realise in finance that a lot of economic theory doesn't hold up (maybe there are too many externalities to model), however it was the ability to critically evaluate these theories that is useful in the work place where you are required to think analytically and look at the pros and cons of any situation. The skills of essay writing in a precise and concise manner, and the ability to present a presentation are also key skills. I was also asked general economic questions in my interview and some more particular questions surrounding game theory and behavioural economics where UEA specialises. 

Elizabeth Scott

Course/ Year Graduated: BSc Business Finance and Economics 2012
Employer: HSBC Bank Plc
Location: Billericay

Career so far:

Eighteen months contracting at HSBC as a Data Analyst. Career highlight was successfully gaining entry onto the Commercial Management Graduate Scheme at HSBC whilst contracting. Resigned from contract role in June 2014 and spent 10 weeks volunteering on horse ranches in Spain and the US. Started graduate scheme in October 2014 with first 6 month position as a Corporate Analyst. Now in second placement in Global Commercial Banking.

How do you think your studies prepared you for employability and gaining you current position?

I think a degree in Business Finance and Economics is well respected in the industry. As part of the graduate programme we have to study for a diploma in Banking Practice and Management, because of the modules I studied at UEA I can apply for exemptions for some of the modules I currently study which is very helpful. Having to create and give PowerPoint presentations as part of my studies was a helpful experience as this is a necessary skill to develop to be successful in the industry.


Jonathan Southam

Course/ Year Graduated: BSc Business Economics 2013
Employer: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Location: Birmingham 

Career so far:Since graduating from UEA in July 2013 I have been fortunate enough to gain employment with PwC. I have been on their assurance graduate scheme for over a year now and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I am currently working in their financial services division, mainly on insurance and investment management companies. 

How do you think your studies prepared you for employability and gaining you current position?

I would say that studying Economics at UEA has been essential in helping me gain my current position of employment. The countless amount of individual and group presentations I had to deliver during my course have all been particularly useful, as well the many team exercises I was involved in.

Being able to work in a team and being able to deliver presentations are fundamental skills many graduate employers look for during their application processes. Therefore studying Economics at UEA was perfect for me in helping to develop these key skills and I would not be where I am today without them. 

Chris Thomson

Course/ Year Graduated: BSc Politics and Economics 2014
Employer: Department of Transport
Location: London

Career so far:

After graduating I spent a month on an internship with the East of England Office in Brussels, who work for the regions’ interests on European issues. 

Soon after, I started working full time with the Department for Transport, as part of the Analytical fast stream programme. Particular highlights have been working on the economic scrutiny of high profile railway investment projects. 

How do you think your studies prepared you for employability and gaining you current position?

Looking back, I am amazed how quickly I developed a marketable skillset whilst at UEA. Great feedback and support on essay writing helps to refine vital written communication skills. Learning how to present a concise and balanced argument, for example, is a key skill that I use in my work every day. Also key to my everyday work as a government analyst is the ability to interpret and analyse complex problems, a skill that 3 years of Economics at UEA provided a fantastic grounding in.

I was also able to work part time as a research assistant alongside a lecturer, giving me valuable practical experience of working with data.

George Tucker

Course/ Year Graduated: BSc Business Economics 2013
Employer: RBB Economics
Location: London

Career so far:

Straight after leaving UEA I did a five month long internship at the European Commission, in the Chief Economist Team at DG Competition.  While there I helped provide economic analysis for merger decisions. The experience was enlightening and helped set me up for my current position.

I was fortunate enough to work on a relatively small case, which meant that I could see the whole process from beginning to end.  I was asked to evaluate an econometric submission from the merging parties, which really showed me the role of economic analysis in policy decisions.

A month after finishing at the Commission, I started work at RBB Economics – a consultancy specialising in competition economics.  Whilst here, I’ve worked on a wide range of cases all over the world – from the UK to Papua New Guinea competition authority – in all sorts of industries, from rubbish collection to VAT refunds.

Day to day, the job generally consists of writing economic papers and providing advice to clients.  This includes data analysis and econometrics as well as theoretical and intuitive reasoning.  

How do you think your studies prepared you for employability and gaining you current position?

The teaching was generally focused on understanding key concepts, reasoning and stages in analyses, rather than just memorising derivations.  This made it a lot easier to apply the intuition of a model to a new set of facts, which has been particularly useful in both interviews and my job itself.

The course gave me the technical skills and the confidence to carry out my own analysis.  The dissertation was particularly useful, as it was a great way to see exactly the kinds of problems that crop up and practice dealing with them.  It also gave me the chance to do something I was really interested in.

I now have the ability to understand a wide range of literature, including academic and commercial studies and regulatory decisions.  This has been very useful, as understanding and criticising literature is a large part of my job.

Most importantly, I feel the course has put me in a good position to continue to improve my knowledge and understanding of economics.