Richard Havell

Company: Competition and Markets Authority

Role: Economics Adviser

How has your career developed since graduating?

When I graduated, I got a job as a consultant at a competition economics-focused consultancy. I'm now a civil servant and an economist in the mergers team at the CMA.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?

I enjoy learning about a new industry and being able to talk to people who work in that industry about how it works. I also like when we finish a case and take an action which has a large effect, like blocking a merger.

What is your greatest work achievement since graduating?

I was heavily involved in the scoping, analysis and writing of the State of Competition in the UK report of 2020. This report was used by lots of policymakers (including ministers), got press attention, and is now being turned into a regular report.

What advice would you offer to current students interested in working in your field?

Keep up to date on the latest news. There's a huge amount of public interest in competition economics, especially when it comes to big tech and large mergers. New economic theory is being made to examine these events.

What do you think are the most important things you learnt as part of your course?

Case studies and practical examples are a major part of how UEA teaches economics, especially industrial organisation. These drive interest in the theory, while also reminding you that there's a world beyond it.

Which skills do you think will be necessary now and in 5 years to succeed in your field?

Writing clearly and in a well-structured way. While verbal presentations are important, written reports and papers will always be the primary way you will communicate as an economist.

How do you think studying Economics at UEA as helped you in your career?

UEA is well-known in the competition economics world, so my degrees from there have been a valuable asset in convincing people to give me jobs.

What is your favourite memory from studying in ECO?

Our entire MSc class staying up all night in the library to finish the technical exercise on the industrial economics course.