Where are they now? Richard Mosley
(MSc Economics, 2015)

Richard MosleyAs well as graduating in January 2016 - after completing a postgraduate degree in the Department of Economics - Richard Mosley was also awarded the Gilbert Prize in Economics as an outstanding Masters student within the department. Here we speak to him about his favourite things about Sheffield, the challenge of studying while working full time, and his plans for the future.

What did you study while at Sheffield?

I studied part time for a Masters in Economics. I was first attracted to the subject when I was in high school, as I realised that economic issues were an ever-present part of everyone’s lives. The start of the financial crisis in 2007-08, coinciding with my A-levels, made the subject much more high-profile and of greater interest in understanding why economies were failing, and what policies could be used to help the global economy recover.

Having studied economics at undergraduate level, my decision to study a Masters was largely driven through wanting to deepen my understanding in the topic.

What first attracted you to Sheffield?

Lots of my friends and colleagues recommended Sheffield to me – and I’m glad I took their advice! It’s a fantastic city with lots of facilities and events going on throughout the year, so there is always something to do.

Everyone I came across, both staff and students, was incredibly friendly when I first started looking into applying, so it felt just the right place to study.

As I was working full time in Sheffield it also meant running from lectures to meetings was much easier! And now I’m recommending the University to everyone I know!

Did you get involved in any clubs or societies during your studies?

No – and that’s my biggest regret. I’d encourage everyone to get involved in as many things as possible. I did, however, regularly attend the wide range of public lectures and speakers that many organisations from the University arranged. For example, SPERI (Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute) and InstEAD (Institute for Economic Analysis of Decision-making) organise some excellent events with a number of high-profile speakers. For example, I recently went to the excellent presentation given by Sir Vince Cable.

What are some of your favourite things to do in Sheffield?

Sheffield is a vibrant city with so many things to do. Meadowhall offers great shopping, the Crucible has a number of theatre shows, and going to the Peak District offers stunning views. During my time in Sheffield, I’ve become a snooker fan – I didn’t even like it a couple of years ago. However when the World Championship arrives each year, you do get caught up in the excitement and atmosphere of such a prestigious event.

What is your best memory from Sheffield?

My graduation in January. The University and the Economics Department went to great lengths to make it such a special day for everyone there. It also offered the opportunity to reflect and celebrate all of the hard work and the successes over the last two years with fellow students, staff and family. It was a very memorable day.

How aware are you of the alumni service, and do you think it is important to stay in touch with your university?

I think it’s incredibly important to stay in touch. The friends you make and the connections you develop throughout your time at Sheffield are invaluable for the future – so I definitely recommend keeping in touch. The alumni service contributes an enormous amount to the University – so do sign up (I signed up on my graduation day).

(L-R) Professor Peter Wright, Richard Mosley, Dr Francisco Requena-SilventeHaving completed your Masters you were awarded the Gilbert Prize in Economics. How did you feel receiving the award?

I didn’t believe it! I waited until I had it in formal writing before I started telling anyone as I feared there might have been a mix-up! Once it had sunk it, it was an amazing feeling and I felt very honoured to have been recognised.

You completed your Masters part time while continuing to work. How did you find the challenge of mixing the two?

Challenging but rewarding! Throughout my degree, my employer offered great flexibility for me to do my studies, and the University were very supportive too – so I couldn’t have asked for any more. I was able to transfer the skills I was learning on my course to my job, in particular micro-econometric techniques, which felt really pleasing that my studies were having an impact. I would encourage anyone considering doing a part-time masters to go for it – you won’t be disappointed.

What do you think will be the main things you take away from your course and apply to your job?

Working as an economist means many of the technical skills learnt during my MSc Economics course - which has a really good balance of theory and application - could be transferred across to my work; for example evaluating the effectiveness of policies. However, your time at University helps develop your softer-skills, for example increasing your confidence, or helping you communicate and present in different styles to different audiences. The skills you learn are endless!

What is your ultimate goal for the future?

I still don’t know! I thoroughly enjoy my job as an economic adviser for the Department for Work and Pensions, so continuing to work and progress there remains my current goal. I could also be tempted to study further and undertake a PhD.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self or someone else considering postgraduate study?

I’d recommend thinking about why you want to study for a postgraduate qualification. It requires a lot of hard work and motivation – so it’s important to do it for the right reasons – but I’m sure you’ll find it very worthwhile.

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