Rigorous and flexible masters degree
Why did you choose to study the MSc Economics?
I chose to keep my module options open by choosing the MSc Economics course. The reason I did this was simply because of my interests across the economics spectrum and I didn’t want to miss out on the chance to explore these in my Masters. There’s a fantastic range of experience in the lecturers in the department so I made my choices based on picking up technical skills and understanding across the Econometric and Public Policy Evaluation modules, whilst also exploring my own interests and understanding of economic concepts in development and health economics.
What was your favourite module?
A standout module for me has to be the Health Economics module which is an optional choice in semester one. Like many of the modules, there are opportunities to take the learning process away from the standard lecture format into group discussions, but the Health Economics module takes this a step further. The lecture each week is on a key academic reading from Health Economics, which we breakdown and discuss as a group.
This method of learning is really rewarding as everyone bounces off each other in the session and it presents a great opportunity to hear other people’s opinions when discussing fundamental topics, like what does ‘need’ mean in relation to health. In addition to improving my ability to critically understand academic texts, the biggest takeaway of the module for me was my understanding of the fundamentals of economics. By stripping each academic text back to its philosophical standpoints each week, it really helped to widen my view of economics across other modules.
During my BSc Economics degree at Sheffield I undertook a summer internship in a tax consulting position at a ‘big four’ accountancy firm. Although I had a great experience the most important thing I learnt about myself is that I didn’t see myself doing that job in the future and it reinforced my belief in doing the MSc Economics course and following a career in economics. Not every job is for everyone and there’s plenty of opportunities whilst at university to find out what you do and don’t enjoy. Be sure to take advantage of any careers talks, alumni events, and the experience of lecturers in the department.
Whilst at University I tried to figure out which careers I may or may not want to pursue in the future as obviously not every job is for everyone. The department in conjunction with the student run Economics Society frequently holds careers talks and alumni events which are great opportunities to speak to people working within particular sectors to get their insights. A great scheme I was involved in which is one to look out for is called eMentoring, where you can choose from a range of alumni to be mentored by for a semester. This gave me a chance to be mentored with a civil service economist on a weekly basis to get an insight into their job as well as developing myself and my own job applications.
University is a great chance to get involved with societies and plenty of activities you wouldn’t necessarily get involved with otherwise. I was a member of the squash society and the economics society where I was the Treasurer in my Masters year. Being in both societies was great to meet people across different years and courses that I wouldn’t otherwise have met, and being treasurer of the Economics Society was a really rewarding experience to be able to play a role in organising events and seeing them well received by other students.
I now work as an Econometrician for Brightblue Consulting in London. You can probably tell from the job title, the econometric skills I learnt through the courses at Sheffield have been really valuable. I was keen to follow an economics career path after leaving Sheffield so I knew it would be useful to pick up as much technical knowledge as I could to complement my understanding of economic theory so I could carry out economics in practice.
The core econometric modules in semester one and two were fantastic in advancing my knowledge, but also the dissertation and module Public Policy Evaluation proved to be excellent opportunities to learn a wide range of economic applications and how to practically undertake data analysis using Stata.
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