Monday, 24 September 2012

Economics at the University of Birmingham

Such a hectic week, so I've rushed a few things so I could squeeze in a blog post today. I'm going to focus this one of Economics at the University of Birmingham, which is where I am currently studying. I arrived on Sunday the 16th of September and as of today, the 24th, i started my 3 year Bsc course in Economics properly. I will be blogging about what I've learned, as well as going into depth more during my debates as my economic knowledge improves.

The timetable I've created myself for the coming semester (24th September - 7th December) is as follows:

A bit confusing I know, but basically every 'code' in the timetable corresponds to either a room or a subject in the keys at the bottom. From this you can see that I'll be studying modules in the following disciplines: Principles of Economics, Mathematical Modelling for Economists, Advanced Quantitative Methods, Economic History of Britain and European Economic Issues. Excited is an understatement, I just want to dive in and start. I'll be blogging about all of these subjects within the next few months so stay tuned for them. Follow the blog as well to keep in touch.

Anyway, I'd like to talk about my application process to study at the University of Birmingham as well. I knew from early on in my AS level studies that economics is what i wanted to take further. It always helps to have an idea of what you actually want to do when it comes to the visiting stage of universities or else you could be in for some very long days trawling from talk-to-talk on different subjects. Not fun! I looked at umpteen different universities: University of Bristol, University of Bath, University of Southampton and the University of Warwick to name but a few. I had no issues with any of the universities I visited, it's just I found Birmingham to be more 'me', so to speak (So far it's proving to be!). So i went through the application stage and was given an offer from Birmingham of AAB or AABB because I studied four subjects through to A2 level. I met this target with a grade A in economics, A in computing and a B in both maths and history. So, it all went to plan and here I am. But, that was only the grades. Of course universities expect a lot more; expressed through your personal statement. Speaking from experience, I found this to be the hardest part of the application process, as I'm sure many other people did too. However, displaying your interest in the subject is all that really needs to be done. For me, I talked about the fact that I blogged about the subject (fully recommend it, great revision and fun too!)  which displayed an interest in the subject outside of college hours. Also mention any books you've read. 'Freakonomics' is a good one, seems to be quite a commonly read economic related book, but still, they all count and plus it's quite an entertaining read. Subscribe to the Economist too! Being a student you can get some great deals on it, 12 issues for £12 is a great example, you can't turn that down! Basically, i padded out the personal statement with a variety of economic related things to show my interest, rather than just monotonously listing a bunch of books i'd read. It seemed to work, so take note!

...and here I am at Birmingham! Loving it so far, the course looks great, exactly what I want to learn about - so I can't wait to start. Seems like I'll be starting properly next week as I've previous economic experience so just a week more of waiting around! I plan to do some reading around the subject. Also, I'm starting to put myself out there in terms of networking. I've joined a number of societies and plan on getting involved as much as I can to get my name in with potential graduate employers. I'd love to chat with anyone with experience in the banking and finance industry, so drop me a comment if you don't mind and we can talk! Once again, thanks for reading, enjoy your day, stay tuned & follow the blog!