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Hello Again!!!

Hello,

My name is Alice and I was the course ambassador for economics last year, and am continuing in my role this year! I studied BSc Economics at Middlesex University, did a placement at a Swedish bank throughout the summer, and now have a full time role with them based in Northampton.

I am here to answer any question you may have regarding life at Middlesex, the economics courses, and will try and help with anything else you may wish to ask as quickly as I can!

Alice

Middlesex Course Ambassador

Economics
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FAQs

Last year, there were a few questions I was asked quite regularly so I will address those below:

1) How difficult is the maths?

Answering as someone who only did maths GCSE at school, and point blank refused to take it on to A-Level, I feel the maths is challenging but not impossible... So much of it is mind over matter; I would see equations and panic thinking there was no way I could possibly even consider answering that, but being patient, and going step by step through them alongside my lecturer, I ended up having no issues with any of the maths! Students with A-Level maths will find it a lot easier than I did, but if you don't have A-Level maths, don't worry - I managed just fine!

2) How much do the books cost, and which books will I need?

The books will cost you nothing - they are all available to loan from the library, and economics students are provided with free electronic copies of the core text books, which are accessible any time, from anywhere! When you start university you will be provided with a reading list; this list does not mean you have to read every page of every book, but acts as a guide as to which books are the most relevant to your course, so would be the best ones to consult if you feel you would like to do some further reading. Most lecturers will use the core textbooks in their class, and may set you questions from these books, but like I said above, these are all accessible online.

3) Should I do an internship or placement?

I am a huge believer in internships and think that if you can find one that suits you, it is definitely worth doing! I do however also feel, that it is not worth doing an internship just for the sake of it; if it is not in an area that interests you, or if it is unpaid and you cannot really afford to take it on, don't, this is because long term, it will not benefit you. I suggest you start your research into internships and placements, specifically summer ones, as soon as possible... There are some good websites out there, and I can post these on here at a later date if this is something you may find useful? My internship at a bank led to a full time job, so if you find one that you can afford to take on, and that seems as if the job would appeal to you, it is 100% worth giving up your summer for! Plus, a lot of internships are now paid, so they can actually really help you in the summer financially.

4) What are the classes like?

In economics, you usually have three hour sessions; the first 1.5 hours is lecture based and will cover this weeks' topic, and the second 1.5 hours is the seminar where you will go over the work set in last weeks' lecture. There are also some labs held occasionally to teach you things that must be done on computers, however these are quite rare until third year. The number of sessions you have a week depends on the number of modules you have, in my first year I had four modules, so was only in 12 hours a week, however the lecturers expect you to spend the same amount of time studying at home, so in theory you will also spend 12 hours self studying; this does vary week by week depending on the difficulty and amount of work set.

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 13/11/16

This week has been a very busy one for me! On Wednesday I went to an investment conference in London held by Brown Shipley and The Roberts Partnership, with guest speaker Michael Portillo; and incredibly interesting man, providing a different way of looking at both the Trump election win, and Brexit. I have had a lot of work to do, as now I am getting more experience, I am being given more responsibility, and therefore more work to do! I took some annual leave on Friday, however this was used to catch up on housework and chores I don't usually get time to do working full time! I usually leave for work at 6:30am, and get home around 6:30-7pm!

A standard university week for me would have consisted of 12 hours of lectures, hockey training on a Monday evening, rugby training on a Tuesday evening, and a pub quiz which is held weekly at the university's local pub - The Claddagh Ring. The lectures you have depend on what modules are required, and what modules are optional, however across all three years, there is one module covering macroeconomic principals, and one covering microeconomic principals. I usually had about 10 hours' worth of seminar work to complete in my own time, however had Thursdays and Fridays off in my final year, meaning it was more than achievable, and usually left me with some spare time to do extra reading.

If you have any questions about my week, or university life, pop a message on here and I usually reply the same day!

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 19/11/16

This week has been somewhat tedious at work – it has all been desk based, and I have found myself eager to get out the office so was relieved to discover I will be spending a day at head office in London next week!

The University women’s hockey and rugby teams both had matches this week, and the hockey team lost by only conceding one goal in the last couple of minutes – with a 9 man team!!!

When I was at University last year, I found myself getting pretty swamped with work, the first couple of weeks consisted of getting back into the swing of thigs, and it was about now that essay deadlines start looming and revision for January exams begins. I had one exam in early December last year, so produced a timetable to ensure I managed my time effectively, as well as making sure I had some free time.

If you have any questions about my week, or university life, pop a message on here and I usually reply the same day!

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 26/11/16

This week has been a very desk-based one, I have not had a chance to get to London, but definitely will be next week which is going to be a much needed change of scenery for the day! I kept a keen eye on the Autumn statement, as it has a huge impact and a strong understanding is necessary, especially in the banking sector - I would definitely advise you begin reading up on current financial affairs, as this enables you to apply some knowledge learnt in the classroom, such as different economic measures, to real life events.

At University this time last year, similarly to last week, I would be really starting to get my head down and revise as exams and the first essay deadlines would have been looming. It is however vital, that however much work you need to complete, you do take some time for yourself to relax, as putting yourself under constant stress will reduce your ability to work to the best of your ability.

Next week I am due to go on a couple of courses which I will tell you about next week - I made the assumption that once I was out of university I was done learning, but how wrong I was! The difference is, everything I now learn is applied directly to my work, which makes it far easier to learn to an extent!

As usual, if you have any questions about economics, university life, or even graduate/work life, just post on this thread and I will reply as quickly as possible!

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 04/12/16

This week has been hectic to say the least! Monday and Tuesday were just standard office desk-based days, however on Tuesday evening I travelled down to London, ready to spend Wednesday doing a number of different things. I attended university to have a couple of photographs taken, I went to a meeting regarding my personal banking, and I went to a meeting at my banks' London head office to learn about a rather complicated piece of work!

On Thursday I spent my day at a course covering everything Excel, it is staggering what can be done with that program, and would highly advise an Excel course, or to self-learn the more complicated aspects, as this seems to be a program I am now using on almost a daily basis, and an in-depth understanding really helps in improving the quality of your work, and helps you save vital time by learning shortcuts and how to get Excel to do all the hard work for you.

Friday was back into the office, and we put up the Christmas decorations, ready for all the Christmas events coming up next week - I am beginning to realise how important networking skills are, and how vital it is to be confident, so this is something I would really suggest you work on throughout university. Whether that be through joining new societies, and gaining the confidence to approach new individuals and introduce yourself, or attending student focused networking events - there are a lot more than you would realise, and attending different events such as guest lectures both inside and outside university are very beneficial.

At university, this week would have been one of the last weeks before the end of term, so they begin to focus on revision based material, the best advice I can give for these kind of lectures is to cover everything you can in your personal time, in order to realise what you do not understand and ensure you ask your lecturers at the revision sessions.

Next week is very Christmas event focused, and looks to be a busy one!

Any questions about economics, university life at Middlesex, or working life, just post on here and I will get back to you ASAP!

Alice

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Economics
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What I've been doing this week - 11/12/16

This week has been incredibly event filled. I had a Christmas quiz run by a local solicitors' firm to attend; frustratingly we came second, only a couple of points off the top spot! I also had my firms' Christmas drinks at our office for everyone to attend which was incredibly tiring as it meant a lot of preparation, as well as a late finish. Finally, I had the work Christmas party which was a nice chance to socialise with everyone from my office and have some good food and drink!

At uni this time last year, this will have been my final week; I had a lot of deadlines due as well as a couple of exams. I had done all my essays in advance, however I always get very stressed around exam time, and tend to spend a ridiculous amount of time revising as I almost feel guilty if I spend time doing anything else! It is incredibly nice however to have the majority of exams and deadlines before the Christmas break, as it enables you to relax a little, however it does vary by topic as to when your exams and deadlines will be.

If you find yourself with nothing to do over the Christmas break, I would advise starting to read up on whatever you will be covering next term, as it is quite easy to do absolutely nothing over the break and become somewhat out of habit.

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 18/12/16

This week would have been my first week off for the Christmas break whilst at University, and I had no deadlines or exams in January, however I had a big project due at the end of the academic year, so spent this week starting to plan and write up the project, to ensure I wasn't right up against it with time come the end of the year. I also started to look at the work I would be covering the following term and reading some of the relevant chapters in my textbooks.

At work, I had to go to our regional office in Birmingham this week to attend a course; I completely underestimated how much longer my days would be in comparison to university. It is much more time consuming being in full time work, and a lot more tiring, however the money and the independence it provides you with is amazing and well worth it!

Preparations for Christmas are really starting to begin too, making things even more hectic! I can't wait for the four days off over the Christmas holidays!

If you have any questions about economics at Middlesex, or graduate life, post on this thread and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 25/12/16

This week has been incredibly quiet at work as people are starting to shut down for the holidays, and there has been very little to do however it has been ideal for catching up on paperwork and filing that I have been too busy to get round to whilst I have had lots of work and things to attend the past few weeks.

I must admit that this week last year was primarily spent sleeping in, catching up with friends at home as I return to my family home for Christmas, and helping my family get everything ready for the busy few days over Christmas. I did however try to keep in the habit of reading up on my topics for the next term, and I starting to really crack on with my end of year project, as it consisted of 20 pages and required a substantial amount of research, background reading, and learning of the concepts being discussed.

For my big end of year project, I found it incredibly helpful to start off with a pen and paper, and physically write down everything I wanted to include, where I wanted to get the information from, and then began to organise it into an order of where it would go in the report, as well as when I was going to complete it. I find it so easy when I have a large piece of work for it to become incredibly disjointed and disorganised, so it is vital that I write and plan everything down before I even attempt to write the full report.

If you have any questions about the course, or my coursework let me know!

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 01/01/17

This week has been just as quiet at work as last week was, so again the majority of my time has been spent doing filing and the odd jobs round the office that have been put on the back burner whilst we have been busy. I went on a small holiday yesterday, and I am due to return next Tuesday; it is incredibly important to take some time away from chores at home, and work, otherwise you will never get the opportunity to recharge your batteries to ensure you can return to work refreshed.

Last year, it will have been time to start packing up and preparing to return to university the following week, in order to get settled in and do any homework that was due upon returning to class. Despite having no official deadlines or exams in January, my professors did still give us seminar work to complete on a weekly basis so there was work due to be completed.

Apologies there has not been much to tell you about this week; it has just been so quiet and there hasn't really been anything of note to mention! Hopefully I will have more to say next week.

As usual, any questions just post on this feed and I will reply as best I can.

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 08/01/17

I have been off all week bar Friday, so it has been a really nice chilled out week, I got home from my trip to Jersey on Tuesday and spent Wednesday and Thursday catching up with friends I haven't seen in a while, and doing everything around the house that I have neglected to do over the busy Christmas period. I have refrained from sale shopping this year, and I am incredibly proud of myself for doing so - it is amazing how much money I saved by actually questioning whether or not I need something simply because it is 50% off!

I had meetings on Friday and spent most of my day catching up with work that has built up whilst I have been off, as well as sorting through emails and going through paperwork. There are no major meetings or trips out of the office next week so I hope to be fully up to date shortly, in preparation for things to get a little hectic again!

This week at uni would have been the week I would be going back, in anticipation for lectures that would start next week. Going back down to London for university is always bittersweet for me, as it is nice to be in London and regain some independence lost at home, however I used to miss my friends, family and dogs a lot when I had been away from them for a while. I would have spent this week making sure that all work expected during my week back was complete, and that any necessary reading was done.

If you have any questions about economics at Middlesex University, or about university life, post here and I will reply as quickly as possible!

Alice

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Economics
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What I've been doing this week - 15/01/17

This week has been pretty heavy going! A couple of my colleagues have been off this week, meaning that I have had to take on some extra working, meaning I have been pretty stressed this week. Looking back on it this weekend though, I learnt far more by being "thrown into the deep end" than I have so far! I have booked my hotel and train tickets for my trip to regional head office is Birmingham this coming week, it is my induction course, so I shall learn far more about the bank.

I have also called a few offer holders this week, so if I spoke to you, it was nice to speak to you, and hopefully meet you soon! Anyone I have not yet had the chance to talk to, hopefully I will speak to you soon!

This week would have been my first week back at university last year, and it was straight into the next topic in each module - third year is pretty hectic and you don't tend to get gently eased into anything like you are in year one or two! Most of my exams for these modules would have been around April/May time, so there is a lot to learn this term, in a relatively short space of time.

If you have any questions about the economics course, or about life at Middlesex University, please post on this thread and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 29/01/17

The highlight of this week has definitely been getting to meet all the VIP offer holders at our event! If I did get you meet you, then I hope I answered any questions you had, and if you have anymore, post on here and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Everyone else, I hope I get to see you at one of the other many events we are holding between now and the summer, but equally if you have any burning questions you would like answering sooner rather than later, just post below and I will get back to you.

Work has steadied out a bit this week, I have had a couple of things going on at home so have needed some time off, but slowly but surely I think I am catching up with my work, and getting back on top of things.

I have been desperate for a good nights' sleep so I am hoping I will be able to catch up on things this weekend!

Uni this time of year is usually quite steady, exams tend to have finished by now, and it is back into the classroom learning new topics for the next round of exams. As the year goes on, I tend to find the work does get more complex, and you tend to develop ideas over the course of the year.

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What I've been doing this week - 05/02/17

This week has been incredibly busy at work, all of a sudden I seem to have found myself inundated with 1001 things that all have to be done immediately, and despite feeling somewhat overwhelmed, it means I am learning at a far greater pace than I have been up to this point. I am starting my banking exams soon, so need to start taking time out to read over my learning materials for those, as well as remembering to take some time out for myself! Working life is not as easy as I first expected, but is definitely worth it!

This time of year at university is spent cracking on with the new topics, and getting back into the university mindset that is so easily lost over the Christmas holidays. In third year, around now, there is a sudden realisation about how close to finishing your degree you are, and I found this boost of motivation around now, that encouraged me to push through these few final months.

At university, these months leading up to the summer exams are usually the most stressful, meaning it is so important you get involved in extra curricular activities, such as joining a sports team or making time to go out and socialise with friends.

If you have any questions about life at Middlesex, or the economics course, just post on here and I will get back to you as soon as possible!


Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 12/02/17

This week I did some filming to go onto the University YouTube channel... I am not sure when this will be put up, however it was all about the economics course, and different locations across the University campus. It was nice being back at Middlesex, and reminds me of this time last year which was spent starting to work out my revision timetable, and organise the next few months.

In third year, these next few months are very stressful as all the coursework deadlines are looming, as well as exams, however the lecturers appreciate this, and are usually very supportive as long as you attend their lectures/seminars and tell them if you are struggling too much.

I would strongly advise going over all seminar questions, as from previous experience these are asked for a reason, and are usually preparation for the exams. Also make the most of your lecturers, and ask any questions you have, however silly you may think they are - that is what your lecturers are there for!

If you have any questions, please feel free to post on here and I will reply!

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 19/02/17

I have spent a considerable amount of time this week calling lots of prospective students inviting them to our Applicant Day at the university. It is set to be an incredibly exciting day intended to give students an insight into life at Middlesex University; there will be two excellent economics lecturers attending, due to run a class, and I shall be there to answer any questions about student life or anything else you may wish to ask! If you are reading this and have not yet signed up, or haven't received a phone call, you should get a call in the next week, and you are able to sign up for the day yourself online - I would highly recommend you do!

This week at work has dragged, there has been a lot of rather tedious tasks to complete such as filing and paperwork, but as always, I am still learning so it is useful to do. I signed up for my first lot of banking exams this week too, so I am one tiny step closer to the end goal, it is always important to see how everything you do contributes to your future, as without that mindset it is very easy to get bored, lazy, and just give up.

The above viewpoint also applies to university; this time last year was the final run up to completing my degree, and it is very easy to feel swamped with work and overwhelmed, and get close to giving up, therefore you have to see it as a means to completing your degree, getting the graduate job you've been aspiring to, and getting the salary that enables you to have the nice car, holidays and clothes! University is a huge learning curve emotionally, and it teaches you how to self motivate, and also ask for help when you need it, it gets you involved in things you'd never have imagined doing prior to university such as public speaking, or a new sport!

Hopefully I will see any students considering joining the university in September next weekend, and if you have any questions you wish to ask, feel free to come and find me on the day, or post on this feed and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 26/02/17

Firstly, it was lovely to meet a couple of you yesterday, and to give you a taste of life at Middlesex as a university student! I hope you found the day interesting and informative, and that it was a useful insight into what your future may hold! For anyone that didn't attend, it was a chance to meet the lecturers, have a taster session which was a session similar to a seminar you would attend in first year, as well as an opportunity to speak to departments such as the accommodation team, employability service, and the admissions team.

This week for me has been busy; I have a lot of work on at the moment, the majority of which has been desk based but has meant I am learning a lot more than expected. I took Friday off work for my mother's birthday and we went to the Harry Potter studios - an experience which was absolutely brilliant (even though I'm not one of the biggest Harry Potter fans out there!).

This time last year at university I was starting to have the last few lectures leading up to Easter in March time; this meant that all the new topics had already been learnt, or were coming close to being completed, and that lectures were becoming more focused on revision and exam preparation. I also had a few deadlines looming, so any coursework I had not yet started, I was beginning to do and those that were partially complete were being finalised.

I know I say it every week, but any questions please do not hesitate to post in here! I am happy to give you an honest answer, and would like to help wherever I can!

Alice

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What I've been doing this week - 05/03/17

This week has been a very quiet one with nothing of note happening. Work has been business as usual, and nothing interesting has really happened, however this weekend I did a huge shop at IKEA and consequently spent the rest of the weekend attempting to build everything I had purchased - most notably a shoe rack that fits 40 pairs and still isn't big enough!

This time at University is when the elections for all the roles in the students' union are announced, so people begin campaigning and trying to gain the votes of the students. This is always an exciting time, as it gives the students a voice and gives them a chance to decide who will be representing them the following year, as well as who they trust to make the changes we need and want; it always creates quite a buzz across campus!

Easter holidays are slowly creeping up on the university students which is an incredibly important time. This normally marks the end of all taught lessons for the year, and is when the deadlines and exams are held; meaning it is the most stressful period, and probably the time of year absolutely everyone works their hardest.

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What I've been doing this week - 12/03/17

This week at work has felt similar to last week; relatively quiet, with nothing major going on. I have been focusing on my health somewhat more, as with an income, I have found I can afford to invest a bit more into my health! I am missing the sports teams at University, as they are basically one big family, and everyone supports each other to achieve their health and fitness aspirations, as well as in every other aspect of life.

It is a big change going from University where you are constantly surrounded by friends, and exciting things going on, to finding yourself working in an office with people you maybe can't be quite as open with - it is a huge part of growing up, but it is probably one of the worst parts about leaving University!

I have quite a few friends running in the elections campaign, and they are all working so hard - keep an eye out for it all when you join University as it is a great thing to get involved in!

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What I've been doing this week - 19/03/17

This week work has perked up a bit; there have been more meetings to attend, more events to arrange, and more things to do in general. I have had no power all weekend which means I have felt a bit lost!!! I have started doing reading for my banking exams, and need to book them shortly, and some of the content feels somewhat simplistic, and basic, however it is important to remember they are a means to an end, and however boring the materials may be at the moment, it will get more interesting and better as I move onto more complex subjects.

This has been the week of voting for the elections at university, and it has really increased the buzz across campus; everyone will be campaigning for their favourite candidate, there was a question time for the candidates, where anyone could put their questions to them, in order to make an informed vote.

Varsity for the sports teams is next week which is always the sporting highlight of the year at university, and never fails to be an amazing day full of sports and socialisation!

Any questions about university life, economics, or anything else, post on here and I shall reply as soon as possible!

Alice

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