Why did I decide to pursue Economics?

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HarrysimsEu
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I found my way into what will be my passion somewhat accidentally. Unlike my sister, who flew straight through college and University with a set goal (and a strong tendency to achieve those goals), I was indecisive about what I wanted to go on and do. I went from an aspiring pilot to royal marine to lawyer to entrepreneur, and that was all within 3 years… starting at age 16.

After scrapping the Marine idea, I joined sixth-form as a hopeful future lawyer; taking A-levels that suited that dream opposed to what I truly enjoyed (Mathematics). Upon finishing my AS-levels I realising that I no longer wanted to be a lawyer, after spending 5 weeks working for one. I was at a loss. During this time, I had been working at an estate agency and, in my youthful naivety, felt that I had identified a gap in the market for a ‘property sourcing agency’. I attended a week lecture with the Princes’ Trust, going full throttle with this idea, but after just one meeting with an expert, and through my market research, I found the idea was not scalable and barely feasible. So, I just took the full-time position offered to me at the estate agency as I did not feel like I had many other options. This is NOT a disregard for estate agents, however, whilst working for them I discovered their parasitic tendencies and daily manipulation tactics (Again, this is not ALL estate agents). I felt that it was only right to fulfil my prophecy of hopping around so volunteered to be a ‘business adviser’ in Ghana for 3 months. I have been to Africa numerous times previously on ‘adventure holidays’ but the desire to return was an itch that could not be satisfied through any other means.

It was out in Ghana that I discovered the book “Why Nations Fail” and was taken aback by the, somewhat, the simplicity of the solution and difficulty of the problem of sustainable growth. After finishing the book within weeks, I picked up “How the west underdeveloped Africa” which was conflicting for me as it felt more of an opinion piece than anything factual (not saying their argument was wrong). I realised that the questions I began posing such as “why are there so many unfinished building projects in Ghana?” and “why is the currency so volatile?” were explained through Economic theory. I do not fully understand the explanations, and all the arguments are subject to contention, nevertheless, I found myself passionate about something. I started reading more about economics once I returned to the UK. Discovering classical theories, such as Keynes, and more recently, Marianna Mazzucato’s theory behind our misplaced value on ‘value’.

The bookshelf is now full to the brim, and I can recommend endless books to those like me who wish to discover more of this field, I also invite anyone who has any recommendations to fire away! I have decided that this passion would be best served in academia and have applied to University next year, whilst completing an A-Level in Maths and an Access Course this year.

*I wrote this in preparation for my interview for University coming up in a weeks’ time. The question of “Why?” is inevitable so wanted to put my answer down on paper. I would love to hear how you discovered your passion and, if you’re an economist, what drew you to the cynical science! This isn’t necessarily an AMA, but fire me any questions you may have!
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listentowhatisay
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you shouldv'e put 'AMA' the title

nevertheless, why did you make this thread?
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Ze Witcher
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(Original post by HarrysimsEu)
I found my way into what will be my passion somewhat accidentally. Unlike my sister, who flew straight through college and University with a set goal (and a strong tendency to achieve those goals), I was indecisive about what I wanted to go on and do. I went from an aspiring pilot to royal marine to lawyer to entrepreneur, and that was all within 3 years… starting at age 16.

After scrapping the Marine idea, I joined sixth-form as a hopeful future lawyer; taking A-levels that suited that dream opposed to what I truly enjoyed (Mathematics). Upon finishing my AS-levels I realising that I no longer wanted to be a lawyer, after spending 5 weeks working for one. I was at a loss. During this time, I had been working at an estate agency and, in my youthful naivety, felt that I had identified a gap in the market for a ‘property sourcing agency’. I attended a week lecture with the Princes’ Trust, going full throttle with this idea, but after just one meeting with an expert, and through my market research, I found the idea was not scalable and barely feasible. So, I just took the full-time position offered to me at the estate agency as I did not feel like I had many other options. This is NOT a disregard for estate agents, however, whilst working for them I discovered their parasitic tendencies and daily manipulation tactics (Again, this is not ALL estate agents). I felt that it was only right to fulfil my prophecy of hopping around so volunteered to be a ‘business adviser’ in Ghana for 3 months. I have been to Africa numerous times previously on ‘adventure holidays’ but the desire to return was an itch that could not be satisfied through any other means.

It was out in Ghana that I discovered the book “Why Nations Fail” and was taken aback by the, somewhat, the simplicity of the solution and difficulty of the problem of sustainable growth. After finishing the book within weeks, I picked up “How the west underdeveloped Africa” which was conflicting for me as it felt more of an opinion piece than anything factual (not saying their argument was wrong). I realised that the questions I began posing such as “why are there so many unfinished building projects in Ghana?” and “why is the currency so volatile?” were explained through Economic theory. I do not fully understand the explanations, and all the arguments are subject to contention, nevertheless, I found myself passionate about something. I started reading more about economics once I returned to the UK. Discovering classical theories, such as Keynes, and more recently, Marianna Mazzucato’s theory behind our misplaced value on ‘value’.

The bookshelf is now full to the brim, and I can recommend endless books to those like me who wish to discover more of this field, I also invite anyone who has any recommendations to fire away! I have decided that this passion would be best served in academia and have applied to University next year, whilst completing an A-Level in Maths and an Access Course this year.

*I wrote this in preparation for my interview for University coming up in a weeks’ time. The question of “Why?” is inevitable so wanted to put my answer down on paper. I would love to hear how you discovered your passion and, if you’re an economist, what drew you to the cynical science! This isn’t necessarily an AMA, but fire me any questions you may have!
Going to be brutal, but your answer is s*** for several reasons:
- Why are you talking about your sister? Irrelevant imo
- It's way, way too long
- The Ghana bit is alright
- Speak in simple terms, you're not reading an essay to them.
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HarrysimsEu
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(Original post by Ze Witcher)
Going to be brutal, but your answer is s*** for several reasons:
- Why are you talking about your sister? Irrelevant imo
- It's way, way too long
- The Ghana bit is alright
- Speak in simple terms, you're not reading an essay to them.
Hello!
Thank you for the feedback, I prefer brutal honesty. To answer your questions; For points 1/2/4 - This will not be my full answer to that question, this was a way for me to collect thoughts and convey my understanding/ interest. Yes, the first 2 paras would be a waste in a formal answer and far too long. I think one of the best ways to understand a belief is to talk about. Which is why I also invited people to talk about theirs.
Thanks again!
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HarrysimsEu
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(Original post by listentowhatisay)
you shouldv'e put 'AMA' the title

nevertheless, why did you make this thread?
That would have been a better idea, hindsight!

Secondly, to reference what I said to Ze Witcher - I think one of the best ways to understand a belief is to talk about. Which is why I also invited people to talk about theirs!
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a-rose02
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Hi, slightly unrelated to the ‘why’, but what are you planning to pursue after your degree if you don’t mind me asking?
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HarrysimsEu
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(Original post by a-rose02)
Hi, slightly unrelated to the ‘why’, but what are you planning to pursue after your degree if you don’t mind me asking?
I currently have a great interest in economic development, as well as policy, so I may look into international development, business advisory etc in Africa. Or here in the UK first to gain knowledge before venturing out.
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