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Student View - Why Business?

by YPU Admin on June 10, 2020, Comments. Tags: AMBS, business, Economics, finance, HUM, Humanities, HUMS, international business, and student view

Introduction

Hi, my name is Shamaila and I am a first-year student at the University of Manchester, currently studying International Business, Finance and Economics (IBFE). I chose this degree course after having studied A-level Economics and Business Studies in college and fell in love with the subjects, so much so that I decided to study it further at university. Luckily for me, I knew that I always wanted to go to university but the hard part was deciding which one was the right one for me. 

Choosing a University

To anyone that is considering university and being bombarded by information, I highly recommend attending as many open days and fairs (even if they’re virtual) as possible. I'm pretty sure I attended at least half a dozen open days before choosing Manchester. When it comes to picking a university, whether they offer a degree programme that you are interested in, is very important, but just as important is whether you can envision yourself there. The environment, the people, the culture of that campus has got to excite you and make you feel welcomed. I remember quite vividly my open day for the University of Manchester because I was running very, very late (if you know me in person, you’d know that I hate being late) and so by the time I got onto campus, I was wandering around aimlessly, but I remember thinking how stunning the campus was and I felt genuinely comfortable. Normally, I would find it quite daunting being in a new environment especially somewhere like a busy campus but seeing the AMBS building, the Main Library and the SU building (where I spend 70% of my time now), on my campus tour I could see myself here. 

Why I Chose Business

I chose my degree course as I was interested in the business sector, but I didn't have a dream job that I could aspire towards. This led me to choose IBFE, as it enabled me to cover a range of content. I was able to continue studying business and economics and gain a whole new set of skills in finance. For a lot of people, including myself at one point, if you studied a business- based degree, it was because you wanted to start your own business. But I quickly realised that there is so much more to the business sector. Often the words, finance, business and economics are used interchangeably which is understandable as there is some crossover between the three subjects, but they are also completely separate from each other. In my economic modules, we assess ever-changing economic contexts and debate different theories. In my finance modules, we produce and analyse financial reports, with the mindset of maximising shareholder profits as accountants whereas in business we aim to view the company with a more board stakeholder outlook and study various topics, such as corporate social responsibility.

Another feature of my degree programme is that it offers an industrial placement year, which basically means I am able to work in a company that I am interested in, during my 3rd year. This is something that I am very excited about, as even though the content we have learnt in class is important, I think being able to apply that knowledge and see the mechanisms of the real world and how companies operate is more important. Currently, I am aspiring to go into the accounting sector and work my way up to becoming a chartered accountant. This is something that I had never even considered before, with no previous background in accounting but I realised through some of the modules I have taken this year, such as Financial Reporting and Financial Decision Making, I really enjoy creating and analysing business reports. As a result, I am currently applying for internships at firms such as Deloitte, Grant Thornton, KPMG, and EY. 

Going Further...

To anyone right now, that is struggling to find a career that interests them, my advice would be to not panic. A lot of people do degrees in subjects that they know they like and are good at, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to go into that field. Especially now more than ever with the amount of information available on the internet it is much easier to develop a wide range of skills that are suitable for a variety of jobs rather than just focusing on one career pathway. 

If you are interested in anything that I have talked about, below are some links for further information:

 

From practising policy to a Politics PhD

Introduction

My name is Dayo and I am a second year PhD student at the University studying Politics. I am researching how underrepresented members of the public in policy making (in the case of my research, Black and Minority Ethnic young adults aged 18 – 25) are included in the process of policy making. I also work as a teaching assistant for politics related courses in undergraduate and Master’s level courses.

In Depth…

My route into PhD has been an interesting journey rather than a direct path. It has been a process of re-inventing myself and following my passion. My undergraduate degree was in Economics which I realised quite early on was not for me so I did not particularly excel in this degree. After a year out working, I figured out what my next steps would be so I did Master’s degrees in Human Resource Management and Management Psychology. I did well in these courses. Doing a PhD was something I had previously considered as it was suggested by my academic adviser during one of my Master’s degrees but I did not pursue it.

On graduating, I worked for about seven years in the private and not-for-profit sectors in Learning and Organisational Development. The knowledge and soft skills I gained at university meant that I was able to progress in my career by successfully utilising these skills.

Whilst I had no academic knowledge of policy making, I began to get interested in policy making as one of my jobs gave me exposure to this field. I then started to notice the lack of diverse representation in decision making bodies of public policy. There were ‘hidden’ and ‘silent’ groups of people who were not getting involved in decision-making.

I wanted to know why this was the case and also find solutions that would increase representation in policy making so that their experiences of issues could be taken into account when policy is being made.

Transitioning from being a practitioner to being back in university has been great; it has given me the opportunity to have the headspace to read and articulate the issues I am concerned about. I am doing lots of reading! What is also great and a highlight of my degree is that my fieldwork - working with real people in the real world - provides the opportunity to design an approach based on academic theories and study whether it works or not.

Skills gained from the practitioner work, in particular project management skills (time and resource management as well as organisational), are helping me progress with my PhD.

Through my journey, I have hopefully shown that a route to doing a PhD in Politics does not have to be typical. I have also shown that political parties and elections is just one component of a Politics degree.

So if you want to be the change, a degree in Politics could be for you!

Going Further…

If you are interested in finding out more about politics, here are some links you may find useful.

Politics degrees in Manchester: https://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/politics/study/courses/

Career options as a Politics graduate: https://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/politics/study/careers-and-employability/

Information about how Government works: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/

Information on the UK Parliament: http://www.parliament.uk/

How research impacts on Policy: http://www.policy.manchester.ac.uk/blogs/

 

More to economics than money, money, money!

by YPU Admin on March 8, 2019, Comments. Tags: Economics, Humanities, Institute for Fiscal Studies, macroeconomics, and migration

Introduction

My name is Josefina Fabiani and I am a second year PhD student in Economics. I come from Argentina, South America, which may sound more familiar to those not that much into geography if I refer to it as the land of beef – specially asados – tango, Patagonia, football and of course Messi and Kun Agüero (not to get into politics and economics!). During my undergrad there I did a semester abroad in Austria, which completely influenced my future decisions. That experience opened my mind and made me realise I wanted to pursue further studies abroad. The UK wasn’t a tough decision for me since the quality of its higher education institutions is well known and I’ve always been very keen on the English language, the country’s history and culture (and its music!).

So here I am, starting my PhD in Economics in Manchester, where I will analyse the relationship between migration and different types of capital flows between countries.

In Depth…

The first year of the PhD was the MSc Economics, where we covered the main areas of the subject and received training on the techniques I will apply now on the research. In this second year, we continue with the coursework but now focused on our research area and at an advanced level. For example, my area is Macroeconomics, where we look at the economy as a whole with information on different measures such as GDP, inflation and unemployment.

A phenomenon that has always interested me was the migration of people from one country to another, maybe because I come from a country with a very large population of immigrants. Early on my undergrad studies I started digging into the topic.

Throughout history, migrations have taken place at different levels, for different reasons: regional migrations, overseas migrations, forced (by political persecution or natural disasters) or voluntary, expecting an economic or life improvement. In the era of globalization and communication, transportation costs have remarkably dropped, which fostered not only the flow of goods and knowledge across countries but also of people. However, whereas there is an apparent consensus to enhance international trade and capital flows, the economic consequences of immigration are at the centre of political debate. Migration policy has been characterized by protection of the domestic labour market and there has been an increasing negative popular perception of immigration. A better understanding of the dynamics of migration and its macroeconomic implications are key for policy design.

Going Further…

If you are curious to know a little bit more about what economists really do, then you are invited to take part on the activities organised at the Economics Department for school students. Some of them are:

Manchester Talk – IFS
"Is it fair to charge £9,250 for university tuition fees?"
13 March 2019, 4-6pm, Uni Place Theatre A

How much will you really pay for university? Does that depend on where and what you study? Are there any alternative ways to fund higher education? And how would these affect what the education system should be trying to achieve?

This IFS Public Talk, jointly organised with the University of Manchester, will be given by Jack Britton, Senior Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and will give an economist's perspective on the ongoing tuition fee debate. Nicholas Barr, Professor of Public Economics, from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will also be our Chair and on hand to put your questions to Jack.

Get an insight on Higher Education resources from the IFS here.

Details and free tickets can be booked here: https://manchester-talk-ifs.eventbrite.co.uk

There is a pre-session aimed at Year 12/13 students that fulfil the Widening Participation criteria

(criteria: https://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/connect/schools-and-colleges/courses/ ). Please email economics-events@manchester.ac.uk for more information and registration.

Discover Economics Day
9 July 2019, 9.30am-3.30pm, Simon 1.34

The Discover Economics Day is a free event for Year 12 students to discover more about what economics is really about.

The day will consist of a series of interactive, educational sessions to help you find out what economists do as you start to learn the tools that they use to ask real world questions. You will discover how economics provides a clear way of thinking on how people make choices.

You will meet University staff and students dealing with the current issues in economics and will find out more about the economics courses here at Manchester and the career opportunities available for Economics graduates.

Join us and discover how studying economics will give you the toolkit to investigate the questions that you are passionate about!

Please email us at economics-events@manchester.ac.uk for further info and registrations.

Relevant links:

Blogs:

  http://freakonomics.com (also radio!)

  http://timharford.com

  http://whystudyeconomics.ac.uk/blog

YouTube Channels and Videos:

  Jacob Clifford

  One Minute Economics

  Ted Ed

You can find more of Economics at UoM here https://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/economics/

and keep updated with the activities organized via twitter https://twitter.com/ManUniEconomics

 

Health Economics and Research into Poverty

by YPU Admin on February 18, 2016, Comments. Tags: Economics, Health, Health Outcomes, Mental Health, Physical, Poverty, Research, and UoM

INTRODUCTION

My name is Julius Ohrnberger and I am a first year PhD researcher in Health and Development Economics. My A-levels were in English, German, Mathematics and History. After graduating from high school in Germany, I studied Economics for my first degree at Heidelberg University in Germany. I then did a Masters in Economics and Development Economics in 2014 at the Free University in Amsterdam. Prior to my PhD, I worked for a year as researcher in Health Economics for the University of Manchester.

In winter 2015, I started my PhD in Health Economics and Development Economics at the Centre for Health Economics at the University of Manchester. In my research, I aim to analyse the effect of cash transfers on health outcomes of poor families living in developing countries. I furthermore want to understand how the effect on health has potential in reducing poverty in the long-run.

IN DEPTH

Imagine that you have to live on less than £1 a day: £1 for food, clothing, the bus ticket, your mobile phone bills, etc. Imagine that public services like the GP, hospitals or your school are of very poor quality and there is far too few for all people, and you have to pay for it out of your pocket with the £1 a day. These are the challenges the global poor living in the developing world every day.

I want to understand in my research how regular cash transfers to this group of people affect their mental health and physical health outcomes. Furthermore, how the effect on mental and physical health relates to long term poverty alleviation. Mental health is a state of emotional well-being. A mental health outcome can be how often you were sad or felt restless the past week. Physical health is defined as a state of physical well-being. A physical health outcome can be your blood pressure or the number of health days in the past month. It is very likely that more income through the cash transfer has an effect on both the mental health and the physical health. Improving either is essential in helping the poor to improve their lives and especially to help them to leave a state of poverty.

I look in my research at three different countries namely Indonesia a South-East Asian country, South Africa a sub-Saharan African country, and Mexico a Latin American country. I use large datasets for each of these countries. The data entails information about the mental health outcomes of the poor people such as depression or anxiety, physical health outcomes such chronic diseases or blood pressure, and if the person received a cash transfer. The same poor people are observed and interviewed over several years and thus it is possible to identify changes in health and poverty due to the cash transfers.

My research is important as it is a unique project which sets poverty into the light of both mental and physical health outcomes. Mental health is a strongly neglected topic in international development policies, but mental health problems are one of the leading causes of illnesses worldwide and especially in the developing world. My research seeks to immediately address this gap, and to provide an analysis which could be important for future development policies centred on mental health.


GOING FURTHER

For updates on my research activities, follow me on Twitter: @JWEO_O

To get more information about mental health in developing countries, visit: http://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/en/

And http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/may/10/mental-illness-developing-world

For information what we are up to in the Manchester Centre for Health Economics, visit our website: http://www.population-health.manchester.ac.uk/healtheconomics/ or follow us on twitter: @HealthEcon_MCR