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The University of Southampton
EconomicsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Harry Ratcliff BSc Economics2014

Harry Ratcliff's Photo

Hi, I'm Harry Ratcliff and I studied BSc Economics within Social Sciences: Economics at the University of Southampton.

Working and living abroad is something I’ve always looked to do and the University of Southampton gave me this opportunity.

Q: Why did you choose to undertake your studies in Economics at the University of Southampton?

One of the main factors in helping my decision to study at the University of Southampton was the ability to partake in an exchange semester. Working and living abroad is something I’ve always looked to do and the University of Southampton gave me this opportunity. Studying economics,there was a multitude of places I could have picked to study (the U.S and all throughout Europe) but I had earmarked Hong Kong as my number one choice before I even came to the university and was fortunate enough to be accepted in my third year. I liked that the exchange lasted for a semester as it meant I was able to come back and still graduate as part of my three year course. The exchange itself was fantastic, definitely the highlight of my degree. I also was really impressed by the level of support given by the university in organising the exchange. I was initially unsure as to how my grades would translate and whether I would be at a disadvantage seeing as how I had to write my dissertation as well, however the grade translation was clearly explained and my dissertation tutor agreed to Skype meetings to help the process.

I am also a keen linguist, and the University allowed me to continue with this. In my first year I took an elective in French language and I was also part of French Society. My interest in languages was developed whilst at University so I am much better than I was before. After returning from Hong Kong I also enrolled in one of the Lifelong Learning Mandarin classes offered through the university.

I was impressed by the facilities the university had to offer. As someone who struggles to study from home I was pleased that there were a number of places to work throughout the university, open in the day and some even through the night. The library was a really good working environment with plenty of space and computers to use if need be. The gym and sporting facilities were great as well.

Q: What do you enjoy about studying Economics at Southampton?

I really appreciated the flexibility of the course as I felt like I had a large range of modules to choose from. I’m currently pursuing a career in Investment Banking and I felt I was allowed a lot of freedom in tailoring my degree to modules that would really aid me. For instance I took applied econometric and empirical finance modules that are directly applicable to what I’ll be doing in the future.

Lecturers were always available and I felt that they always went out of their way to try and meet me if I had any questions. This extends to the teaching assistants as well who were extremely helpful especially when it came to writing my dissertation. For instance they put on specialist drop-in sessions throughout the final year to help with the statistics software we had to use.

The introduction of the Bloomberg terminals suite in my final year was brilliant. The computers were beneficial for completing coursework and my dissertation as well as for personal use.

Q: What have you been able to achieve as a result of studying at the University of Southampton?

I felt that studying abroad was a crucial part of my degree and there was pressure to be able to fit in to a new environment. Therefore this was an achievement in my adaptability. I don’t know if I could have done this when I first came to university however the two years in Southampton helped me prepare.I am also really happy with all my academic achievements and really feel that all the work I put in was reflected in the grades I got. You have to work hard but the rewards are worth it.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

I have an internship following University and hope this will be a springboard to pursue a career in Investment Banking.

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