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EconomicsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Nicholas Lazarou MSc Finance and Economics/PhD, 2013

Teaching Fellow, University of Southampton

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Hi, I'm Nicholas Lazarou and I studied MSc Finance and Economics/PhD within Social Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Signing off, I wish to stress that my Doctoral studies and achievements are an amalgam of inspiration, challenge, encouragement from fantastic academic staff and colleagues and a great working environment. For students thinking of undertaking postgraduate and/or Doctoral studies in Economics at the University of Southampton, I would simply say “go for it, you will love it!

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

The choice of University was a careful one indeed: Firstly I was drawn by the calibre of the teaching staff in the areas of international trade and finance/macroeconomics, which would increase my knowledge base after my return to the workforce.

Secondly, I was very fortunate to be offered a full scholarship by the Lloyd's Register Educational Trust and the Union of Greek Shipowners, with the former having increased participation in promoting research and innovation at the University of Southampton.

After completing the course, my dissertation Supervisor at the time, suggested pursuing Doctoral studies. While spending the next year working at my previous employer, I could not help but be further challenged by unanswered research questions, the potential benefit for society they could pose and reminiscing the feeling of completeness from continuously accumulating knowledge. Thus in the autumn of 2010 I was humbled to receive a teaching scholarship so as to undertake Doctoral studies at the University under the supervision of Professor Jackline Wahba and Dr. Hector Calvo-Pardo, who have been influential and instrumental in my development as a researcher, teacher and person.


What do you enjoy about studying and researching at Southampton?

The friendly and stimulating working environment has highly contributed to formulating and refining research questions. At Southampton there is a constant encouragement to break what I perceive as barriers and I enjoy the satisfaction of learning something new every day. This comes with very hard work and dedication, yet the environment is so great that makes the effort an enjoyment. The PhD student community is bright, vibrant and active both in and out of the office and have become my friends for life, not simply colleagues.

The practical aspect of research which is directed toward ameliorating trading difficulties that developing countries face makes one aware to focus on research topics that could potentially provide a benefit, however small, to the public. At Southampton this fact is very much envisaged and becomes a mission.

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

This answer will be split in two parts, the research part and the teaching part. Concerning the former I feel privileged to study a topic which, simply put, I love learning about. This resulted in two papers on the economic consequences for international trade arising from network formations and scale economies in transportation and a number of sketches for future research. The pinnacle of knowledge was achieved after being offered by the Economics Division at the University of Southampton a bursary to undertake a research visit to Dartmouth College. There, I received training, advisory support and an invitation to co-author a paper on financial networks by renowned academics, which furthered my knowledge, expanded my research portfolio and helped me become a better researcher.

As to the latter, I had the pleasant opportunity to teach a variety of economics topics, first as a tutor and now as an instructor. Being initially nervous as to my ability to convey knowledge, I immediately loved the teaching process and delivering learning outcomes to students. I adapt my teaching to optimally relay learning outcomes across diverse groups of nationalities and backgrounds. I encourage interaction, participation and teamwork and pay particular attention to addressing individual needs and trying to provide the best possible learning experience for students. A flattering achievement came when I was offered to teach the postgraduate module of Corporate Finance, a module I was taught four years ago as a student. I never dreamt I could have had such an opportunity and a reversal in roles.


What are your plans for the future?

I wish to pursue an academic career focusing in international trade, development and applied economics. My desire is to help people in any way I can given my skills, either by providing a piece of research that can assist in a development or infrastructure plan for example, or making students understand a particular topic they could use in their future working lives. To this end, following the completion of the PhD dissertation this September, I will be submitting the chapters to economics journals whilst having the very rewarding experience of staying onboard at Southampton as a Teaching Fellow for the 2013/2014 academic year. This development brings the target closer but there is a lot of hard work yet to be done.

Signing off, I wish to stress that my Doctoral studies and achievements are an amalgam of inspiration, challenge, encouragement from fantastic academic staff and colleagues and a great working environment. For students thinking of undertaking postgraduate and/or Doctoral studies in Economics at the University of Southampton, I would simply say “go for it, you will love it!”

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