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The University of Southampton
EconomicsPart of Economic, Social and Political ScienceOur alumni

Stelios Makrydakis MSc Economics and Econometrics, 1986

Head of Section (European Central Bank)

Stelios Makrydakis's Photo

Hi, I'm Stelios Makrydakis and I studied MSc Economics and Econometrics within Social Sciences: Economics at the University of Southampton.

What I learned at Southampton proved key to what I do today.

Dr Stelios Makrydakis is sure his years at Southampton studying Economics and Econometrics gave him the knowledge and skills he needed to succeed in his career as an economist. He now leads a team of 10 professional economists at the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt examining the impacts of global economic developments on the euro area economy. He plans to establish links between the bank and the University to make Southampton graduates aware of the training and employment opportunities at the bank and to encourage them to work for Europe.

Stelios enrolled on the Masters programme in Economics and Econometrics in 1985 after completing his undergraduate degree in the subject at the University of Piraeus. "I had heard of Southampton's strong reputation in this area and wanted to specialise in Econometrics and Applied Economics," he says. Stelios arrived early to take University preparatory classes in academic writing and found them very useful: "This smoothed my way into academic life in the UK, helped me find my way around and make new friends. I still keep in touch with many of the people I met in Southampton." After the Masters, he stayed on at Southampton to work for a PhD; his thesis was on the development of a macroeconomic model of the Greek economy.

"What I learned at Southampton proved key to what I do today," he explains. "I found it rewarding to research in the area of empirical macroeconomic modelling and I consider myself fortunate to have applied the knowledge gained in Southampton during my professional career. It is interesting that I still deal with some of the same complex models today and use their results for economic policy advice." Stelios also remembers fondly his student life in Southampton: "I made some very solid friendships, played basketball and even learned tennis!" he says with a laugh.

Two years of military service followed and Stelios served in the Greek airforce in Crete and Athens. "Finding a good job afterwards was a challenge and required hard work to make up for the military service break. Initially I had spent some time teaching Economics and Statistics in colleges," he says. "Then, I got two job offers, one in the public sector and another in the private sector. I chose to join the government and found myself working in the economic research centre of the Ministry of Economics and Finance in Greece, developing and using similar macroeconomic models and techniques to those I developed and used in my thesis." Then a 15-month placement in South Korea under a European Commission postgraduate fellowship followed that helped Stelios to strengthen his research publication record by working on the dynamic economies of Asia. Upon his return to Greece, Stelios joined the Council of Economic Advisors at the Ministry as senior economist, working on economic policy issues and he represented Greece in international and European economic policy fora.

The advent of the Euro saw Stelios moving to then newly created European Central Bank: "This has been and still is a very exciting job. The sense of responsibility and commitment that comes with the feeling of being part of the European integration project contributing to building a better future for the people of Europe makes this job fulfilling. Now I work with my team on the global economy preparing, among other things, the bank's global macroeconomic forecast."

He remembers his time at Southampton with affection and aims to establish links with today's postgraduate students, encouraging them to consider a career in central banking and international economics.

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