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The University of Southampton
EconomicsPart of Economic, Social and Political SciencePostgraduate study

James Weber MEcon, 2016

Consultant at Ernst & Young

James Weber's Photo

I have also been lucky enough to take part in a follow-up project with the Bank for International Settlements on my work, and we will probably publish a paper in September/October about the results of my dissertation


Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

I came to Southampton for a couple of reasons. I chose England generally because I’m half British, so I wanted to spend some time in the UK actually living here and studying and I didn’t have that chance during my undergrad, and Southampton specifically because it has a good reputation for teaching and research.

What was your experience prior to coming to Southampton?

Prior to my studies in Southampton I had graduated from the University of Munster in Germany, where I did my bachelor’s degree and since then I did a couple of internships in German banks and basically spent the last four years studying Economics before coming to Southampton.

How have you found the course?

The nine months of studying Economics in Southampton was quite intense, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. We had a fairly small class of students, which gave us the opportunity to get the utmost benefit out of every lecture. We were fortunate that the lecturers took the time to interact with us and be there for our questions, and looking back now it definitely helped me in my development quite a bit.

What is Southampton like as a place to study?

Even though my studies were fairly tough, Southampton has a great culture. We have a great set of pubs and parks where you can relax and chill out. One of my highlights was the Marina Harbour. I like the sea a lot, and this is the place to be for that. You can also go to the beach and relax if the weather’s like this, I think it’s only 20 minutes away.

What have been some of the highlights of your degree?

One of the big highlights from my studies was definitely my dissertation phase, which was the actual phase where you could go into a project and start it out from the beginning to the end. It was all my responsibility, and I’m grateful for the University for actually allowing me to decide which area I would like to do it and decide the topic totally on my own. Having said that, I also had a lecturer basically by my side, helping me out if I had any questions, so that was thoroughly beneficial and I definitely enjoyed that time.

What was the topic of your dissertation?

I worked empirically on central bank politics and looked at the quantitative easing programme from various central banks and how that has affected certain areas of the economy. I focused primarily on external areas like the external exchange rate, GDP, and exports, and it was a lot of work because we had to set up a model, calculate estimations, collect data, but it was worthwhile in the end.

How was the teaching on the course?

My experience of the expertise within the department for the area that I’m interesting in, which is quantitative macroeconomics, was that we had quite a good set of lecturers in that area with broad knowledge about the topics. They also offered a broad range of subjects which covered my areas of interest, be that in time-series analysis, macroeconomic analysis, or theory. We definitely had a good basis to enhance our knowledge in this degree area.

Were you happy with the result of your dissertation?

My dissertation and my studies went well in the sense that I was lucky to receive the dissertation prize for the MSc dissertation, meaning that I managed to score the overall highest mark in my dissertation, which I feel very humbled about. I have also been lucky enough to take part in a follow-up project with the Bank for International Settlements on my work, and we will probably publish a paper in September/October about the results of my dissertation.

What are your plans for the future?

I originally started out working in the financial sector, but for the future I definitely see myself working somewhere in the midst of the financial world but probably borderlining it with the research side of economics as well, and I would say that Southampton has given me a good set of skills to prepare me for the world.


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