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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Tim Riminton BSc Politics, 2013

MSc in Political Theory

Tim Riminton's Photo

Hi, I'm Tim Riminton and I studied BSc Politics within Social Sciences at the University of Southampton.

My ability to work hard, motivate myself, assimilate information, analyse, criticise and formulate arguments has developed enormously. But more than that, I have achieved a renewed confidence and direction in my life.

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

I actually started out doing joint honours in Philosophy and Politics, I liked the look of the course material, the campus, and the students I met on open days had some great things to say. The issues, theories and questions in politics were something I knew I wanted to investigate further. In my second year I found that what I was most interested in was political theory, and how assumptions, ideologies, and theoretical frameworks influence the world and our own perceptions of the world. In addition to that, I also really enjoyed the study of Political Economy – assessing the influence of politics and economics on one another and, again in their own theoretical assumptions, how they influence social ideas and perceptions.

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

I found the best aspects were the flexibility to allow me to follow my own interests in picking modules in second and third year, but also within modules the scope in coursework to write about the subject in regard to your own interests and arguments. The staff were very good, the lectures were on the whole really interesting and engaging. But the best bit was the time staff were willing to spend with me to go over essays, talk through complex ideas or just have a chat. All you have to do is ask them. I found the university itself a very stimulating and dynamic environment. With opportunities to see speakers from all sorts of subjects, make friends with a variety of people from many different degree and social backgrounds.

Q: How did you get involved with extra-curricular activities?

There were also many chances to get involved in student life outside of study, and in student politics. I really enjoyed taking part in societies, which I would recommend to anybody starting at university. I was president of SUPA (the Southampton University Politics Association) for my last year, where I really did learn a lot and got involved with organising events from speakers including MPs, lobbyists from the EU and the UK, as well as building engagement between the faculty and the society with a number of events. I was also Treasurer of the Liberal society, getting involved in student politics and also meeting many people involved from the wider area. Of course there were not only political society, and I enjoyed the events hosted by the Finance and Investment Society, and the Climbing and Mountaineering Soc.

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

Well this is a difficult question to quantify, for starters I have completely changed (for the better) since my first day almost three years ago. My ability to work hard, motivate myself, assimilate information, analyse, criticise and formulate arguments has developed enormously. But more than that, I have achieved a renewed confidence and direction in my life.
In my decision to work towards a First Class degree I achieved a new drive, purpose and enthusiasm that I had never had before. Moreover, I found I managed to achieve a really good balance between work and play. The fact that it all culminated with my achievement of a First is possibly the biggest acknowledgement of all my smaller achievements – something I was absolutely ecstatic to have. Also, doing so well in my dissertation, a project I had put so much work into, was very rewarding. As president of SUPA I also achieved a lot for myself in developing leadership, organisation and communications skills. But more than that, I achieved the praise and respect of my fellow students and the faculty which I a great honour, I feel like we took on a big project for the society and really made a difference. Southampton also provided me with the chance to have a placement with a Political Lobbying firm, which I applied for and got through the University careers team. A challenging but rewarding experience, that set me up with valuable experience of the working world and set my academic interests in context.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

Over the summer I’ve had an internship with an Investment Bank, and am off to China for an internship with a Private Equity firm out there next week. In October I am thrilled to be starting a MSc in Political Theory at the London School of Economics, a chance to further the subject that Southampton kindled my love for. After that I intend to pursue a career in Finance either in the City or abroad, but by no means will that be the end of my interest in Politics which I hope to continue to be involved with throughout my life.

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