Charlotte Heesom (BSc Economics 2017)

Charlotte Heesom

Tell us about your degree - why did you choose it? What elements of the degree inspired you to study it?       

I chose to study Economics because it was my favourite subject at A-level and I believed that it would open the door to a lot of career opportunities post university. I was inspired to study the degree because I like working with numbers, but I also enjoy written work and choosing Economics enabled me to do both.

What was the best part of your studies here? What did you enjoy the most?    

I personally really enjoyed working on my dissertation in my final year as it was a piece of work that I could truly own. It was great to be able to use all of the skills that I had developed in my first and second years of the course and apply them to a subject that I had chosen and was truly interested in.

What were your career aspirations when you arrived? Do you think the experience and skills you gained here will help/helped you in your future career plans? In what way?       

When I arrived, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after university apart from the fact that I aspired to work in something related to finance. The best part of my university course was that it gave me the opportunity to undertake an Industrial Placement year. This guided me into my career path after graduating, as gaining work experience helped me to make my decision about what I wanted to do next. It also massively helped me to gain the experience and skills that I needed.

How has your career progressed since leaving the Business School? Have there been any notable highlights?

I had secured a place on the Lloyds Banking Group Emerging Leadership Programme in the Risk Division, before I had finished my Industrial Placement year. This meant that I could focus my efforts completely on my studies in my final year of university and I knew what I would be doing after leaving the Business School at an early stage.

Where are you currently working, and what is your role?           

I am currently working at Lloyds Banking Group, on my first placement as a Graduate, working in People Risk. I will be on the scheme for two years and I will experience four different roles in the Risk Division during this time.

What are your ambitions for the future?             

I would like to pursue a future career in a role related to Commercial Banking or Project Management and I hope to secure a Manager position at the end of my graduate scheme.

Do you think your experience and skills gained here will help you in your future career plans? In what way?   

Definitely, the Business School provided me with so many opportunities to develop my skills and gain different experiences. Even simple things like taking part in group work and giving presentations in seminars have helped me in the work place.

I was also part of the Nurturing Talent Mentor Scheme where I was matched with external mentors who helped me to develop connections and gave me insight into potential future career options.

I also took the opportunity to become a Student Ambassador for the Business School where I helped out at open days by networking with parents and prospective students. This greatly developed my confidence and communication skills.

Finally, I got involved with the Leeds University Business School Society and became Social Secretary on the Committee. This gave me leadership experience and organisational skills which will be extremely valuable for my future career plans.

What was your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the region itself? What would you recommend to future students?             

I had a fantastic experience as a student at Leeds University. The staff were very supportive and the teaching standard was very high which stretched my academic abilities. I made friends for life and it was great to meet so many likeminded peers to share the experience with, both in respect to my studies and to have fun with in the mean time! Leeds is a brilliant city with a diverse culture, there was always plenty to do and I am considering living here permanently in the future.

The main thing that I would recommend to future students is to make the most of every opportunity and to put yourself out there. It's always very rewarding to do things that take you out of your comfort zone - you won't regret it.

What would you say is your defining memory of studying here? (eg friendships made, confidence in your abilities, or any single event that you will always remember?) And would you recommend the Business School to others              

My defining memory would have to be my graduation day. Being able to celebrate graduating with the friends that I had made over my university years and seeing my family so proud was amazing. I would definitely recommend the Business School to others, it got me to where I am today!