Alex outside the Esther Simpson building

Alex Massey

Why did you choose Leeds University Business School? 

After visiting the University on an open day, I instantly fell in love with the campus. I loved that all the buildings were in one location and not spread across a city - it felt like a student bubble on the edge of the city centre. 

I was attracted to the Business School specifically because of the unique opportunities you have access to, namely the Nurturing Talent Mentoring Scheme. This scheme pairs students with experienced professionals, who provide them with mentoring, expertise and support. 

Leeds stood out to me as I was able to take advantage of the Access to Leeds scheme due to being from an area with low progression to higher education. This scheme aims to prepare students for university and often leads to lower grade requirements. 

What do you enjoy most about your studies? 

The broad range of optional modules is what I enjoy most about studying Economics at Leeds. Before studying at degree level, I had a vague idea of the areas of Economics that interested me and have now been able to explore them in more detail through my optional modules.  

I’ve also had the opportunity to take discovery modules. These are modules outside of your specific degree programme. Through this option, I have been able to explore different areas of interest outside my Economics course. 

Have you taken up any of the extra opportunities available to you?  

I have taken full advantage of the extra opportunities available to us at the University, such as volunteering at a local Leeds primary school in my first year, being the Vice President of the Women in Leadership society in my second year and being School Representative in my final year.

I have hugely positive experiences of these opportunities and each role provided me with and strengthened different skills. They also allowed me to meet new people and take myself out of my comfort zone. 

Do you have any noteworthy achievements from your study at the Business School that you can tell us about? 

My most noteworthy achievement is delivering a speech at the Nurturing Talent Mentoring Scheme final event in my first year. I was required to share my experiences of the scheme to fellow participants, both students and professionals, academics and Business School seniors. This was my first time public speaking to a large audience. The speech went extremely well and I received great feedback.  

How has your experience been with the facilities, the staff, your peers and the student union? 

Generally, I have had a positive experience with the University facilities. There are lots of places to study on campus, from the Business School study centre, to Cafe Nero or one of the libraries - it means that I always have somewhere new to go when I’m in need of a change of scenery. 

Staff are all very friendly and welcoming. They want you to engage with the course and I have found they are always happy to answer any questions. 

If you completed a year in industry, how was your experience?

Last year, I completed a year-long placement at HM Treasury. I was a Student Economist working in the Macroeconomic Labour Market branch. My work ranged from organising the labour market statistics day briefing (it was released at 7am and we had to brief seniors quickly), to presenting my project work. I also had the opportunity to be in a virtual meeting with the Chancellor! 

I was well supported by the University when applying to this placement. A lecturer ran application and interview sessions to help those Economics students that are applying to the Government Economic Service. 

What do you think of Leeds and the surrounding region?

Leeds is a great city to live in whilst at University - everything is close by and in the city centre. You’ll also find students tend to live in Hyde Park or Headingley in their second and final year so you are only a short-walk away from all your friends. 

There are lots of different places to explore in the surrounding area, such as the Yorkshire Dales, Harrogate, Knaresborough and York. The University often runs trips to different places so you’ll have lots of options for weekend plans. 

My favourite place to go in Leeds is Headingley - there are lots of great pubs and restaurants to try out. 

What are your career aspirations? Do you think the experience and skills you will gain from your degree course will help you in your future career plans?

My current career aspiration is to become an Assistant Economist at HM Treasury, as I really enjoyed my placement so I want to go back for their graduate programme. 

My experience and skills from my course will help greatly in my future career plans - my placement actually helped me to recognise the benefit of certain aspects of my course. For example, in my placement and my future graduate role I will be required to work with data and use econometrics to complete analysis on it, which is why I’ve decided to take the Econometrics module this semester.  

Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here? 

I couldn’t recommend the Business School enough. I’ve had the best four years studying at Leeds and have been able to meet great people, develop new skills and make the most of the opportunities provided to us.