Tim Simpson on the Maurice Keyworth balcony on his graduation day

Tom Simpson

How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here?

I knew I wanted to study my Economics degree at a well-respected university. The University of Leeds has an outstanding reputation, so I booked onto an open day here at Leeds University Business School. It was that open day that made me realise Leeds was the right choice for me. The business school itself is a great facility for Business School students, while still being part of the University of Leeds campus. I enjoy the campus university community, and living and studying within walking distance of the hustle and bustle of a big city.

What is the best part of your studies? What are you enjoying the most?

The great thing about economics at Leeds is the pluralist approach to teaching, which means you are taught from a wide range of perspectives as opposed to all teachers sharing the same views. This really helped me to gain a broader understanding of economics and encouraged me as a student to develop my own opinions.

Another aspect the degree that I really liked was the opportunity to tailor my studies through optional and discovery modules. As I had a slight preference for microeconomics, I chose to take Economics of Business and Corporate Strategy and Business Economics. Optional modules also give students the ability to adjust the mathematical emphasis of their degree if they desire.

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? In what way?

I have accepted a graduate job in Technology Delivery with KPMG. There is no doubt the skills I have developed through studying economics at Leeds will prove extremely useful. In a client facing role it will be important to communicate effectively and adapt to changing circumstances and demands. My experiences at Leeds University Business School has definitely made me more comfortable with these.

Have you taken up any of the extra opportunities available to you and what was your experience of these eg. PASS scheme, work placement, study abroad, being an ambassador, student societies etc.? Any highlights?

One of the biggest reasons I chose Leeds University Business School was for the extra opportunities on offer, and I applied here already knowing I wanted to study abroad in the USA in my third year, so I was delighted to be accepted to study at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. It made my time at university so unique and memorable, I was able to broaden my academic horizons by taking specialist modules such as Economics and Law, and Entrepreneurial Management, as well as more cultural modules like Hip Hop and Contemporary American Society!

University in Wisconsin was also quite different to Leeds in the style of assessment, with more emphasis on presentations to large audiences and much more frequent exams, both of which will help as I transition into a professional environment.

As a huge sports fan I was able to see American 'college' sports first hand at one of the best sporting universities in the country, and I wasn't disappointed! Study abroad was also an amazing opportunity to expand my professional networks. I now have friends from all over the United States, and I was also fortunate enough to meet somebody who inspired me to pursue a career in technology, something which I hadn't considered before studying abroad.

In my time at the Business School I also worked as a student ambassador, which is a great way to share my experiences with visitors while earning a bit of extra money. My year abroad has given me the confidence to be able to give presentations to hundreds of visitors and to engage prospective students and their parents. It's really fulfilling to give something back to the business school and the next generation of students.

What is your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the Yorkshire region?

All of the facilities at the Business School and the wider University of Leeds facilities are fantastic. For example the recent Leeds University Union upgrade has added to that with lots of places to socialise, relax, eat and drink for all students. There are so many different spaces on campus to study, from libraries to computer clusters to cafes.

The staff at the business school always make time for any questions or extra support through regular office hours and drop-in sessions, so I never felt like I was struggling to keep up with what was expected of me.

There is also so much more going on in Leeds outside of the university. Leeds city centre is just a 10-minute walk from campus, with and abundance of shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment to discover. Headingley is also a great place to go for catching up with friends – there are lots of pubs and bars, perfect for the huge student population!