Aixa García

Subject Economics
Course PhD Economics
Country Spain
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Hi, I’m currently looking to study for a Masters of Economics for the 2016-17 period. Having attended your open day yesterday I was very impressed, yet there are some facets preventing me from choosing Birmingham. My main questions that need answering are: In relation to the course, how many students are there to a core class? Does the University offer intramural football? And is it any good? Does the library provide daily copies of newspapers at no cost? Such as the Times, Economist and the Guardian. If so, will the new library also offer this? What are the lecturers like when it comes to seeing them? Can postgraduates just pop into their office and talk? If I apply for the 2016-17 period, will the new library, sports centre and post graduate centre be completed by then? Would I be guaranteed university accommodation? Although these questions are rather silly, I feel they do need to be asked. Additionally, are there lounges/areas/study places solely for postgraduates?

What was your motivation for undertaking postgraduate study?

Since the very beginning of my undergraduate studies I became interested in research on the areas of development economics and crime. However, before pursuing my PhD studies, I wanted to get some experience in the private sector. After two years working as a marketing researcher in a multinational company, I decided it was time for a change. I did an MSc in Development Economics in which I focused on the relationship between inequality, gender and crime, and then moved to the PhD studies.

Why did you choose the University of Birmingham?

I chose the University of Birmingham for a number of reasons. The main one has been the research excellence of the Economics department, as well as the expertise of my supervisors on my interest areas. Another strong pulling factor for choosing the University of Birmingham has been its vibrant life and multicultural diversity, which is extremely enriching and does not stop surprising me.

What has been the highlight of your time at Birmingham?

Birmingham offers a wide range of activities to do every day of the week, which makes it a vibrant city. It has given me the opportunity to continue with one of my passions: dancing. There are several schools and pubs for doing it, including the DCL of the University of Birmingham. Moreover, Birmingham stands for its cultural diversity, which makes it very attractive. I have had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world with very different backgrounds and cultures. It is also very easy to travel from here, since Birmingham is situated in an excellent location.

What, for you, are the best things about the course?

There are several things to highlight about the course, but especially its excellent preparation for my future career. It provides me with the academic knowledge and tools necessary for carrying out my research, as well as gives me useful information on how to deal with the coming three years of PhD and my future life as a researcher. I have also found the academic and administrative staff in the Business School very accessible and willing to help, which is sometimes difficult to find. In addition, I have had the opportunity to attend and participate in conferences and seminars given by influential people and experts on my research areas, which is a great opportunity for discussing and networking.

Do you have anything lined up for once you have completed your degree?

Once I complete my PhD, I would like to stay in academia or work in a research centre. I like to have an interdisciplinary approach of what I study and would like to continue with it. I would also like to produce research that can be connected to reality, so that it serves to better understand the world in which we live and to provide useful tools and inputs for policy makers.