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Mara Rodriguez (BSc (Hons) Economics 2018 - 2021)

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What do you enjoy most about your course at Queen Mary?

The two first years have given me the skills to critically analyse and apply economic principles. However, during my second year I have realized that I was highly interested in asset management and capital markets. Although I am currently following a bachelor’s degree in Economics, my course gives me the flexibility to shift to more finance-based modules e.g. corporate finance, capital markets, futures and options, etc. Moreover, I have the opportunity to participate in an exchange program which will take place during my third year in partnership with a world-leading institution in the social sciences. The course also offers career guidance and practical modules that persist to shape me into a more qualified, competent and diverse professional.

What is your favourite module at the course so far and why?

My favourite module so far is Capital Markets. This is the first step that I took in order to understand the investment and finance industry. From stocks and bonds valuation to portfolio management, it truly exposed me to the knowledge basis and practical insights that employers are looking for. The lectures and tutorials are structured with a balanced mix of both quantitative and qualitative fundamentals. Moreover, it touches upon the different paradigms of Economics that we have come across through history. I started off this module with minimal comprehension of the industry, but I certainly left with a knowledge of core investment concepts, and an incentive to explore additional asset classes and Economic branches.

Do you have any advice to first-year students?

Queen Mary offers students a vast choice of options over the course of their degree. Out of many, these include: founding a society, joining a sports club, becoming a student ambassador, accessing financial software, attend on-campus conferences from world known leaders and professionals, learning a new language, taking on personal projects and discussing them with field-trained lecturers, etc. On top of that, building new friendships and discovering London also go hand in hand. My advice would be to involve and commit yourself to some of these activities. Not only will your resume stand-out in the eyes of employers, but you will also be more actively engaged with your degree. I believe it is also important to be forward-looking and keep in mind that insight weeks and summer internships are an essential feature to boost your future employability and understand the industry. Keep your eyes on the application dates!

What have been your highlights over this course?

In the first year, my highlight was finishing with my insight week at the French investment bank Natixis. It allowed me to explore various departments, including risk management, debt and equity capital markets, commodities trading, etc. I was also able to discuss market and national trends with economists (e.g. post-Brexit predictions) and discuss the 2008 financial crisis with experts. Moreover, it gave me an insight of the bank’s corporate environment. During my second year, the careers team helped me in reviewing my resume in order to apply for summer internships as well as constantly informing me of employment opportunities. I am currently an incoming summer intern at the Centre of Monetary and Financial Studies, where I will undergo various economic and financial research tasks.

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