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"Studying a Master's degree helped me secure a job as an Economist"

Ellie Henderson graduated this week with a MSc Economics degree, which has propelled her career and built her confidence.

Ellie Henderson

Having a Master’s degree on my CV made all the difference  

I moved firms to Investec four months after my degree started. I think studying for my master’s is what helped me secure the job as it showed I was hard working and passionate about economics. It gave me more credibility, especially as I’m still relatively young in my mid-20s.  

I made lots of connections with people in the industry   

When I started at Birkbeck, I didn’t really know anyone in the economics sphere apart from the people in my firm, as there’s not many networking events within economics. But now I have lots of connections with people from my course who work in different types of economics, our paths do cross occasionally. It's quite nice to actually know people, and over time everyone's going to become more senior so having those connections will be really beneficial – I know I’ve made networks for life.  

The teaching was stronger at Birkbeck than the university I did my undergraduate degree at  

I was so impressed with how quick and thorough the replies to emails were, with any question that I had. I think it's a feature of Birkbeck because people really want to be there. I think this improves the relationship with lecturers because they know how hard you're working and how much you're putting in. Most people also have jobs, which makes the lectures really interesting because you can draw from your own experiences and also hear about your classmates’ knowledge on other topics.  

Being at Birkbeck built my confidence, professionally and personally  

Having a Master’s degree to my name has built my confidence at work, because I feel more credible and knowledgeable. When I was studying virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I learnt to connect with people in unconventional circumstances; with one girl, we were on Zoom calls for three hours a day leading up to the exams. When things returned to normal after the pandemic, I met with people on my course and we now go out together for drinks as well as talk regularly on a group WhatsApp.  

Gaining time management and organisational skills  

I really developed my time management skills because of how much I had to balance when I was studying whilst working, which has served me well in my current role. I also found I earned respect from my colleagues as I was able to do the degree on top of our long working hours.  

Working whilst studying meant I didn’t have to compromise on my career  

I think taking a whole year out from working to do a full-time Master’s would have made it much more difficult to get back into a firm, because it’s so competitive. I’d recommend part-time study at Birkbeck to others – it’s a great way of getting a qualification without stopping or pausing your career.  

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