Following a career in Economics, Business or Finance – great advice from Liam Laverick, alumnus
There are so many career opportunities in the world of Economics, Business and Finance and Liam Laverick, former student, has some great words of advice for students who may be considering a role in these sectors. After completing his secondary education with us in 2018, Liam is currently in his final year studying BSc Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Liam will be starting his career at a small financial advisory firm in September, focusing on Mergers and Acquisitions.
When did you develop an interest in Economics?
Very young, I know that everyone says this but I honestly cannot really remember I time I was not interested in Economics, the more you learn about the subject the more you come to realise every choice we make and everything we do has roots in economics.
What particularly interests you about Economics and the Financial Services Sector
Economics is everywhere, from simple choices such as what we want to eat for dinner, to factors influencing how much tax we pay and everything in between. What’s more, Economics combines insights from a range of disciplines including History, Philosophy, Mathematics and Geography, giving would-be students of Economics a well-rounded and varied educational experience.
The financial services sector is the best place for anyone interested in business or current affairs to start their career, it helps one to develop a host of transferable skills and to engage with the nitty gritty of a business’ finances and operations. Some of the most notable figures in politics, philanthropy and science have been involved in financial services at some point in their lives – Elon Musk has a degree in economics and founded a financial services company PayPal, and Rishi Sunak set up his own investment firm before becoming an MP.
Can you explain the different career opportunities available to students who study economics of finance-related courses – are there options in both the public and private sector?
This list is by no means exhaustive. I think a degree in Economics, and to a lesser extent Finance, opens many doors to interesting, rewarding and, in some cases, niche and unique careers. I have friends who have secured graduate roles in
• Publishing and Editorial firms (the BBC and Sky to name a couple)
• Software Development (for Barclays)
• The Civil Service (in the diplomatic and government economics fast streams)
• Government agencies
• Fashion (Vouge and Louis Vuitton)
• Entrepreneurship (be that working for start-ups or setting up their own company, though I must say the latter is rare)
• Financial Services and Consulting (from household names such as NatWest and McKinsey, to boutique family-run firms)
• Sports and Sport Business (Armago, a start-up focused on connecting students through sport)
• The UK Armed Forces (Sandhurst has a stellar reputation among graduates)
I would absolutely say that there are options in both the public and private sector, as a rule of thumb Economics and, to a greater extent, Finance provides more options for building one’s career in the private sector, it is, after all, larger and growing. However, there are great options in the public sector and it is not uncommon to see people move across sectors, especially given the skillset an Economics focused degree provides.
What subjects did you choose for A-level and why?
Mathematics, Economics and History with Further Mathematics to AS. My choice was influenced by a mixture of skill and passion, choosing the subjects I as good at. I also considered teaching quality, which made the choice difficult as I do believe that all of the staff at Richmond teach with a degree of conviction and passion that is rarely seen in other schools. Mathematics and History were my favourite GCSEs and I was pushed to achieve the best grades possible and was given a great insight into what A-level study of the subject involved, as well as how to position myself during GCSE to excel at A Level study. Moreover, I found both of these subjects to be fascinating and was able to explore areas that I found genuinely thought provoking.
As cliched as it may sound, I also took into consideration the facilitating subjects that allow one to unlock higher education post Sixth-Form. I felt, that at 16, I was not 100% sure what I wanted to do with my life (I believe that very few people are) and so choose subjects which still gave optionality and left doors open in the Humanities and, to an extent, the Sciences also.
Can you talk about the type of support you received in Sixth Form to help you with your choice of university course, application, and careers advice?
Without equivocation, Richmond Sixth Form College provided invaluable advice on University choices and future careers guidance. They tailored such advice to my personal circumstances, and worked on an individual level to provide me with an understanding of the UCAS system, guiding me towards universities that would fit my personality.
Any other points you would like to add that you think may be beneficial to our students
Do what you enjoy but be open-minded. Seize every opportunity you are given to learn and develop your skill set, but don’t take yourself too seriously, have fun and, most of all, craft personality. To excel in any field, personality and emotional intelligence are more important than grades and raw intelligence, always keep this in mind.