Adam Hutchinson

Country of origin: United Kingdom

PhD student, University of Warwick

After three years I can’t believe my time at Lancaster has come to an end. I now have a first class honours degree in Economics, which seemed unattainable to me three years ago. Originally I came to Lancaster because it seemed like a real community. I knew that the city and campus would be really enjoyable places to live in, and of course Lancaster University Management School is second to none.

The Economics degree was enjoyable from start to finish and the staff were always helpful in answering questions, but looking back I think the most important aspect was that although the University is an internationally renowned institution it wasn’t a place that judged my potential by my past academic choices. I came to Lancaster with a limited knowledge of quantitative methods, but a feeling that Economics was the subject for me. This lack of quantitative skill would have curtailed my Economic career in many other places. However, Lancaster’s Economics course is set up in such a way that this wasn't really a problem, and the way the academic staff approach the subject matter is also very helpful. That is, if students are prepared to meet them half way in the bargain.

For me the most enjoyable part of the course was the dissertation. I studied the impact of irrelevant information on gambling, which was actually much more entertaining than it sounds! Apart from the subject matter it was also great to have freedom as to how you go about the research, the pace you take it at and ultimately the responsibility you have for your own piece of research. Also, unlike the other modules, it is something that really showcases what you are capable of and how dedicated you are. It is certainly something that will stay on my CV for a while!

Away from the dissertation I found all of the modules interesting, but some of them really did fire my imagination. At Lancaster you get to choose your modules in the second and third years, which meant that I was always learning the things I wanted to, and picking up the skills that I needed.

But my time at Lancaster has not just been about study. In particular the sports and societies were a great relief from the grind of work! For the first time I had the opportunity to take up activities I could not have done before or perhaps hadn’t even thought of. Fencing was my choice, and I can say that fighting for the University’s honour in the Roses competition between Lancaster and York University was one of my best experiences at Lancaster and one that will stay with me.

Moving on from Lancaster I have chosen to pursue my study of Economics. An MSc was always part of my plans since it is a pre-requisite for my career aspiration as a professional economist. I have been lucky enough to be awarded an Economic Social Research Council (ESRC) 1+3 scholarship at Warwick University. With this funding I can now go on to study for an MSc and PhD in Economics, which I only hope will be as interesting, thought-provoking, and, dare I say it, as fun as my time at Lancaster.