Alexandra Cordato

Alexandra Cordato
BSc Economics - GRADUATED 2014
My name is Alexandra Cordato. I am a second year BSc Economics student. I am an international student, originally from Australia. I am currently the President of the Economics Society at Queen Mary and am a Student Ambassador for the School of Economics and Finance. I hope to complete further study in Economics and to pursue a career in economics research and policy. In my spare time I become a tourist and try to explore all that London has to offer.

Jobs

In addition to my studies, I also have a part-time job. I work in office administration; the hours vary but average 5 to 10 hours a week involving 2 shifts per week.

Living in London offers plenty of opportunities to find part time work, especially in hospitality and retail. Queen Mary is located right near large shopping areas such as Stratford Westfield City and Oxford Circus. Jobs on campus also provide a great option for example in the cafes and shops located on campus. The location is convenient, the hours are flexible and your employer understands that you are a university student so you also need time to study.

A hospitality or retail job may not seem directly related to your future career aspirations but many ‘transferable skills’ are built through these jobs, providing a great opportunity to enhance your CV. For example, for Economics and Finance students many banks, consultancies and accountancy firms require their employees to engage with clients regularly so customer service experience is highly valued. Several firms even require customer service or sales experience as a pre-requisite for applying.

The opportunity to earn some extra spending money is great and can help you become even more independent. Just remember that you are still a student, so you still have coursework, readings, exams etc. so make sure your employer knows you are studying and are only available for limited hours per week. If working during semester doesn’t sound appealing, the summer break provides a great opportunity to pick up some work experience without the stress of study as well.

The Careers Service at Queen Mary is extremely friendly and helpful and can offer advice for finding part time work, in addition to helping with graduate careers.

Academic Life

As a student in the School of Economics and Finance a vast range of resources are at your disposal to help you along with your studies. The School has a system of assigning an academic advisor to each student in addition to a Senior Tutor allocated to each year group. You can contact either of these people for academic related advice, such as which elective module to choose. Economics and Finance courses are primarily exam based but you will have some coursework, presentations and tests during the semester.

There are a lot of resources available online from lecture notes to past exam papers, which can be accessed whether you are on campus or at home. Lecturers and teaching assistants (TAs) also provide weekly office hour slots where any queries or concerns about the course content can be cleared up.

The library is a regular destination for Economics and Finance students, either to study or even to socialise! (Talking is allowed on the ground floor where there is also a café). You will always run into a fellow economics or finance student there studying- at any time of the day or night. I often stop for a quick chat between working to let off some study stress. Several copies of the core textbooks are also available in the library.

The School also provides two ‘econ labs’- rooms within the department with plenty of computers, accessible only to Economics and Finance students. In one of the ‘econ labs’ we are fortunate to have some Bloomberg terminals, which are a great resource for financial information and analysis. Many finance related jobs require the use of Bloomberg terminals so the opportunity to try them out while still at university is invaluable. I participated in the Bloomberg Inter-University Investment Competition this year representing Queen Mary where I needed to use the terminals to participate in the competition and this provided an opportunity to be trained in how to use them.

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