Graduate views: Ola Renner
- Graduated 2012: BSc Economics
- Payments Controller at Edenred UK and studying for the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
Can you tell us a bit about your current job?I work in the Finance division for a company called Edenred UK and prior to this role I worked in the banking sector. I am also studying towards the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualification.
How did your BSc help you get to where you are today?Economics teaches you a lot of skills that are useful to employers. I work with a lot of numbers in my role and Economics taught me how to analyse data. Also, when I worked in banking it was very useful to know about the economy because it affected my client base.
Why did you choose to study Economics at City?City has a great reputation and a lot of strong links with employers, which really made it stand out to me. The careers service is really good and I'd advise you to make good use of it.
City is also in a great location, so there are great transport links and it's close to a lot of the major shopping centres and the nightlife that London is famous for. I knew that I wanted to study in London because it's such an exciting city to be in, with so much to do. Being a City student also comes with great perks such as discounted membership at the local gyms.
How did you first get interested in Economics?I studied Economics at A-Level and really enjoyed it so I wanted to take it further and study it at degree level. It's a very interesting subject and one of the great things about it is that it covers a wide range of topics so there are lots of career opportunities available to you.
Were there any lecturers who really inspired you?During my final year I wrote a research project as part of the course. I decided I wanted my project to be based on macroeconomics so my research supervisor was Dr Javier Ortega who introduced me to immigration, a side of economics that I had never looked at before. He allowed me to expand on the subject of immigration and look at how it affected US trade. When you are working on such a big project it can feel overwhelming because there is a lot of data to analyse so it's important to have a supervisor who is approachable. Dr Ortega was also one of my final-year lecturers and he's very passionate about his subject, which comes across in his lectures.
What was your favourite topic or module?I really enjoyed the Macroeconomics module because I love learning about the decisions that affect the economy as a whole. Topics such as inflation, interest rates and GDP are really exciting and when I hear news about the Bank of England or The Fed, I can apply macroeconomic theory to their decisions.
What are your longer-term career plans?In the longer term, I would like to complete the ACCA qualification. Finance is a great area to work in because it's really broad. There are a number of roles I can progress into in the longer term with both an Economics degree and an ACCA qualification. I've already worked in two completely different industries but have gained a lot from both of them.
Any advice for someone considering this course?Keep yourself aware by reading publications such as The Economist and The Financial Times. They help you to apply your studies to what is happening in the world and I think this really helps you understand the course better. This is also great for interviews as it shows that you've taken an extra step to extending your knowledge.
Whilst you're a student, make the most of getting an internship during your studies. This type of experience is invaluable. It not only helps you to gain an insight into the role or industry that you want to work in, you may also be fortunate enough to be offered a graduate role with the company once you complete your studies, which takes the weight off looking for a graduate role. Insight days within companies and careers open days are also a great way to network with people who work in a particular company or industry that you are interested in. You'll also learn tips about how to make successful applications to these companies.