“The main attraction to the Business School in Exeter was the industrial placement scheme and specifically the support that is offered to help you secure the best placement”

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James Semark, Bank of England

BA Economics with Industrial Experience

Jamie came to Exeter mainly because of the opportunity to take a year in industry and is now making the most of his placement at the Bank of England.

“The main attraction to the Business School in Exeter was the industrial placement scheme and specifically the support that is offered to help you secure the best placement – the mock interviews, application help and employer links are incredibly valuable. I knew that Exeter had a growing reputation, and I got the impression from my visits that the staff are really keen to help you achieve.

I am working as a Research Assistant at the Bank of England. My role is to provide support to the analysts within my team on work that they do for the Financial Policy Committee (FPC). This often includes a lot of data work, and small pieces of analysis to feed in to papers to be sent to the FPC. It has involved work on Investment Funds, Market Liquidity and Financial Markets – including published papers. I have seen my work being discussed by the FPC, and seeing where your work is going and what it is being used for is a fantastic experience.

I was attracted to the Bank of England by the opportunity to be a part of a policy making process, as public policy is something that has long appealed to me. I found out about the scheme through a Careers Fair on campus, and used the support that the Business School offers to fine tune my application.

I have gained a huge amount of technical knowledge in the course of my placement so far – the exposure to the calibre of people working at the Bank creates so many opportunities to learn, alongside the seminars that are organised to welcome guest speakers. Working under the pressure that tight deadlines bring here have helped me work out how I work and learn best, as well as giving me valuable insight into the sort of modules that I will pick in my final year.

I found the lack of technical knowledge when I arrived challenging, as I was expected to be up to speed with what I was working on, but without any knowledge of the topics. It did however force me to pick things up quickly, and I learned a lot as a result.

This year will be invaluable to any future career, as the experiences can’t be replicated outside of a workplace. I have picked up specific skills that mean I work more efficiently, and apply myself in more situations, and have picked up technical knowledge that will be invaluable wherever I work after university.

I am hoping to apply for the graduate scheme at the Bank. I think that the learning opportunities here are excellent for anyone starting out in a career in Economics, allowing you to work towards a post-graduate certificate with the option of a Masters.

At the placement the best advice I can give is to get involved in as much as possible. You will gain more and making an impression on placement makes you stand out from the crowd when applying for graduate roles.”