Bachelor of Management Studies (Economics)
Waikato Management School
No two days are ever the same for Nick Robertson, who works in London as an economic analyst for Grant Thornton UK.
“I enjoy my role because it’s extremely varied. Some days I’m working with local authorities to help them develop their strategic plans, and other days I’m analysing data for a government-sponsored programme that supports businesses with high-growth potential,” says Nick.
Highlights of the job so far have included conducting research into what makes small businesses in the UK improve their productivity; and mapping start-up companies across 20 European cities to understand the strengths and weaknesses of starting a new business in each city.
“Basically it involves lots of reading documents, interviewing people, analysing large data sets, and turning these into practical things that our clients value.”
After graduating from university, Nick moved to Wellington to become a research services analyst for the New Zealand Parliamentary Service. His role was to use economic and statistical analysis to answer research requests and prepare reports for MPs, such as providing cost estimates for proposed new legislation, and analysing the likely economic effects.
Nick says the well-rounded skills gained from his Bachelor of Management Studies degree at Waikato helped him to secure the job he has now. “It gave me the confidence and skills to deal with large amounts of data and to deliver insights through the analysis of numbers.”
“I enjoyed studying Economics at high school, so after taking the first-year paper ECON100 Business Economics and the New Zealand Economy, I was certain this was what I wanted to major in.”
While at university, Nick was lucky enough to on an international exchange to the University of Virginia in the United States, where he studied the economics of sports for the fourth-year paper ECON499 Report of an Investigation.
“The first auction of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition had just been held. For my 499 I was able to apply my love of cricket to my degree by using the Moneyball and Sabermetric concepts used in baseball to find trends in how these cricket teams had valued players at the first auction.”
“My international exchange was one of the best times of my life. I learnt so much, not just about economics but also about the local culture.”
Nick’s advice to future economics students is to just go for it. “The investment you make now will definitely pay off in the future. I really enjoyed my time at Waikato. There are so many opportunities available to students.”