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Ed Higgins is currently studying on the BSc Economics programme. Here, he discusses his experience of securing a placement and working for the Home Office in the heart of Westminster.

Where did you do your placement year and what were you responsible for?

“I worked as a Student Economist and was situated within the Migration and Border analysis unit. Some of my responsibilities included undertaking key labour market analysis to produce digestible output used at senior cross governmental meetings, updating and rebuilding Home Office economic modelling, regularly presenting economic analysis findings to a range of stakeholders both internally within the Home Office and externally to other government-wide colleagues and contributing content and providing quality assurance for published government documents, such as the Immigration Bill Impact assessment. "

How was your overall placement experience?

"It was a huge learning process for me. Getting to experience the world of civil service and how the government functions was very interesting. I also developed several new skills working with software such as STATA, SPSS and continuing to build on my Excel skills. Part of my responsibilities also included maintaining and building relationships with Government colleagues for the pursuit of common interest in our economic analysis. I used this as an opportunity to build my own network of connections."

What kind of placement support did you receive from the Department of Economics?

"The placements team were very useful throughout the process, providing information about the initial application process, preparation for the interview as well as providing support throughout the year. In fact, I found out about the opportunity through a session put on by the placements team. "

How helpful was your course during your placement?

"Given the nature of the role, my course was directly applicable to what I was doing day to day. It was very interesting to apply textbook economic theories into real-world scenarios that have significant impacts on people's everyday lives."

Have you been offered a graduate role by your placement provider?

" As part of the placement there is the opportunity to sit the assessment centre at the end of the year. This is not compulsory but something I chose to do. I sat the assessment centre virtually in July 2020 and was lucky enough to receive a graduate offer. The offer is to go back to the Home Office in September 2021."

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