BA Economics with Hispanic Studies
After graduating from the School of Economics at Nottingham, Nicola completed a Masters in Development Studies. She has worked for the United Nations in Geneva and, for the last nine years, at Save the Children where she is now Head of Programme Services in the Global Programmes Division.
How did you first become interested in economics?
I first became interested in economics at school. I enjoyed geography, especially human geography, and felt I would be interested in economics. My Dad worked in the City and was interested in economics, although he hadn't studied it. I really enjoyed economics at A level, encouraged by some great teachers.
Why did you choose to study at the School of Economics at Nottingham?
The University of Nottingham was a well-respected University and was particularly strong in economics. I was also interested in the range of courses and modules that were available, particularly with a focus on international economics.
I was interested in the ability to potentially study languages at the same time. I initially applied to International Economics and then changed to Economics with Hispanic Studies during the first year.
What are your fondest memories of your time at the school?
I made great friends at the school, several of whom I am still in touch with almost 15 (!) years later.
Tell us about your career path since you graduated.
I graduated almost 15 years ago. I currently work for Save the Children as Head of Programme Services, within our Global Programmes Division. In this role, I lead on strategy, planning, budgeting and operations to support our work in ensuring high-quality country programmes. I have been at Save the Children for nine years and have also worked as a technical adviser on social protection programmes, predominantly focused on Ethiopia, Nigeria, Malawi and Bangladesh, with frequent travel to these and many other countries.
Prior to Save the Children, I worked at the United Nations in Geneva for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development as a researcher and in the UK public sector as a data analyst. I also did a Masters in Development Studies at the London School of Economics and travelled in Asia and Latin America. I am married with a two and a half year old son, Oliver.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I find my work both interesting and challenging. I enjoy working with many inspiring people and supporting excellent programme and advocacy work.
How have your experiences at the School of Economics helped shape your career?
My experiences at the School of Economics provided me with the interest and the knowledge to pursue an international career focused on development that I have built throughout my career.
What advice would you give to someone considering or about to start a course at the school?
Not to worry too much about your future career in picking modules or getting concerned about finding internships while you are studying. If you just do what you enjoy and start with work that you like or build on your skills, it will set you up well for the next step, whatever that may be!
Are you still in touch with anyone from your course and is staying in touch with your fellow alumni important to you?
Yes - I really enjoy seeing friends from my time at Nottingham.