Becoming an Economist

Visiting, Professor from London School of

Economics gives a stimulating careers talk to

students about careers in the field

of economics

On Thursday 18th January, a group of 50 students attended a talk by Silvana Tenreyro, a renowned professor at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science and one of the highest ranked women in the Bank of England. She talked to us about her career and discussed her objectives and insights on economics. ‘Economists are all different’, she said, ‘they come in all shapes and sizes’.

The ultimate goal for everyone working in economics is to maximise welfare for citizens. Professor Tenreyro spoke about the practicality of studying economics and how it gives you the skills to think about problems and solve them. ‘Economics is very broad – it gives you a set of tools such as critical thinking and reasoning skills that can help you with other things as well’.

Economics is mostly about logic and the qualifications needed depends on which aspect of economics you want to go into. Typically, you would require three A levels, and subjects such as Maths or Economics may put you at an advantage.

In addition, Professor Tenreyro mentioned that communication is extremely important – but you don’t have to be an amazing speaker because there are many ways to communicate. She said herself ‘I am really shy when talking in public, but I feel much more confident communicating through articles and letters’.

Professor Tenreyro grew up in Argentina, where inflation was a very serious issue, to the extent that a normal bill can be worth absolutely nothing the next day. This is known as hyperinflation and the rise and fall of prices were very drastic. Argentina suffered from many economic crises which frustrated her, and she was determined to know what’s going on.

This pushed her towards economics, which led to her studying at Harvard, where she then worked at the Federal Reserve, the central bank of America. She then came to England, working as a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she has been for the last 14 years! She currently holds a position as a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.

The Bank of England is the UK’s central bank and is over 300 years old. Professor Tenreyro, says their job is to, in addition to traditional bank responsibilities, help people make financial choices, prevent consumers from fraud but most importantly, to serve the people of the UK.

Professor Tenreyro, brought to light a very important issue when she stated that there are very few women in economics. She also raised a very good point when she said ‘we all care about inflation, climate change, welfare, these all relate to economics. Women care too, so why do we have so little representation?’. There are many economic problems and issues in the world today, yet women are still completely under-represented. She admits that this might be a challenge, but she is confident that we will achieve it because ‘at some point in time, teachers and doctors were all male, but look at us now’.

We would like to thank Silvana Tenreyro for taking time out of her busy schedule to come and deliver this inspirational talk, and Mr Roach for organising this beneficial event and giving us this wonderful opportunity. Many thanks to Ms Chesters and the Career Leaders as well, and to the Bentley Wood students who attended this motivating talk. If you have any further questions, or would like to find out more, please visit Mr Roach in the Careers Office next to V3 anytime between Tuesday and Friday, or ask one of our student career leaders from Year 9 and 10.

Melisha and Shumaisa 9NAZ, Student Career Leaders