Charlotte is a Trainee at the EU Delegation to the OECD and UNESCO.
Why did you choose to study economics?
Being a teenager in the late 2000s and early 2010s, one of the dominating topics in the news was the global financial crisis and the EU debt crisis. I wanted to understand politics, and the older I got the more I understood that in order to understand politics I needed to understand economics. On top of that I lived in Central America during a gap year after high school, where I experienced topics like globalisation, a currency peg and having to deal with exchange rates on a daily basis as well as the dynamics between the global North and South first hand, which really motivated me further to study economics at university.
How would you describe economics?
Economics is the study of choices, how individuals, firms and governments form and implement choices and how those choices impact each other. Studying economics equips you first and foremost with a toolbox that allows you to analyse and understand many different topics that are relevant for politics as well as daily life.
If you had a time machine and could meet your 16-year-old self, what advice would you give them?
Explore your interests, don't narrow yourself down to something specific too early; versality is not a barrier but an asset, it makes the decision for a particular career hard at a young age but gives you a multitude of opportunities and career paths to choose from later in life. Keep learning languages, keep investing time in hobbies and personal interests, you really don't know how that may serve you later in life.
What is your favourite part of economics?
Economics is so versatile and it allows me to explore topics of education, psychology, trade and finance all by using the same or similar tools. It really satisfies my multifaceted interest in the world as a whole which I never thought would be possible.
Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance?
If I had the chance I would be less stressed about perfection. Perfection does not exist and it hinders you from being good at something. Enjoy the process, know that failure is part of the process and an opportunity to learn. Also, having goals is a good thing but taking a detour enhances your knowledge of the area (a wise saying by my dad I might add).