Esmeralda Nolan works for a government administration and is also a part-time Economics and Mathematics student at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is passionate about dancing and art, and spends a lot of her free time in a ladies Salsa performance team.
Why did you choose to study economics?
I didn't want to study. I wanted to travel instead! And so I did, but after a few years I was missing the influence of education in my life and decided I wanted to study something. I thought I was good with numbers, but pure maths would be too monotonous for me and so I went with the first suggestion on Google. In that sense, I never chose to study Economics, I think Economics chose me. And I have never had any regrets!
How would you describe economics?
Economics is a social science that deals with human behaviour and money in society. I think that the aim of an Economist is to understand and use the economy to (help) improve people's lives.
If you had a time machine and could meet your 16-year-old self, what advice would you give them?
I would probably tell myself not to panic or rush into anything. Taking time to get to know yourself after school can be a great experience and it helped me find my own passions.
What is your favourite part of economics?
It is especially interesting to me that we often deal with problems that still have no solutions. The important questions and problems of our day to day are often yet to be effectively tackled by policy makers and experts. This means that entering this field provides a real opportunity to influence and make a difference. Economics is a lot more dynamic and ever-changing than I had ever imagined initially.
Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance?
Economics was never a career option that was promoted to me, and it took me a while to 1) even consider it as an option and 2) feel confident that I could pursue a degree in the field. If I would have known sooner that my ideas and opinions had a valuable space in designing our society, then maybe I would have considered this path a lot sooner, too.