Katie is a self-confessed economics geek, working as an Economic Analyst for the NHS.
Why did you choose to study economics?
I quite liked maths at school, but I also really enjoyed writing, thinking critically and discussion. I had absolutely no idea what economics was at the time, but it seemed like it might be a mixture of these things, so I took a risk and studied it for A Level. Luckily, I ended up really enjoying it and went on to study it as part of my degree and then later did a Master's degree in Health Economics.
How would you describe economics?
I'd say it's the science of everything - it helps us to understand the choices made by people, companies, and governments. This might make it sound vague, but it also means that it can help us to explain and predict so much about the world around us, and that there's probably something in there for everyone!
If you had a time machine and could meet your 16-year-old self, what advice would you give them?
To stop worrying about the 'right' choices, to learn as much as possible, and that it's okay to be indecisive! I chose a degree that allowed me to study three subjects (politics, philosophy and economics - mainly because I couldn't choose just one) and it took me a couple of years after that to decide that economics was what I wanted to do with my life. However, I learned so much along the way, so I actually think it was a real benefit to do a mixture of things until I found the one that was right for me.
What is your favourite part of economics?
It's difficult to choose, though I'm not sure I've ever truly been able to figure out interest rates and inflation! I work in healthcare, so health economics is probably my favourite part. I love how we can use economics to weigh up costs and benefits (even where these aren't always easy to put a number on) to help us make really important decisions and get the best outcomes for patients and society as a whole.
Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance?
I'd try and connect my studies to the 'real world' a little earlier if possible. I only really decided that I wanted to pursue economics as a career after I'd stopped studying it and worked in teaching for a couple of years. This was when I started reading more about economics ('Freakonomics' and 'The Undercover Economist' are both brilliant at revealing the economics in what we see every day) and listening to economics podcasts. Reading and hearing about 'cool' applications of economics made me see its huge potential to help us improve the world we live in.