Geoffrey Hill

Geoffrey Hill, BSc Geography with EconomicsWhy did you choose BSc Geography with Economics?

I’ve always had a natural interest with geography as a subject because I love the broad analysis and synthesis of an array of subject areas (maths, natural sciences, economics, anthropology, development studies, history etc.) in applying thought to how the world around us is constantly evolving, at present and over time. I first did Economics at A Level and it really captivated me conceptually with all sorts of relevance to current affairs and interesting applications to our own lives. My degree choice therefore was based around wanting a combination of the two, with a slight preference for human geography over physical, and for me the degree as a whole provides the perfect combination of quantitative and qualitative rigor which I feel employers also value highly.

What was it about LSE that made you want to study here?

For me it was slightly easier than some because LSE was one of the few UK universities to actually teach the degree I wanted to do! The fact that LSE is in the heart of London provided endless opportunities, even with the fact that I’ve grown up in North London all my life, and when you have those opportunities to share with one of the most diverse sets of students in the UK – you know that the experience is going to be unique. Lets not forget that LSE is a globally recognized university, with innovative research at the forefront of classroom teaching.

Was the programme challenging?

I would say that any university degree is challenging, and individuals have their own attributes over certain subjects, but I would say as long as you are prepared to work consistently and choose modules you genuinely find interesting, then  the ‘difficulty’ can be reduced. The quantitative and qualitative mix of the course requires you to harness both skillsets and from my experience, ensuring you thoroughly practice the quantitative skills is definitely recommended.

What were the academics like?

Everyone in the Department of Geography & Environment is very open, friendly and willing to offer help. Individually students also get a personal tutor from the department, for extra support on any range of matters, not just academic. From a learning perspective, the majority of academics who teach you will be passionate, engaging, and at the forefront of their specific area.

What is your current job?

I’ve recently joined the 2013 Graduate Analyst programme at BlackRock Investment Management specializing in Counterparty Credit Risk.

Has what you learnt on the BSc proven useful in the world of work?

First and foremost, university in my view moulds your way of thinking to be analytical, holistic and independent, regardless of the subject matter you study, which is vital for success in the workplace. In terms of direct application, my job is aided in general by having learnt statistical and economic concepts, and specifically for example in studying the Global South when constructing our team’s view of the business entering or wishing to trade in a particular foreign market.

If you have one highlight of your time at LSE, what would it be?

Overall it has to be my entire first year, where I lived independently with Trafalgar Square on my doorstep and was lucky enough to live on a floor with some amazing friends from all corners of the globe. In terms of specific events, I think doing the Tough Guy Challenge was incredibly fun.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

Make the most of your first year, it is the time to adjust to the study regime, create long lasting relationships and fully get involved with everything. Join the AU and societies - and I mean you should try and join one as part of the committee that runs them, not just general membership. These will not only boost your social life, but they’re great fun. Be interesting! - being the former President of the LSESU Food Appreciation Society always went down well with whoever I told! Embrace the strong nature of career preparation among the students, even if you don't want to go into what they do or know what you want to do yourself. It will definitely put you at a strong advantage in terms of how you market yourself and how you filter down to specific industries/roles when you do come to apply for your chosen career path. Finally, be organised and consistent with your work rate and avoid last-minute scrambles/cramming, which definitely makes studying more enjoyable and manageable; you are there to learn after all!