A Nobel Prize laureate walks into a bar... The bar is The George; the Nobelist, Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides. Those of us present finally realise this is what other people feel when they go backstage at a Lady Gaga show.
There are many reasons why the LSE is the best place to learn: a world-leading social sciences university, top-notch academic staff, a campus at the heart of the most exciting city in the world. Yet it is the school’s people -- and their curiosity and drive to change things for the better -- that are by far its most valuable asset.
The constant flow of ideas between them is a big part of the LSE experience. Everyone is constantly learning from everyone else -- whether it's at an in-depth seminar debate, through a brief exchange in the library, from a world-class guest speaker or, well, by eavesdropping in The George.
I was a bit of an outlier in my cohort at the European Institute, a budding reporter among aspiring policy experts and PhD hopefuls. While many of my classmates focused on one area to develop a real expertise, I decided to cast my net wide, picking six courses focusing on a variety of topics. This was a decision I came to regret slightly in the run-up to the exams, but it paid off down the line when I became a reporter.
The phone call informing me that I had got an internship with CNN in London came while I was sitting in the library studying for my last exam. Within a year, I was covering the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
At the LSE, I studied the mechanics of an incomplete monetary union through interest rates charts and academic articles. Suddenly, I was on the streets of Athens, interviewing people who were living the consequences. Some went months without being paid, others saw their salaries slashed in half, many more lost businesses and ended up struggling to find work. It was thanks to the LSE that I was able to connect the dots, explaining the policy issues through the stories happening on the ground.
Over the years, I have covered numerous elections, the migration crisis, the EU referendum and the subsequent Brexit drama. I’ve gone back to my LSE notes and books countless times, turned to my former lecturers and classmates for advice or an expert opinion. When a colleague comes to me with a question about the EU, my answer is nearly always the same: “I know just the right person to speak to. They are at the European Institute."