Giorgio Castagneto Gissey
Could you sum up your experience of Economics at Warwick?
I had a fantastic experience at the University of Warwick. In the first place, I chose Warwick because of its extraordinary reputation as one of the best universities in the UK for Economics. In fact, Warwick reached 1st place just the year after I left and I was ecstatic about its continuous rise. Everything was simply perfect, from the campus to each individual course, the people and everything else.
The education I received at Warwick was world class and I’m sure that much of my success so far is down to what I had learned during my time at Warwick as well as the simple fact to be able to say that I have a Master’s degree from such a well-known and respected institution.
The organisation and high-level education that one can gain from a single year of study in Warwick is merely unmatched.
How did the course and department prepare you for life beyond graduation?
I gained very good knowledge in a number of branches of financial economics, thus was able to choose my preferred one. I also realised that the breadth and depth of the knowledge I gained at Warwick enabled me to decide on whether I wanted to pursue a career in finance or in academia. I had always thought academia was my preferred option and chose it as my career path.
However, I would have been able to do both kind of jobs, as well as consulting and many others since Warwick provided me with a wide array of tools that would enable me to cover a number of positions.
What have you been doing since graduation?
Straight after the completion of my MSc studies at Warwick, I won a full scholarship from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for a PhD in Financial Economics at Imperial College, which I think can in large part be attributed to the knowledge I gained during my studies at the Warwick Economics Department.
Having successfully completed my doctoral studies whilst publishing three papers on the top journals in my field (energy), I moved on to become a Teaching Fellow in Economics at UCL and am now a Research Associate in Energy Economics at UCL. Currently, I am a Research Co-Investigator on a major UK-funded project in energy.
I am convinced that most of this is due to the discipline and knowledge I gained in Warwick, where the level of education and the teaching and research staff was simply world class.
What steps did you take to find employment?
I used Jobs.ac.uk to find my first job as Teaching Fellow in Economics at UCL. For my second job I did not apply, rather I directly contributed to the underlying research proposal, thus was directly awarded with the position.
What does your current job involve?
My current work involves research. I’m currently working on a large research project, which requires me to produce a number of papers per year on a given topic. The main part is to make an impact on policy decisions. This is a continuous process of learning, doing research, publishing, discussing your work with other scholars and policymakers, attending and speaking at conferences, workshops, and so on. One of the most thrilling parts of this process, I think, is to write your own research projects and secure funding for these, which will enable you to carry out your personally desired research agenda, which is where things get particularly exciting. It is a thrilling environment.
What’s the one piece of advice you would give to current students?
Two simple pieces of advice; make sure you consider more than one career path, and do not give up if someone says you’re not good enough, since that is only someone’s opinion.