Student profile: Nick Hutchinson

Nick Hutchinson outside Kennedy Building, Canterbury Campus

BSc Economics

Nick is in his final year of an Economics BSc degree at the University of Kent.

What attracted you to study at Kent?

One of the main things that attracted me to Kent was the campus. It’s so green and there is so much open space, that it reminded me of home. I knew when I was first looking at universities, I didn’t want to go to a city-based university because I wouldn’t have enjoyed a city. The University of Kent has the perfect blend of being close to town and being far enough away to create its own community. When I first went to campus, it felt as if I was walking into a community, and three years in, I still feel the same way. Another thing that attracted to me to Kent was my course. With Economics, the core modules are the same wherever you go, so the important thing to look at are the optional modules. Luckily for me, not only did Kent have a great campus but it also had the modules that I wanted to study.

How is your course going?

The course is enjoyable, and every week is different. The optional modules which are on offer can be tailored to your needs and interests, so you never have a boring lecture or seminar because you choose to study what you are passionate about. I am so glad that I chose to study Economics because not only was it the one subject that I enjoyed and was good at, but you can use everything you study in day-to-day work, such as the use of time efficiency – working out the best way to study which fully maximises your free time.

I’m studying Economics – it’s going really well and, with the pandemic, it seems to be the perfect time to study Economics.

How would you describe your lecturers? What do you think about the level of support in your studies?

The lecturers here at Kent are engaging and so supportive. They spend a lot of their free time making sure that students understand what has been taught. Not only that, but some lecturers want your feedback on their lecturers to see if there are ways that they can improve them.

They are also welcoming within and outside of their office hours and are more than willing to answer any questions that you may have. It is understandable that everyone is having to adjust to university being a blended learning approach, but the staff in the School of Economics have been fantastic in terms of communication and allowing us to contact them if we have any concerns.

Which modules have you enjoyed the most, and why?

One module that I particularly enjoyed was Professional Economics, which I studied in my first year. For this module, we had to read a 30-page dossier of a certain economic issue, and then we had to summarise the document into one A4 page and come up with some recommendations which could be followed by the government. The reason why I enjoyed this module so much, is that it is very similar to the work that I do for Carey Olsen, the law firm I work for in the holidays. This module took place in a two-hour interactive seminar, which meant that you had to work quickly which made it more challenging and really satisfying.

How would you describe your fellow students?

I think you learn more from your peers than you do from your teachers at secondary school, and that is still valid at university. All the students are so welcoming, and everyone talks to everyone. When you first come to university, it is nerve-racking because you don’t know anyone, but everyone is in the same boat, so it is easier to make friends. Students in the School of Economics are amazing, and there is a real sense of community within the school with older students acting as peer mentors to the younger students. Also, if Stage 1 and 2 students are struggling with a particular module, they are not afraid to ask Stage 3 students and they are willing to help and support them. This is exactly what you want from a university community.

Students in the School of Economics are amazing, and there is a real sense of community within the school with older students acting as peer mentors to the younger students.

What are the facilities like on campus?

The facilities on campus are incredible, it is so modern, and yet every year they modernise a building or build a completely new one. The Kennedy building which hosts the School of Economics was being built in my first year. The rooms are big and there is such a sense of space. In addition, with the current pandemic and the seminar rooms not being used, it has meant that I am able to go into a seminar room to do my work rather than going to the library, which is perfect, as it gets me out of the house and gives me a quiet area to do my work.

The sports facilities are also great. The gym has three sports halls which can accommodate most sports and it’s also modern which means getting involved feels easy. The gym was one of the main reasons why I wanted to come to Kent. The staff at the gym are so supportive and if they see that someone is struggling, they are not afraid to go over and help. They have two sections, one designated for cardio workouts and a weight section. There is always space for you to go and workout.

What about the social life?

The social life has been fantastic at Kent. I was lucky enough that I was put into Tyler Court A accommodation which had a hotel feel rather than the feeling of being stuck in flats and only really meeting your flatmates. I joined the cricket society – the best club on campus! They are such a welcoming society which caters for everyone. If you are a member who doesn’t drink, no problem, because there are many events that don’t involve drinking. If you don’t want to go to socials and just want to play cricket, that’s okay too. Everyone is so friendly at the training sessions – it’s very easy to make friends and have a great time.

What kind of career do you hope to follow when you leave?

I want to go into a business analyst role, because I think it will suit my personality. I see business analysts as problem-solvers, helping people. I always like solving other people’s problems if I can, and thinking about other people before myself, so I think this is a role that I could really fit into.

Any advice to somebody thinking of coming to Kent?

The biggest piece of advice that I got given when choosing universities, is choose a university that fits you, not where your best friend is going, or that appears the most prestigious. The reason why I say this is that you have to live there for 3 years and if you do not enjoy the surroundings, then your university life is not going to be the best. So, when you do choose, choose for yourself and no one else.

…choose a university that fits you, not where your best friend is going, or that appears the most prestigious.

Another piece of advice would be to join as many societies as possible and really enjoy your first year. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to work, but try to find the right balance between working and socialising which means that you are set up for your second and third year and so that you have an enjoyable time here at Kent.

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