Women in Economics: In conversation with Lucy Charnock

Posted on: 5 March 2024 in Students

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we caught up with First Class Honours Business Economics graduate, Lucy Charnock.

Can you tell us a bit about your experiences of studying Business Economics?

Studying my programme was incredibly challenging, it was also the best experience of my life. It opened my eyes to the vast offering that economics has– I was particularly interested in modules centred around international trade and development economics.

As part of my studies, I completed a Year in Industry as an Economist at The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), on the Government Economic Service Sandwich Student Programme. I was introduced to how economics is used in the real world and learnt how to conduct economic appraisal i.e. deciding whether government intervention makes economic sense.

My placement year was invaluable in helping me link theory learnt in the classroom to the real world and at the end of my placement, I was thrilled to receive an offer to return to HSE after graduation. 

What was the greatest lesson you took from your university experience?

The greatest lesson I took from my university experience is resilience – there may be times where you really struggle and doubt your capabilities, it is important to realise why you got there in the first place and to always have your end goal in mind. I felt so proud of myself after completing modules that I found challenging.

How are you finding your graduate role?

I am six months into my role as an Assistant Economist which has been a similar experience to my placement year- although I have more responsibilities.

A highlight so far was working on ‘Costs to Britain’, a publication which works out the costs of injury and ill-health from work each year.

Can you tell us about your role in the Women in Economics Network?

Outside of work, I am Liverpool’s Representative for the Women in Economics Network. This is made up of ‘econosisters’ who work in the Government Economics Service (GES) across Liverpool.

I am still very new to this role and am looking forward to engaging in lots of knowledge sharing, presentations, shadowing and networking.

Women tend to be underrepresented in economics, this Network is a great way to empower women in the subject and the great professions that economics brings.

What advice would you have to students thinking of studying economics at university?

My advice would be to find what you are passionate about. Once you know, do your research, read up on the topics and look for work experiences. Your future is quite literally in your hands, so you have to make sure you set yourself on the right track from the get-go.

Make the most of your time at university. Don’t say no to any opportunities – go to events, join societies, ask for help, join a team. Have fun, but also work hard. If you balance your time, you can have both sides of the university experience and your future self will thank you for it.

I started university as a shy girl and blossomed into a confident, professional woman. I worked hard, but also had so much fun! I knew what I was capable of, and I strived for only the best version of myself.