Sarah Vella

Country: Malta
Sector: Commercial Banking & Credit
Job title: Research Economist
Subject of study: Economics
Year of graduation: 2022
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Central Bank of Malta

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

After completing my Masters, I started working as a Research Economist in the Financial Stability Surveillance and Research Department at the Central Bank of Malta. My daily tasks include reviewing existing literature, analysing data through softwares such as R, STATA and Eviews and presenting research papers and reports, according to macro-prudential policy needs. I am entrusted to study alternative models and solutions that will improve current financial models used by the Bank and suggest new ones that are able to indicate excessive systemic risk in the economy.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I am a highly analytical individual, always willing to learn and discover more. Hence, pursuing a career in the research domain seemed like a natural option to me. I enjoy exploring literature and not knowing what conclusions I might come across, hence the aspect of learning whilst working.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was a member of Pole Fitness Society and Bodysoc Society as well as the Economics Society. I also made sure to attend such classes in between lectures to keep active. I have also attended a course in tennis offered by the University during second semester, which I greatly enjoyed.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I enjoyed the structure of the course mainly the microeconomics, health, behavioural and econometrics modules, all being my most interested areas. I liked the way the assessment is based on a number of components, for instance assignments and presentations for the health economics module. The highlight of my programme was my masters dissertation, being “The Theory of Mispredicting Future Utility: The Case of Volunteering in Germany”. I received supportive feedback and help from my supervisor Dr Miguel Fonseca which I greatly appreciated and motivated me.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The facilities and buildings have a very contemporaneous and clean environment. I lived in Birks Grange Village so I was near all the buildings and could study at the library whenever I wanted. I also fell in love with the university’s environment, being so picturesque and green, brightening up my bad days. Nonetheless, the community at the university made me feel at home and safe.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

The University’s overall reputation attracted my attention whilst deciding where to study. Exeter is always a high ranked university for Economics. Once I began my programme I was lucky to experience the high-quality teaching offered. Moreover, I was a awarded a Global Excellence Scholarship and hence felt more intrigued to study at the University, knowing they are willing to invest financially in my education.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

I definitely acquired skills in using R software thanks to the econometrics modules, which is an important software used in my daily job. During these modules I was also to enhance my data analysis skills and to provide substantial support when backing the data. Thanks to presentations during the module health economics, I also improved my presenting skills when presenting my work output to my seniors.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Working within the research industry is a very satisfyingly role. One never stops learning whilst also working which is a very attractive perk of the job. This role is ideal for those who are filled with imagination and for those who do not want to opt for a role with frequent repetitive daily tasks.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to obtain more experience within other areas of economics e.g. labour economics as a Research Economist. I also hope to one day obtain a PhD qualification to further contribute to the economic research world!


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