Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Alex Brodie

BA Economics and Politics | 2012-2016

Photo of Alex Brodie

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I’m from Manchester. I attended comprehensive state schools and am the first person from my family to go to university. Attending university was an ambition of mine from a young age and my time at Leeds has not disappointed!

What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you choose Leeds?

Having grown up in a very political household, I have always been drawn to wanting to study and later work in the field of politics in the knowledge that I have the appropriate skills to one day make a meaningful difference.

I was drawn to Leeds because it’s a fantastic city and the university has a prestigious reputation. The focus which the university places on study abroad and industrial placements was also a key reason for my choosing of Leeds.

What do you think of your course? Have there been any particular highlights for you?

The course has been a highly relevant and engaging one. Its focus has been not just on policy but also on ethics and theory which has allowed me to engage critically with the material. The module called ‘Ethics and Economics’ which I studied in second year has had a profound impact on how I now approach issues of ethical and moral sensitivity.

The student-led OPEN Economics society has also been a fantastic opportunity to debate and challenge the common-held views which are presented in economics, and the debating which I have taken part in during the society meetings will no doubt serve me well, long into the future.

How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?
The staff in Leeds are always on hand to help out with any difficulties which you may have, and will often go above and beyond to help out with problems which may not feature on the curriculum itself. During the writing of my dissertation this has been a key help.

How would you describe the facilities at the University?

The upgrade which the university has had during my time here has made the place a lot more professional in the service which it provides. The contrast in libraries between Laidlaw and Brotherton allows the old to be married with the new, providing a diverse range of learning environments in which you can work.

Have you had the opportunity to study abroad, or complete a year in industry? If so, please tell us about your experience.

I completed a year in industry at the trade association and lobby firm – The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) – where I worked in both the fields of Policy and Economics. This opportunity allowed me to live and work in London for the first time which was a key factor in deciding my location. Although I will not return there for work once I graduate, the experience was highly insightful, allowing me to put the skills and information which I had learnt in my first two years into practice. During my time I worked with MPs, government civil servants and government affairs officers from the world’s leading automotive manufacturers.

The charity EDT which helped match me with my employer was also an integral part of my time there. As well as visits from my mentor Keith Griffiths, I also attended workshops ran by the charity which looked at presentation and leadership skills. In addition I was entered into a competition which was called the ‘Contribution to the Business Award’. This competition allowed people who were on placement to enter a project which they had worked on during their time there, with the focus on being, ‘what difference did you make?’. My project in particular presented the input I had towards researching for and writing up of the SMMT New Car CO2 report which was circulated to the nation’s automotive stakeholders, and to government departments. I succeeded in reaching the London Regional Final , with the experience proving to be a great stimulant in ensuring I tried to make a real difference during my time working for SMMT.

Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities, such as societies, summer placements etc?

I am the Captain of the Men’s Lacrosse team and have been involved in activities involving OPEN Economics.

Any other comments you would like to make?

My time at Leeds has not disappointed. I've never had a dull moment what with the Union offering so many activities. Leeds is a great city with great people, with the place truly becoming a part of you.

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