Skip to main content

Graduate profiles

Graduate profiles

Our graduates are successfully putting their degrees into action

Royal Holloway Economics alumni are working all over the world in fields from finance and banking, to journalism and academia.

Name: Liya Ye
Subject: MSc Financial and Industrial Economics
Graduated: 2001
Place of work: CEOCIO China Magazine
Position: Senior Editor

CEOCIO China is one of the top three Chinese financial magazines with an average circulation of 140,000 copies per issue. As senior editor, Liya is responsible for driving new projects in the Shanghai office, co-ordinating her team in order to deliver up-to-date reports on emerging business trends. She is also responsible for the operational strategy in the Shanghai office.

What first attracted you to Royal Holloway?

"Everything impressed me, the class, the campus and particularly the professors. The course confirmed that I made the right choice."

What did Royal Holloway teach you?

"Studying at Royal Holloway opens your eyes and mind, inside and outside of the classroom. My undergraduate degree gave me a broad sense of Western economic theories, and the Masters helped me to develop this area of interest in greater detail.

"I got a lot out of my time in the UK, above all a broader and deeper view of the world. The studies are tough, but the time I spent with my friends helped me."

What’s happened in your career?

"I started as a translator and then editor of international news for a daily newspaper. When I moved to CEOCIO I started as a reporter then as a journalist and now I am the senior editor and head of the Shanghai office.

"My work is related to management, but my studies in the UK and my economics background gave me more confidence and more in-depth knowledge to deal with the topics that I am writing on.

"I love economics, but for me it is too separate from the real world, too mathematical and theoretical. Journalism is the best compromise that I have found between work and real life."

Name: James Lambert
Subject: Economics
Graduated: 2003 (BSc), 2004 (MSc)
Place of work: Ashurst
Position: Economist

Ashurst is a leading international law firm working with clients on complex legal and regulatory issues relating to cross-border transactions. In his role as economist, James advises on a wide range of competition issues.

What first attracted you to Royal Holloway?

"I studied the Royal Holloway prospectus and was very taken by the traditional campus, location and by the fact that the Department of Economics was relatively new and growing.

"I already knew the lecturers, valued the University of London degree and wanted to take advantage of the range of scholarships and teaching assistant opportunities available."

What did Royal Holloway teach you?

"The economics courses at Royal Holloway were very applied to the ‘real world’, as well as being academically rigorous. I still use many of the econometric techniques in my everyday work and refer back to my old notes from my course!

"Royal Holloway gave me the technical economic skills I needed for my job and a very good knowledge of how to apply analysis to real-world economic issues."

What’s happened in your career?

"As an economist at the Office of Fair Trading, I worked in the mergers branch, assessing whether mergers between companies would lead to a substantial lessening of competition.

"I then joined the Competition Commission for one year, assessing the mergers identified by the OFT as potentially raising competition concerns, as well as examining markets which may not be working well for consumers.

"Since moving to Ashurst, I have been responsible for making submissions to competition authorities on cases and providing risk assessments to clients on potential transactions. We also produce weekly economic updates both internally and externally on key macroeconomic developments."

Name: Dirk-Jan de Vos
Subject: BSc Financial and Business Economics
Graduated: 2007
Place of work: Cisco Systems
Position: Operations Manager / Chief of Staff - EMEAR HR

Since graduating, Dirk has progressed to the position of HR Chief of Staff for the Europe, Middle East, Africa & Russia region at Cisco.

What first attracted you to Royal Holloway?

"A friend of mine had applied to Royal Holloway, and with the leafy environment at Royal Holloway and the Hogwarts-style castle in the middle of the campus, I knew where I wanted to be.

"The course has financial, economic and business elements to it, which really appealed to me. So the decision was easily made!"

What did Royal Holloway teach you?

"I really enjoyed the Economics of Law module. Looking at the economic drivers and implications on society, and examining concepts such as utility and externalities and how those could integrate into a legal framework were fascinating.

"The course was run by Dr. Elaine Tan, who also taught us some Quantitative Methods modules. She was very inspirational, someone who you could really buy into because her enthusiasm for the material translates to you in class."

What’s happened in your career?

"After graduating I decided to go back to the yachting firm I had worked for prior to my time at Royal Holloway.

"I started to gain a greater understanding of HR and its importance in engaging human capital to achieve business goals. I came across the role at Cisco which is about balancing interpersonal relationships and acting as a sounding board for the team.

"Running the management system is about how we come together as a team, discuss our priorities, manage our talent, and record and track what we say we’re going to be doing."

Name: Ying Zhou
Subject: Economics
Graduated: 2007
Place of work: NAFMII
Position: Foreign Affairs

NAFMII is a self-regulatory organization, positioned between the government and individual market participants. It acts on the behalf of financial institutions in the bond market, opening up dialogue between the market players, and settling disputes in foreign countries.

Ying’s role involves identifying the needs of NAFMII’s members and those of foreign institutions breaking into the Chinese markets to find points of co-operation. She is also involved in translation, research and PR.

What first attracted you to Royal Holloway?

"Royal Holloway offered a major/minor degree in Economics and Music, so I was able to keep up my hobby as well as studying Economics. I visited the College on an open day and fell in love with the campus."

What did Royal Holloway teach you?

"Different lecturers will give you a snapshot of each of their areas of specialism; studying family economics in second year prompted me to write my third year dissertation on that area. The professors are very helpful; in particular, my dissertation supervisor.

"I especially enjoyed my last year. I was applying for postgraduate courses, handling a lot of projects and assignments. It was stressful but fantastic and after you go through it you feel like you have accomplished so much."

What’s happened in your career?

"My work involves establishing relationships and liaising with multiple organisations on different levels: the government, regulatory organisations, multinational institutions, accountancy firms and clearing bodies.

"Another aspect is dealing directly with the media, because we sometimes have to talk directly to news correspondents about what’s going on in the markets.

"The organisation is still quite young and developing really fast, so we are moving into other areas. I’m exploring what I like and what I’m good at so that I can specialise in a specific area in the future."

Name: Ed Fisher
Subject: Economics
Graduated: 2007
Place of work: Barclays
Position: Manager, Structured Finance

Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for more than 49 million customers and clients worldwide. Ed joined Barclays’ graduate training scheme and his role today is to ensure that debt facilities for all large property and project finance transactions are structured and transacted appropriately.

What first attracted you to Royal Holloway?

"Royal Holloway really stood out. It has the appeal of being part of the University of London, and being a campus university was also a big sell.

"Also Royal Holloway does a BSc in Economics, rather than a BA. It has a good blend between the analytical and critical sides of the subject where you get more involved with the actual theory."

What did Royal Holloway teach you?

"The most important thing for me was learning to have an open mind and seeing things from a different perspective. I now have clients from all over the world and my Royal Holloway experience certainly helped me in this sense.

"Having a good degree from a good university certainly helped me achieve what I have at Barclays. I studied quantitative analysis which is very important in the role that I am doing now, so it certainly prepared me for what I have gone on to do in my career."

What’s happened in your career?

"In the Barclays graduate recruitment scheme you spend one year in one placement and the second year in another placement, which allows you to gain a good depth of knowledge.  

"The scheme is really flexible. They also sponsor people with international work permits which is something a lot of companies don’t offer."

Name: Azad Zangana
Subject: Economics
Graduated: 2003
Place of work: Schroders Investment Management
Position: European Economist

Schroders is a British multinational asset management company with over 200 years of experience in the world’s financial markets.

Azad’s role as European Economist involves analysing economic markets to advise fund managers on investments, as well as writing independent research, speaking at conferences and appearing on television.

What first attracted you to Royal Holloway?

"I applied to Royal Holloway because it had an excellent Economics department. I didn’t want to be in central London, so it struck a very good balance between being outside of the city but also affiliated with the University of London.

"I was looking at other universities but overall the combination of the campus life and the department’s reputation won out for me. The lecturers were very good and well known. I really didn’t feel that Royal Holloway would hold me back in any way."

What did Royal Holloway teach you?

"I enjoyed Industrial Economics, which is a very microeconomic subject that really tries to understand the way companies behave, given the customers and competitors they have, how they compete and how they set prices.

"The academic staff were willing to go the extra mile with us. We had so many seminar leaders who would spare the time to sit down with you and go through things when you needed to."

What’s happened in your career?

"After a few months with a small consultancy firm a head-hunter came along representing the Financial Services Ombudsman and I worked at HM Treasury for just under four years.

"I was finishing off my skills by making what I had learnt at university applicable to the real world, working with very experienced economists from across the civil service

"At Schroders I analyse economic and market developments and advise our fund managers. I have appeared on television over 80 times and have spoken at conferences organised by Schroders and external organisations."

Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help

Discover more about our 21 departments and schools

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

They say the two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today