Hayden Skilling

'Having a keen grasp on the major issues in each field is very rewarding...'

  • Hayden skilling

Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Finance

Bachelor of Science with Honours in Economics

Studying towards a Master of Commerce in Economics

A long-held interest in Economics drew Hayden to study the subject at tertiary level. Keen to stay in his home town of Christchurch, the fact that UC had a reputation as having ‘one of the best Economics departments in New Zealand’ made it an easy decision.

‘I knew that studying Economics at a higher level would be an exciting challenge. After my first year at UC, I realised that I also thoroughly enjoyed Finance, so I decided to major in that field as well.’

He got a taste for tertiary study through UC’s STAR extension and transition programme for high school students, opting for the MATH 199 Advancing in Mathematical Sciences course which covers calculus, linear algebra and probability.

‘I would definitely recommend STAR courses. Mine allowed for greater flexibility when choosing my first year courses as I had already fulfilled prerequisites, and it prepared me for changes in moving from NCEA to university.’

He adds: ‘Anyone wanting to major in Economics or Finance should seriously consider loading up on as many math papers as possible. It makes Economics and Finance significantly easier and, as a result, a lot more enjoyable.’

Hayden says that both subjects have great relevance to everyday life. ‘Having a keen grasp on the major issues in each field is very rewarding in terms of informing personal financial decisions and gaining an understanding of national issues.’

UC has a number of advantages in Hayden’s opinion. ‘Studying at UC has allowed me to take a range of papers both within and outside of my main subject areas. The Department offers weekly seminars from visiting guests, and they are a great way to see new research developments in economics and finance. UC also has a range of scholarships on offer, which can be extremely helpful in minimising student debt.’

Hayden has won a number of scholarships, including a Reserve Bank of New Zealand scholarship and a UC Master’s scholarship. His links with the RBNZ are firmly established: following an internship he has lined up a permanent role as a graduate analyst in the Macro Financial Department, which comes with a $10,000 scholarship to complete his studies. At the start of his honours degree, Hayden successfully applied to the Bank to do the internship the following summer.

‘I worked on a number of projects including an analysis of New Zealand's relative level of financial development, examining the evolution of asset quality in the banking sector, and work on competition and efficiency in the banking industry. The projects were interesting and topical, making the work highly rewarding.

‘I attended presentations by academics and policymakers from around the world. At social events I also got to meet people that I share common interests with from all areas of the Bank. Through the internship you gain an invaluable addition to your CV and practical experience that is relevant regardless of your career aspirations. It also equips you with the essential skills for your honours year, the importance of which cannot be overstated.’

In his spare time, Hayden enjoys playing sport with friends, especially golf, squash and tennis, something he hopes to continue to do when he moves to Wellington.

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Amber Cunningham

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