What did you do before you came to College?
I taught Economics and Politics at Marlborough College for three years before joining College in September 2014. Before that, I studied for a Masters of Research degree in Economics and then a PhD in Microeconomic Theory at the University of Bath. The primary focus of my research was how findings from Behavioural Economics, particularly of bounded rationality (showing how decision-makers do not always make the usually assumed optimal choices) can be integrated into models of consumer and government decision-making.
If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would you have done instead?
I’m sorry if this is a boring answer: I genuinely don’t know. I didn’t have a clue about what job I wanted to do until the final year of my undergraduate degree, when I realised that teaching was for me (and not because of a desire to follow my brother’s path!). I now consider myself very lucky to be able to teach the subject I love to students at such a fantastic school, whilst also being able to continue my Economics research and writing.
What is your favourite thing about College life?
My colleagues. The Common Room, along with the wider staff body at College, is an incredibly talented, supportive and welcoming group of people who make working at College so enjoyable. I am particularly lucky to have the colleagues and friends that I do in the Economics and Business Studies Departments and also in Boyne House. I am inspired daily by the amount of time and effort that everyone gives to the students. Everyone works so hard and that is only possible because of the support from one another.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am just finishing The Shining by Stephen King (I am going through a gothic horror phase at the moment) whilst also reading S by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst (an excellent recommendation from the Senior Librarian) and Nathaniel’s Nutmeg (a history of the spice trade) by Giles Morton.
Other than your own, what was your favourite subject at school?
History. I really wasn’t sure whether I wanted to study Economics or History at university, having enjoyed them both so much at A Level. I eventually chose Economics thinking that I would do better at that in my A Level exams, but it turned out that I scored exactly the same UMS in both. I’m very glad with hindsight to have made that choice but I have always kept the History reading going.
If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what is the first thing that you would do?
Pass legislation to improve the lives of animals, particularly farm animals: banning intensive factory farming and caging hens; pushing the EU to enforce its sow stall ban and to make the farming of rabbits illegal, and reducing the suffering of animals at slaughter. These are just a few – it would be a very long day!