Profile: Lovisa Reiche
Lovisa is studying for an MPhil in Economics at Univ. She is also Women’s Officer for the WCR. In this profile, she discusses gaining confidence, learning how to row and pushing through doubt.
Why did you choose to do an MPhil in Economics at Univ?
My undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Aberdeen left me with many unanswered questions about economic theory and practice and I wanted to gain a deeper understanding. The Economics Department in Oxford offers a unique two-year master’s degree that allows students to learn in-depth about different areas of Economics before deciding which area to specialise in. Further, the department has a strong policy focus which suited my interests well. Therefore, Oxford was my first choice when applying for postgraduate study. However, I am grateful my undergraduate supervisor motivated me to apply as without him I would have probably lacked the courage.
When it came to deciding on college preferences, I picked Univ as the first choice. I spoke to some friends who had been to Oxford and all recommended Univ as the college that would probably “suit me best”. I still don’t know what they meant, but indeed I am happy to be at Univ.
How do you think you have changed since walking through Univ’s doors for the first time?
I think I have gained a lot of confidence and am more open when it comes to meeting and talking to people. During the first weeks of being in Oxford, I was very intimidated by the surroundings and people who I met. Everyone had such an interesting story and great achievements. However, I quickly integrated into the Univ community and became part of it myself.
What do you do outside of your studies?
When in Oxford I always feel like there are so many events in the evenings – from college dinners to departmental conferences and receptions – that the calendar is always super busy. I thus also really enjoy cooking at home and having a quiet night in with a good book.
Further, since coming to Univ I have picked up rowing and enjoy spending time at the boat club. UCBC is very good at teaching newcomers how to row and has many boats on the water and in the Oxford regattas every term. Waking up early in the morning to exercise is a great motivation for the rest of the day.
Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?
My advice for prospective students would be to apply even if you have doubts. I never thought I could go to Oxford and would have never applied without my supervisor’s motivating words. Further, I would suggest trying not to be too intimidated in the first weeks and be open to the people you meet. Typically, you make good friends in Welcome Week.
Has anything surprised you about Univ/Oxford/your course?
To be honest, studying at Oxford is not very different from what I imagined it. Interesting and inspiring people, elegant and formal events and of course the unique college culture. What may have surprised me is the contrast between normal student life and student parties that occur within these impressive old halls of the colleges. I would have never imagined people in long ball gowns dancing on the tables in the dining halls until I came to my first ball last week.
On the negative side, I believe I was also a bit surprised by the high costs of living in Oxford. Coming from Aberdeen in Scotland, my rents almost tripled but my funding stayed the same.
Describe Univ in three words.
Friendly, cosy, communal
Published: 4 July 2022