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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Economics - Monsheil Kahai

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About me

Hiya! I'm Monsheil, a second-year economist. I grew up in a town called Hampton in the South-west of London. I came from a pretty high-achieving grammar school in Kingston, where Oxbridge was kind of first nature for a lot of the students, but I had never thought I would be in the position I am today. I hadn’t always considered Cambridge, let alone Economics, but decided when I had got my AS results, and when my head of sixth form encouraged me to go for it.

My week

Most days you will have around three lectures, all finishing before 1pm. Then you will have assigned supervision work from your different papers, so you will have six supervisions over two weeks for all six parts of the course (this is for the first year). The supervision system here is really great because it allows you to really delve deep into your subject and ask any of the 'stupid' questions you may have! It lets you consolidate everything you have learnt that week. When I’ve finished my lectures for the week, I will usually spend some time in the library finishing any work I have. There are so many great places to study and it completely depends on what suits you best. Yes, there is a lot of work, but don’t worry, it’s all doable.

Other than studying, I’ll hang out with my friends, go the gym (more likely go to the pub) or go out!

Why economics and advice to you

When I started studying here, I was worried that there would be certain parts of the course I would hate. Some of this is true, I really didn’t like revising for the Economic History Paper, but going to the lectures was actually quite interesting. My point is there may be parts of the course you dislike, but in first year it’s done to allow you to have a really broad sense of economics. This really helps going into the second year and choosing an optional paper. Have a look at the course website, all the information there is really detailed and it’ll give you a good sense of what you will be studying.

If I could give one piece of advice for interviews, you really need to have an enthusiasm for your subject. Interviewers want to see that you can form your own opinion and allow your views to be challenged!

Beyond study

The opportunities at Cambridge and at Murray Edwards are amazing. In my first year of study, I became president of the 3rd biggest society in Cambridge; India Soc, became Vice President of the Marshall Conference, was an Ents officer for the Medwards Garden Party (our own version of the May Ball), played netball for college and took part in one of the largest Bollywood dance competitions in the UK.

This experience is only what you make of it, I recommend grabbing every chance you have to do something out of your comfort zone! You definitely won’t regret it… Go to that comedy show at the ADC, watch Made in Chelsea every Monday religiously with your best friends, take pictures! As for boys… There are so many opportunities to make friends around Cambridge, especially at other colleges, you will meet all kinds of people from lectures, societies, sports, etc. Cambridge is not all about the work, and no one expects you to spend 24 hours a day in the library.

What Medwards means to me

Murray Edwards has really become my home away from home. It has broken all the stereotypes I had heard about Cambridge. I got winter pooled from another college, so I hadn’t seen Medwards until the Offerholders day that they hold every year. Spending that small amount of time here showed me how supportive, friendly and interesting everyone is here. I have had the best year and couldn’t have asked for a better university experience.

Medwards may not have spires, but the gardens are beautiful and unlike most other colleges, we can walk on the grass as much as we want! We still sport some of the best Cambridge traditions, such as an optional formal every week, where you can wear your gown. Most of all, it’s the little things at Medwards that make the work worth it... Skive@5 every Friday; where you can pop into the bar to get free hot drinks and biscuits, Apple Day; full of apple crumble lovers and marshmallow toasting, and our Gateway programme; something completely unique to Medwards.

All in all, I can’t express enough how much I encourage you to apply to Medwards. Imagine living with all your best friends and combining that with the beauty of Cambridge itself. What more could you want?