We Are Essex

Harry's story

Harry Hoang in the Ivor Crewe Lecture building

"Essex’s motto about being a rebel goes really deep with me"

I’ve always had a mentality where I like to question things and I never like to conform. I like to ask questions, be different and ask why.

Economics allows you to think about things in a very unique way and you can’t get away from it. If you read the news, turn on your smart phone, look at social media, there’s always something about economics and it is the thing that always dominates the news. So to be able to read that and understand it, gives you a unique perspective on the world. Also there are a lot of parts of economics you can go into. So for example I’m interested in developmental economics, behavioural economics and there’s a lot of areas of economics that are really interesting and you can apply to real life. I became president of the Economics Society, obviously economics is something I’m really passionate about and being the president means a lot to me because it means I’m responsible for leading the extra-curricular activities for people like myself. It happened last year when I was in Australia on my year abroad. Funny story but I knew people from the Economics society on the executive team and I was able to gain their support and through that I was able to become the president. 

Obviously, final year is very tough and I’m also doing quite a lot of extra-curricular activities. So as president of the Economics society we have weekly events going on, but I also do boxing so to juggle that on top of studies is really difficult; especially given the fact that I’m looking to compete in boxing as well. I started boxing in my first year and here I am still doing it. I’ve always been a competitive person and I’ve always played sports throughout my life. I like a challenge and I think boxing is such a good way to fulfil this competitive hunger. At the end of the day it’s just you and another person in the ring and there’s a lot of competitiveness about it that I love. 

My year abroad changed me. I feel like there’s been a lot of personal development, I’m so much more open minded now. It’s such a big world out there and if you’re getting stressed in the UK then you don’t have to worry because a few months down the line you could go travelling and do something different. There’s so much more to life and there’s no point getting stressed about little things because you can do a lot to change that. Words can’t describe how much the year abroad has done to me, it has been the best year of my life. I met so many different people, travelled around and had such a cool sense of freedom as I’m halfway around the world, can do whatever I want. But also knowing that if I do get into trouble or need help then I’m the only person that can get myself out of there because I didn’t have family and a safety net. I knew that having that sense of independence and freedom is just going to be really good for me. 

I draw inspiration from all parts of life. For example, in economics the person that inspires me the most is probably John Maynard Keynes. In boxing the people that inspire me are Muhammed Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather. As you can see I’ve got so many inspirations, it just depends for what. I draw inspiration on different things depending on how I feel at a particular time. 

I live by a motto, “tough times don’t last, but tough people do”. I got that inspiration from Floyd Mayweather, who managed to have a boxing career and come out with all his faculties (as in he didn’t get any brain damage in a sport which is a hurt business) so he managed to look after himself and his health while he was in it.

 

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