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Celebrating success: Harry Deacon

5th September 2019

This is the sixth article in our 2019 news series celebrating high performing Pembroke undergraduate students and recent alumni in their examinations.

Harry Deacon (BA Economics and Management, 2018) recently completed his first year achieving a first. We caught up with him to congratulate him on his recent success, as well as asking about his course highlights and extracurricular activities with the JCR Committee.

“Having completed my first year reading E&M at Pembroke, I have enjoyed the breadth and variety that the course affords. From the more abstract management theories to the more mathematical macroeconomic models, the course develops a broad academic skillset, while still offering ample opportunity to explore specific areas of interest. Blending the qualitative and quantitative, E&M compels you to approach problems through a range of lenses and thus finds a way to push the reaches of your comfort zone.

I am incredibly grateful for the extensive extracurricular opportunities offered by Pembroke and the wider University. Within the Pembroke sphere, I was Assistant Treasurer for the Ball Committee and elected incoming VP for the JCR, as well as rowing and playing cricket for the college. On a broader University level, I am serving on the Governing Body of the Oxford Union and completed projects for firms in Asia and Africa with the Oxford Strategy Group management consultancy society. These experiences have both balanced and complemented my academic studies and ultimately enriched my first year at Oxford. 

I think the key to succeeding in the course is to focus on understanding the underlying concepts rather than solely on how to maximise exam marks. Further, by equipping yourself with the theories and models covered in a course that affords so much real-world application, the possibilities to better understand how systems around us like taxation and organisational structure work are endless.

This wider contextualisation formed a central part of an obvious highlight of my course: the tutorial system. This structure compels you to think independently and quickly, but also to think adaptively and creatively. For example, I remember discussing in a general management tutorial how you would apply theories of competitive strategy to fast-food high street bakery chains in the UK. The intellectually stimulating tutorial environment facilitates such discussions where the onus is put on students to apply course material with a dexterity of approach.”

Harry Deacon
Harry Deacon