Chris Bennett, MA

Manager, Bates White Economic Consulting

Chris specializes in applied and theoretical econometrics. His research, which broadly spans portfolio allocation problems in finance to the causal effects of military service on future earnings, has been published in leading academic journals, including the International Economic Review, the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, and the Journal of Financial Econometrics.

Prior to joining Bates White, Dr. Bennett taught courses in econometric analysis at both the graduate and undergraduate levels while on the faculty at the Department of Economics at Vanderbilt University.

What interests and goals led you to graduate studies in economics?

I didn’t know whether I would like graduate studies in economics, but two of my favourite profs at Ryerson urged me to consider it. Best advice ever! The MA program at Waterloo opened my eyes to opportunities that I never even knew existed. I so thoroughly enjoyed the program and the people—many of whom I still keep in touch with today—that it seemed only natural to continue studying towards a PhD.

How has your graduate training in economics impacted your career path?

Graduate training in economics taught me how to break complex problems down into smaller manageable pieces. This high-level skill proved to be critical in my role as an academic, where I was tasked with transforming ideas into academic publications, and also now in my role as an economic consultant where I am tasked with presenting creative and compelling solutions to clients.

What aspect of Waterloo’s economics graduate program did you find most useful in terms of your career?

The faculty members, both in and out of the econ department, were happy to accommodate the interests of individual students. Professors in mathematics, statistics, and engineering all welcomed me into their classes as I sought to further advance my quantitative skills in preparation for further graduate work in economics.

Any other comments about the Department? Would you recommend Waterloo as a destination for graduate studies? If so, why?

I received great training which prepared me well for doctoral studies. I found the open door policy of the professors to be refreshing. They were also collegial and encouraging. I have no problem recommending the Department to students who want to pursue graduate studies in economics within an intimate yet challenging environment.

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo