Matthew is currently an intern at the Fraser Institute in Vancouver. He graduated with a joint honours degree in environment and business and economics.
As an economics student at Waterloo, I was passionate about the social and environmental issues that are occurring around us. I was driven to recognize how we can understand and solve these issues using a number of theories and methods in the field of economics.
What interests and goals led you to pursue a joint major in economics and environment and business?
When I began my undergraduate career, I enrolled in the environment and business program, because I cared very much about greater issues such as social equity and environmental sustainability. After I was exposed to economics, I realized that economics is the perfect field for me to reconcile my lack of theoretical knowledge and technical abilities. I believe that with economics as a joint major, I have become a better-rounded critical thinker and a much more employable person than before.
Which economics courses influenced you the most during and after your academic career?
I would say that ECON 402, my final year macroeconomics theory course taught by Professor Francisco Gonzalez, influenced me the most during my career at UWaterloo. I was taught how to juxtapose the theories that we learned with real life applications, which proved to be the most valuable lesson for me.
How did you benefit from your co-op work terms?
My co-op terms gave me perspective that I could have never learned in the classroom. They allowed me to see how we can apply our knowledge in an actual working environment, and prepare myself for my future career. Most importantly, they gave me the insight of direction, with which I was able to better gauge where I should go in my career, once my undergraduate career is over.
How has your joint honours degree influenced your current job?
It has very much. I am working at the Fraser Institute as an intern for the Departments of Fiscal Studies and Government Policy. I aid the directors of these departments in the research of current fiscal and policy topics. Currently, I am working on a project regarding capital gains taxes. My joint honours degree broadened my horizons, and allowed me to raise arguments and perspectives that are unique, and I believe that gave me the edge over other candidates.
What are your future academic plans or career goals?
I will be joining the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia in the Fall of 2014 for the Masters of Economics program. After that, I shall still have to see where I can best pursue my interests.