What interests and goals led you to graduate studies in economics?
Ever since I was young, I was determined to be an economist specializing in public policies that maximize social welfare. At the age of 7, my parent's restaurant went out of business and we suddenly had to live in poverty. Growing up in such a situation, I witnessed and experienced the difficulties and hardships of being poor. Despite these disadvantages, I have realized my dream of pursuing a PhD specializing in Public Economics and Economic Growth in order to develop policies aimed at mitigating poverty.
How has your graduate training in economics impacted your career path?
During my MA program, I was provided with a full scholarship and worked as a teaching assistant for one of the undergraduate macroeconomic theory course. I greatly enjoyed answering students’ questions and enhancing their knowledge of economics. This experience strengthened my desire to be a professor, as I realized my true interests—research and teaching.
What aspect of Waterloo's economics graduate program did you find most useful in terms of your career?
After my MA in Economics at the University of Waterloo, I received an offer from the PhD program (Finance) at the Australian National University. I am currently in the first year of my doctoral studies. I have two publications at Applied Financial Economics and Applied Economics, respectively. Of course, my success is also due to the rigorous training at the University of Waterloo. I thank my professors for helping me to develop the advanced skills necessary for academic research.
If you went on co-op how critical do you think it was for your career?
Although I did not go on co-op, I remember that lots of my classmates were offered co-op jobs and these jobs helped them to find permanent employment in Canada. Surprisingly, lots of my classmates were international students rather than Canadian citizens. The MA program at the University of Waterloo makes us stand out in both academia and industry. One of my friends got admitted to the PhD program in Economics at Queen’s University, while another one is pursuing her PhD in Economics at the University of Western Ontario.
Any other comments about the Department? Would you recommend it as a destination for graduate education? If so, why?
I strongly recommend the MA program to anyone interested in pursuing a career in economics. Its’ rigorous training made me stand out.